To the glory of God, shame of the devil, and utter consternation of many “experts” and observers, the seventeenth straight edition of the Holy Ghost Congress held as scheduled at the Redemption Camp, Nigeria between Monday 8th – Saturday 13th December.
An extra-ordinary event with millions in attendance as usual, it was truly a time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord Himself. And gradually it is indeed transforming into a veritable global event, with representations from all continents. The RCCG has presence in over 180 countries, and in several of them, her influence is quite considerable. Several men and women of God in those countries are often curious to come find out more about the Church and her ”oversize” vision; and to identify with and benefit in what the Lord is obviously doing on the planet these end times through the Church.
This year’s Holy Ghost Congress witnessed key Church/political leaders from several countries including Bangladesh, Cote D’Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Great Britain, the Netherlands, United States, and Zambia,
The Nigerian representation also was solid as usual: the “indefatigable” president of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, Bishop Mike Okonkwo of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission, Baba Abiara, the General Evangelist of the Christ Apostolic Church were regulars who came around with words of wisdom and power from on high.
Apart from the main plenary preachings (eighteen in all) and extensive intensive prayer sessions, there were also the special talks and discussions in the afternoons. Topics ranged from the downright spiritual, such as “How to move mountains” or “The light of the world” (handled by the Bishops), to somewhat lighter issues such as personal hygiene, or the nitty-gritty of profit-oriented fish farming (handled by seasoned practicing professionals). With speakers drawn from across the globe, the quality of the teachings in all events could not be anything other than first class.
Even though amazing testimonies have become regular menu at Holy Ghost Congresses, some of the testimonies shared at this year’s edition were simply incredible. Not only in terms of what actually happened, but the audacity and faith demonstrated in their procurement. For instance, while cases of the dead being restored to life (either of babies in the womb or of adults in the hospital) are no longer novel, telling (over the phone) medical personnel who have just pronounced a patient dead that they must be wrong – and they turning out to be wrong, twice, smacks of extraordinary Holy Ghost-powered audacity! And was that refreshing!
With the previous announcements that there would strictly be no room for politicians to come talk politics, coupled with the nearness of the congresses of the two major political parties, presence of political leadership was minimal – most of them being represented by spouses. A little point that might as well end up with tremendous reverberating impact on the coming national elections February next year, was the re-iteration by Pastor Adeboye that all must go get their Permanent Voter’s Cards. Showing his own PVC, Pastor Adeboye charged the audience: Even “if you have to spend the whole day at your Local Government Area headquarter, do that. Tell them you are not going until they give you your card.” The extra-caution with which political parties are now treating the selection of their candidates, especially those who once boasted that Nigerians are unmindful of religious affiliation of candidates, even if they featured all-moslem candidates, might not be unconnected with the seriousness they could see in Christians’ preparation for the voting exercise!
Bishop David Oyedepo was unable to make any appearance at this year’s Congress, as Shillo (in its 16th edition) held simultaneously this year with the Congress. Shillo with its own kind of extra-ordinary spiritual flavor is a grand event on its own right. Dr Tayo Babalobi of Lampstandletters gave a refreshing account of one of the talks at Shillo, which we have re- posted on our blog here. Any country could be proud to host either of these two glorious events. That Nigeria could be hosting BOTH, even simultaneously, is a strong statement that God reigns in Nigeria and the Islam-inspired insurgents and their sponsors are merely hitting their heads of brazen walls. At the Holy Ghost Congress, the only reminder of ongoing insurgency in the country was the setting up of a Relief Fund for displaced Christians in Northern Nigeria under the platform of the Christian Association of Nigeria.
Apart from several thousands of people who responded to the Altar calls to give their lives to the Lord Jesus, fifty-three babies were born at the Redemption Camp during the Congress. As Pastor Adeboye would say, “Let somebody shout Hallelujah!”