“I cannot do anything; it’s only my wife who helps me,” said Mr Franklin Ozegbe, who had come all the way from Delta State, Nigeria to The SCOAN with his wife. He was complaining about his bad case of fire burns. Having been hospitalised for two weeks, he decided to come to The SCOAN. It all started with fire in the kitchen and, as an ‘action man’, he had decided to enter the kitchen to throw out the burning stove but got burnt in the process. At The SCOAN, Prophet T.B. Joshua had stretched out his right hand as he prayed for Mr Ozegbe. Shortly after that, Mr Ozegbe returned to The SCOAN a perfectly healed man, to the glory of God.
For all of six years, sixty-two-year-old Mrs Stephanie Nosore had difficulty in walking due to lumbar spondylosis. To help ease her pain, doctors had given the Ghanaian pensioner a lumbar corset. They told her that her bone had shifted and that there was a compression around her hip, where she felt the most pain. Despite all treatments, including acupuncture, the pain continued. “Sometimes the pain would be so much that I would lose consciousness,” she said today as she testified of her healing during the Special Living Water Service on Friday. As she spoke to God on the Mountain of Prayer on Friday, Mrs Nosore said, “I heard a voice say, ‘Get up’.” As she ended her testimony, she told people to realise God’s power is on the Mountain of Prayer, describing it as “an invisible theatre or hospital.” She advised people to stay connected to Christ, believing in God and keeping a clean heart.
At just 10 years old, Miss Esther Fadahunsi was rendered virtually useless without a pair of crutches. For two long years, she suffered with bilateral Blount’s disease, a growth disorder of the shin bone that causes the lower legs to angle inwards. Because of this problem, she could not walk on her own. She could not do things around the house, play with her age-mates and she even missed a whole year of school.
Her mother took her to different doctors in the United Kingdom, in desperate search for a solution. The doctors in London said that that they had to perform a series of operations in order to correct the problem. Miss Ester helplessly went through eight different critical surgeries. After the eighth surgery her leg bone broke. Esther and her mother came back to Nigeria in August. It had seemed that all hope was lost, but one day, Miss Esther was watching Emmanuel TV and her faith was lifted after seeing someone with a similar case like hers receive healing.
They decided to visit The SCOAN. When they came to The SCOAN Sunday Service, man of God Prophet T.B. Joshua instructed her to climb on the Mountain of Prayer and pray there. Esther was carried there and as she began to pray, her legs started shaking. Suddenly, she could feel her knees start to straighten and immediately was able to stand up and walk on her own without any crutches, to the glory to God! She and her mother advised all to have faith in God and to believe that all things are possible.
The Living Water Service held on September 27th, 2019 at the Synagogue Church of All Nations, SCOAN was a huge success by every standard. Our forecast before the service was around 100,000 participants but in the end, we had underestimated this number by a huge margin. This is what SCOAN and TB Joshua are known for; generosity and unlimited love for humanity. Everyone was free to come, and many did. The organization was excellent. People were in orderliness, uniformity, patience and consistency. The participants came from different places, mostly Africans, but with diverse challenges. Jesus proved His presence and dominion over all our challenges. This service to the society is what we call “Preaching the Truth and Living out the Truth”.
Apostle Paul had encouraged Timothy thus, “As for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which can make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work, (2 Timothy 3: 14-17)”. This scripture seems to be exactly describing Prophet TB Joshua, the senior prophet in the Synagogue Church of All Nations, SCOAN, Lagos, Nigeria. Our collective task is that we have to daily grow in the Faith Jesus generously bestows on us with His holy word and spirit; picking our example from SCOAN team.
What have we learnt from Jesus Christ and what are we teaching to live by? Probably many of us are familiar with John 14, where Jesus tells His disciples that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. But what did that saying mean for them, and what does it mean for us? Isn’t that what we are seeing in SCOAN? How do we let other Christians know that our strength is our living by the teaching of Jesus and not only by knowing His teaching and preaching it?
