By SAM EYOBOKA
DESPITE a multidimensional war against the Christian Church worldwide, it is still spreading its tentacles into several unimaginable territories to the amazement of those who would rather see the Church go under.
Apart from several souls being won for Christ at every opportunity, the General Overseer of The Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, made a startling revelation Sunday of how RCCG became the first Pentecostal church to establish a parish in Israel in February 1996.
Preaching a short sermon tit-led; ‘A new thing’, at the Vict-ory House parish of the church in Festac Town, Lagos, the 70-year preacher with his wife, Pastor Folu in tow, narrated how he was ridiculed for dar-ing to conceive the idea of planting a Pentecostal Church in Israel.
Adeboye took over the man-tle of leadership of the RCCG in 1981 when the church was not well known but has taken it to greater heights with pre-sence in over a 100 countries, including more than 14,000 parishes in Nigeria.
The erstwhile mathematics lecturer at both the University of Lagos and the University of Ilorin, known for his tremend-ous humility, has consistently stated that his aim is to put a church within five minutes of every person on Earth.
According to him, when the idea of a parish in Israel came to him, he decided to write a formal application which he personally delivered to the Israeli authorities through the Ambassador at the Nigerian Embassy, 34, Gordon Street, Tel Aviv.
“When I presented the letter to the Nigerian ambassador, he laughed for a very long ti-me and when he finished he asked me if I knew that the US is the greatest friend of the Nation of Israel and I said yes,” Adeboye stated, noting that the ambassador discour-aged him, saying if Israeli authorities will allow Pent-ecostal churches in their do-main, American churches would have been the first.
“The ambassador,” he conti-nued “said if the Israeli Gov-ernment deny American chur-ches permission to establish branches in Israel, how on earth do you imagine that they would accept an application from a Nigerian church?”
At that point, only a handful of orthodox churches, includ-ing the Catholic Church, the Anglican Church and perhaps the Baptist Church were allowed in the Jewish country.
“When God does something new, people will begin to see what has never been seen before. I told the ambassador, ‘Sir, my own will be different. Just help me submit the application.’ He took the application and submitted it and six months later the authorities concerned granted the permission,” he told the jubilant crowd of worshippers at the church.
The church now has about four parishes in Israel.