Oke Igbala District Celebrates @5!
It was an atmosphere full of gratitude, praise and appreciation to God for His faithfulness and kindness so far at The Gospel Faith Mission International, Oke Igbala District. The members of Oke Igbala District in Ijebu Ode, Region 7 gathered together on Sunday, 9th of September, 2012 to celebrate the 5th year Anniversary of the District. The District was inaugurated after being coined out of the old Ijebu District on the 2nd Sunday of the month of September in the year 2007 (September 9, 2007). The thanksgiving/combined service which was held at the P.P.S Assembly of the District. The Occasion was attended by The General Secretary of the Mission in person of Pastor Ade Ojo and his wife, Ijebu District Pastor, Pastor Paul Odunsi and Pastor Olowoye Adebiyi (Oke Igbala District Pastor) who led a delegation of some of Ijebu District Executive Committee members and a couple of other Ministers of God.
The District Pastor, Pastor Biyi Olowoye, in form of a picture slide show highlighted the achievements of the District sofar. The slide show which had all the past and present photographs of all the assemblies in the District and their worship centers. According to him, the District kicked off with 14 assemblies which was spread across Ijebu-ode and Ijebu-Igbo environs but now, the District can fully boast of 23 assemblies which means that a total of 9 new assemblies had been established in the past five years, one of which was as a result of youth activities (New Dawn Assembly in Onirugba Street, Ijebu Ode was established through a crusade organized by the youth ministry of the District). In the course of the last 5 years, more than 70% of the assemblies now have their own lands and landed properties. The slide show made the congregation to understand the level of work that is on-going in the District. Majority of the assemblies are still worshipping under tents and uncompleted buildings. The slide also had photographs of other projects like the water project at the District Headquarters, The Pastor’s Lodge at the District Headquarters…, etc.. that the District had embarked on and also the various programmes held in the District in the last five years. At the end of the Slide presentation, the District Pastor stressed that there is still plenty of work to be done. The hard copy of the slide was also presented to the General Secretary. There was also a thanksgiving/fundraising offering to mark the Anniversary of the District.
The General Secretary, Pastor Ade Ojo in his Sermon stressed that for every work and sacrifice done for God, there is a sure reward, He further urged the congregation to be good finishers that it was not all about the beginning of the race, but it’s about finishing and finishing well. He also stated that “Behind every good finish(er), there is a great labour”. He cited examples of bad finishers like Samson, Cain, Gehazi etc. He also explained the characteristics of good finishers which include: DILIGENCE, FAITHFULNESS, HOLY LIFE, BEING GOOD EXAMPLES and finally Good finishers STOP COMPLAINING and they START PROCLAIMING. He finally advised the congregation to be good examples who will impact the lives of people around them positively. He finally ended the message with the General Overseer’s Prophetic Declaration for the Month of September which was tagged the Month of Success.
In a brief chat with our correspondent, the Ijebu District Pastor, Pastor Paul Odunsi had this to say about the achievements of Oke-Igbala District so far:…”Well, well, well…we need to give all glory to God, Oke Igbala District has come a long way, what we’ve seen here today is incredible, unbelievable, to God be the glory. We’ve been able to see a tremendous change in terms of infrastructure, spiritual activities, in the lives of the worshippers, the Minsters and the District Pastor himself. It is highly encouraging.” When our correspondent asked him for his advice on the way to move the District forward and where he wishes to see the District in the next five years, this is what the Ijebu District Pastor had to say: “I want to see you flying higher, in the next level, and my advice for you is to make sure you continue to work for God, give yourself to Him because the work is a spiritual work which we cannot do with our brain, our strength and power. The best thing for every Christian is to give themselves to God, keep to His warning, key into His word and listen attentively to His voice”.
The Oke Igbala District Pastor, Pastor Biyi Olowoye also had a brief interview with our correspondent. The Excerpts of the interview below:
HBN: Five years ago, Oke Igbala District, when you got into office, into the responsibility of being the District Pastor, What were the initial Challenges?
D.P.: There were plenty of challenges, lots of assemblies did not have their own places of worship, there was no funds to take off, no proper organization on ground, no assets transfer, we just started fresh. It was a very difficult task. But we thank God that everything is sorted out now.