These SCOAN teams, it seems to us, are the people that do know their God, working strong, and doing exploits. They understand Jesus and are instructing many, (Daniel 11:32-33). This ministry, for example, is also like the time Jesus and His mother were both invited to a wedding, on their rights. When the wine runs out the Church is to provide. The hungry crowds are to be fed not sent home, the sick to be healed, the captives set free. At 27 September 2019, the power of God manifested itself once again.
With this overwhelming crowd observed today our prayer is that God will continually empower SCOAN and Emmanuel partners to be able to run this programme periodically. It would also be appreciated if a special programme could be organised to target specifically Church pastors, Deacons, and their families, say once a year. Today, the Living Water service had the effect of a national crusade. Therefore, on behalf of all those who participated, or had been blessed either from the distance or within SCOAN premise, we express our profound gratitude to Senior prophet TB Joshua, SCOAN team and Emmanuel partners. Kindly continue in the good work you have learned and firmly believed in.
Prof. R. A. Ipinyomi, University of Ilorin, Nigeria.
The president of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, SCOAN, Prophet TB Joshua, has been known worldwide for using water as one of his faith healing materials. He started using, right from the early part of his ministry, sacks of sachet water, moving to Anointing Water, morning water and now Living Water that individual fetches on their own by faith from running taps on SCOAN Temple.
Water is common in Christianity for drinking, purification and cleansing, for baptism, used in Egypt by Moses before Pharaoh until the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” The advancement that Prophet TB Joshua has brought water ministration to in evangelism and faith-building is significant. In his generosity, he has made it as part of the free services of SCOAN to humanity to run the Living Water Service at least once a month. Everyone is also invited. We pray that individual will put their faith together and fetch their Living Water. SCOAN is not charging anyone for this but requiring our faith only in the Healing Jesus Christ. TB Joshua uses this water himself as all his disciples. I’m looking forward to it very soon.
The call of Jesus Christ is very simple and clear when he said to Peter, “follow me and I will make you a fisher of men”. Peter had earlier recognised Jesus Christ to be different from others Rabbi in town when he told Jesus to depart from him because Peter recognized his unworthiness. Hence many people may be fearful, feeling unworthy or not willing to be exposed on camera and run away from this deliverance opportunity. Others may be thinking that the powers they already have like charms, cultism, all forms of contrary spirit are sufficient to deliver. These are the very reasons why you need Jesus Christ who gives a lighter burden in the place of mountains of burdens from the pit of hell.
Our doubts about TB Joshua or scepticism should by now be gone. Israelites were foot dragging recently in Nazareth but at the end, they were nursing the idea to have the return and repeat of the crusade by TB Joshua and his team. Unless you try you will be working with falsehood and fake rumours. Christ is alive and SCOAN of TB Joshua is proving this. According to Revelation 11:6 God has given some of His prophets power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. It isn’t a man’s doing but what God ordains. This is why we appreciate TB Joshua and Emmanuel partners for their love and generous service to humanity.
Prof. R. A. Ipinyomi, University of Ilorin, Nigeria
Yusuf Hassan was among a team of 18 officers working for the NDLEA (National Drug Law Enforcement Agency) who stormed The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations to arrest TB Joshua and kept him incarcerated for 13 days!
“We get above our fears when we remember the more difficult and trying situations God has taken us through in the past. Let’s take my case as an example.
“In 1996, a battalion of fierce-looking soldiers came into the church to arrest me on account of a petition from my adversaries accusing me of dealing in drugs – something I knew nothing about. And you all know the penalty such drug related offences attracted at that time – I mean, during the military era – capital punishment or at best, life in jail.
“My enemies actually wanted me dead at all costs. Under this circumstance, one whose focus is not on God is bound to be frightened and panic-stricken:
- The fear that the enemy was capable of planting the exhibit in one’s premises before calling in the police.
