Christopher Balogun is a middle-aged Christian determined to serve God even on a wheel chair. He travelled all the way from Kogi State to Warri in Delta State, a distance of about 250 kilometres to attend the just concluded Daughters of Sarah International Convention 2014/Trade Fair.
Daughters of Sarah Fellowship is an arm of Word of Life Bible Church under the leadership of Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor’s wife, Mama Helen Oritsejafor. It consists of women above 25 years old, both married and unmarried. They are known as Proverbs 31 Wo-men.
The 5-day programme which began on March 12, featured a variety of ministrations including a no-holds-barred question-and-answer session on thorny issues, presentations by multiple Award winner, Cece Winans, Sammie Okposo and a Lagos-based vibrant force in the Nigerian gospel industry, Linda Etukudo who constantly mesmerized the participants.
Different groups including the Ijaw, Urhobo, Itsekiri, Igbo, Akwa Ibom cultural groups showcased their dance steps and the large crowd of participants applauded. A group from Kebbi State presented the Zulu Dance to the delight of all.
Besides song ministrations the spiritual fiesta also paraded high quality speakers including the Archbishop of Church of God Mission, Most Rev. Margaret Benson-Idahosa, US-based Bishop Deitra Michelle Walker, as well as the wife of PFN national president, Rev. (Mrs.) Abiola Omobude all of whom drew inspiration from the Bible as they took turn to preach on the theme of the event, “Discover to recover.”
Worthy of note is that the entire parking lot of the Word of Life Bible Church along Ajamimogha Road, Warri was completely taken over by exhibitors/traders on various items ranging inspirational materials to household appli-ances as well as agricultural equipment and produce. The fair was declared open on Thursday, March 13, by the founder of Word of Life Bible Church, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor and his wife, Pastor (Mrs.) Helen Oritsejafor. It continues till next Sunday.
National president of CAN, Pastor Oritsejafor, used the occasion of the QA, to address some knotty issues in Christen-dom, saying it was expedient for husbands to maintain joint accounts with their wives, addng that couples must cement their love for one another through joint accounts.
On the issue of Christianity and wealth, he said money is good but Christians must be extremely careful, noting that the Bible which says money answereth all things also warned that the love of money is the root of all evil.
One after the other, the eminent preachers at the 7th edition of Daughters of Sarah International Convention encouraged the army of partici-pants, most of whom respond-ed to invitations during a one-month round-the-state market crusade by Mama Helen to sensitise market women for the programme. She preached the closing sermon and it was electric as she was totally overwhelmed by the Holy Spirit who energised her as she moved from one point to the other demonstrating the power of God.
Under that very charged atmosphere, Papa Ayo summ-oned a stunned Cece Winans to close the service with her award winning, He’s a wonder, and the overstretched 35,000-capacity crowd erupted in ecstacy, dancing heartily for several more minutes, not wanting the service to end.
Men, women, boys and girls of all shades came, they saw and they were abundantly rewarded not just by the messages but also by the gift of a 10-kilo bag of rice each and N1,000.00 cash by the patriarch of the church to all the new comers. In addition, they were invited for possible water baptism and launch with the matriarch of church this after-noon.
The highpoint of the 5-day event that drew participants from Liberia, Ghana, Togo, Kenya, US, UK, and at least, 15 states of the federation was the presentation of 13 grinding machines, 14 sewing machines and 13 hair dryers for some of the delegates. Mrs. Betty Musambulu (Lagos), Bishop Prescilla John (Taraba), Pastor Pastor Joy Okurobo (Edo), Mrs. Paulina Joel Joseph (Yobe), Pastor Goodluck Raymond (Borno), Mrs. Josephine Onuigwe (Anambra) and Rev. (Mrs.) Lois Angula (Adamwa) and Mr. Christopher Balogun (Kogi) were among the benefi-ciaries.
One church member describ-ed the service as one of the longest he had witnessed in Word of Life, just as the vice president of Daughters of Sarah Fellowship, Pastor (Mrs.) Otaghogho Valentina Bitimi adjudged this year’s convention as different from all others because “for the first time we have really taken our time to discover what it takes to a royalty and we have identified them, we have recovered them and now they will soon start manifesting and the world will see them. Of the truth, children of God are royalty.”
Asked to confirm the senti-ments of her husband that the 2014 DOS convention was the best ever, Mama Helen said: “He is right on target. Is it about the market crusades; children who will now have opportunity to see their vision come to past; or women out there who had nothing but now have opportunities to upgrade their living standards?”
She proceeded to salute all the speakers at this year’s convention. “I am just so grateful that the Lord would set aside this period to bless us. And then of course, our own father, Papa Ayo Oritsejafor for giving us the opportunity, praying for us and just being a blessing… we are so grateful,” she continued.
Asked why the couple uses every opportunity to reach out to the needy, this is what she said: “It is the love of God and in accordance with the vision that God gave our father, Papa Ayo to build the people that build the nation. For the vision to come to fruition, its not just to minister to the spirit of the people; we gone beyond that. God does not just save you spiritually.
He wants us to be able to create an atmosphere where people will rediscover themselves through whatever we are doing to the glory of God. He gave His only begotten Son and He said when I was hungry you fed me; I was in hospital, you visited me.”
She also used the occasion to appeal to women all over the countries of Africa to brace up to the challenges of everyday life, stressing the need for them not to be despondent, but always do the needful that will empower them to help meet to their spouses and their children.
“Don’t allow frustrat-ion, depression, segregation or even rejection to stop you from forging ahead to your goal. You must know that you are a gift to yourself and the nation. Make your voice to be heard around you. Don’t allow your background to debar you from what you are supposed to be in the society because you are the greatest thing that has happened to this nation.”