Category Archives: Charity

Ministry Of Compassion At The SCOAN

The following story is very touching. It is the case of a widow with nine children who was forced to eat from rubbish dumps due to the severe poverty she experienced after the death of her husband. However, when a good Samaritan saw her scavenging amidst the refuse, she was touched with compassion and advised the family to come to The SCOAN…

For Philomena Sunday, mother of nine, the 18th of August 2004, led like a tunnel down the mythical Valley of Death. On that gloomy Wednesday, her husband passed on, and the world literally locked down on her like vice-clamps.

For the next four years, subsequently, life went progressively from bad to worse, until eventually the lady found herself and all her nine children picking their meals, clothes and all of their livelihood from refuse dumps:

“Even the clothes we wear, we pick them all from the dustbin and wash them,” said Philomena, “sometimes, if we don’t make it early to the dust bin, we don’t have anything to eat at all. We pick bread, groundnuts, yam, everything we can find to eat.”

For several years, this was the lot of this beleaguered family from Warri, which had lost its breadwinner, as the young family, which includes two teenage mothers, continued to snatch a living from the jaws of death.

Unknown to Philomena and her young children, a strange lady had been watching them daily, at the refuse dump where they picked their meals. The lady didn’t stop at that. She decided to find out what the woman and her children were scavenging for at the dump, on a daily basis.

Fired by her curiosity, the anomymous lady approached Philomena, who tearfully narrated her ordeal to the stranger: “She asked what I was doing at the dust bin every day, with these children, picking food, and I answered, ‘My sister, things have been very difficult, and even when I went to people to beg, they usually disappointed me.”

Continued the destitute woman as she narrated her encounter with the strange lady, “Even the man I had, whom I thought was going to help me and my children and train them in school, disappointed me, so this is where we get food to eat.”

Moved by her story, the stranger promised to help her. Then she wanted to know if Philomena had ever heard of Prophet TB Joshua and his Synagogue Church of All Nations. When she answered in the negative, she told her to prepare to meet with the prophet, whom she was sure could help the widow and her family, if he heard their story and could confirm it.

Unknown to Philomena, the faceless lady had made a video clip of one of their previous scavenging trips to the refuse dump as she and her children rummaged through mountains of refuse, searching for food, disused clothes, shoes and all, as well as empty cans, which they sold for N50 apiece, to buy food.

The stranger hired a bus to convey the family to Lagos and armed the mother of nine with her video tape which she urged her to make sure Pastor Joshua saw, in order to believe their incredible story and possibly alleviate their suffering.

Last Sunday, a capacity-packed cathedral of misty eyed worshippers listened with rapt attention, as the pathetic story of the widow with nine young children was told from the mouths of the victims themselves, backed by the video clips from the unknown stranger.

It was soon time for the eldest of her daughters, Faith Abumere, to speak. She confirmed the story of the family’s great suffering earlier narrated by her mother. Then she launched into her own personal experience. Because of the hell her mother and siblings were going through, she decided to find a man to whom she could be betrothed in marriage, in order to help rescue the family from its plight.

TB Joshua With Widow

TB Joshua addresses the family

Unbeknown to Faith, however, the man she found was himself an unemployed person who needed help, equally. She became a teenage mother, bore him two children and increased the cycle of poverty.

“Even the clothes I am putting on now are from the dustbin,” she said tearfully. “But suddenly, my mother came one day to tell us that one would woman told her about Synagogue… I know that as we are here now, our story would turn around.”

The story of Anthonia Abumere, the second daughter of the family was no different. She too got lured into a relationship she thought would blossom into marriage and help rescue the family from their wretched existence. Unfortunately, her liaison turned out to be one with a man who was a lunatic. She too became a teenager mother and the family’s problem worsened.

“I did not know that the man had a mental problem which, whenever it occurred, he would be misbehaving outside and people would be running from him,” narrated Anthonia. “Last June, the problem relapsed,” she went on, “ he beats me and my baby and sometimes he would kick us out,” cried Antonia, with a huge scar from a stitch that marked her pretty face, cuddling her equally lovely infant baby.

So, back to worse poverty she crawled, prostrate before the elements and a pitiless world. As the audience sat glued to their seats, the voice of Prophet Joshua cut them out of their contemplation: “That marriage should be immediately terminated. It’s a wrong marriage caused by poverty… your future first, before marriage. Let them face their career and future. If the Lord says the will marry tomorrow, they can marry tomorrow – but that marriage should be stopped for now.”