- The fear of the punishment attached to the offence if found guilty.
“All these were capable of demoralizing me even before I got to the cell, if I were not a man of faith. The Holy Spirit never makes mistakes. So relax in times of testing. He will not let you fail. He knows your enemy; your enemy always makes mistakes!”
Watch Video Below:
On 19th September 2019, over 160 of the Nigerians who voluntarily returned from South Africa in the wake of xenophobic violence came to The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (SCOAN). They all testified that tensions had significantly reduced after T.B. Joshua’s tearful song ‘Africa Unite’ was released and thanked God for His intervention. They equally acknowledged they had forgiven the perpetrators of the violence and chosen not to respond with revenge after hearing the Word of God on Emmanuel TV.
Prophet TB Joshua and Emmanuel TV Partners gave the group the sum of N12,000,000 ($33,500) – with N100,000 given to each adult and the remaining allotted according to the size of the families, as many arrived from South Africa with young children and many had lost their means of livelihood during the recent attacks.
Here are just some of the experiences of the returnees, recounted in their own words:
“I lived in South Africa with my husband and three kids for several years without any issues. However, on 2nd September 2019, my husband was called that his entire shop had been burned down. He started crying – because we practically lost everything that day. In the ensuing chaos, he was shot with a rubber bullet in his hand and injured. Two weeks ago, I watched personally when the man of God cried on Emmanuel TV. Since that time, the tension has gone down. We believe God is in control.”
“I have two kids who I was struggling to care for and send to school. My husband was shot and killed during a previous xenophobic attack. I own a canteen where I sell Nigerian food but the entire shop was destroyed in the attack. I was very angry but since TB Joshua spoke to us on Emmanuel TV and said we should forgive and not harbor offence, I have forgiven them in Jesus’ name. Since he cried for Africa to unite, the situation has calmed down.”
“Everything was fine in South Africa but things changed recently. During the xenophobic attack in September, my shop was broken into, looted and then set on fire. My house was also broken into and all the valuables were stolen. Because of fear, I ran away. As you see me now, I only have the clothes on my back. I didn’t bring anything with me from South Africa. Watching Emmanuel TV, I saw Prophet TB Joshua crying for Africa to unite and stop killing each other. Since then, the tension calmed down because when he says something, people listen. He is a very powerful, prayerful person. We are here for him to pray for us.”
UBAH OKECHUKWU STANLEY:
“I am a businessman from Imo State. I don’t want to call this xenophobia – I would say some misguided individuals are using this opportunity to loot and take advantage of people, especially foreigners. Several weeks ago, youths were going from home to home, mostly where foreigners were living. They would break in and loot everything. Some unlucky to be there were attacked. Because of this, I was homeless, sleeping on the streets for several weeks. I didn’t even take a shower for over two weeks or change my clothes. Some of us ran into the bush in fear of our lives.
“When I saw Prophet TB Joshua compose and sing the song ‘Africa Unite’, I saw him in tears for the first time in my life. I saw a message of hope, peace, forgiveness and tolerance. Before that song, there was anger within the Nigerian community. We were sending messages back to Nigeria, sharing horrible videos and calling on our people to revenge the attacks. But after that song, I was delivered from that anger, malice, grievances. It was a self-deliverance. I realised our enemy is not the physical appearance but a person without flesh or blood – spirit-beings. The cause of all this is misinformation within the jobless elements but the greatest weapon to fight back with is love. After that song, I experienced calmness in my heart and calmness in the environment we were living in.”
“I lived in South Africa for eight years – since 2011. It started three weeks ago – they were looting our businesses, our shops. My little shop was destroyed. I even learned that three men with guns came looking for me. I lost everything. We watched on Emmanuel TV and were so proud of our prophet when we saw him saying, ‘Africa Unite’. We were all crying with him. When we learned a plane would repatriate willing Nigerians, we said, ‘Let us use this opportunity to come home and then to see the man of God; he is a father of all nations.’
