A Publication of Jesus House Baltimor September 2012 | Volume 6 Issue 1
Teen 22 Teen Carnival 23 About My Father’s Business 25 This is My Testimony From the Pulpit 26 Patterns 27 Activating the Abundant Life In the Community 28 Food Donation Outreach 29 Back to School Drive 30 Kenya Missions Trip Get to Know 32 Rev. George Adegboye 33 Rev. Sola Kolade 5 Pastor’s Note Re-Cap DTC 2012 Health Fair 2012 Family Picnic 2012 A New Dawn Alpha Leadership Conference 15 RCCGNA Convention 2012 8 10 11 12 14
Ministry Feature 16 The Transportation Department 17 The O.A.S.I.S. Jewel 18 Pastor Korede Odutola Family 20 Ties & Tiaras 21 Cell Groups
4 | Contents
Revolve 34 Revolve Week 2012 Career 35 Decisions, Decisions Money Sense 36 Developing a College Savings Plan 37 My Church Style 38 Our Children’s Emerging Sense of Style Child’s Play 39 DoublePuzzles
15 Years and Counting . . .
Increase matters to God. It’s a sign of fruitfulness, growth, enlargement, and abundance. Increase was God’s first command to us-- it was a command, not an advice or suggestion. The question is have we been obedient to the command? Many are uncomfortable discussing increase, but there’s nothing to be uncomfortable or apologetic about. We are doing the will of our Father when we increase according to His intructions. Even Christ experienced increase because Isaiah said that “of the increase of His government [His ways, His order, His influence, His resource], there shall be no end.” We are to increase not only in material things but also in spiritual matters. That means growth in our personal walk with God and growth in the expansion of His Kingdom on the earth. With God, adding increase to His harvest is not a problem; the issue is having enough harvesters to do the work. Being a harvester is not some people’s job; it’s everyone’s job. It is our calling as those who have tasted and can verify the quality of life in Christ. Increase, of course, comes from God, but we
can attract it through our prayers, for He commanded us to pray that the Lord of the Harvest would send more laborers. Increase also comes with capacity because the more capacity we bring to God, the more He can add to us, just as is exemplified in the parable of the talents. As a Church, we have increased our Sanctuary’s capacity to contain more people, not because we want to count numbers, but because we have an assignment to fulfill. There will always be more work to be done-- as Jesus said, “the harvest is great.” As long
It’s Time to Increase
as many are dying without the knowledge of Christ, as long as many are living below their potential, as long as our community has needs that we can respond to, and as long as we have dreams that are yet to be fulfilled, we have reason to open shop and continue to increase. We emplore you to show your support through your prayers and through your actions as we continue our project “One bring One.” Invite your family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers to a House where God will propel them to their next level in life. You bring them, and let God do the rest. As we celebrate our 15th anniversary, let us walk worthy of our calling the more. It is time to increase!
Pastor Tola Odutola
Pastor’s Note | 5
Editors Tola Adesanya
Racheal Oluwatuyi Temi
6 | Editors
Dcn. Godwin Okojie
Ope Arowojolu Remi Akpan Seun Owojuyigbe Dr. Seyi Sobowale Priscilla Djarbeng
Ini Oyeleke Ambrose & Josephine Edebe Maria Favor E. Okere Sam Egiefameh Tokunbo Akande
Sundays Worship Services at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Mondays Weekly Prayer Meeting at 7:00 p.m. Thursdays Digging Deep (Bible Study) at 7:00 p.m. First Fridays Night Vigil at 9:00 p.m.
