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24Nov, 2022


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  • Holy Life

    Can a person really be expected to live a holy life in this world? When God said, “Be ye holy, for I am holy,” did He really mean for us to take Him literally? Surely, He knows it is possible! ​I mean, consider what the average Joe has to face each day: television and advertising assault him with sensuality and materialism; contemporary music glorifies lifestyles that are anything but holy; the people he works with urge him to loosen up and go with the flow. On and on it goes. And it isn’t any better for the average Mary—she faces all the above and more. ​So, in the midst of all this, we’re supposed to act like angels? Now I’m not saying we don’t want to, after all, we are Christians and we certainly do want to make Heaven when this life ends. But we get kind of concerned when we read in the twelfth chapter of Hebrews that without holiness, “no man shall see the Lord”. So, what’s the answer? And just what is holiness? ​Let’s settle one issue right away. God means exactly what He says. Now before you throw your hands in the air and walk off in hopeless frustration, listen to this: God is not a tyrant; He is not commanding something that He knows is impossible for us to do, nor is He unaware of what you and I face in this wicked world. Yet He still requires the true Christian to be holy. ​So how do we reconcile our struggles with His requirements? First, let’s nail down the meaning of the word holy. The Webster’s Dictionary tells us that it means “… spiritually perfect or pure; untainted by evil or sin; sinless; saintly”. Whew! Sounds like a pretty tall order, doesn’t it? But let’s look at the Bible definition. We read in 2 Timothy 2:22 that we are to “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart”. Notice the last two words—“pure heart”. Throughout Scripture, we find the theme of God desiring a pure heart repeated over and over. ​Remember when David’s brothers were paraded before the prophet Samuel? One fine specimen of manhood after another, yet God rejected them. Why? God told Samuel that “man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart”. Paul tells us that God sees all the thoughts and intents of our hearts. And we read in 2 Chronicles 16:9 that God is looking for that one who has a heart that is perfect toward Him. ​Do you see where we’re heading? God is more concerned with the condition of our hearts than He is with our outward actions. So does that mean we can do anything we want and it’s all right with God? No, it means that if we prayerfully and carefully maintain the pure heart that God gives us when He sanctifies us, our actions will be pure in God’s eyes. He looks for pure motives and an earnest sincere desire to please Him. So even when our actions seem to fall short of our ideals for holiness, remember that God is looking on the heart. ​If we have a desire to be holy planted in our hearts, we’ll avoid situations that might defile our hearts. How? For one thing, we need to say with the psalmist, “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes”. Be extremely selective in what you look at and what you read. Then do the same thing with your ears. Don’t purposely listen to the things that could lead you downward. And make sure you keep your thoughts in line with Philippians 4:8! ​Granted, there will always be things paraded before our eyes and forced into our ears that we have no control over. And Satan can flash thoughts across our minds. But we aren’t responsible for what we involuntarily face in life, only for how we respond to what we face. The Lord will give us strength if we are willing to turn to Him when we are in need. Did you catch the phrase if we are willing? Never underestimate the danger of a misdirected will. If we wilfully begin to lean towards something that is antagonistic to heart-holiness, we will frustrate God’s attempts to help us. ​Yes, God demands holiness, but rejoice—it’s attainable for all who desire it and are willing to diligently seek it!