Turning to the family as he preached to his congregation, Prophet Joshua noticed little Esther, her exquisite little face smudged by hot tears: “Wow! What a beautiful girl,” he exclaimed. “If you don’t help this one now, she would turn out to be like her sister who married a mad man,” said the prophet, shaking his head, sadly.

Prophet TB Joshua called on his congregation to help restore the family. He said the family would first undergo deliverance. “We must do whatever we can to restore this family and make them part of our families and counsel them; we must not allow these children to be destroyed.”

Thereafter, he made a cash donation of N500,000 to the family in addition to 10 bags of rice and his trademark gift of the Holy Bible, promising further assistance to help educate the children. Other cash gifts and donations started pouring in from the congregation, as well as from watchers of Emmanuel TV, worldwide, who had been following the live telecast of the Synagogue Sunday service.

Donors included a caller, Josephine, from Denmark, who offered clothes and other support for Philomena and her children. Another caller, Mike, from Abuja, offered little Esther scholarship from primary school through secondary school. A regular female worshipper at the church opted to pay for accommodation for the family, as well as an offer of scholarships to four, out of the family’s nine children.

SOURCE: National Life – Vol. 2 No. 66 – Saturday October 17th 2009

Thank God for the ministry of compassion and charity at The SCOAN. As I heard T.B. Joshua say, “Your life is a solution to someone in trouble. Build your life around your contribution to others.”

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Sani Emmanuel: A Testimony Of Hope

One of the testimonies that I have often told people about in relation to The SCOAN is that of Sani Emmanuel. Those conscious of the budding prospects within Nigerian football will certainly be familiar with his name, but what many don’t know is his story – a modern day ‘rags-to-riches’ tale that is still in the process of being written.

Within football circles, Sani Emmanuel is known as the star of the FIFA U-17 World Cup held in Nigeria late 2009. The winner of the prestigious Golden Ball (MVP) and Silver Shoe (Second highest scorer) at the tournament, Sani joined the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Lionel Messi, Wayne Rooney and Fernando Torres as players whose careers were catapulted into prominence in their tender teenage years. Sani trialled with the likes of Chelsea and Tottenham before being snapped up by Italian giants Lazio, and is now tipped as one of football’s future stars, a prospective saviour for the dwindling fortunes of Nigeria’s national team.

But Sani would not be where he is today without the existence of The SCOAN and the selfless visionary support of T.B. Joshua. His testimony typifies what the work of God is all about – changing lives. Maybe we refer to Sani because he has been catapulted onto the international football scene, but his case mirrors that of literally thousands who God brings through the doors of The SCOAN on a day-to-day basis.

Sani Emmanuel lifts his hands in thanks to God in his customary celebration after scoring

Here is an article written shortly after the U-17 World Cup, explaining Sani’s journey to The SCOAN and subsequent rise to footballing stardom, in the words of his father. Weaved from the tapestry of brokenness comes hope and brilliance – when God is involved and the welfare of our fellow brothers uppermost in the heart.

In the recently concluded FIFA U-17 World Youth Championship dubbed Nigeria 2009, Sani Emmanuel had the world in his soccer boots. He mesmerized opponents at will, and sliced through defences the way a hot knife slices through butter. He dazzled and made nonsense of defenders, scoring textbook goals. In all, he scored five goals in 221 minutes of play and won the FIFA U-17 World Cup Golden Ball as well as the Silver Shoe. Through a dint of hard work and dedication to God, Emmanuel now rides the crest of fame and has become a toast from clubs across Europe.

But that is not the news…

The news is that the boy honed his soccer career at a most unlikely place – the church, specifically the Synagogue Church Of All Nations, where he is top striker with My People FC, a football club owned and funded by the church’s General Overseer, Prophet T.B. Joshua.

My People FC

My People FC Logo

Emmanuel has since returned to the Synagogue where he lives. And last Sunday he set thousands of parishioners into rapturous celebration as he stormed the sanctuary for a thanksgiving session. Former Zambian president Frederick Chiluba was among other eminent persons that rejoiced with Emmanuel, who dedicated his awards to Nigeria’s rising army of suffering youth, pledging to start a foundation that would help them become useful and influential members of the society.

Many wept for joy as the golden boy narrated his rag-to-riches story. His father, Sani Unakhasor, from Edo State, was among the weeping crowd, and he too wept like a baby. His tears were both of joy and intense sorrow. Joy for his son’s success and deep sadness over the tragedy that brought him, and later, his son, Sani, to the Synagogue. Though not rich, Unokhasor, a father of nine, and husband of two wives, was enjoying life in his little corner until tragedy struck.