“I lived four years in South Africa; I married a South African and we had two kids. I am a car-dealer. During these attacks, the shop where I had my cars was burned down. More than 10 cars were completely burned in that shop. The salon next to it was also burned. That’s how I decided to return to Nigeria with the Air Peace flight.”
PRECIOUS ‘JOY-OVERFLOW’ TIMOTHY:
“My personal experience is that I went to South Africa to shoot a musical video as an upcoming Gospel artist. During the attack, my husband was seriously injured; he had a bloodied wound on his head. I saw the brutality, anger and hatred but I realise the people perpetrating this are hoodlums, vagabonds and street boys – it does not represent the real South Africa. It was sad to see Nigerians, Zimbabweans, Malawians, Ethiopians running for their lives. We were thankful that Chief Allen Onyema sent a plane to South Africa to rescue us.
“Whilst in South Africa, I saw the man of God weeping on Emmanuel TV. This cry did not go in vain! After the cry, I saw peace on the streets of South Africa. Even South Africans came out and held a peace rally and apologised for what happened. TB Joshua saw what was going, went on his knees and cried unto God. God heard our prayers!”
After receiving the financial assistance, all the returnees were filled with gratitude to God, acknowledging that they never expected to receive such support and thanking God for using TB Joshua to help them restart their lives back in Nigeria.
As TB Joshua said when answering the question on why he shed tears: “What we don’t know is that if we reject people on account of the bad ones among them, we also reject the good ones.”
Truly many of us didn’t expect our Prophet TB Joshua of Synagogue Church of All Nations, SCOAN, to be crying for the plights of helpless African Youths who found them being chased out of South Africa. The politicians in all the countries of Africa have only been making very calculated political statements on the episode until TB Joshua cried about it. The public was in blindness, seemingly due to political and economic failures in their respective countries. African youths are now the victims. If these youths would survive “the Mediterranean Sea death trap” they would take yet another risk to other places including “South Africa”. Since after apartheid it seems to us that South Africa has no robust economic plan for the long future of that part of the World. We wish our prophet to give a prophetic word on the economic development of Africa in general. On academics, both short-term and long-term economic development plans should be suggested.
Meanwhile, why would Prophet TB Joshua leave the daily enormous problems in SCOAN and shedding tears because some Africans are killing themselves over economic survival; not necessarily criminal activities as South Africa government would want the rest of the world to believe. The media claimed the loss of lives to be just 12 souls. This number is relatively low compared to what is currently ongoing in Libya, Syria, Yemen, Iraq and other parts of the world daily. The hurricane in Bahamas, USA, or other place are claiming souls too.
The first answer we got is that African leaders and their youth are living in blindness, but TB Joshua can see. In Genesis 19:9-12 we read where the people of Sodom were due for God’s fire the next morning, but the inhabitants of that sinful region failed to see. Instead, they blamed Lot saying, “This one fellow came into sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them”. The angels in that episode saved Lot but they smote the men that were at the door of Lot’s house with blindness, both small and great; so that they wearied themselves to find the door. Each society requires a true Prophet in their midst for divine direction and guidance.
Incidentally, some of TB Joshua’s tears touched a few African leaders and the xenophobic victims, producing some prevailing calmness currently. It’s like the days of Prophet Elisha when the Syrian government thought that the prophet in Israel had a spy in his palace. Otherwise, why would Elisha be able to give correct information about the plans and moves of the Syrian army to the King in Israel? The full story could be read in 2 Kings 6. Therefore, the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing just as the hearts of many world leaders are towards TB Joshua at the moment. Many church leaders, political or economic leaders are unhappy with the man of God seeing their evil plans and teaching the public which path to avoid or not. Eventually, they would find out where the prophet Elisha lived so that they could arrest him.
