By Gilbert Ekezie

For more than a decade, the beginning of every year has witnessed a mega crusade in Mgbidi, Imo State. It is a revival organised annually by The Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Revival Ministries at Mgbidi, in Oru West Local Government Area of Imo State.

This year, the programme attracted people from 65 countries, including Hong Kong, Philippines, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, USA, Jamaica, Italy, Barbados, Russia, Taiwan, South Korea, Britain, Malaysia, Dubai, Zambia, Angola, Ethiopia, Guinea, Senegal, Liberia, Egypt,Togo, Ghana and Malawi.

A number of political party candidates were also at this year’s event. They included vice presidential candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Peter Obi, PDP governorship candidate in Imo State, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, Action Alliance governorship candidate in Imo, Ugwumba Uche Nwosu, and the Social Democratic Party governorship candidate in Imo, Chief Okey Eze. The gathering was also used to address Nigeria’s thorny national security and development issues.

Several testimonies were rendered by the participants, even as the programme recorded healing and miracles.

Among those who testified were Mr. Peter, a 40-year-old deaf and dumb man, Sis Ebele, who was also deaf and dumb, Bro. Samson, who suffered paralysis for 14 years, and Mr. John Odum whose seven-year kidney condition was healed. 

General overseer of the church, Pastor Lazarus Muoka, explained that this year’s programme was designed to produce a spiritual backbone that would help participants and the entire nation overcome the challenges of 2019.

“Amid the despondency that has pervaded the minds of Nigerians, the theme of the event indicates that the basis of hope of Nigerians does not lie in their ability, but in what God has predetermined. God has the rightful authority, the freedom, the wisdom, and the power to bring about everything that He intends to happen. This year’s programme will help the participants to understand that in the sovereignty of God is the only hope for life, success, safety and answers to prayers, for there is no better hope,” he said.

“We should understand that, this time, our lives are so troubled. People are losing their jobs, stocks are crashing, natural disasters and uncertainties are everywhere. The threat of insurgency and religious militancy are no longer jokes. In today’s economy, there is little to hope for the future. But God is not caught off-guard, because whatever He determines shall be done,” he added.

Muoka also informed the audience that, without righteousness, there would be no development: “There is no nation that is blessed above Nigeria. But today, small nations where there is nothing are enjoying everything. So, let the nation return to righteousness. If anyone is building outside righteousness, he is building on sinking sand. Righteousness is the key, and it will end corruption, killings and insecurity. So, as long as Nigerians dwell in sin of various kinds, ruling in unrighteousness, they will continue to suffer.”

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Former governor of Anambra State, Obi, called on Christians to pray for those in authority so that God would touch their hearts to make judicious use of public funds to better the life of poor Nigerians.

He said he was at the crusade ground to be part of the Chosen family as well as receive prayers.

“Let me start by thanking our dear father in faith and general overseer of the Lord’s Chosen, my own pastor, for the wonderful work he is doing in helping to build a better society. We ask the Almighty God to guide and continue to bless the Chosen family. Last year, I was here. So, I didn’t come here for any other reason than to be part of this prayer and this family. As I leave, all I ask from you is to pray for our country Nigeria. Above all, I request that you remember those of us who are leaders in this country, so that God will touch our hearts to use public money for public good.”

Also, Ihedioha expressed happiness to be part of the crusade. He prayed that God would bless Imo State and give the people of Nigeria more opportunities.

“As a good Christian, I came to pray that 2019 would be a year of salvation, forgiveness of sin, liberation and rebuilding of our state,” he said.

He said he was not at the crusade because of his political ambition or what he has been hearing about The Lord’s Chosen, as per the miracles being witnessed there, but to be in the presence of God and worship: “This is my third time here. I was not running for an election the first time I attended. I was not running for an election the second time I came. So, it is not because I am running for an election. I am here because this is a place to be. I am a chosen one, and if you are a chosen one, you ought to be in the presence of God. So, I am here to worship God.”

Nwosu, on his part, described Muoka as a man that deserves respect. He said a member of the church had served as a Commissioner in Imo State three times under the present APC administration.

“Even right now, we have a chosen member as a commissioner for labour and productivity. We believe in him and he has made us proud,” he said.

He noted that it was a thing of gratitude that multitudes from all parts of the world attended the programme, even as he thanked God for being part of the ministry.