One day, a hot argument burst out between both women, and in a fit of madness, the junior wife, who was then nursing a three-month-old baby, took a bottle, broke it and stabbed her senior colleague in the throat. The senior wife bled to death before she could reach the hospital. With one wife in a hospital morgue and another in detention for murder, Unokhasor’s life took a spin. There was an uncontrollable chaos in his family. Nothing he did ever worked. He could not cater for his children, and two of his daughters got married out of frustration. He wanted to commit suicide. He almost did, until he met Prophet T.B. Joshua.

Well, as they say, the taste of the pudding is in the eating. Below are excerpts from Unokhasor’s heart-rending narration:

“My name is Sani Unokhasor. I’m from Edo State. I’m a widower. I married my first wife with happiness. We had no problem with child bearing when we got married. We had our first issue, a girl. The second one, too, is a baby girl. The third and the fourth are girls. I was confused because I’m the only son of my father. And my father is an old man. Well. I started worrying about not having a male child. That’s what made me to go and marry a second wife. But as God would have it, my first wife took in before the second, and she gave me my first baby boy.

Sani Emmanuel scores

Sani Emmanuel scores his second goal for the Golden Eaglets in their 5-0 rout of New Zealand during the FIFA U-17 World Cup

“In all, I have five boys, four girls, making nine. Then, the junior one has three boys, while the senior one has four girls, two boys. And there was trouble in my house every day. I didn’t know what to do. Should I divorce one and retain the other? I couldn’t do it because they both have children for me. Well, I started battling with them. I was at work one day, and the chairman of the residents association called me to say that my wives were fighting. I went out to settle them. When I got there, the junior one took a broken bottle and stabbed the senior one in the throat.”

“I started shouting, calling on people to rescue her. On my way outside to look for taxi, I removed her wrapper to cover the wound because she was bleeding seriously like a pump. Shortly after, she gave up.”

“I was crying. I didn’t know what to do. The children were crying, too. There was confusion everywhere. I decided to kill myself. But I couldn’t do it. So, I ran to the police station and invited the police. The police came and took my junior wife to prison. They took me to the police station, too.”

“Now, my junior wife was nursing a baby, she went to prison with the baby. The baby grew up inside prison. She spent three years there. Then, they asked me to come and take the baby. I took the baby home and began to nurse him. I suffered a lot to see that he survived. The problem was so much I decided to kill myself but I couldn’t do it. I felt that if I did it, who would take care of my children? That’s what made me to be patient. And I started suffering with them. Out of frustration, I gave out two of the girls, who were about 20 years old, in marriage. They married out of frustration and I continued to battle with the rest. Some of them couldn’t go to school again. They dropped out.

Sani Emmanuel In Sweden

Sani Emmanuel acrobatically scores during his time in Bodens BK, Sweden

“To worsen my problem, my sons began to fight themselves: ‘Your mother killed my mother I will kill you’. It was hell. Then one day, my son (Sani Emmanuel) came home and began tell me about the Synagogue Church. I became convinced and I said, ’Let me go with you’. That’s how I managed to come here. I begged God to help me out of this problem. To eat was a big problem. There was no money to feed. Some of the children have gone to Abuja to work for people because there is no money. I cannot do anything to help them.”

At the height of Unokhasor’s extreme suffering, he found The Synagogue, through his son. Prophet T.B. Joshua restored him with an unspecified amount of money and Sani Emmanuel, whose mum was stabbed to death, had found comfort in the hollows of Joshua’s hands and had become an altar boy, living in the church and, for the first time in a long time, enjoying the world. Later he became a member of Joshua’s football club, My People FC.

Sani Emmanuel’s first invitation to the Golden Eaglets’ camp wasn’t quite successful. He was among others who were sent out of the camp. But while his fellow decampees were sad and forlorn, the striker, who was born on December 23, 1992, moved on as if nothing happened. He even encouraged a teammate, Onazi Ogenyi, and took him to Joshua. Joshua counselled them and restored their hope by sending them to Bodens BK Football Club’s junior team in Sweden. They excelled and eventually earned another invitation to the Eaglets’ camp. They made the team that won Silver in the U-17 championship that ended two weeks ago. Onazi Ogenyi, Sani Emmanuel and Dami Paul, the Eaglets’ goalkeeper, were celebrated at the Synagogue last Sunday.