“Therefore, sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about” to arrest the man of God. Whereas the servant of Elisha was fearful about the strength of the enemies arraigned against his master prophet Elisha wasn’t blind either did he have to cry. Instead, the prophet said to his servant, “Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them”. And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha. And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed unto the LORD, and said, Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.
The relevance in every society of true men and women of God in this dark age is becoming more needful than before. Recently it appears that the government in South Africa has learnt some lesson because it sent out peace envoys. Nevertheless, we cannot say that African leaders have learnt anything. Xenophobia may happen soon again in any part of Africa, including here in Nigeria or South Africa. If political leaders have learnt their lessons it will be seen in the economic and youth development programmes subsequently so that this generation of African youths is not wasted away; drifting from pole to pole all in their search of better places. This is when the tears of a prophet TB Joshua of our time could be more effective when the government takes divine steps to avert coming disasters.
Prof. R. A. Ipinyomi, University of Ilorin, Nigeria.
After shedding tears last week at the outbreak of xenophobic violence in South Africa, Nigerian Pastor TB Joshua has spoken about his uncharacteristic display of emotions.
“It was very necessary for Mr TB Joshua – not Prophet – to cry because of what he saw coming,” Joshua told a congregation – which included hundreds of South African nationals on pilgrimage to his church – on Sunday 15th September 2019.
The cleric proceeded to thank the multicultural congregants – and believers worldwide – for joining him in prayer.
“Thank God our prayers were answered,” he declared to enthusiastic applause, evidently referring to the palpable de-escalation in tension in the volatile region.
Corroborating this assertion, thirty of the Nigerians who voluntarily returned from South Africa in the wake of the violence visited The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) to thank Joshua for the “tears he shed for African unity”.
In a report published in the Nigerian Tribune , Uche Victor Nwaocha explained there was tangible fear within the foreign community in South Africa with threats of more xenophobic violence looming large but Joshua’s tearful call for African unity changed the equation.
“The tears he shed last Sunday not only touched hearts but saved many souls. After that Sunday service, there was calmness,” the Nigerian, who lived in South Africa for seven years, revealed.
Ichigodora Dengarinenharo, a Zimbabwean also living in South Africa, echoed Uche’s sentiments in a comment on YouTube, insisting the song was actually “a prayer”.
“After releasing this song, all of a sudden there was calmness in the whole country,” she wrote.“There were plans to spread xenophobia to all provinces on the 9th of September but instead, after releasing this song on the 8th, we woke up to a quiet South Africa.”
Kayode Johnson Oluwafemi, another of the Nigerian returnees, explained he stayed in his house for almost a fortnight after the violence broke out in fear of reprisal attacks.
“The man of God’s message and tears shook the whole of Africa. Even those South Africans that were fighting before – they called us for a meeting of settlement… We saw the changes immediately. Even me – after the message, I had confidence to go out,” he shared.
Joshua, who is known for his humanitarian gestures, gave the group N3,000,000 to support them on their return to their homeland.
Speaking further during the church service, the cleric insisted that every nation has its challenges but the approach of the provoked South Africans “was wrong”.
“It’s okay to be wrong only if we retract our steps,” he insisted, adding that he had a sent a message to “people in authority” in South Africa calling on them to “hold a peace rally” to send a message of appeasement.
True to his words, South Africans gathered in large numbers later on Sunday, taking to the streets to stage a peaceful rally calling for African unity and apologising to foreign nationals targeted in the xenophobic attacks.
South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa equally revealed his nation is sending a team of Special Envoys throughout the continent to deliver a message of solidarity to the African Heads of State.
‘Africa Unite’ , the song Joshua composed addressing the precarious situation, has been viewed over 1,000,000 times on YouTube and Facebook since its release last week.