Church Administration Office Hours Sundays: 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Monday–Friday: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Contact Information Jesus House Baltimore 7710 Windsor Mill Rd. Baltimore, MD 21244 T | 410-521-4783 F | 410-521-4784 www.jesushousebaltimore.org
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DTC 2012 Jeannette Bayardelle
Rev. George Adegboye
Pastor Tola Odutola
Pastor Kofo Odutola
Pastor Paul Adefarasin
Reflections Dance Ministry
Dr. Cindy Trimm
Apostle Daniel Wilson
Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor
Min. Sammy Okposo
Rose of Sharon Voices
All Things Are Possible (Luke 1:37) 8 | Re-Cap
“Go after your dream and your vision; let no one belittle you”
-Pastor Tola Odutola
“There is so much God has
put into you; you don’t have
time to doubt or consider what other people think ”
“Do not despise the season
-Dr. Cindy Trimm
when things are small ”
-Pastor Paul Adefarasin
“Don’t limit yourself [and] don’t limit God”
-Rev. George Adegboye
“When you have an encounter
“Everybody wants to get a
wants to be one”
with God, you have to cut off -Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor
miracle, but not everybody
-Apostle Daniel Wilson
Re-Cap | 9
Health Fair 2012
First, I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to Jesus House Baltimore for the opportunity given to the Church and the community to experience the health fair every year. I make it a priority to attend each year (it is FREE). This year’s health fair was a huge relief on my wallet and a blessing since I had so many tests required of me from school. I was not able to make it on time but getting there, I had the opportunity to get my physicals, HIV test, and breast examination done. The physicians were really helpful and I remember being taught how to examine myself. I also asked questions to ensure I understood the procedure. I wanted to particularly know how often women should examine themselves for breast cancer and I was told we should do so every couple of days after our menstrual period. I would encourage everyone and anyone to participate in the health fair knowing that it’s free; especially if you don’t have health insurance. You can’t beat it. My expectations are always exceeded each year.
10 | Re-Cap
I attended the JHB Health Fair because it is a free community service that the Church provides for members and non-members. I came to the Fair with the expectation of knowing the state of my health and my expectations were met. The tests performed on me included: vitals, eye exam, bone density, HIV screening, cholesterol screening, sugar level, BMI, and stroke/carotid arteries-which I practically had never seen before even as a retired health professional. I was surprised at the level of my cholesterol and the physician prescribed a solution. I would advise everyone to always make good use of such opportunities because the array of professionals present at the Fair cannot be seen at any doctor’s visit. It’s also a good avenue for evangelism from the Church to the community because I saw many non-members there. This is part of soul winning, the Great Commission.
Mrs. Racheal Oluwatuyi
Family Picnic 2012 Courtesy of the Priesthood
Re-Cap | 11
A New Dawn
Dedicating the New JHB Sanctuary Mubo Ojo Pastor Tola Odutola
Pastor Enoch A. Adeboye
Pastor (Mrs.) Folu Adeboye Pastor James Fadele
12 | Re-Cap
Pastor Kunle Ajayi
Michelle McKinney Hammond
Rose of Sharon Voices Pastor Leke Adeboye
Pastor Deolu Adeboye
Pst. James Fadele Dr. Kenneth Ulmer
Pst. Gregory Dickow Apst. Daniel Wilson
Convention photographs courtesy of DSol Media
A New Dawn
Re-Cap | 13
Alpha Leadership Conference Ope Arowojolu
The Alpha Leadership Conference group is an organization charged with promoting and teaching leadership skills to people of all nations. Through yearly conferences and seminars hosted in various cities around the world, the Alpha Leadership Conference speakers share insights on how to improve processes, develop systems and lead the next generation. The vision of the conference is to continuously raise great and willing leaders who embody excellence and empathy, and have a strong desire to bring change, leading the way to a great future. The inaugural conference of the organization took place on July 12-13, 2012 in Abuja, Nigeria. The Alpha Leadership Conference is the vision of Pastor Tola Odutola.
14 | Re-Cap
RCCGNA Convention 2012 Ebenezer Oni
Pst. E.A. Adeboye The psalmist wrote “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments . . .” (Psalm 133:1-2).
