By Lekan Bilesanmi & OLAYINKA LATONA
PASTOR Emmanuel Ehimika, popularly known as the Preacherman, is the founder and president of Fruit Integrated—an encompassing network of ministries with headquarters in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria. He is the initiator of “The Jesus Dream” project that mobilised prayers for unity worldwide.
Preacherman also writes and publishes Ministers Alive Magazine which encourages ministers of God while fostering unity and instilling integrity in the Body of Christ. In this interview with OLAYINKA LATONA, he spoke on The Jesus Dream project, leadership tussle among church leaders among other issues.What is The Jesus Dream (TJD)?
The ultimate desire of Jesus Christ that His Body (all Christians) become one is what we now designate as The Jesus Dream. That was Jesus’ greatest desire before He died as recorded in John 17. It was accomplished when He shed His blood; and the dividing wall between the Jews and Gentiles was broken (Eph 2; 4); thus uniting the two into one. In totality, The Jesus Dream event is expressing the manifestation of the oneness of the Body of Christ through thanksgiving and praise.
Why Thanksgiving and Praise?
The Body can never be united outside focusing on God. The accounts of the early church recorded in the Acts of Apostles show plainly that the first manifestation of unity was that they were declaring the wonders of God. (Acts 2:11).
So it’s not different now; as unity can only be achieved when we focus our attention on thanksgiving and praise to God.
Second, the atmosphere of thanksgiving and praise is God’s habitat and that’s what He permits in Heaven, day and night. So, since He lives in the atmosphere of praise, that is the only thing that will make Him dwell with us.
Praise is the fruit of our lips and its God’s “food,” so it’s an hour to give back to God; yet when He dwells within us, miracles happen.
What makes the event of this year different from past years?
In the last three years, the focus was on the unity of pastors (John 17:11), but this year and forever, it will involve unity of all Christians as in John 17:23.
The Bible declares that God inhabits the praises of His people. Therefore in that hour of June 30, God will inhabit our praises. Jesus will look down from heaven and find satisfaction for shedding His blood. Miracles will happen. Therefore people should not miss the programme.
Where will the event take place?
Anywhere. Pastors who believe in unity of the Body are organizing it in their churches and inviting others to join their congregation for the event. People can pray in their homes, offices or gather in open grounds, in streets, estates, etc. to pray at the same time using the same prayer and praise points. That’s the beauty of it. Same praise points, same hour world-wide.
Where will participants get the prayer points to use?
They can go to the website www.thejesusdream.org to download.
How has the preparation for this event been?
There was this particular day when we were not expecting any visitor. As I wanted to shut the door of our premises, God said to me:’ leave it open’. Shortly after, a woman walked in to drop some Naira and Pounds in the chapel.
Last Sunday, we were praying for the programme. As I was rounding off, the Holy Spirit said to me, “Take the anointing oil and pour it on top of the world map globe on the altar’. As I poured the oil on the map globe and it flowed down over all the nations of the world, everyone in the room suddenly felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. It has been a most remarkable moment. The oil of unity is flowing all over the world from Nigeria.
Why the date June 30?
It’s exactly half way into the year and represents the centre of unity. Six months to the left, six months to the right. Again, you will notice that Christ always dwell in between. The Bible declares that God dwells in between the Cherubim. ‘It is written that where two or three are gathered, there am I in their midst’. Even between the thieves that were crucified alongside Jesus, he was hung between them.
In the Old Testament, the high priest used to wear 12 colourless stones on his shoulders…six on the left, six on the right. Shoulders represent strength and the Bible says government shall be on his shoulder. Government, we all know, represents unity.
What’s the level of response like all over the world?
The participation is building up yearly. In 2011, the pastor of the largest church congregation in the world, Dr David Yonggi Cho, of South Korea, sent in his prayer point and also said that he was coming in agreement with me concerning the TJD vision.
God showed him ahead what was about to happen . Knowing the impact of that man worldwide, it was significant that he came in agreement with me even though we had never met. In 2012, the world renowned apostle of faith, Dr Frederick K.C. Price of the United States, prayed for those who would participate in the world prayer day programme.
In 2009 before the commencement of The Jesus Dream, Pastor Sunday Adelaja of the largest church in Europe said that was set to use me to heal the Body of Christ worldwide. So I’ve received encouragement from renowned church leaders worldwide whom I had never met. I just mentioned a few here.
A man sent out e-mails to 6 million people last year in the US. Same year, our phones were jammed by callers who were either on the streets held up in traffic and they wanted the prayer points. So this year the Lord provided a call centre 0700JESUSDREAM. That organization said God told them to offer the services free for His Body.
This year, Israel was the first nation to respond when two Nigerian women who are partners with me went there to spread the vision, giving out TJD magazines to churches. Churches began to put it in their bulletins and to spread it to neighboring Palestine.
Also the Global Campaign Executive of The Jesus Dream travelled to Australia and from there the vision spread to Fiji Island and other Islands which are in the outermost part of the earth thus, fulfilling the scriptures of Israel and the Gentiles coming together and the Gospel reaching the ends of the earth. Right now it is spreading like wild fire across the nations of the world.
What encouragement are you getting from Nigeria?
When the first Jesus Dream programme was announced on June 23, 2010, Bishop David Oyedepo phoned to encourage me. A few days ago, the CAN president, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, when I visited him promised to encourage Christians all over the nation to participate in the world prayer day of June 30.
Just a few days back, a minister from Kaduna said to me they were running with the vision of TJD as if they met Jesus physically and got the vision from Him. He said they believed that God had to use me (a vessel) to start off a work; but it’s an assignment for all genuine children of God.
How did TJD start?
When I was to turn 50, my way of celebrating was to ask the Lord what He wanted me to do. He said I should call for prayer of unity of Christians worldwide. Before then, I had been ministering to pastors on reconciliation because of the unhealthy breakaway syndrome that had existed in the rank and file of the church. I do that by giving out free magazine monthly to as many as I can reach within and outside the country, though with total sacrifice. I have not had any comfort of sort but it is coming. When you have a vision from God and want to do it God’s way, everyone will first overtake