The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, and that of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, took turns to testify at the Redemption Camp of the Redeemed Christian Church of God during the church’s April Holy Ghost Service.
Governor Ortom started with a simple self-introduction, “I am Samuel Ortom,” but what was to follow was expected by the congregation.
He said but for the encouragement of the General Overseer of the church, Enoch Adeboye, and his wife, Folu, he would have quit contesting for a second term in office, which he eventually won.
He recalled: “When I wanted to contest for the 2015 election, I came to the Redemption Camp to pray and I went to Daddy and Mummy G.O. They prayed for me and despite all the challenges that accompanied the race, I became the governor and I was sworn in.
“In 2017, challenges came over me and I said I was not going to contest again in 2019, let me remain a one-term governor. The following day during my devotion, God asked me why I had decided to be a lone ranger. He assured me He is the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega.
“I picked up the courage, came to the altar and Daddy G. O. again. He prayed for me.
“But so many challenges came as we went through the race and there was this particular day before the election that Daddy GO called me when I was completely depressed and did not know what to do.
“After the prayer, we were encouraged again and went through the race. Again, despite all the challenges, God saw me through and I was elected the Governor of Benue State again. Praise be to the Lord.”
Governor Emmanuel, who is a regular at the Holy Ghost Services, said: “The Bible says Thine O Lord, is the Greatness, and the Power and the Glory and the Victory! People say you can never win elections through prayers, I want to say that through prayers some of us have won elections. And it can only be God. To God only be glory, honour, majesty forever in Jesus name!”
There was also a testimony of a Kano-based lady who said Jesus appeared to her and although she could not speak nor understand English then, she is now able to evangelize in the language.
Despite the powerful testimonies, the night belonged to children and early youths of the church, who thrilled the congregation with songs and dance, drama sketches and Bible recitals.
Some of the youth from various parts of the country preached inspirational sermons to the delight of the congregation.
Very pleased about the performance of the children and youths, Mr Adeboye said, “My children have done excellently well tonight. They are increasing my joy every day. I noticed that even the little ones among them can preach my sermon and I am very delighted. I am pleased. I am Blessed!
“I want to say thank you to all the teachers, all those who helped those children. I can see some of these children are so good now. I am just looking at what will happen in a couple of years as they become better and better.
“Glory be to God! May the Lord bless you all, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
Mr Adeboye’s own sermon for the day dwelt on Joseph, who he described as a classic example of someone born to shine.
“Joseph dreamt, he had a glimpse of his future and told his brethren; then war began, but he could not be destroyed,” he said.
“His brothers threw him into a pit but the pit was dry and they didn’t cover it to bury him, he continued and assured the congregation that ‘there is no pit so deep that is beyond the everlasting arms of God’.”
He gave an example of this with a personal testimony. “There is one incident I recall very well. Each time I remember it, I shake. Even when I wake up in the night and somehow I remember it, I shudder before I say, “God, I thank you.”
“Some of you have heard the story before. I was very young then. In those days in our village, only two lorries ever came, so you could hear the sound of their entry far away before they arrived.
“White men were ruling us then, and there were some people digging gold in the surrounding area of my village. So, the white man would come once in a while in a jeep to collect the gold that had been dug.
“In those days, if a white man killed your child or knocked down your child and he died, you picked him up and ran, saying “Thank you, thank you”, because you didn’t want to be arrested for being careless.
“They would say you were not careful with your child and could lock you up for that. In those days, we used to call them Alapadupe, i.e. after a white man has killed your child, you say thank you.
“One fateful day, my eldest sister of blessed memory and I were coming from the village farm on the only road leading into the village, having fun by singing on our way. All of a sudden, we heard the sound of a vehicle. Before we knew what was happening, a white man had turned the corner in his jeep and was heading straight for us.
“My sister grabbed me and we jumped off the road. We landed in an abandoned pit where they had been digging for gold. Our hearts were beating fast, thumping, because we had narrowly escaped death from the Alapadupe.
“Hmm, just as the beatings of our hearts were beginning to subside, we heard a sound, the hissing of a snake. A black, poisonous snake was in the pit into which we had jumped. It was very angry that we had come to disturb it.
“I froze! My heart stopped beating and I was sure my sister’s too had stopped beating. It seemed like hours, but it was only probably a minute when the snake, still hissing, crawled out of the pit and went away. See! I am still standing before you today by the Grace of God. Is there anybody who has ever had a close encounter with death?”
Continuing with the story of Joseph, he said he was later thrown into prison because he refused to commit adultery with the wife of his master, but even there he shone.
“If you belong to Christ, nobody can keep you in prison. Why? If they put you in prison you will come out; He will bring you out,” he said, pointing out that another name of Jesus Christ is the Door, and there is no door that can hinder the Door.
He concluded by noting that, “the greatest thing, for those of us who are Christians, is not only that we can shine in the pit; we can shine in slavery; we can shine in prison; we can shine in the palace. The greatest thing is that we are going to shine before the King of kings. Ooh! That’s the greatest thing of all.”