By Shola OSHUNKEYE

SOURCE: The Spectator – Volume 2, No. 82

As an avid football follower, I can’t wait to see what will happen with the careers of Sani Emmanuel and Ogenyi Onazi! This testimony just shows how essential it is to support each other, especially the less privileged and vulnerable in our midst. If love and compassion had not been shown to Sani and his family, he would likely cut a frustrated figure kicking the ball about on the streets of Lagos. Desperation and disappointment may even have lead him down the road of criminality, as is sadly the case with many young Nigerian youths today.

Once again, please share with us your testimony for the glory of God and point people who have doubts about the power of God to this blog, as a well of faith-building information that will help strengthen their belief!

MORE INFO:

 

SANI’S EXPLOITS AT THE FIFA U-17 WORLD CUP 2009:

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TB Joshua’s Charitable Ministry

Aside from the ministries of healing, deliverance and prophecy, there is also a wonderful ministry of charity at The SCOAN where the less privileged and disadvantaged in society are financially and materially supported.
The following account is that of a widow who was forced to fast for a hellish 22 days as part of a traditional ritual to confirm if she was responsible for her husband’s death…
 

Another Ministry

The ministry of charity at The SCOAN

“MY husband cared for me and my children,” explained Mrs Elizabeth Nwose, solemnly reflecting on the incident that changed her family’s fortunes for ever. “So when the accident happened, things turned upside down.” It was a motor-accident, resulting in instant death. With four teenage sons all pursuing their education, and the bread-winner of the home suddenly taken away, panic soon set in. “In my mind, I said: ‘God, what will I do with these children now this has happened? Who shall I meet for help?’ ” For Mrs Nwose, a middle-aged mother from Delta State, life had literally turned its back on her.
Cultural tradition demanded she follow her husband’s family back to their native village and observe a time of mourning. Unknown to her, they had other plans. “They felt I was responsible for his death… Because all my children are boys, they didn’t want anything to harm them. They thought if I am behind his death, my children too will start dying one after the other.” The method used to determine Mrs Nwose’s innocence or guilt may be hard for the 21st century mindset to comprehend. It was a crude, gruelling, heartless process. “They took me to a bush in the forest. Nobody was there, only me. No food, no water, and only a wrapper around my body. I stayed there for twenty-two days. Night and day.” Heavy rain fell for three days of the ordeal, alongside the mosquitoes biting, the insects crawling and the wild animals threatening. “I cried day and night – only me. My prayer everyday was ‘God, don’t allow snakes or bad animals to meet me here.’ ” Hope dwindled to the point of despair as her life lay on a precipice, drifting in and out of consciousness. On the verge of giving up, Mrs Nwose had a unique experience that brought strength and solace in the midst of her storm.
The SCOAN Widows Forum

Elizabeth Nwose at The SCOAN Widow's Forum

“It was just like a dream. An old man appeared to me with a walking stick. He said, ‘My daughter look at me’; then I raised my face and recognised his face as the man of God, Prophet T.B. Joshua. He said, ‘Don’t be afraid – God is with you day and night’ – and he disappeared.” Supernaturally strengthened, Elizabeth’s resolve to live was renewed and hope once again took hold of her heart. Two more times, Prophet T.B. Joshua appeared to her in the guise of an old man, offering words of comfort and reassurance. “He said I shouldn’t be afraid,” Nwose reminisced. After what seemed like an eternity in the night of the 22nd day, a man came to take Elizabeth, bringing a new wrapper for her to wear and instructing her to abandon the old one in the bush. He seemed surprised she had endured the trial. “They thought I would die at that place and know by that that my hands are not clean,” she explained. But the ordeal was not yet over. “They took me that night to my father’s compound around 2.00 am when there was nobody in sight. I was not permitted to see anybody and nobody could see me at that time. They kept me inside one room; I stayed inside there for 10 days.”