Ihechukwu Njoku is a freelance Nigerian journalist
They looked trapped, beaten and ruffled. It was a mix of pain and relative relief. Pain, because all they had laboured for had vanished; pain, because their livelihoods had disappeared; pain, because they lost loved ones; and relief, because now they had returned home and from the airport, they came to the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), with headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria. The first batch of returnees were victims of xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
As they entered and sat down in the church, they began relating their stories of escape one after the other. According to them, it was the tears of Prophet T.B. Joshua during the live Sunday Service broadcast on September 8, 2019 that calmed the crisis in South Africa. As they came to SCOAN, the founder and spiritual head of the ministry, Prophet T.B. Joshua, told them that love would always remain supreme, just as he stressed on the need for unity, harmony and togetherness.
Prophet T.B. Joshua in his message to the returnees promised to continue to help them by praying for them and also through financial aid. He promised to help them by investing in their future which is the future of Africa. He equally mentioned that their spiritual wellbeing remained important to him. On behalf of himself and Emmanuel TV partners, Prophet Joshua gave them N3,000,000, with each returnee getting N100,000. The man of God stated that love is the only language that transcends all barriers.
While telling their stories, the returnees whose plane arrived Nigeria on Wednesday, September 11, 2019, gave different accounts of their ordeals but thanked Prophet Joshua for being used by God for salvaging the situation and for providing succour for them after their return.
According to Uche Victor Nwaocha, one of the returnees: “With me are my colleagues, friends, fellow brothers and sisters who came from South Africa voluntarily. I don’t even know where the problem of Africans attacking Africans came from.
‘’I was involved in the baking business. I baked chin-chin and I am proud to say it. I built the business from scratch. Africa should help us. The United Nations should help us; Prophet T.B. Joshua has tried. If others can join hands with the man of God and Emmanuel TV, then things will be better. Prophet T.B. Joshua forewarned Africa and they neglected it. This is the repercussion. The reason we all agreed to come to the Synagogue Church of All Nations is to appreciate what this ministry, Prophet T.B. Joshua and Emmanuel partners have been doing in our lives. We don’t joke with his prophecies. We always watch Emmanuel TV; that was what saved us. The tears that Prophet T.B. Joshua shed last Sunday during the live Sunday Service broadcast saved many lives. It reduced the catastrophe. After the Sunday Service where Prophet Joshua shed tears, there was calm everywhere. The police and politicians were confused. We took the opportunity of the calm to board the plane and head back to Nigeria. Many Nigerians are still coming. They don’t want us. We can see that. “
Kayode Johnson Oluwafemi equally narrated his experience. According to him, “I stayed in Pretoria Central, South Africa. This incident happened in my base. I stayed indoors for over two weeks before I could come out. On Sunday I heard that Prophet TB Joshua spoke to Africa. He wept on live TV and that saved many lives. I decided to return to Nigeria. I appreciate the man of God. He is a blessing to this generation. After Prophet TB Joshua wept against xenophobia, we were surprised that the South Africans called us for a meeting. They told us that they were willing to settle the whole issue. I was then able to step out of my house. The taxi drivers also called us for settlement.”
In his account, Aamefunam Ogbonna, another returnee stated that “The xenophobic attacks started on September 2, 2019. It was terrible. On September 8, there were tears by Prophet T.B. Joshua asking Africans to unite. His tears affected my soul. I prayed that God should use the tears in turning around the situation in South Africa. I prayed for peace. It was the tears of the man of God that made the police rally round us in saving us from the attackers. We must show love to one another.
Jude Anthony, a Nigerian based in the United States of America but who also lived in South Africa, commneded the efforts of Prophet Joshua in salvaging the situation. ‘’I am a Nigerian from the United States of America. I lived in South Africa for seven years. A friend of mine sent a Whatsapp video to me where I saw Prophet T.B. Joshua calling on Africans to unite. I saw how tears flowed from his eyes. The Bible says that God will answer the prayers of a righteous man. God heard Prophet T.B. Joshua that day when he wept. He is well respected across the world. His message has also been about love and unity. We are here today to thank him for interceding on behalf of humanity. I believe God answered his prayers on that day in stopping the spread of the calamity,’’ he said.
