One of the awkward experiences I consistently have for the past three years or so since I started hosting “Ohun Aanu” podcast is the state of mind of most Nigeria Christians both here at home or abroad. Most of these people have been injured in the Churches they served, sacrificed and gave all.
An average of three of four Christians I spoke with on a daily basis will confirm to me that they no longer go to Church either the weekly services or on Sundays and even those who are going are at the verge of staying away from Church because they have a story to tell. The burden of letting these people see the importance of corporate worship is overwhelming. Most times when I hear the pathetic stories the experiences of lovely men and women who once served the Lord with everything they have but don’t want anything to do with Church is depressing.
What will you tell a woman who served the Lord in a Church faithfully with her resources and did not even bother that her business was suffering, yet allowed her Church make use of her facilities to the glory of God only to be totally abandoned by the same Church when her young daughter was diagnosed of a terminal disease?
How can you console a man who entered a Church with a family of five (himself, wife and three kids) only for the pastor to successfully disorganized and separate a unified family through false visions that the wife is a witch. A new wife was introduced to the man by the same pastor only for the man to realize too late that the new woman is actually diabolical and was left with nothing as the diabolical woman successfully took his house away from him by seeking for divorce and taking a larger percentage of the man’s sweat. What can you tell such a man about Church that will make sense to him when he just realize that the pastor has been working with the diabolical woman all along?
How can you encourage a woman who helped a ministry got established in USA and planted many branches and grow a branch to a mega assembly within a short period of time, only to be brought down by fellow pastors within the same ministry through jealousy and bitter rivalry. How can you ask the woman to “hold the forth” when she later discovered that many senior pastors she relied upon to settle her home are actually the ones encouraging her husband to rebel against the wife at the branch she build and shepherd?
Due to huge number of once fervent brethren that has abandoned the Church of God, it has been a huge burden on me to pray that God should cause a revolution and re-kindle the fire of revival once again in the lives of this wonderful people who has once won hundreds of people for Christ. Honestly, I don’t know the meaning of this prayers and I have no clue how God can do it but I was blinded with my passion for God’s mercy because, if these people should die with this bitterness and gross abandonment of fellowship, the consequences may be bigger that anticipated because of the fact that the Scriptures has warned that we should not abandon our regular worship service “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching – Heb. 10:25 (KJV)
After about eight months of prayers I shifted to mentioning the names of individuals who have at a stage told me they are unchurched believing if I started mentioning their names that God should minister to them and rekindle the spirit of zeal they have lost, I got desperate and started telling these set of people whenever we have the opportunity of discuss that they should join foreign-established churches in their areas. I became happier because some of these people started getting back to churches but when you consider their number, it is just a fraction. When I almost gave up, I received a call from a sister in London who informed me that she will be coming to Nigeria to see me. It seems insignificant as I receive numerous calls from those who want to see me when they are in Nigeria but when this woman arrived, I was shocked to know that she really came to Nigeria to see me specifically.
According to her narration, she had a burden and God’s Spirit directed her to see me on the issue. Amazingly, she has been praying for God’s direction to the ministry she is going to serve. She got a sudden unction to start doing work for God again despite the ugly experiences she had in the body of Christ. She wanted to stop going to Church but she was told that there are work to do.
Her mission to Nigeria? To get the necessary training on how to start a fellowship on behalf of our ministry all across UK. She told us a burning desire to bring back unchurched Nigerians in UK and needed a platform and backing of our ministry to so.
We told her of our prayers since last year and we gathered together to pray about this and on the third day, we got an affirmative and her training was intense. We are so blessed by this visit. We praise God that He is answering us in a way we never expect and it amazes us how God can bring together people from different parts of the world for a common goal.
Three weeks on, I am pleased to announce to you that the first Mercygate Gospel Church Fellowship Center in UK will open on Thursday, the 1st of March 2018 at The Albany Centre, Douglas Way, Deptford, SE8 4AG at 6.30pm where children of God can pray together, sing together, study together and bring to life the Acts of Apostle brand of Church.