Mrs Nwose had lost her appetite entirely and could barely eat the few meals that were provided at that time. Her physical condition was frail, but her spirit was strong. “After the 10 days, they brought me out around 2.00 am and took me to our market square. Inside the market, they did the sacrifice. When we got to the house, my hair was shaved and I was asked to go and take my bath. After my bath, they buried the hair at the particular place together with the wrapper I was wearing, and I was asked to come out.” Vindicated and free from the accusation of being behind her husband’s demise, people rushed out to congratulate Nwose. “It was like a ceremony indeed. Many people would come and greet me and say, ‘My daughter, God has brought you out, and your hands are clean.’ ”

TB Joshua at The SCOAN Widow's Forum

TB Joshua at The SCOAN Widow's Forum

Released to leave the village, Elizabeth returned to Lagos. “My children were the ones that cared for me when I finally returned from the village. All over my body were rashes because mosquitoes had bitten everywhere.” Remembering her vision in the forest, Mrs Nwose set out to visit The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations and Prophet T.B. Joshua once her strength was renewed to narrate her experience. As providence would have it, she arrived on the day of The SCOAN Widow’s Forum where widows in dire situations from across the country had come to receive assistance, both morally and materially. “I explained everything that happened to me and Prophet T.B. Joshua gave me N150, 000 to go and establish myself that day,” Mrs Nwose smiled. “I just knelt down and thanked God for using the man of God to give me this money. I kept asking myself: who would I have run to at this particular time?” Since receiving aid, Prophet T.B. Joshua has given scholarships to her four children, promising his support throughout their tertiary education. The in-laws who cruelly confirmed her innocence had refused to aid the family. “They don’t want to take up their responsibilities; they abandoned me and the children. Since my husband died nobody has come to my house to ask after us. I go to them but they are running from me. It is only Prophet T.B. Joshua that God is using to give me help till today.”

SOURCE: Read Us Edition 3

We thank God for the wonderful testimonies of people who have been supported through the humanitarian ministry at The SCOAN. If you have a testimony, please share it with us – for the glory of God!

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TB Joshua Prophecy And Reconciliation

The following is an article from a Nigerian newspaper called ‘The National Life’ explaining the testimony of a man who received a prophecy from Prophet T.B. Joshua during a SCOAN service, and how the prophecy brought transformation and truth to his life and that of his entire community…

The joy of Ubong Enah Willie, a native of Ndoneyo in Onna Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State Nigeria, having completed his house suffered a fatal blow as tragedy struck his family and the team of prayer band invited to dedicate the house.

In the course of dedicating the house, two of Ubong’s children mysteriously dropped dead, while a pastor lapsed into coma, which ultimately took his life. Other members of the prayer band sustained serious injuries. Ubong, a spare part dealer explained that he had managed to make some savings from his meager income with which he purchased the land on which he built the house.

He revealed that he bought the land against prior warning by some men of God that he consulted about the dangers inherent in procuring the land and building on it. Tired of being hounded by landlords, Ubong said he over a period of time succeeded in erecting a 3-bedroom apartment on the said land.

Amidst savouring the joy of having become a landlord, Ubong explained that as a devout Christian, he invited a team of prayer warriors to cleanse the house of demonic and satanic powers and presence. Convinced of their divine anointing to uproot satanic powers, he said the pastors swung into action, binding and casting out demonic forces with him and his family members in attendance.

However, midway into the prayer session, Ubong said the whole exercise changed, and tragedy struck. According to him, he said that just as the prayers were going on, evil spirits invaded the building, shutting the doors and invincibly hitting everybody present with what was like a hammer, killing two of his four children instantly an leaving his wife and others seriously injured.

The pastor who led the prayers, he said died few days after while another member of the prayer team till date has lost sensation in his right hand. In his own words, the embattled Ubong said: “I bought the land with my hard earned money although I was warned against buying it. After the purchase, I went ahead to start building on it. At the end of the day, I was able to put up a 3-bedroom apartment. As a Christian who believes in committing everything into the hands of God, I invited some pastors to come and pray over the house before we move in.

“On the day that they came, my family and I were around. Surprisingly, as the prayer was going on, I just experienced a strange feeling all over me and I felt like I had rashes all over my body. As I was wondering over what was happening, others were also having their own very unpalatable experience. There was no way out for any of us because everywhere was locked. At the end of it all, my two children died immediately. One of the pastors died about three days after”

TB Joshua With The Family

Bassey Monday Udoh, another member of the prayer band explained that their mission to pray over Ubong’s new house was not the first time he would go out for such. Stunned by the bizarre experience, he recounted:” I have always gone out to pray for people in their houses and shops. Ubong’s case wasn’t the first time I went for such but it turned out to be a very terrible experience. While we were saying our prayers, some evil spirits just entered the house hitting me all over the body with something that felt like a hammer. I fell and it continued to hit me. After the medical attention that I received, I have lost feeling in my right hand. I have not been able to do anything with it since then and it still gives me serious pains. Apart from my hand, I have not been able to also reason very well as I used to do before now as a result of that demonic torture.”