Dr. Samuel Chand
It was a season of refreshing and divine impartion as God’s people were gather together in unity at the 16th annual RCCG North America convention held at the Redemption Camp in Greenville, Texas on June 20-22, 2012. The convention was themed “A New Garment”. There was a large turnout of participants at the convention with expectations of God’s visitation. There was a great move of God’s power and divine impartion at the meeting through God’s servants. Among the ministers at the convention were the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor E.A Adeboye, Pastor (Mrs.) Folu Adeboye, Pastor James Fadele, Apostle Daniel Wilson, Bishop Kenneth Ulmer, Michelle Mckinney Hammond, Dr. Samuel Chand, Pastor James Fadele, and our own Pastor Tola Odutola.
Pst. (Mrs.) Folu Adeboye
Michelle McKinney Hammond
Pastor Kazz Olopade who was one of the attendees at the convention shared his experience with DreamWorks. According to him, it was an awesome time in God’s presence. The auditoriums were packed with worshippers in the different sessions. The worship leaders and minstrels led worshippers in charged atmospheres of God’s presence. One of the messages at the convention was on the different types of garments believers need to put on, including a garment of praise, worship, and character that serves as a beacon of light to the world. Pastor Tola’s ministration at the convention was centered on walking together as God’s children by cultivating a heart of service, giving attention to detail, allowing our fragrance to attract people into God’s kingdom, and making an effort to impact society. Pastor Kazz also shared that there were significant progress made in the infrastructure and facilities at the camp site. There was also commendable professionalism displayed by the organizers in the efficient running of the entire convention. The RCCGNA 2012 convention was a blessing and the expectations are high for what lies ahead as God’s people put on appropriate garments to impact our generation.
Pst. James Fadele
Dr. Kenneth Ulmer
Put on the garment of praise, worship, and character . . .
Pastor Gregory Dickow Apostle Daniel Wilson
Re-Cap | 15
The Ushering Department Dotun Dada
The Ushering Department is a critical department in every Church. The JHB Ushering department is the eyes and ears that provides oversight, crowd control, and hosting to functions at every Church service and program. In the early days of the Church, our ministry also covered the Holy Police, as we used to be responsible for parking cars and keeping order in the parking lot. However, as the Church grew and expanded, we were broken into two separate departments. Our goal as a department is to build up a team of responsible men and women who grow together as part of Godâ€™s family, and who will efficiently and effectively usher in people to the presence of God with humility and excellence by the help of the Holy Spirit. We contribute to the mission and vision of the Church by carrying out the following functions: Assuring that every Church service/program runs smoothly without any hitch; meet, greet, and sit parishioners as they come into the Sanctuary or wherever a program or service is being held; facilitate an orderly service/program; maintain an atmosphere of reverence and order before, during, and after every service; respond quickly to any disruption, disturbance, or emergency during service and assist in the resolution of such events; ensure that the offering and all giving is collected in an orderly and timely fashion and is passed to the Treasury department; ensure that attendance at every service is accurately documented; ensure order during altar calls or ministrations; and carry out these duties in a professional and courteous manner.
Prayer is key in any spiritual work like ours
other states and sometimes other countries after graduation. Each year, we usually lose about 30% of our membership to relocations. It shows we are doing something right in pushing ourselves beyond our limits and breaking all barriers. We donâ€™t celebrate mediocrity in the department, so if you are looking for a department that will bring out the best in you, you need to be an usher! The department is known for developing individuals who have or are currently attaining leadership positions in the Church. They include Pastor Sesan Kuforiji (the first Head Usher at JHB) and Dcn Kayode Atoloye, who both now pastor their own Churches. Over the years, our members have also been assigned to lead other departments either as Ministers or as HODs. The department being able to produce peculiar and professional leaders is a testament that we grasp and practice the leadership teachings of the Senior Pastor.