We believe strongly in the Church-family and over here in Nigeria, MGC is not just a Church, it is a movement. This is not a slogan, it is who we are.
Seeing Pastor Sam up close
By Pastor Christie Adeosun
Ps 136:3 O give praise to the Lord of lords: for his mercy is unchanging for ever. (Bible in Basic English BBE)
We give glory to God that our dear father in the Lord is 50 this month, precisely on Wednesday 28th February 2018. Being his wife for the past 23 years, I have seen him up close. We live together, eat together, travel together, play together and most of all, we pray together. I can only say that I am privileged to know him. As I sat before my laptop, I just feel like pouring out my inner thoughts about him which I never have the privilege of doing. Now that I feel like pouring it, here we go!!!
A Great Father
Pastor Sam, as he fondly called by those of us who know him is a great father (just ask our children), He is fun all the way at home. He protect us, provide for our need even to his disadvantage at times. He is caring. Our happiness is his and our pain he is ever ready to take upon himself. He have no favorite among his children as he always tell me that children must be different and that difference make each and everyone of them unique. He doesn’t see the weakness of a child. Instead, he believe that the weakness of a child is for the strength on the entire family. He is a “family first” man.
A Great Teacher
Pastor Sam is a great teacher. When it comes to speaking about the word of God, he is very passionate and well versed in the knowledge of the Word of God. He is like a walking library. Sometimes, I wonder if he is there, when the Bible was written. It doesn’t matter if his audience is one or one thousand, he explain the word of God in a simple and understandable manner. Many of us has been listening to him preach for over two decades and we are not tired. Each time he preaches, it is always new and we all look forward to the next sermon. I remember when he was grooming me to be a preacher, he will ask me to open the Bible to anywhere and asked me to pick a verse at random. He will then ask me to preach from the verse, while I struggled to make sense out of the verse, he will preached to me from the same verse for an hour. Through him, I see the Bible not just the Holy Book but according to him – The manual for human.
A Wise Mentor
Pastor Sam is a wise mentor. Having accompanying him to all (Yes! ALL) of his ministerial engagements from day one, and having hearing him counsel, mentor and proffer ideas to hard issues, I wonder who this man is at time!
When issues are hard, he will simplify it and when there is crises and he is allowed to speak, something happened. There are two event that I cannot forget.
The first one happened at Ikaram Akoko. We are pastoring a Church when a woman offended a retired Army. I think the woman mocked the soldier that he is impotent not knowing that the soldier is at home and heard what the woman was telling her children. It was a scary day as the soldier was overly angry and wanted to eliminate the entire family of the woman. Everyone ran away and the whole community became a ghost town. At last, the elders of the community summon courage to go to the soldier’s house to begged him. The soldier refuse to yield and even threatened to kill some of them. When the matter was reported to Pastor Sam, I nearly jumped out of my skin when he said he will speak with the soldier. Only God knew what Pastor Sam said. The soldier hand over his guns to him and the matter was settled till today.
The second incidence was when hired assassins came to our house when we are working in our former church. They easily gained entry into our apartment and our bedroom and they told us their mission. While I was scared to the bone. He was calmly on his kneels as he was commanded and a gun pointed at his head. He asked the assassins if he can talk before they kill him and the moment they gave him the go-ahead, something happened and one of them, in our presence, called the person that sent them that they can’t kill someone like this.
With these two incidences, I hold him in very high regards!
A Courageous Man
One thing Pastor Sam will tell anyone around him is that, “we must be courageous”. He is a courageous man and I have never seen him shy away from saying it as it should be. He will not deceive you and did not have the ability of covering his mood. Is he angry, concern, happy, pained or sad, you will see it on his face and he will let you know.