Pointing to a particular part of his body, he said, “Look at this side of my head, (he shows it), hair has not grown there since the incident” As if the cruel blows he received were not enough, Ubong, who was still dazed by the incidence that still defies comprehension and still mourning the demise of his children and his beloved pastor, was in for another shock when the community accused him of killing his children and the pastor for money rituals.

Aside the pain of having lost his beloved ones, the community’s allegation festered the sore in Ubong’s heart as he faced threats of various forms, including banished from his fatherland. With his whole world apparently crashing, the saying that failure is an orphan dawned on him.

Despite losing his children and his pastor in a prayer session, Ubong’s faith in his creator remained firm. Without any one to lean on, he solidly believed that his God was capable of setting him free.

With this conviction, he left his home town for the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) in Lagos. At SCOAN, he recounted that while Prophet T.B. Joshua was prophesying, he mentioned that there was a man present at the service who was alleged of murder and asked such person to come out.

Stunned by the correctness of the prophecy, Ubong said: “I just came here to pray for God to deliver me from my problems and show to my people that I was innocent of the allegation leveled against me. To my surprise, Prophet T.B. Joshua, in the course of his prophecy, narrated everything that happened. He said the person concerned was innocent and asked that such person should come out for prayers. I did and he prayed for me.”

While away in Lagos seeking spiritual help, Ubong’s community back in Onna had gone to consult witch doctors to ascertain his culpability in the ugly incident. Without prior knowledge of Ubong’s visit to the SCOAN, the community head, he said put the oracles’ revelations aside and said he would have to hear from Prophet Joshua before he could accept that Ubong was not responsible for his children and pastor’s death.

Thus, he arranged that a delegate from the community, the pastor’s family members and Ubong visit SCOAN. Prior to that, the late pastor’s son who was said to be violent had threatened to avenge his father’s death by killing Ubong in return. After some appeals from the community, he was said to have rescinded his decision but demanded that Ubong should pay the sum of N4million for his father’s burial.

The Gift

A bloody clash which would have ensued as a result of the crises was averted when the whole party involved in the crises visited Prophet Joshua. Meeting with the late pastor’s family and the community head’s delegate, Prophet Joshua informed that Ubong was innocent of the murder allegation leveled against him. To save the insolvent Ubong from being further hounded because of the huge sum the late pastor’s son demanded for his father’s burial, Prophet Joshua gave the family a sum of N500,000 and went ahead to assure the widow, Comfort Kiddy of his support for the upkeep of the family.

The widow had also requested that Ubong should be responsible for her mother’s burial which she said the late pastor was supposed to do before his untimely death while praying at Ubong’s new house. Propitiated by the Prophet’s intervention and benevolence, the late pastor’s son, Victor said that they were convinced that Ubong was not responsible for his father’s death and assured that peace would reign hence forth.

SOURCE: The National Life – Vol. 2 No. 68

Please remember to send your testimonies to tbjoshua.testimonies@gmail.com for publication on this blog or submit them here!

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Rescued From Death

So, here goes! This has to be one of my favourite SCOAN testimonies of all time, hence it being the first one to grace this blog! It just typifies what the ministry at SCOAN and Emmanuel TV are doing – rescuing people from death, both physically and spiritually. The testimony actually comes from The SCOAN newspaper, called ‘Read Us’. Enjoy!

ONE by one they led them out. Faces covered in black. Handcuffed. Their last seconds of life. Last moments of reflection. The last breath of this world. No time to even say goodbye. One by one their names were called. The other five had already gone – gone for ever – gone to the gallows. A cold sweat broke out on his brow. He was next in line. This was it. The end. The grand finale. The next few seconds would be the last he would ever spend in life.

The tale of Chuks Olisemeka is block-buster material. It could well pass for a best-selling fiction thriller. But this is no fiction. It’s the real story of a young man who came from condemnation to salvation, in both the literal and spiritual sense. The story of a man who came face to face with death in a way few people could ever imagine. The story of redemption amidst retribution.