HBN: So, five years down, can we confidently say that we have achieved.
D.P.: Well, we have achieved little, we thank God for the achievements though there is still a lot room for improvements, as we can see majority of our assemblies who were on rented apartments now have their own lands, almost all of our churches are now on their permanent sites, although that’s the first step to development, you know when you acquire a landed property, the next thing expected of you is to start building which we know is a bigger challenge, but we have made improvements and we thank God for it.
HBN: Five years from now, Oke Igbala District will be clocking ten, what are your visions, plans, dreams and aspirations for Oke Igbala District.
D.P.: Five years from now, I want to see all our assemblies in a standardized form, good buildings, good environments, and good set-up so that people can worship God under conducive atmosphere where people can be invited, and feel comfortable to stay and to also join the church. That is the next level for us now.
HBN: Your advice for everybody on how we can all move Oke Igbala forward.
D.P.: My advice is very simple. I’ll just advice everybody to contribute their own quota, there is nothing too little or too much to give to the Lord’s work, and nothing is too small. Everybody should give according to what the Lord had put in their hearts, that’s the only way forward; the work should not be left alone for the ministers and the pastors. One thing I will like to say is that our members have been very dedicated and they have been forth coming and what I now expect is that the Ministers that are managing our members in our various assemblies to be courageous, they should not be afraid and that they should not think about the economy of the nation, they should also advocate for people’s participation because that is the only way through which God can bless His people. God has no other means of blessing than to give, when you give to God, God will definitely bless you. So, they should make people realize that they are not giving to the Church, neither are they giving to the Pastor but they are rather giving to God.
HBN: From the Heritage Broadcasting Network, we say congratulations for the job well done and it was nice having you around.
The General Secretary of the Mission, Pastor Ado Ojo also had a brief interview with our correspondent where he commented on the achievements and the on-going projects of Oke Igbala District. Excerpts of the Interview below:
HBN: We know that as a Church Administrator you must have seen a couple of churches in many places, with the reports you have seen, Oke Igbala District at Five years old, what can you say so far?
G.S.: Really, within this very short span of time, you have achieved much even though you count the achievements to be so little, but if I compare this with others I found out that you are trying even though the work is not yet completed but you have made a very very significant improvement.
HBN: As a Church Administrator with a lot of experience, what is your advice for us, things we can definitely build on that can help move us to greater heights. Generally what is your advice for us?
G.S.: My Advice is to continually put into practice what our father; the G.O. has built into us. We should be totally committed, loyalty is also needed and also whenever we are doing this work, we should do it with open minds, when we are united there is nothing we cannot do. But, when we hide something from one another, people will not want to work, but we thank God for the kind of Leader you have here is a man who operates on open administration which I will advise him to continue in. I will also urge the people to give whole heartedly and selflessly.
HBN: Thank you very much sir, five years from now, Oke Igbala District will be clocking ten, what are your expectations from us?
G.S.: I will want to see the Church filled with saved souls, I will also love to see other assemblies that would have sprung up as a result of your evangelism and the youths also by then, should start taking over from us who are old.
HBN: We all know you are a man who has this passion for youths. So, what is your advice for the youths of this Mission and also the Ministers about handling youth matters?
G.S.: First of all to the Ministers, they should regard the youths as exuberant in their ways of life and we should know that youths are out to do things their own way but we are to guide them, we should not frighten them or put them aside or disregard them because they are those who have the present day technology, they know what to do at this time, all we need to do is to redirect them, encourage them, help them, be by their side in order to help them carry out what ever good thing they want to do. To the youths, they should know that the adults and the aged ones are their fathers and that they have all the experience, the knowledge and they should allow them (the Adults) to tutor them (the youths), they should also be patient with the adults. Finally, the youths also are urged to stay in the church because as I said earlier they are the ELISHAs and we the ELIJAHs which means we are soon going to hand over to them.
HBN: Thank you very much for your time sir.
(Oke Igbala District Pastor)
report by Akinyelu Blessing Oluwatomisin [HBN]