A Contagious Giver
Pastor Sam is a contagious giver. The truth is that for the first five years of our marriage, I struggled with the way he gives. I do ask him how he will ever prosper with the way he give without considering our well being and he used to say that, “God will always provide for us”. As years go by, no matter what, I learnt that “God always provides”. This good “illness” of giving, later infected me and by the time our marriage clock 6 years, I became a giver like him, then I started breaking boundaries. His foundation, Sam Adeosun Ministries (S.A.M) has touched people the number we cannot recollect and there is no one he pastor that is not a giver. In fact, Oluwatobiloba (the baby of the house) is doing far more that us with her foundation.
A Man of God
Pastor Sam is a faithful man of God (though he did not like the title). He prefer the usage of “servant of God”. Those of us who know him are so sure of his calling because he is consistent as well as he was consistent when I met him. He is very faithful to everybody he come in contact with. He prefer to be cheated than him doing it to others.
Pastor Sam do love to watch football with the boys in the house and you will not believe that atmosphere in our home anytime he is free to join us for live matches. There is no team he support despite the fact that many of us are Arsenal, Man U and Barca fans. He is always a one day fan. If a team is playing well, he will support them even if they are loosing. He just love a team playing beautiful football. We like to have him around us when live matches is on. Wow!! He is a funny man. There is no dull moment around him.
Jinx and jinx breaking
Now to the “strange side” of Pastor Sam. I use the word “strange” because I still don’t know the reason why I see it in him.
Do you know that Pastor Sam don’t wear jean? Yes! I can confirm it to you. There is nothing I have not done and as I speak, I have given up on my quest to make him wear jean. He just don’t like it, even as a young man years ago. Every jean trousers that was given to him were given out to people. He always said,
“I don’t imagine myself putting this on”
There is also nothing you can do for him to wear native cap – ‘fila’. Ever imagine a man who don’t wear ‘to-match’ as we say in Yoruba land. I can recollect an event we went to and it was mandatory for all men to wear native cap. But my husband? He held on tight his own cap till we left there!
But glory be to God that we manage to break two jinxes.
The first is that, Pastor Sam has never celebrated his birthday before. He keep on telling me that there are more to do than winning and dinning. Yes! He celebrate us each year but he has never been celebrated before now. Alas! We finally convinced him that he must allow us to celebrate him as he clocks the golden age. A jinx broken!
Secondly, I have never seen Pastor Sam wear ‘Agbada’. In fact, he did not wear it as a child but glory be to God that we finally convinced him a week ago when the Church sent delegates to him pleading with him that we want him in ‘Agbada’ as we celebrate him. It was like a Christmas day when he finally agreed to wear it. Another jinx broken!
Pastor Sam as my student!
I am proud to state here that even though I am what I am because of him. I know all what I know through him, Pastor Sam is also my student. There are things he cannot do when I met him in 1995 and by the grace of God, he has mastered it today!!!
Do you know I am the one who taught him how to use wrist watch and ring? Yes o!!! It took me about 12 years to convince him to use our wedding ring. In fact, we have to buy another set of rings as mine has faded. One lesson checked!!!
Do you know Pastor Sam don’t use wrist watch when I met him? No thanks to the era of mobile phone. This make his reason not to use wrist watches justifiable. I kept on buying watches for him until he have 20. Lo and behold, just like a dream, I asked him one day to try one of the watches and he come to love watches. Only God know how many watches he has bought since. Another lesson checked!!!
He have a weakness though!
Pastor Sam is a workaholic. He don’t know how to stop and he don’t even have the capacity to stop. Most times, he pushes himself to the limit and when he eventually sleep, we all keep silent so that he will not wake up too soon.
Pastor Sam is a man I recommend to you to be around with and I can bet you, you will enjoy life. As we celebrate him this year that he clocks 50, we pray for good health, long life and protection for him if Jesus tarries.
Samuel Olatunde Adeosun – Feliz Cumpleanos!!!