From a humble home in Delta to wild parties in Lagos, dangerous dealings in cannabis in Tunisia and gun-training for armed robbery in the Saharan desert, from a condemned cell in Tunis’ maximum security prison to a Nigerian church he had never heard of before, here is Chuks’ incredible journey, in his own words:

“My name is Chuks Olisemeka and I come from Delta State. When my mother was pregnant with me, she separated from my father. Later in 1991, my mother died of sickness. From there my grandmother took care of me. I never knew my father and hardly knew my mum, Mrs Josephine. In the year 2000 after finishing secondary school, I came to Lagos. I didn’t know anybody in Lagos. What made me come is that some friends came from Lagos every December with flashy flashy things, spending money. When I asked them, they said they went to Victoria Island. One day I just decided by myself to come to Lagos, though I didn’t know anyone there and had no money. I was only 20. Some people dropped me in Ojota. At that time I still smoked so I bought a cigar and began smoking. I saw one guy like me who now bought a cigarette. We got talking and he now asked me some questions. When I introduced myself to him, the guy said he would help me for accommodation. We bought Indian hemp together and he then took me to his house.

Smoking Marijuana

We smoked Indian Hemp (marijuana) together

“Every night we went to the clubs and enjoyed ourselves. I was helping in his brother’s electronics business in Alaba. One day we met some guys who came from Tunisia. Those guys gave us the guidelines about Tunisia that time, but we never said we wanted to travel as we were enjoying in Lagos. Some months later, my close friend Chima suggested we both go to Tunisia and I agreed. We went by road through the desert. We entered from Libya, through Tripoli. Those guys we met gave us the address of their place in Tunisia. We met some guys there and a Nigerian guy now introduced us to one man who was dealing in drugs. He had some boys working for him. Every night he would give you 200 or 300 grams and you would go to the club and hawk drugs. Cocaine. At the end of the day he would give you $300. From there he introduced us to the business. We were moving with guys who were into it before and from there we got our own customers.

“After about eight months in the business, I met Jack, an Italian man. Every time the man would normally come to me and buy drugs; he would buy in quantity. He was a big man, and always came with his boys. My friend called me and said let us travel to Morocco and from there to Spain. But already that Jack said he would introduce me to his business, so I was not interested in going to Spain. After about two weeks, Jack introduced me to his business – robbery business.

The desert

We went to the desert to learn how to shoot a gun

“I didn’t know how to shoot a gun, so every morning he took me to the desert with some guys and taught me how to use a gun. We started going on operations. We go with information. Some people will come from Europe and land in Tunisia, and stay in a hotel – so the manager of the hotel would give us information, and we would go there and rob. After robbing, he would give me $5000. It was not only in Tunisia we robbed, but also in Libya – because they share a border together. We were based in Tunis. On one operation in a company, we got $800,000 – so Jack now gave me $20,000. I know tomorrow I would see more money, so I would go to the clubs, gamble, buy expensive wears and move with high-class babes. Then something happened in 2004.

“This hotel manager now brought information that one woman came from Holland who brought big money for a contract, and the woman lodged in his hotel. Our boss called us and said we should go to this hotel. We reached there around 10am. We were five – four boys and one Algerian girl. We met the woman and collected the money. Two of our members were down and three went up – it was a five storey building. On the way down, we just heard guns from nowhere. Two of our members were shot. They died there instantly. They now shot the girl, but we didn’t know the place where the bullets were coming from. We used one woman as a human shield to cover us saying – if you shoot again, we will shoot her – and we now managed to drag ourselves out and enter our car. As we started the engine, they started shooting again. We saw almost five jeeps pursuing us, police vehicles – blowing sirens. We got to a bend at the traffic lights. We were supposed to wait but because of the pressure, we moved on. One lorry coming from the other side collided full-on with our vehicle. It somersaulted. That is why I have these scars. At that time, I never knew that my friend who was driving was already dead.

“The policemen came, and rushed me to hospital. I was in serious pain – blood covered everywhere and I couldn’t even open my eyes. The following day, they put POP all over me. Three men came and started interviewing me, and I opened up for them. They wrote everything down. The following day, they took me to our building – Jack was no more there, because he heard the information. They searched everywhere. They saw some drugs and carried them, including three vehicles. They padlocked the building, and took me back to hospital.

“The following day, they took me to court. I still had POP all over, and they had to carry me. When I reached court, the magistrate looked at my condition and said they should carry me back to hospital. I spent seven months in hospital. After seven months they took me back to court, and tried the case. After that, they took me to prison. From prison, I still went to the court. In August 2007 my final judgement came. After the judgement, they sentenced me to death by hanging. I had already given my life to Christ in prison. This guy Mr Charles normally shared the Word of God with me. But after the sentence they didn’t take me back to the same prison again. They took me to another prison where they put those who are condemned to death. We were five inside the prison room. I started praying there.

