MAKURDI, BENUE STATE APRIL 2013
The mission team led by Rev David Olatona left Lagos on Wednesday 24th of April 2013 at exactly 6:15 am and arrived Makurdi town by 6:30 pm. It was a long journey but God took control as He made it very peaceful and safe. The journey was made in the company of the Host Pastor, Pastor Apendah.
On Thursday 25th of April which was the first day of the three days program, the meeting started by 10:35 am with an introduction by Pastor Apendah of Christ Glorious Church which was 14 kilometers away from Makurdi main town in a remote village called Mu along Gboko Road.
Rev. David introduced our three packages which includes the School of Leadership, Vocational Empowerment program and Encounter Night. He encouraged the people to attend to get all the blessings God had in store for them. He also distributed copies of Dominion Faith Church calendar for year 2013 to all present. After that, the first teaching of the day commenced, topic was WHAT IS LEADERSHIP? Matt. 15:14 was read. He taught that a leader cannot give what he does not have; he should, as a matter of fact, explore and acquire more knowledge in order to take the people he is leading from where they are to where they should be.
He defined leadership as the capacity to influence others through inspiration generated by a passion motivated by a vision produced by a conviction and it is birthed by a purpose.
Six key words in the definition that really matters:
PURPOSE: For a leader to become effective, he or she must discover their purpose (your reason for existence) Jer. 1:4-5
CONVICTION: Your purpose will produce conviction, an inner belief on what you are made to do.
VISION: Your purpose + conviction will produce vision. Vision is the picture of your future.
PASSION: Purpose + conviction + vision = passion. Finding something to die for or having powerful emotion for something is passion
INSPIRATION: Purpose + conviction + vision + passion = Inspiration.
Rev. David Olatona stated that true leaders do not manipulate people but inspire them. When you inspire people, they will follow you and be ready to work even for free. He therefore defined inspiration as a divine influence exerted on the minds of the people directly or immediately.
INFLUENCE: Purpose + conviction + vision + passion + inspiration = influence. He concluded by saying that leadership is the capacity to influence others in a positive way.
Eighty-one (81) persons were in attendance.
The Vocational Empowerment program started in the afternoon with an introduction of what CVED (Center for Vocational Empowerment and Development) is all about, how many countries we have covered and lives that were impacted and connected to their destiny. On the first day the people were taught on the production of body and hair cream, stain removal and toilet wash. The products were shared among the seventy-six (76) participants.
The destiny encounter night was another powerful meeting that touched the lives of people in a great measure. The servant of God (Rev. David) preached on the topic: THE PROBLEM OF MAN – SIN. He said the greatest problem man has is obeying God, and it all started with the first man (Adam) who disobeyed God’s commands and ended up experiencing terrible things. He went further to enumerate some of the experiences man had:
- Their eyes were opened to evil
- They became naked when the glory of God left them
- They began to do foolish & stupid things like sewing fig leaves which could not cover their nakedness
- They began to hide from God
- They became afraid of God who had always communed with them
- Their relationship with God was broken and without a relationship with God destiny cannot be fulfilled
- And they were finally driven out of the blessings of God. In as much as man continues in sin he will be deprived from obtaining favour & blessing from God.
What is sin? According to Rev. David Olatona, sin is refusal to do what is right and doing what is wrong. He quoted from James 4:17 and admonished the congregation to seek forgiveness from God because “all have sinned & fallen short of the glory of God”, but the good news is that with God there is forgiveness of sins.
He further related the consequences of sin, and encouraged the people to avoid sin like a plague.
Death is the first thing he listed as the consequences of sin, quoting from Rom. 6:23.
Guilt, as a result of sin, weighs you down and with that thought you cannot move forward in life. Heb 12:1.
Sin causes separation from God. Isaiah 59:1-2
Eternal condemnation, judgment, anger & wrath of God are also consequences of sin
Physical sickness also sets in. James 5:15
Futile thinking and darkened understanding, in addition to working under a curse is what man suffers when they sin against God. But thank God for the assurance we have in His word. Psalm 139:23-24 proves God’s love for the human race.
