THE National President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor and his wife, Pastor (Mrs.) Helen Oritsejafor had just played host to delegates from across the globe for this year’s Daughters of Sarah International Convention and a two-week trade fair where business men and women and companies gather to tell the world about their businesses. The theme of the event was; “The God of my tomorrow” with Jakie Talena from Abuja, Abiola Omobode from Benin City, Ayuk R. Ayuk from Cameroon ministering. To expatiate on the theme, our SAM EYOBOKA managed to get the CAN president who had just finished a meeting with the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adeboye and his wife, Pastor (Mrs.) Folu Adeboye, to speak thus:
“Any state or nation that doesn’t plan or think of tomorrow, does not have a right to exist because if whatever you exist for is for now, then you have missed everything about life because there’s much more in the future than what you are seeing today.
“I think the theme of this con-vention was very apt and timely. It is coming at the right time. And I would want to encourage Deltans and Nigerians in general to understand that the future is there; tomorrow is there; God has already made it available, but as as a people, we must prepare for it. And in preparing for it, first, we must make contact with God because God is the owner of the world.
“If you don’t know the God who owns tomorrow, then how do you hope to go into tomorrow? I was saying it inside the church at the end of the service that tomorrow is for everybody but not everybody will get tomorrow, because some people are not prepared for it. So, we must first know God who owns tomorrow.
Secondly, we must also under-stand that tomorrow is for people who are ready for it. When tomorrow comes, if you are not ready, it moves to the person who is ready. If Nigeria is not ready, other nations may be ready, so tomorrow goes to them. That is why you will see a nation that has existed for 200 to 300 years with nothing to show for it, but then you see another nation that has existed for 50 to 70 years and it has gone very far.
Why? Because they prepared themselves for the future, for the tomorrow and when tomorrow came, they were set for it and they were able to go into it. Nigeria is a nation with great potentials for tomorrow but we must tap into those potentials by preparing ourselves. Lazy people don’t get tomorrow. We must come out of the fact of just depending on government alone to do everything. We must become creative, innovative and must be prepared to take advantage of the opportunities that tomorrow brings to us by preparing for it.
When is Word of Life Bible Church going to branch out?
The moment God gives an okay, we will. I’m willing, but I just want to get a clear word from God
But you have teach-ing centers all over the place, why can’t they be turned to parishes and branch-es?
Because God has not said so. The moment He says so, we will do it. We pray and talk about it. We want it, but we must wait and listen. Because if God does not tell you to do something, don’t do it because when the time comes when you need God, He will not be available. He only backs what He instructed you to do. If you do what you think is good, a day will come when what you think is good will need help because we will all need help at one time or the other, but when you go to Him for help, He may not respond because the question is did I tell you to do it? If He told you to do it, when the challenges come, He will back it and find a way out for you. But if He never told you to do it, you are on your own. And I will hate to be on my own. Not in this dangerous world we live in now where brothers are betraying brothers and people are destroying each other. If you are on your own, it’s a very big problem. So that’s the only thing.
What effect does the just concluded convention have on the nation Nigeria?
First of all, tomorrow is for everybody. Tomorrow is made available for every nation, for every people. Like Mama preached today, among so many things she said, I think the major one is the issue of preparation. A nation that does not pre-pare itself for tomorrow, when to-morrow comes, then tomorrow will go. It will come and it will go and you will look at the nation and you will not be able to see the effect of tomorrow because the nation was not ready for it when it came.
Tomorrow is not complicated if you prepare today. It only becom-es complicated if you have not prepared. For me, Nigeria and Nigerians, must begin to take the time to prepare. And we must begin to also understand that everything we do is preparing us either positively or negatively for to-morrow. And I heard her say something that is a popular saying; if you don’t prepare, you have already prepared to fail. Whatever attitude we have today, the way we handle what is going on with us as a people, as a nation, as individuals, will only manifest itself in a certain way, either positively or negatively when tomorrow comes. It just depends on what we do today. Preparation itself is a very funny thing. Sometimes it’s not as if you sit down and say what is my plan, it may just be attitude, it may just be mentality, it may just be relation-ships. So all these form part of the preparation which also lead to her third point, who you listen to; who are your advisers; who are those that speak into your life? Nigeria has the potentials for a great tomorrow but the point is, what are we doing about those potentials today, because that is what will determine what to-morrow will be.