Shadow of prison bars

Condemed to die in a notorious prison

“On 15th August, I dreamt and saw myself in this big church with someone saying, ‘Welcome to Synagogue Church, Emmanuel!’ When I woke up, I didn’t understand the dream. I’d never heard of Synagogue Church before. On 19th August, some men came with a lady. They started calling names. When they had called the name, they would put a mask to cover the person and handcuff him. They now carried him outside to be hanged. I had already said today is the day I would die, but I still had this hope that God would do a miracle. When it got to my turn, the woman asked – ‘Where is this boy’s paper?’ They started searching and finally said they could not see it. So she said they should go and find my case file, that if they didn’t find the case file, they should not take me anywhere. The men carried the other five for hanging. Only me was left in that place. A week, two weeks, a month went by and nobody talked to me. It was only me in the cell. Some men now came and took me back to the other prison.

“It was 2008, February. One day the warden called me and said they wanted to hand me over to the Nigerian embassy to send me back to my country. I saw about three men, wearing suits who asked me for my name. They now signed all these documents and told me to carry my load. They took me to the airport and one man followed me down to Nigeria. After about three hours, we arrived. They now handed me over to some men who ushered me inside a motor. A few hours later, I saw myself in Ikoyi prison. They searched me and then took me to the prison cell. I was still praying to God.

The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations Auditorium

Welcome to The Synagogue Church - Emmanuel

“Another year passed in prison. It was July 2009 and I dreamed again – Welcome to Synagogue Church – Emmanuel! It was exactly the same dream I had seen in the prison in Tunisia. But this time, I saw rain fall on me as I entered inside the church, and I rejoiced with people inside. But I never knew the place. I had never heard of Prophet T.B. Joshua. Two weeks later, one of the wardens called me. He said they brought some papers yesterday and that I didn’t have a case to answer, that I should be released. I was just surprised, shocked. He gave me one paper, and told me I should carry my load. I didn’t have anything to carry.

“As I left the gate, I asked God: where shall I go? Direct me – I don’t know where to go. Rain was falling and suddenly that dream came to me – welcome to Synagogue Church – Emmanuel. I asked the warden – where is Synagogue? He said it’s far, in Ikotun. I asked where is Ikotun. God has directed me there. He looked at me and asked if I had money. The man gave me N500 and told me how to get to the church. It was a Friday.

“I finally found the church. I met one man and asked him – how can I see the pastor here? He looked at me and asked where I was from. I told him from a very far place. He said I should come back to church early on Sunday. I was still wearing the clothes I had in prison. It was Sunday. As I entered the church that morning, I recognized it from the dream. Everything was the same as I had seen it in that dream. I prayed that God should direct the man of God to where I am. God finally directed him to me in the second service. After prophesying to about four people, he touched me and said you are a murderer – and not in this country but another country. I had never met him before, but he knew me. He prayed and I found myself down on the floor. As he touched me, I believed all my problems had gone. That day I became a new person in life. The church now took care of me, gave me new clothes and a place to stay. God is really using that man (T.B. Joshua). Nobody in Nigeria can do that thing – you don’t know a person before and after praying for you – he puts you in his house, gives you money for clothes and feeding and treats you as one of his own. He is a real man of God.

TB Joshua Prophecy

Prophecy time with TB Joshua

“There are many things people can learn from me. God created everybody for a purpose. Instead of pursuing fast money which makes you go into crime in which you may die or find yourself in prison, you should follow Christ. Those who travel outside Nigeria and don’t know where they are going to or anybody there, there is no way they will not take to crime when they get there. It’s either you take to robbery or drug business or go into 419 – and after everything you will find yourself in bigger trouble.

“I regret a lot, because I wasted so many years in prison. If not the flashy things of this life, I would not go into all of that crime. If I had calmed down and given my life to Christ that time, by now I am supposed to know where I am going in life. But now – if God could give me another chance, I will worship Him, praise Him all my days. I believe God really has something for me in this life. He has a purpose for my living.”

Worshipping God

I will worship God the rest of my life!

Following Chuk’s arrival in the church straight from prison, he remained there for almost two months for a period of rehabilitation and reformation, receiving the message of salvation and learning about the ways of God. He was then given N120, 000, three bags of rice and a Holy Bible to start his life afresh.

Source: Read Us

Awesome! Well, you may not have been on death row in a foreign prison… but if you have a testimony to share concerning this powerful move of God, we want to hear from you! Send us your stories to tbjoshua.testimonies@gmail.com or submit them here and let God’s name be glorified!

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