Knowing fully well that prayer is key in any spiritual work like ours, our team meets for prayer about 30 minutes before any service. We also hold our monthly meetings every last Sunday of each month. These meetings are rotationally hosted by our members in their homes. We break bread, discuss issues and mistakes that happened while ushering during the month, and we implement corrective and preventive actions to deal with such issues. Further, we have quarterly training four times each year. Training is usually a brain-storming session and the collaboration of ideas help us to identify major areas that need improvement. If our department were a cell group, we would be the most active cell group in the Church in terms of caring and looking out for each other. We have a strong comradre and bond. We rally round each other and we stand up to support ourselves in every occasion. It is not unusual to find the Heads of Department, Funmi Akinbode and Lolade Falobi, hanging out at the mall with some of the young ladies in the department or showing up with food at the college dorm of an usher.
We are a fore-front department in the Church, and any mistake on our part can derail the flow and momentum of a service, so we continue to strive for perfection and excellence both in our work and in our daily lives. We are ambassadors and a face of the Church, so we inculcate and practice Church teachings in our daily lives.
We are still working toward perfection, but our weakness can also be termed a strength in terms of professional development and breaking all limitations. The majority of our team members are students who tend to relocate to take up top notch jobs in
We know that we are blessed when we serve as ushers, so our message to the Church is that we all should continue to bring in the people who will fill up the seats even as we expand. We are ready for the influx that will come in!
16 | Ministry Feature
The O. A. S. I. S. Adeola Ogunbiyi
Members are able to celebrate the goodness of the Lord . . . and also reflect on how they have impacted the Church
The Older Adults Still in Service (OASIS) group is the department in the Church that comprises of adults age 50 and older. Through the following programs, we encourage each other and empower ourselves to continue to use our God-given talents and potential to serve in the House: We have fellowship, which is a Bible study event. This is an avenue whereby members gain insight to the Word of God and are also given the opportunity to express their views and understanding of the Word. Also, group members who have various questions and are not able to get answers during Church services have the opportunity to ask these questions. Similarly, we also have town hall meetings, which is an avenue to refresh members, and induct and inform new members about the mission of the group. The group enjoys recreational outings, such as picnics, going on trips, or attending concerts. It creates a relaxing environment for members to be able to get together, and it also unifies the group and gives members more of a sense of belonging. One of our favorite activities is the OASIS month, which is a national annual celebration of the OASIS group through-
out RCCGNA. OASIS month celebration is the annual event whereby the group appreciates each other and the Churchâ€™s mission, counts blessings, celebrates with thanksgiving to the Lord for the anniversary of the group (during which the group gives a rendition of a special number), appreciates members who are outstanding, and holds a town-hall meeting. This is a celebration that is loaded with a variety of activities through which members are able to celebrate the goodness of the Lord in their lives and also reflect on how they have impacted the Church positively, age not withstanding. During this month, we also volunteer in various capacities within the Church. One of the highlights of this yearâ€™s OASIS month is the townhall meeting which ocurred at the new home of two of our members. The townhall meeting thus, was partially a house warming celebration. We had a lot of fun not only discussing Scriptural matters but also discussing life in general. We asked questions and shared our experiences, and our new members definitely felt the love of God and love from the group.
Ministry Feature | 17
Pastor Korede Odutola
New Life Assembly, Columbus, Ohio
Cross Cathedral, which is where I went as a child, all the other children would buy ice cream with their offering; I dare not do that. Today, I find my offering sacred; I don’t mess with it. I prepare for it in advance before Sunday. I bring my offering to Church prepared.