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Testimonies

  • Mercy found me

    I thank God for the opportunity to be born and raised in a Christian home where our parents taught us the way of the Lord. However, in my late-teens, I felt my upbringing was strict and not interesting so, I sought to go the way of the world. At 17, I was on my way to the university and it was there that the devil really got hold of me; I mixed with the wrong crowd and it was a downward slope from there. I partied, smoked, took alcohol and sampled drugs. At some point I stopped coming home regularly for holidays. Despite all of that, I knew I had parents that were praying for me because on several occasions I was delivered from death while still in my sinful ways. The words of an old hymn says “sin will cost you than you want to pay”, sin did cost me my education. I was kicked out of the university in my final year after wasting my parent’s money and my time. I was not doing well academically and had joined a gang in the university. After that, I did not know what to do. I could not come back home to tell my parents what had happened at school. I ran away from home and I thought I could figure out life by myself but it did not take long before I realized I could not go too far without God. The mercy of God called out to me once more. This time, it was at a place far away from home and church. I remember whispering a prayer to God out of desperation saying if He could help me get my life together, I would give Him a chance and God was faithful. In a small room where I was by myself, I knelt down, and Heaven came down, and glory filled my soul because God wonderfully saved me. I would never forget the year 2009 because it was the year everything became new for me and my life has not been the same since then. God later sanctified me and filled me with His Spirit. God gave me another opportunity to go back to the university and within a short time, He saw me through. Almost immediately I finished my bachelor’s degree, God gave me an opportunity to go to the UK for my Master’s degree and over there, He not only saw me through my academics, He was with me. After my Master’s degree, God opened a way for me to move to Canada where I settled and over there, He provided for me a young Christian lady in this church as a wife and He has blessed us with two wonderful boys. wonderful boys. Oh how I just love the Lord! My desire now is to be in His service and to be around God’s children. I know one day I would see Him face to face and I would be able to praise Him evermore. I praise God for His mercies!