While recieving the money on behalf of others, Mr Nwaocha stated that ‘’We are grateful to Prophet T.B Joshua, the Synagogue Church of All Nations and Emmanuel TV. When we came here, we felt you would turn us back but you welcomed us. We are very grateful. Continue the good work.’’
On his part, Mr Anthony noted that ‘’we are most grateful. We are the first batch of returnees. We are overwhelmed by this. We have lost our livelihoods but thank God, we thank the man of God.’’ Others who spoke, thanked the man of God for the reception and the financial assistance. Olusoji Ayoola, another returnee, revealed that ‘’I am happy that we are back home. We give God the glory. We thank Prophet TB Joshua.’’
Daniel Eluebo, also a returnee could not hold back his joy when he exclaimed that ‘’I want to thank God for what he has done. All these started unexpected and God has used it to bless us unexpectedly.’’
It will be recalled that on September 8, 2019, during a live Sunday Service broadcast, Prophet Joshua in tears called on Africans to unite against the hateful tendencies that divide humanity, with Africa in particular. According to a song composed by him and jointly performed, Prophet Joshua said: ‘’Africa, unite. Don’t let fellow Africans feel unwelcome in our lands. Africa, unite. Remember where we are coming. We need each other; we need one another to grow. The South cannot do it alone. The West cannot go it alone. The East cannot do it alone. The North cannot go it alone. See the fight over joblessness among the youths. Where is the law? See the fight as a setback to Africa. Africa, unite… Let us come together. Africa, unite. Let us live in harmony.’’
Exactly five years after the tragic collapse of a guesthouse at The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (SCOAN), Pastor T.B. Joshua has honoured the ‘blessed memory’ of those who died in the incident with a thought-provoking message.
On September 12th 2014, 115 people lost their lives in the horrific building collapse, 84 of them South African nationals visiting The SCOAN for religious reasons.
“A Christian does not consider death to be his end but the end of his trouble,”the cleric eulogised in a special broadcast on Emmanuel TV in commemoration of the anniversary.
Joshua stressed the inevitability of death, adding that a person’s age or the nature of their demise were not the critical issue. “What matters is the grace to continue living hereafter,”he said.
Waxing philosophical, Joshua asked viewers to be introspective as they remember the dark day.
“How are you spending your life,” he reflectively asked. “Because the greatest way to use life is to spend it on something that will outlive it – for instance, to love someone more dearly every day.”
Joshua called on his followers to proactively engage in helping others, stressing that “when you look around you”, you would assuredly find those “in need of your love, help, strength and time.”
He concluded with a sober reminder: “Live each day as if it were your last. Someday, you will be right.”
Despite the passing of five years, the controversy surrounding the cause of the deadly collapse remains, further induced by the attendant court case stuck in a seemingly endless legal quagmire.
The SCOAN still insists the church was ‘attacked’, pointing to a military plane which encircled the ill-fated building several times before its implosion.
The incident, however, has done little to quell the flow of foreign pilgrims to Joshua’s church with numbers from the Nigerian immigration service estimating six in every ten tourists to Nigeria are bound for The SCOAN.
Ihechukwu Njoku is a freelance Nigerian journalist
If you plant in love, you will reap love because there is no giving in truth without receiving. What do you have? We are expected to give to God everything He has given us – I mean, all our substance – our time, strength, loyalty, money and every good thing the Lord has given us – and we shall receive, in return, an abundant blessing. Let us not love in words alone but also in deed and truth. When we love in deed, we are planting seeds that would return unto us a harvest of whatever love we expressed. God expects our best because He gives us His best (John 3:16). God has a Son. He planted Him in the earth to produce a family. Today, millions are born again through this Seed.
When we give, it makes us like unto God, who gives to all and receives from none. We should know that whatever blessing God has given us is meant to be replanted for a bigger harvest. We always reap the same kind of seed we plant, just as we always reap more than we plant:
Love for God’s sake and be loved.