Fifty-nine (59) people were in attendance
SECOND DAY: (Friday 26th April 2013)
The morning session commenced at 10:30 am with an opening prayer followed by praise/worship in Tiv dialect. His teaching of the day was on “LEADERSHIP AND TEN (10) THINGS ONE NEEDS TO BECOME A GREAT & EFFECTIVE LEADER”.
- Victory over self: He said our enemy is not the devil nor fellow human beings but ourselves. When we are able to conquer our selfish interests and desires we will make great leader. Enough of ME, MYSELF & I, learn to put others first for that is a way of winning even the heart of your followers.
- Self confidence: Confidence in oneself is the corner stone of great leaders, he said. Self confidence breeds confidence in other people and assures them of who they are following. Confidence is the product of the knowledge of God just like the scripture says in the book of Daniel “those that know their God shall be strong and they shall do exploits.” The greatest asset of a leader is confidence.
- Take responsibility: The leader’s greatest weight is to take responsibility for everything whether good or bad (wrong or right). Taking responsibility involves a lot of sacrifice, prayer, reading and seeking godly counsel.
- Take time to think: The greatest leader’s discipline is taking time to think. People do not grow because they want to change their results without changing their thinking and that will produce less or no result at all. So have positive thoughts, meditate and ponder on the word of God. Joshua 1:8
- Do not be proud: The leader’s greatest handicap is pride. When you devalue the contribution others have to give, you push them away – as a result, good people are put aside and that is not good enough. He admonished the leaders to avoid the pitfall of pride, stop over-inflating yourself; do not feel as if you are what you are by your own power.
Rev. Olatona stopped at the fifth point, and promised to continue the teaching the next day. One hundred and nine (109) people were in attendance.
The CVED class started at 1:00 pm with teachings and practical on insecticide and body perfume. One hundred and fourteen (114) people registered their presences.
The encounter night was another glorious moment in the presence of God. Rev. David Olatona preached on the Power of the Cross, using a wooden cross and a brother to demonstrate and further illustrate his teaching. He gave seven (7) significances of the suffering of Christ on the cross, which includes:
- The thirty-nine (39) lashes received by our Lord Jesus Christ took away all the sickness & diseases of men. Just as science has proven that there are 39 sources for all sicknesses & diseases on the face of the earth, each lash stands for a disease, so by the stripes of Jesus we are healed. 1Peter 2:22, Isaiah 53:4-5
- The crown of thorns worn by our master took away and broke every curse man was meant to suffer as a result of Adam and Eve’s disobedience. Gen. 3:17-18
- 3. The cross He carried to Golgotha represents the weight of sin. He took upon Himself the weight that would have hindered us from entering into our rest. His hands & feet were nailed to the cross so as to free our hands & feet from anything or being that has tied us down for so long.
- His nakedness on the cross signifies poverty. He destroyed poverty when he died on the cross as a poor man. The servant of God declared that the days of poverty are over, for God will make His people step into their realm of abundance.
- He (Christ) was forsaken &rejected by men and God that we might be accepted. He was mocked that we might be made. For that reason everywhere you have suffered rejection in the past, you will be called upon and accepted in Jesus’ name.
- He quoted from I Cor. 5:29 saying that Christ took our place in sin on the cross. When he was crucified on the cross in the place of Barabbas the criminal, He made us righteous before the Father. He prayed for the congregation that they will receive forgiveness & mercy for every sin committed. By the blood of Jesus every accusation is hereby cancelled.
The meeting hereby came to a close at about 5:45 pm with seventy-three (73) people present.
THIRD DAY – 27th APRIL, 2013 (MORNING SESSION)
The school of leadership started at 11:30 am with an opening prayer by the host pastor followed by the worship session which ushered in the man of God.
He continued on the greatest needs of a leader:
- The greatest opportunity a leader has is his today, therefore as leaders it is expected of you to take the opportunities of the present and work forgetting about the loss & failures of yesterday.
