By Sam Eyoboka
REVEREND (Mrs.) Sarah Adama, general overseer of Hope of Believers Ministries, Ankpa in Kogi State was born in 1962 at Ankpa by a Christian father, and aÂ Muslim mother. She was trained to be a tailor or what you may call a fashion designer, but God had a better vocation for her. When she began her Christian mission, her Muslim mother was naturally very upset and cried foul, but faithful God then used her to tell her mother, like Prophet Jeremiah, that when she was five months pregnant, there were some things He showed her. “I asked her if she had forgotten. God used me to speak to my mother in this manner.
Since that time, the whole thing was revealed to her, she stopped crying and all she then did was to give me all her support.” In this interview with SAM EYOBOKA, Rev. Adama talks extensibely on several national issues. Excerpts…
WHAT did God tell your mother?
She didnâ€™t reveal it to me but I can remember what God told me.
How did God call you?
I was staying with an elder brother in Ankpa. He sent me to our father in Ejegbo (near Ankpa) and I slept there overnight. Then, at night, I saw a very big python and I was already inside the house and the python was by the door; so there was no way of going out. And all of a sudden, I started calling Jesus! (Remember I was a Muslim) and the python fell down and I then ran out. When I went back to my brother, something else upset me and so I locked myself inside and said I preferred to die. What was making me sad was that they gave me a lot of charms to stop many suitors who wanted to marry me. But the charms couldnâ€™t stop them and they were worrying me. Because of that, I was very sad. So, I said before I die, I would tell God to deliver me from Hell fire. So, I told God to make a choice for me from among the three ways; Idol worship, Islam and Christianity. Then I saw the face of Jesus and He was smiling and told me that if Iâ€™m not a slave and I mingle myself with slaves, Iâ€™ll suffer more than the slaves.
You were not a Christian. How did you know it was the face of Jesus you saw?
For the first 10 years of my life, I was attending Catholic Church with my father. It was later I decided to tow the line of my motherâ€™s religion. When I went back to my father, he told me that when I left here, there was a woman that came to do a crusade. My father said the crusader was good; that the woman was back again and that I should attend the crusade. When I went for the crusade, the woman made an altar call and I went out and the woman started ministering to each and everyone of us. Now, when it was my turn, instead of the woman laying hands on me, she started singing and praising God and all that. She started telling the people that the last time she came around, she told them that God has done something great for that village and that thing was going to attract people from all over to that village.
Before she made that statement, something fell from the sky; everybody heard the sound but I didnâ€™t know what it was. People attested to the fact that they heard her uttering those words. The woman said the hand of God was already upon me and that there was no need for anybody to lay hands on me again and that I should go. When I now sat down to pray, I saw an 6-inch nail and a hammer in my hand—so I saw something that could not be described: big, huge structure and it was approaching me and I heard a voice say, use the nail in your hand to nail the structure. So, after using those nails, the thing fell and the noise was so loud that I thought everybody else would hear. But when I started asking people around me, they said no and that I should not open my eyes. When I got home, I started recounting these things to my father and he said as far as he could see, he didnâ€™t understand what God was doing in my life—that only God understood it.
That thing you nailed, did it look like a human beingâ€¦?
Itâ€™s like a human being, but just that the size was out of proportion; itâ€™s something that has life like a human being but out of proportion.
What is the name of the woman who conducted the crusade and from which ministry?
Sheâ€™s Deborah Ajenu. She had no church in particular. Sheâ€™s an evangelist. It was in 1983
What year did you see the snake?
That was also in 1983. So my father said only God understood what was happening and the reason why he said so was that even when I dreamt and told people about it, they still didnâ€™t understand it. For example, one day, I was in a room and there was such a lightening that I couldnâ€™t even look with my eyes. So, I decided to open other rooms but they were dark. I went outside, it was dark. I called one of my sisters to come in, but she ran back. Later, I prostrated and didnâ€™t want to look but the voice was telling me to look up and I looked and saw somebody, so huge and tall that I couldnâ€™t see his face, and that voice was telling me that God wanted to talk to me.
What was the message that day in that dream?
He told me to ask for three things: my first request was that â€˜I want to come to your kingdomâ€™; I asked for children but I have forgotten the third request. There was something like a gift which was given to me and I came back to myself.
With all these experiences, when did you finally decide to start a church?
Remember that place, I was asked to take a charm to, for healing. As a result of what God was doing with me, I spent one month in that particular place. And before going back home, God said, â€˜Gather people together and be praising meâ€™ and that was three days before my going back home. God said â€˜when you get back home, gather people and be praising meâ€™. That was how the fellowship started.
Whatâ€™s the name of the placeâ€¦?
Ojo-Kogi. Itâ€™s not a church but just another village but the person handling the healing there was Andrew Adejo. He now has a church. Going back to the voice I heard, so I then sent a message (I was in a choir in Qua-Iboe Church) to members of the choir that they should gather in my place and be praising God before I returned home. So, they were there praising God before I came. There were people that accompanied me from there in view of what was happening to me and they all came together with the choir to that place.
As we came together praising God again, what the people in that area had not seen before, started happening again—healing and so on—because theyâ€™ve never seen me in such operation. When we finished that session, people left but the choir still came back in the night to be with me. Because of what happened in the afternoon, when we were praising God and people were being healed, the news started spreading. People heard and started coming from all directions and that was how the whole thing started. Remember, I was a chorister with Qua-Iboe Church; so these people then said they could not understand how a woman can lay hands on some-body and pray for the person.
They could not understand how they can be clapping hands in the church; they could not understand how they can be praising God and saying Hallelujah and all that. They wanted me to stop that or be ex-communicated. So I decided that I would be quiet in the church, but God would be showing me things and when I saw things and I wanted to talk, they won’t let me. I eventually left them, but whenever we are worshipping in our own camp, all other worshippers will leave their churches and come over because of what God is doing in our midst.
So whatâ€™s the name of the church?
Hope of Believers Ministries. It started in 1986. We started with about 10 people.
What is the membership now?
Well, itâ€™s over 1,000. The church is in Ejegbo near Ankpa.
So what has been the major challenges of ministry? Are there times you felt like quitting?
There are challenges with the sick people who come around us, particularly the mad ones because they need special care. I heal a lot of mentally ill people. Another challenge is resources to evang-elise. God directs us on where to go, we carry our own resources, but sometimes there is no acco-mmodation in those areas. But, we are doing this because God is saying look, these villages, some of them are tied down by evil forces. They donâ€™t allow their children that are outside to come and build.