Help for God’s sake and be helped.
Be kind for God’s sake and receive kindness.
Show mercy for God’s sake and receive mercy.
Give and receive more of whatever you give.
Sow and reap more of whatever you plant.
Job did not despair at his situation because though it looked like a misfortune, yet it was not. As Christians, our situation may look, may seem painful, yet it is not, because it is not unto death but to the glory of God. The situation you are facing may be to save your life or to prevent you from certain mishaps. It could be an accident or an implication – for example, a case of an innocent man who was caught in the company of his robber friends and was eventually executed. If a pain in the head had kept him back at home on that fateful day, little would he have known that the pain was to preserve him from being implicated.
Let me tell you a short story about my life. When I was younger, I was busy licking my thumb. My parents did everything to stop me from sucking my thumb without success – because the sucking of my thumb had already become my second nature. This kept me to myself. My thumb was my only friend, no one else was. Because of this, I was isolated by my mates. It was this isolation that preserved me for what I am today. This means, isolation can also preserve one. Apostle Paul said, ‘I am content with weakness for Christ’s sake’. Why should anyone be content with weakness for Christ’s sake? This is because His strength is made manifest in our weakness.
A good example of this is David’s encounter with Goliath. The weakness of David made manifest the strength of God. The weakness of David was what demonstrated the strength of God. If David had matched up strength to strength, weapon to weapon, stature to stature with Goliath, the glory of God would not be made manifest in his defeat of Goliath. In our weakness, the strength of God is made manifest. When we are weak, it is then that the strength of the hand that is protecting us would be made manifest in our victory.
The Nigerian cleric, who penned the lyrics in the in the wake of the recent eruption of xenophobic violence in South Africa, was visibly moved and shed tears as the song was played during his church service on Sunday 8th September 2019.
The song clearly struck a nerve with thousands commenting that the composition made them equally emotional and echoing Joshua’s call for African unity.
The simple melody calls on Africans to avoid violence, overlook differences and embrace peace.
According to the lyrics: “The South cannot do it alone. The West cannot go it alone. The East cannot do it alone. The North cannot go it alone. We need each other; we need one another to grow. Africa unite.”
Joshua also called on all parties involved to respect and uphold the law. “See the killing over drug misuse. See the fight over joblessness among the youth. Where is the law?”
The song concludes with a plea for Africans to ensure fellow citizens of their continent do not ‘feel unwelcome’.
Remi Sonaiya, a former Nigerian Presidential candidate, was among those to react on Twitter after watching the song replayed on Emmanuel TV.
“It was rather moving and many in the congregation were in tears. May the prayers be answered. Killing and looting aren’t the solution to our problems. Good governance is,” she wrote.
On Emmanuel TV’s official YouTube Channel, the song has recorded over 300,000 views with another 400,000 watching the clip uploaded to Joshua’s verified Facebook account.
Ihechukwu Njoku is a freelance journalist based in Lagos, Nigeria
We are all connected to one another in a way too fundamental to be explained away in a single sentence:
The mouth needs words,
The ears need sounds,
The eyes need a view,
The feet need to go places.
Though the body of man is composed of many members, its workings are informed and influenced by one concern, in the spirit of one purpose. In other words, we need one another for our wholeness and completeness. I am not complete without you, neither are you without me. In essence, we depend on others to succeed in our respective callings. No one can succeed alone. Jesus knew this; that was why He had disciples.
We need good, inspired and informed people to make it in our respective callings. The medical doctor cannot say he does not need the soldier. What of when external forces invade the community? The soldier cannot say he does not need the medical doctor. What of when he is wounded in battle?
I am because you are, just as you are because I am. I mean you depend on me; I depend on you. The whole creation of the universe is based on this symbiotic essence. Just as the way God has designed the workings of the human society, so He has planned the way the different individuals can contribute to the well-being of their fellow brothers.