MARCH 30, 2020

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Samonda for Christ February 2020



It was Tuesday afternoon 25th February, 2020 when we started out in a long procession, from the Immanuel College of Theology, Ibadan, heading for the Samonda community just across the road.


Who are the “we”? The Immanuel College Chapel members, the Postulants/student-priests and our clergy who double as lecturers in the college. What was our mission? To proclaim Christ again, as we do three times a year, among the residents of Samonda, some of whom are non-christian. The Postulants, in their cassocks, were in the frontline, each of them carrying a white plastic chair, shepherded by the clergy/ministers, followed by members of the congregation, singing choruses. The elderly, mostly in their 70s and 80s, brought up the rear, in the chapel bus, partly to protect them from the biting sun.  Our procession ended at the entrance of the Christ Apostolic Church, Oke Alafia auditorium, next to the home of the Baale, the community leader, Chief J.O. Sangodipe.


The venue of the outreach was the church auditorium which, until the building was erected about 5 years ago, was an open space we had used for our evangelical campaigns for almost a decade. In any case our host, Pastor Ezekiel Adewale, welcomed us with open arms knowing that the business of evangelism transcends denomination. 


As soon as we arrived the Postulants were dispersed, in pairs, for community-wide sensitisation of our outreach. Meanwhile the event proper started at 4pm with the opening prayer by the Dean of the College, Very Revd Dr William Egbetakin, who presided over the proceedings, assisted by the Subdean Ven Dr Jacob Adeloye, the College Registrar, Very Rev Dr J.O. Onwuke and the College Director of Mission, Very Revd Felix Ogunbisi.


The Postulants then took over, rendering revival songs which sent everyone, Ministers, members of the congregation young and old, and our growing Samonda community members, using their voices and waists, to praise God the merciful and gracious, the only one who does deliver and save. Indeed a number of young people from a nearby mosque were drawn in, some in their distinctive muslim outfit. For half an hour the youthful postulant-choir turned the church auditorium into an arena of praise that would have led to rejoicing by the heavenly Hosts, Heb.12:1.


The message, titled “The Power of Faith”, was given by our Assistant Chaplain the Very Revd Joseph Ayodele. He said no matter your challenge God would meet you at your point of need. He is faithful as He will never allow you to carry a burden that is beyond you. And even in that event He would provide a way out for you, I Cor. 10:13.

But you must believe in Him, that He would not make any promise that He would not fulfill, Isaiah 55:11.  Why? Because He is God, not man. Humans may lie but He would not. When He makes a commitment He will bring it to pass, Num. 23:19. So you must have faith, the kind of faith which sustained Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, even in the face of death. God, the ever faithful Father did not disappoint them. He honoured their faith, saved them from death and disgraced their accusers, Dan. 3:13-25.


But there are children of God whose faith desert them in difficult circumstances. Martha, Mary and their brother, Lazarus, had known Jesus as Master, brother and friend and a great miracle worker. But when Lazarus died and Jesus was not immediately available they thought his death was final, at least until the Resurrection Day, John 11:21-24; 32. The Master’s assurance that


                   I am the resurrection, and the life;

he that believeth in me, though he

were dead, yet shall he live


did not stop the steady flow of tears. In ignorance they blamed Jesus because their faith was limited. They did not know that God does not work according to human clock. 


In our time we too often find ourselves in similar situation. We know from christian experience that God answers prayers. There are issues we take to Him in the place of prayer and, sometimes before we even finish asking, He has answered. After all He is the one who gives us the confidence to ask with the assurance that we would receive, Matt. 21:22


But when there is a particular-challenge, which would not go away, so it seems, we give up. I urge you not to lose hope. Jesus is still there for you and me.   After 4 days in the grave, Jesus raised Lazarus, to honour His Father and our Father and thereby shame the devil, John 11:39-44.


At this point the preacher paused, looked down on the congregation and declared – Jesus is aware of your burden. He will take them off you. Many parents are struggling to pay the school fees of their children. For many adults jobs are scarce, income is low. Therefore there is poverty and hunger in families which used to live in relative abundance.


Are you going to give up? No. I advise you to pray hard, serve in the church and in your community. Whatever job you have on hand do it with all your heart. Jesus has not abandoned you. He will attend to your needs. He surely will.

At the end of the sermon our Chaplain, Very Revd Ebezener Idowu Ariyo, prayed for the Baale of Samonda, our host Pastor Ezekiel Adelakun and the entire Samonda community, all the 253 of them who attended the outreach.


Our bus load of gifts was distributed by members of our mission team, and the Postulants, led by the college Registrar Very Revd Dr J.O. Onwukwe and the Director of Mission, Very Revd Felix Ogunbisi.  The Subdean, Ven Dr Jacob Adeloye, gave the closing prayer.





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