- Hope is the leader’s greatest power that keeps him going. Hope gives us reasons to live & strength that we need. Hope tells you to hold on because something good is around the corner and is about to happen. He shared his story with them that twenty-three years ago, he couldn’t afford to rent a room but he had high hopes that someday he would live in a duplex and his future is bright, and that kept him strong and alive.
- Putting yourself before others is the leaders’ greatest mistake. He advised leaders to be mindful of the needs, goals & well-being of the people they are called to lead.
- Wisdom: On a daily basis, every leader’s prayer should be asking God for wisdom to govern the people God has placed in their care.
- Every effective & great leader’s joy is to add value to the lives of others. He added that no matter the value of a trophy or the position you occupy, it will not last but the legacy & impact you have on people’s lives will last forever.
He concluded by asking the people to pray, telling God to help them fulfill their destiny. Seventy-eight (78) persons were present at the meeting.
The CVED class started at 1:00 pm with the production of disinfectant and liquid soap use for domestic purposes. One hundred & fourteen (114) persons participated and got their certificates at the end of the class. Group photographs were taken with Rev. David, the students and the host pastor. It was such an exciting moment as everyone that came had a story to tell.
The evening session was characterized with singing and dancing. The Holy Trinity College cultural troop gave the audience a wonderful time as they danced and played music to the admiration of every one. Rev. David was decorated with the Tiv traditional beads declaring him as one of the board of directors of the school. Rev David appreciated them and asked that the singing and dancing should continue for the atmosphere was hot with excitement.
Besides the children, adults were one hundred and five (105), the hall was overcrowded with people, some having to stand because there were not enough seats. Indeed, it was typical interesting village evangelism.
THANKSGIVING SERVICE: 28TH APRIL 2013
The thanksgiving service was such a blessing to the people as they praised and worshipped God from the depth of their hearts rejoicing for all He has done for them in the past three days.
A lot of people were willing to testify to what God did in their lives by the reason of this program. The servant of God joined the testifiers to thank God for all He has done, still doing and what He is still to do; he prayed that the testimonies will be permanent in their lives.
The message of the day was centered on the Power of the Holy Spirit. Based on the preaching, he said the power of the Holy Spirit is the provision God has made for His children to overcome the world. Quoting from Joel 2:28-29 & Gen. 2:7, he illustrated how God created man as a lifeless being, breathed into his nostrils and made him become a living being. Jesus also did the same with His apostles in John 20:22 and in Acts of the Apostles, the disciples of Christ were endued with power from on high before they could go out to the world to preach, heal & cast out demons.
He admonished that when the spirit of God comes upon your life you will receive power to do a lot of things, such as:
- Power to witness the message of Christ
- Power to resist sin, you will able to say “NO” to temptation.
- Power to resist the devil, bind him and cast him to hell.
- Power to enable you fulfill destiny and overcome every obstacle hindering you from becoming what God says you will be.
- Power to praise God in spirit & experience His presence during your time of praise.
- Power to pray. Because your prayer life cannot be effective without the spirit of God, you will surely need his power. Rom. 8:26
- Power to obey God without complaining. These powers makes us strong, focused and determined to be among the end-time Christians and soldiers of Christ.
He anointed the people, charging them to be doers of the word and not hearers only.
The service took a new turn when the man of God (Rev David Olatona) was crowned King of Evangelism (TOR U IVANGER). He was decorated with Tiv traditional attires. Rev. Mrs. Dele Olatona was also crowned Lady Evangelist, though in absentia. Members of the mission team, Evang. Adachukwu Uzondu & Sister Alice Sibigam were also decorated with the traditional attires of the Tiv people in Benue State of Nigeria.
Pastor Ngunan Tine of Immanuel Ministries gave a prophecy that the mission team will come back next year to minister to a larger congregation of about fourteen communities.
The service came to a close with a closing prayer.
The mission team returned back to Lagos, Nigeria on Monday 29th April 2013. Indeed, Makurdi mission was accomplished.
More pictures on the photo gallery page.