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REPORTS

  • 2022 Youth Leaders’ Capacity Building (YLCB) Programme

    <h3>Introduction</h3> The 2022 YLCB with the theme A LIVING SACRIFICE, was held on the 11th and 12th of March, 2022. With the arrival and registration of delegates on the 11th March, the program was held in Abia District Campground (in Umuakatawon Town) as the production hub and over 45 locations across Nigeria, 4 locations in Ghana, and 1 location in Liberia. This is the second edition of the new decentralized YLCB and this nature made it possible for the presence of youth officers at campus, branch, and zonal levels, joined by their pastors and overseers, to be in attendance. <br>The entire program ran successfully in all about 45 locations across the country, 4 Ghana and 1 Liberia location connecting to the Abia District Headquarters during the specific sessions of the programme. <h3>Day 1 (March 11, 2022)</h3> <h4>Welcome Programme – At all District HQ. </h4> The welcome program of the hybrid YLCB was directed by the respective overseers in their various locations. The welcome programme mainly featured an opening charge to all delegates by the District/Regional Overseers, the <b>YDD Standard Operating Procedures,</b> and a presentation on <b>“The Developers Life and Work – an extract from the minister’s manual”.</b> In Abia, Bro. Emmanuel Mbomma gave the opening charge to the body of workers on <b>‘A Living Sacrifice’.</b> This was immediately followed by a prayer session, then Brother Ugochukwu Ajoku did the presentation on the YDD SOP, followed by the presentation on “The Developers Life and Work” which was handled by Brother Victor Nketah. <img src='/ydd-photos/2022ylcb1.png' className='attachment-400x400 size-400x400 wp-post-image' alt='' /> <br> <br> <h4>An Evening with George Hughes – Umuakatawom</h4> This session brought all locations to join the Abia District HQ through a private YouTube channel. The choir members and the audience combined voices to sing inspiring songs at the beginning of this session before Sis. Precious Osarodion gave the opening prayer. Bro. Isaac Adigun, while welcoming every district present and locations that joined virtually, appreciated God for the privileged of being physically present in our programme and assured everyone of God’s blessing. Bro. Abraham Popogbe compelled the audience to keep focus and be expectant of God’s blessings; he furthermore enjoined us to be humble and not to think we are too anointed but to humble enough to wait on the Lord to be re-anointed, the reason this program was prepared for leaders. <br>This session was supposed to feature a documentary and an article review but Bro Abraham Popogbe, after watching the documentary in the company of the Port-Harcourt RYL, Bro Samuel Odumosu, decided that there was no need for the article review and the documentary was just enough. The documentary featured the life and times of Brother George Hughes, his consecration, missionary trips to Africa, and various parts of Nigeria, his sermons, his willingness to surrender all, his attitude and love for reading, his passion for God’s service, his service in the choir, printing press and various aspects of the church and his return and death. The documentary was a message to young leaders everywhere to give themselves to the purposes of the kingdom and a call to true and sincere service to God and Humanity just like Brother George Hughes. This session came to a close with a powerful prayer session. <h3>DAY 2 (MARCH 12, 2022) </h3> <h4>Special Prayer Retreat – All-District HQ </h4> The second day started with a prayer session that started in almost all locations from 5:30am through to 7 am to pray over the core request that has been shared with all locations. In Umuakatawon, Sis Mercy Gabriel, Bro Nkemdirim Onwuegbu, and Bro Abraham Popogbe led the three segments of the prayer session. It was a good time of prayer at Umuakatawom. <img src='/ydd-photos/2022ylcb2.png' className='attachment-400x400 size-400x400 wp-post-image' alt='' /> <br> <br> <h4>The DS’ Faith Clinic – Umuakatawom </h4> All locations hooked up to Umuakatawon for this session which started with an orchestration <b>‘Marching beneath the Banner’</b> followed by a choir rendition <b>‘Are Ye Able’.</b> The audience led by Bro Joseph Ewumi sang CGS 421,481,683 and the theme song <b>‘Serving Truly’.</b> The opening prayer was brought by Bro Tolulope Orija. The District Superintendent, Bro. Isaac Adigun began to speak on the subject of Consecration. He read from 1Chronicles 29: 1-5 and stated that consecration is a work of fire as clearly represented in this YLCB design. He used illustrations of two (2) men two holding a rope and dragging with each other, representing how men struggle with God on several issues in their life when God constantly requires certain things from us; it is usually not easy and that is why we always find ourselves in a struggle with God. He prayed we would be like the other two men of which one quickly gave up all God wanted and refused to struggle with the spirit of God. It was followed by another intense prayer session where we all had the opportunity to pour out our hearts in need of total consecration to God. <img src='/ydd-photos/2022ylcb3.png' className='attachment-400x400 size-400x400 wp-post-image' alt='' /> <br> <br> <h4>Strategic Session Updates – Umuakatawom </h4> After the prayer session, all locations stayed to continue programming from Umuakatawon as the WECA Youth Leader, Bro. Abraham Popogbe gave several updates concerning youth activities – <b>Youth services now rebranded to hold at evenings and called Young People’s service</b> which would not stop strategic youth programs from happening in the afternoons; <b>District Overseers to give reports of the campuses under their district as Bible Study Centres </b> and <b>Young people to fully participate in Church Organized evangelistic work including AVS, Prison visitation etc., </b>pastors to help make provision for youth workers to participate in AVS or evangelistic activities at weekends. This session ended with a short prayer before Bro. Isaac Adigun and Bro Abraham Popogbe were on the panelist session to attend to a couple of questions from both online and onsite audiences. <h4>District Administrative Matters – All-District HQ </h4> At the end of the question and answer session, the different locations deliberated on issues surrounding district management issues and the effectiveness of YDD structure in the branch. After this session, at Umuakatawon, the Inauguration of District and state executives amongst AFCF, AFCMF, and some branch churches in Abia was done. <br>It was indeed a blessing-filled session and our hearts are filled with praises to the almighty God for not only meeting with several individuals spiritually but for also making this event a success. <table class="table"> <thead class="thead-light"> <tr> <th scope="col">#</th> <th scope="col">Categories </th> <th scope="col">Actual Attendees </th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <th scope="row">1</th> <td>Pastors/Overseers </td> <td>257 </td> </tr> <tr> <th scope="row">2</th> <td>YDD Officers </td> <td>736 </td> </tr> <tr> <th scope="row">3</th> <td>AFCF Officers </td> <td>306 </td> </tr> <tr> <th scope="row">4</th> <td>AFCMF Officers </td> <td>54</td> </tr> <tr> <th scope="row">5</th> <td>Other Youths </td> <td>569 </td> </tr> </tbody> <tfoot class="thead-light"> <tr> <th scope="col">#</th> <th scope="col">Total</th> <th scope="col">1935</th> </tr> </tfoot> </table> We thank God for blessing and rekindling His fire on the altars of the young leaders with many testifying of this. <br><b>YDD Management Team </b>

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