What is your call in ministry? I am a teacher. I like to teach and build people up. I like to pour myself into others and I see that I am able to do that in every life-- male and female. Young or old, I help people mold themselves into what God wants them to be. When did you give your life to Christ? I gave my life to Christ in 1975 when I went to a street crusade that was organized by Pastor Kumuyi. It was June 1975 in Surulere, Nigeria. I was one of the few people who came forward. There were several of my friends who came forward at that time. The only thing [the organizers] did not do was that they did not follow us up, so it was easy for me to fall back into my Catholic religion. I was a Catholic growing up. I went to Catholic schools; elementary, secondary. I lived the life of a Catholic; very disciplined, righteous, holy. We had an attitude. I still went to Church but felt that God had called me into something different. It took me another couple of years to rededicate my life at a house fellowship. I found that being a born again Christian is not being religious. When I went to the house fellowship I kept saying I want to do more for God. I remember the Pastor there said God wants your heart first. It’s not just an act; it’s more of your heart and your relationship with him. Service and all that will follow but God needs your heart. That really changed me. I said yes, this is different from the number of rosaries I could say, the Hail Maries and all that. I could feel the difference. I could tell this was what God was calling me to and not just religiosity on the outside. It changed my life completely, my way of life. From that time I realized Christianity is a way of life, not my title, not my name, not an addendum to my name but my way of life. This was about 1986. That means I had lived almost 10-11 years not enjoying the fullness of being born again. So you already knew about God? Yes, and going to Church was compulsory for us. As a young person, I lived with my grandmother. On Saturday you had to get your clothes ready for Sunday service, your shoes polished, your dress ironed, and your offering was put in a handkerchief and tied on your dress. At Holy
16 | 18 Priesthood | Jewel
Please tell us about your education and career. I went to Queens College, then University of Lagos. I then went to England and became a Certified Accountant because there was an uncle of mine that I was quite close to and he was an accountant with ICAN. When I was studying, I realized I didn’t want to be a doctor-- my mother is a nurse. My father is a celebrated photographer; I didn’t want to do that. I didn’t want to be an engineer. Then I got interested in accounting. I did one or two jobs with people in account offices, just part-time summer jobs and that was it. Did you practice for a while? I worked so many years as a Management Consultant. What I do is; I go into an office and look at their accounting system and restructure it so it is more efficient. Do you Pastor full time? I pastor full time, but I still work as an accountant. I love accounting to a point where I can do accounting in my sleep. I work with people on their books, filing papers. I have an eye for detail that’s one thing that helps me. How did ministry become part of the journey? When we were younger Christians we weren’t allowed to just laze around. I was one of those who was with Pastor Tony Rapu when he started Apapa Parish. There were 12 of us when we founded the place at Roxy Cinema. We just followed the leader. We don’t question. I was the accountant, I was in the prayer squad, I used to clean the place; you did everything. Before you knew it, he was asking, “So what’s the Lord saying? You’re going to share with us today.”
How would you describe your Church? I live in a university town so I have a lot of young people who are in the university. I have the same young people who have graduated and stayed to work. Columbus is a city where we have a lot of medical people. When I first got there, there was a lot of trepidation. People are used to their old Churches. We also have this slang that is everywhere, “We don’t want a Nigerian Church.” There never was “Nigeria” in the name of the Church-- it’s just New Life Assembly and it’s the Redeemed Christian Church of God. But when we started people were excited that they could really pray hard and they had a pastor who could relate to them. So we have a mix of the young and the old. What I find with the young is that I understand them and I am able to flow with them. The older people, some are a little set in their ways but they are also excited about what God is doing in our midst. I like to be innovative. I don’t like old hard school. This is 2012 you have to move with 2012 and God is helping us. What is the vision for the Church? For God to change lives and for us to make a difference where we are. What do you like to do beside ministry? I am a very creative person. I like to do things that are new and at the end it’s not the way everybody has been doing it. In anything; coking, sowing, the way I dress, and the way I teach the Word. I hate to just be in a box. I believe that everything is possible if you give it a try. I lead by example. I would never tell you to do something that I can’t do. What would be your final message? FEAR GOD.
