Greetings in Jesus’ name. I thank the Lord so much for this opportunity to share with the world my experience during the Africa Zone 5 convention held at Omoku, Rivers State in Nigeria.
First, I thank the Lord for His grace during our journey to and from Nigeria. The Kenyan conference was represented by seven delegates: Pastor John Njogu and his wife, Elizabeth Njogu; Pastor Simon Kamau and his wife, Mary Kamau; Pastors Patrick Kirimi, Leonard Koech, and me. We arrived safely to the great love, hospitality, and reception of the Nigerian brethren. We were warmly welcomed and received by our brethren at Port Harcourt International Airport. But this was just the tip of the iceberg of the love and great generosity of our Nigeria brethren.
We were chauffeured to a high-class hotel for accommodation. We enjoyed the ambience and courteous nature of the hotel and its staff. The meals and accommodation were superb. We were luxuriously hosted and accorded personalized services. It was a great experience.
The fellowship was warmer! The celebratory mood of Nigeria praise and worship, punctuated by great choir presentations and climaxed by thematic, topical, and properly researched teaching and great preachings and revivals were hallmarks of our stay in Nigeria.
The attendance was exceptionally good. The brethren arrived in cars and vans and on foot, donning nice attire labeled with the Church’s name and bearing pictures of its leaders. Different outfits for different days. What a colorful and stately event! Church was widely published with flyers, banners, t-shirts, caps, and even bottled water! Simply the greatest demonstration of churchmanship I have ever witnessed.
The giving and offering attitude of the Nigerian brethren is like something I had never seen before. To be honest, I had never imagined such a cheerful, generous, and biblical type of giving as I saw in Nigeria. Surely blessings don’t just “rain”; you have to reposition yourself. Therefore, I got an answer as to why the Church is so blessed: It’s a giving church.
God has put Nigeria in a unique position for the Church of God (Seventh Day) in Africa and around the world. There is a lot more than I have shared here that we can learn from the Nigerian conference. The response for baptism was immense: Thirteen of us pastors officiated a mass baptism.
Let me conclude by saying that as a Church of God (Seventh Day) member since my infancy during the early 1980s, the Nigeria experience was a totally new and unique experience for me. I think all other delegates from Kenya echo the same sentiment. I strongly believe that all that we saw and experienced in Nigeria didn’t “just happen,” but it was made to happen through the efforts our brethren made. So I must salute and express my gratitude to the following on behalf of the Church in Nigeria.
First, my colleague, Pastor Alozie Chijioke, the national overseer, and his able wife; Brother Felix Amaechi Obuah and his wife and staff; Pastor Monday Elechi; Pastor Kingdom Isirima; Brother Okoro and Sister Joel Chituru; and not forgetting my friend Dr. Lawyer Obara.
On the African platform, I thank our Zone 5 IMC Representative Robert Crawford, various national overseers of African conferences and their respective delegations, our East Africa IMC Representative John Njogu, my fellow delegates from Kenya, and our families who were praying for us. On the international platform, let me thank G. C. Missions Abroad Director Calvin Burrell and Bryan Cleeton for sponsoring our trip to Nigeria, and for their physical attendance and participation. I thank all the international delegation from the US led by President Whaid Rose and his wife, from the UK led by Pastor Devon Williams, Iles Nadj from Denmark, brethren from Jamaica led by Pastor Henry Harley, our sister from El Salvador, and a brother from Ukraine who is staying in San Francisco in the US. All of you made our zonal convention what it was. Please pray for our proposed All Africa leaders Summit to be held in Nairobi in June.
I can’t describe better how happy we are and how much we were blessed, but all the same, the event was a turning point for the Church of God (Seventh Day) in Africa. Let’s pray so that our adversary the Devil won’t erode the gains made.
— Pastor Abrahams Wanda Odong
National Overseer, Kenyan Conference