Reports by Sam Eyoboka & Olayinka Latona
SOUTH African Chief Justice, Mr. Mogoeng Mogoeng who has been in Nigeria to attend the ongoing 16th Redeemed Christian Church of God’s annual Holy Ghost Congress at the sprawling Redemption Camp is scheduled to jet back to Johannesburg today to attend the funeral of legendary Nelson Mandela tomorrow.
Nelson Mandela of the abaThembu people and South Africa’s first black president, died a week ago at the age of 95. Thousands of people have filed passed his body as it lies in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria this week. He will be laid to rest tomorrow in an elaborate ceremony combining a state funeral and all its military pomp with the traditional burial rituals of his Xhosa clan to ensure he has an easy transition into the afterworld.
About 46 per cent of the South African population practises traditional African religions, according to a 2010 survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, a Washington-based research centre.
Speaking at the Redemption Camp on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Mr. Mogoeng who arrived the Camp on Monday with his wife in tow, said he would have loved to sty till the end of the spiritual event but he owes it a duty to bid Mandela farewell. According to him, he was invited as an observer to a dinner by the London branch of the church in October, saying that God has done so much and must express his gratitude to Him.
Expressing delight to the contribution of RCCG and other churches across the continent who had prayed fervently for the independence of South Africa, saying that they should still continue to pray for South Africa because there are still several challenges facing the nation. According to him, “this is where to be at this time of the year. When you come, you will not regret it.”
Holy Ghost Congress ends
THE 16th edition of the annual Holy Ghost Congress which began on Monday with very high expectations at the sprawling Redemption Camp on the busy Lagos-Ibadan Expressway will end today with three sessions in the morning, afternoon and in the evening. The theme of the programme was; ‘The Overflow’.
Last night’s wonderful Holy Ghost Service it was evident that the Kingdom of God is not only about preaching but the manifestation of His power as millions of worshippers who filled the auditorium to overflowing and completely took over every available space in the camp ground testified of divine intervention in their different situations that had hitherto defied human solutions.
After that wonderful service which is regarded as the icing in the cake of the annual spiritual fiesta, many people have started departing the Camp for their different locations even as the leadership of the church enjoins participants to stay close to God in the remaining days of the year and on the new year.
However, this afternoon there will be several talks and discussions on the secrets of how to get close to God. Topics include; Nearer my old to Thee; The secrets of the The Lord are for those who fear Him; Not by power or might; The time to favor Zion; I can all thongs and Exceeding great joy.
And in the evening there will be only one sermon titled; ‘My cup runs over’ by the General Overseer of RCCG and the chief host of the week long programme, Pastor Enoch Adeboye after which there will be thanksgiving and an opportunity for people to share their testimonies.
The traffic chaos that usually characterized movement on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway during such programmes has been significantly reduced. Shuttles from Lagos to the Redemption Camp which took about three hours hitherto now takes less time courtesy of a volunteer group known as Team Nehemiah, a no-none sense traffic and logistics management ministry of the church which complements the efforts of Police and other government organizations. Team Nehemiah’s intervention has improved traffic flow within the Camp and on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway as driving and parking codes are now strictly enforced among participants.
RCCG will reap years of sacrifice, says Pastor Rathod
THE Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, said to the fastest growing Pentecostal church in the world may witness a fresh explosion in the new year as there will be a turning point next year.
This assertion was made by the Senior Pastor of CovenantFamilyChurch, Tulsa, Pastor Steve Rathod in a sermon he delivered at the ongoing Congress tagged: “Ever Increasing Faith”.
Rathod, an American-Indian, who was ordained a pastor by the founder of RCCG, Pastor Josiah Akindayomi in year 1980 said: “It is a year of recovering and a season for the Redeemed Christian Church of God, they are about to reap the harvest of sacrifice. What the eyes have not seen nor ear heard, the Lord will do it in the church. Redeemed Church will shock the world because it is about to reap the harvest of her sacrifice”.
Speaking on the proposed new 3 kilomotre by 3 kilomotre auditorium, Rathod advised members to uphold the hand of the church general overseer, trust and obey God stressing that living faith increases only by sacrifice.
“The church is talking about the cost of the three kilometer long and 3 kilometer wide of the church new auditorium, I tell you what is going to be the price of such place of worship? Is it the cost going to be quantified in Naira, pounds, euro, dollar or what have you. The cost will be prayer, fasting, moment of solitary, cost of disappointment and others,” he explained.
He noted that the higher a Christian goes in the Christian race the more vulnerable he becomes to the wiles of demon, who determined to bring down the children of God.
It has been testimonies galore of what God had been doing in the lives of the people as some worshippers told Vanguard this year’s Congress has been soul imparting and wonderful as God has started manifesting His work in their lives.
Mr. George Oluwarosin who travelled all the way from Bayelsa state said: “I used to have a severe pain in my chest for several years and it has defiled medical treatment but during the first day of the event during the daddy’s message, I felt a weight lifted from my heart and behold I did not feel the sharp pain again”.
Speaking on Wednesday during the talk and prayers session themed: “Beyond Human Understanding”, Pastor Bamidele Sturdivant of Faith United Ministries, USA said God moves when man is at his least, God moves in mysterious ways which human understanding cannot comprehend.