Christianity is a way of life
19 | Jewel
Ties & Tiaras
On June 9, 2012, our boys transformed into valiant young men and our girls into noble princesses, as they walked the red carpet wearing their Ties & Tiaras, and of course, accompanied by their distinguished parents. Ties & Tiaras was envisioned by the Family & Marriage department leader after she observed a similar dance and recognized how special it is for daughters to spend special alone time with their dads. Although it is well known that many girls love their dads and are usually called daddy’s girl, dads don’t always have enough time to spend one-on-one with their princesses. When formal events like weddings do come around, the kids are often simply accompanying their parents, if even invited. The idea sounded intriguing and the team decided to not only extend the event to mothers and sons as well as single parents and their children, but to also request partnership with the Royal Kidz ministry. It was a joint planning effort between the two ministries and as you can see from the pictures, the event turned out spectacular with more guests than expected. “I finally got to spend time with my parents,” said Teni Olasimbo and “Ties and tiaras was fun and I liked it,” said Tito Olasimbo. A cherished time during the event was when the children wrote special messages to their parents while parents did the same, including blessings. Parents prayed on their children, then children (and an adult daughter), publicly shared what they had written (or were inspired to share) about their parents.
20 | Family
Cell Groups Temitayo Adeagbo
It wasn’t just a place to play soccer, but it was a forum
where we became close; trusting and depending on each other The mission of the Cell Group Ministry is to connect people into small groups that meet on a regular basis for a common purpose, and intentionally provide an environment for connecting, empowering, and lifting lives (CELL). We want people to connect both with God and with each other. By doing so, we create a Church where no one stands alone. The components of evangelism, fellowship, discipleship, worship, and ministry are taken directly from the Scriptures below: “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations [evangelism], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit [fellowship], and teaching them to obey everything I have commended you [discipleship]” (Matthew 28:1920). “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind [Worship]” (Matthew 22:37). “Love your neighbor as yourself [Ministry]” (Matthew 22:39). Cell groups are formed based on hobbies or activities members have in common and the ultimate goal is to have every member of JHB in a cell group. The groups consist of men, women, couples, and singles with group sizes usually between 10-20 people. Each group meets regularly at their own chosen location. The groups allow for a supportive environment where
relationships are built and spiritual growth is fostered by engaging in Bible study, discussion of the Word, testimonies, prayer, fellowship, fun outings, and service/volunteer projects. They can also be a gateway for people to join the Church. Friends and neighbors are invited to fellowship with cell groups, and for some, this is a great introduction to Jesus Christ. I didn’t really feel connected to JHB until I joined the soccer cell group. It wasn’t just a place to play soccer, but it was a forum where we became close; trusting and depending on each other. We had a weekly prayer meeting that I looked forward to, and we took turns leading prayer so this helped me grow spiritually. It was nice to have a group where we could count on and be there for each other in times of need. When one of us was in the hospital, we rallied around to visit and encourage her. Through our cell group we were also able to reach out to nonmembers who joined us on the soccer field. I highly recommend that everyone one should be part of a cell group. It’s a place to know and be known, love and be loved, serve and be served, and celebrate and be celebrated. Don’t Stand Alone. Join a cell group near you today. Please stop at the information desk in the lobby for more information.
Family | 21
Jide Durosomo / Debbie Fadoju
Jesus House Baltimore’s Teen Ministry, Sovereign Army, hosted the kick-off event of the summer: The SA Teen Carnival. The event featured a family friendly DJ, dynamic dancing, and delicious carnival food. The large snow ball stand, slip and slide water maze, and an exciting game of water tag kept the teens, children, and even adults in smiles and laughter. Pastor Bumni Banjo offered a warming message of hope, reminding the teens that God is and will always be there, even when others are not. The event rounded off with a movie showing of “Dark Knight,” hosted in our very own WCA.