As a nation, are we preparing for tomorrow?
To be honest with you, if you ask the average Nigerian, he will say yes we are. But I don’t think we are preparing. I don’t think we fully comprehend the fact that tomorrow is actually coming. That’s the way I look at Nigeria right now. It will come whether we like it or not. When you see our attitude to each other, the way we treat and relate with each other, a lot of things make everything look so negative. If everything to the left and right and everywhere is negative, then what do you expect tomorrow to be? For me, I don’t think we are preparing.
So what do we do?
What we must do is what many people have said and continue to say. First of all, we must move closer to God because your knowledge of God affects your mentality; it affects your relationship with others. Some people may not understand this but there’s a difference between being religious and being close to God. You can be very religious and yet you are far away from God. Nigeria is a very religious country but are we really close to God? So that’s a question on its own. I think it’s a question we need to answer as individuals, collectively as a people.
If we are not, then the foundation is not very good. We need to be close to God. To me, that’s the number one thing. If we are close to God, then we have the most important ingredient that will propel us for tomorrow. If we are close to God then it sharpens our minds and capacity to handle things that will come up tomorrow. I was saying in the church, I went to Israel, and I met a Jew. We were in a bus together. My question to him was; God said I will take you to a land flowing with milk and honey. So I said I’ve come to Israel several times and I’ve found out that this land is a desert. So where is the milk and honey? And he said to me, it is here (pointing to his head). He said the milk and honey that God was talking about is not necessarily the land, He was saying that is a location where I will want you to settle down and I will use your mind to change the location.
My point is what will make Nigeria manifest its greatness is in our minds because wealth is not money but mental capacity. God did not make any human being without giving him the capacity to think and create. Look at what they have done with a desert; turned a desert to a blossoming land. Most of the flowers that are supplied around the world today come from Israel. A lot of agricultural products today come from Israel. Talk about technology, computer; if all these can happen from a desert, imagine what will happen from a land that is this fertile.
What we need to do is to cultiva-te what is in the brain in the mind first and use what is cultiva-ted in the mind to cultivate what is in the land because if the mind is not activated and brought to a certain level to produce, it will not be able to handle what is in the ground. That’s why we’ve had oil all these years and it hasn’t done much for us because it is not the oil, it is the man that handles the oil.
So it’s not about the land, it’s about the people. God’s greatest invest-ment is always in people and He has already invested in us. That’s why I said the first thing is God. We must reconnect properly and from there, we must begin to pray and ask Him to help activate what is in the mind. In Deuteronomy 8:17, thou shall say it is my strength and the might of my hand that has gotten me this wealth. But thou shall remember the Lord thy God for it is He who gaveth this power, the mental capacity, to produce what you now call wealth—money, influence, success. When we connect with Him, then He activates the mind. He created every human being and put things in every human being’s mind that will not only change his/her life but help change his environment. So that’s why I said I don’t know if I can confidently say we are preparing or we are prepared. We have a long way to go as far as the tomorrow of Nigeria is concerned. The funny thing is that it is coming anyway whether we like it or not. God help us.
In a few months, you will re-linquish your post as President of CAN, what is the preparation?
There’s nothing I have to prepare than to do my handover notes.
You will agree with me, Sir, that if there’s one institution in this country that has been so un-united it’s Christendom. What is on ground to wedge the broken walls?
You are trying to get me to talk but I will not talk because I decided not to talk. It’s my decision. The only thing I will say to you is by the grace of God, in a few months time, I will have finished my mandate from God and from man to lead the Christians in Nigeria. By the grace of God, I want to also believe that CAN will still be there as an organization that has five blocks, five groups of Christians and it will continue from there. I think I have done my best and played my part and I’m sure others will come and take it from there and I pray for them that they will do better than I did in Jesus name.