Teen | 17
About My Father’s Business Tinu Arowojolu
This spring, I had the pleasure of accompanying the youth of Sovereign Army (SA) in two amazing adventures. The first trip was spent in Atlanta, Georgia, assisting the Mad Houser’s organization to build temporary shelters for displaced individuals. The weekend held many opportunities to bond, joke around and sight-see within the 12hour road trip there and back to Baltimore, Maryland. The most rewarding aspect of the trip was completing an entire shelter from scratch at the end of our first day in Atlanta. Talk about grease to our elbows! Meeting the individuals who benefited from the shelters built by other Mad Houser volunteers before us helped to bring the reality of homelessness into perspective. A gentleman invited us to view his closet-sized shelter and shared stories of how he managed to salvage his bed from the garbage. He continued to show us his other prized possessions: a bike used to pedal to and from the local grocery store and a simple storage unit to keep his spare clothing dry. Conversing with him left the puzzling thought of how he managed to live in the woods, in a hut-styled home, against the weather for more than a year. His resilience is what inspired and humbled me from that experience. At the end of the day, leaving the building site was somber with goodbyes but uplifted with much gratitude and blessings from our newly made friend. Acquire the Fire was the second trip I participated in with Sovereign Army. The concert was a day of worship-filled song ministrations, life application skits and sermons preached throughout the program around the theme,” Normal is Not Enough”. Each segment and group set to perform brought the truth of why it’s so important to live according to God’s plan versus self-will and peer influence. Leaving the event, I felt boosted with words of wisdom and practical insight on ways to prevent immoral decisions. The most exciting aspect of the event was the free space outside of the concert hall where different vendors from various states across the nation shared their publications, music, and Christian-inspired paraphernalia. I left that day totting three DJ mixed versions of some of my favorite songs by artists such as Fred Hammond, Richie Righteous, and Kiki Sheard. Those adventures encouraged my current involvement with Sovereign Army as a youth leader. It’s encouraging to participate in areas where I’m allowed opportunities to apply the principles learned, strengthen my faith, and encourage others through a helping hand or with fellowship. I look forward to the many lasting memories to be made with Sovereign Army!
Viola Olayinka, SA Leader
Acquire The Fire (ATF) was an event I had the privilege of attending with a few JHB SA teenagers. The program consisted of praise and worship from different bands, plays, Christian comedians, and preaching from various youth pastors. ATF was a great experience; it felt great to be among other Christians learning and worshipping God. The theme of this year’s event was “Normal’s Not Enough.” The one thing I took away from the experience is that as Christians we need to get closer to God. In this present time, it’s not always easy to do the right thing and follow the will of God, but once we are fully committed to God, the journey starts to get easier. The conference emphasized that youth need to learn the importance of a relation-
and should be treated as such
ship with God and also play a more active role in the Christian community, without holding back or hiding their faith in order to be considered normal. It was an amazing experience and I believe the teenagers learned a lot from this event and were truly blessed.
Temi, Towson University Student
Atlanta was another one of those trips where it really wasn’t about all of the fun we would be having on the trip but about the good we would do for others-- not necessarily our community but those less fortunate than ourselves. We built a shelter, in the woods, behind a train track for a guy named Chris. He wasn’t homeless because of an addiction or anything like that, but because things just weren’t going his way and he couldn’t manage the cost of living. Getting a look of what real poverty looked like, and seeing the way these people were living really altered my view on life, giving me a better appreciation for the things that I already have and a drive to never want to end up like they did. We learned a lot of lessons on the trip, on and off the work site. I honestly feel as though we were able to better understand one another during our “talk” session, getting rid of all tension and giving us a better sense of love and acceptance for those seated around us. I had a lot of fun on this trip with my Sovereign Army family as I do on all of our other trips. It was worth all the ups and downs and the chance to bond with my fellow teenagers and leaders who I really appreciate for all of the time they’ve dedicated, and the patience and care they’ve shown. I’m definitely looking forward to the next trip.
Alex Fasehun, SA Teen
Well, the trip started for me way before we even got near Atlanta. It was very interesting trying to get there with two vans and about 21 people in total. There was a lot of pit stops, potty breaks, and sleeping, but the real meaning of the trip started when we woke up the next morning at 6:00 in the morning, and piled into the vans to go to the Mad Housers organization, an organization that looks for homeless people to help. They go to different locations around Atlanta and actually build little homes for homeless people to live in. In a way they are letting homeless people know that there are people in the world who care and would love to help. As soon as we stepped foot onto the ground, we prayed, got debriefed on what we were to do, and got to work. we were able to see previous homes that were built and meet some of the people who lived in them. We heard their stories, and were able to see life through their eyes. Even though the homeless people live in the woods and have no real homes, they are happy with who they are, and I think every single person could learn from that. We had our shopping trip of course, because no trip is a trip without a shopping spree! We also had time for ourselves, but the best time we had was the time to have a cookout, read the Bible, and have a deep and meaningful discussion. That was time to bond with the teenagers, and for any tensions to be
24 | Teen
erased; that was the time for anyone and everyone in Sovereign Army to come together and become a family. This trip has strengthen my belief that we are all human, and should be treated as such, even the people who have made mistakes in life and ended up living on the streets. We are all children under God’s eyes, so whether you like it or not, we are all family that share the same amount of God’s love. I pray that the people who were not able to benefit from this trip can benefit from my experiences, and can spread the same love that God gives to us as his children. I want to say thank you to every single person who was a part of making this learning experience happen; it’s appreciated very much. God bless.
Ini Oyeleke, SA Teen
Sovereign Army Teen Chirch took a trip to Skycroft Retreat; it was fun and inspirational. I learnt a lot and it also gave me an opportunity to get to meet the other teens. We stayed at a hotel on our way to Skycroft for one day. I learnt new things like Jesus can be incorporated into everything I do and my everyday life. On our retreat, a Cristian musician performed, and that gave me a chance to discover a new talented Christain musician. At the retreat we stayed with other teens from different places. That taught me that other teens are follwers of God and that it is not just us JHB Sovereign Army teens. I made a new friend on the trip and we are close now. The trip was a total success. It was fun and at the same time motivational. I hope we take another trip similar to the Skycroft retreat this year.
Priscilla Djarbeng, SA Teen
This is My Testimony Sam Egiefameh
On November 27, 2011 I encountered a traumatic experience that changed my perception of life and most importantly, my relationship with Jesus Christ. That moment still shocks me even till this very day. It all started when I was in the student center at my college, studying for an upcoming History exam the next day with a couple of my peers. We finished at about 10:30 at night and parted ways. As I was walking back to my dorm, I distinctly remember seeing two young men. One of them was wearing a black face mask while the other didn’t. As I was approaching them I became anxious and was quite frightened because I was in an isolated area with no one around. But then I thought to myself, “Would I really get robbed on campus?” Shortly after I passed the young men, I let out a huge sigh of relief, thinking I was free from danger. However, two seconds later I turned around and saw a gun pointed straight at my face and the two young men staring at me yelling, “Kick it out.” I can’t describe the level of fear that overcame my soul at that moment. My life could have ended right then and there. He could have easily pulled the trigger by mistake and left me in an early grave. Quickly dropping to the floor I yelled “Take whatever you want, please just don’t shoot!” He was moderately mad because all he got out of me was $4 and a bank card which I canceled before he could get anything out of it. For this reason, they departed and left me alone.
His grace and mercy
All I could do was give thanks to Jesus. It is only by His grace and mercy that I am still alive after that night. Everything happened so fast and unexpectedly; my life could have been gone in the snap of a finger but I was left unharmed. Jesus has been faithful! What shall I say unto the Lord? All I have to say is Thank you Lord! That night was a huge eye opener in my life. It brought my relationship to Christ closer because that night I truly felt His love in my life. He protected me from the evil one. I was angry. I wanted to retaliate and didn’t know how, but Jesus said “Vengeance is Mine,” so the enemy will be utterly cast down when His judgment falls upon them. Sometimes we tend to forget how short life is. Life is but a vapor; poof, we’re gone. With the little time we have here on earth we need to spend our time in the will of God and cherish each and every moment of it before we enter into eternity. The Bible says that we know that all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose. Thinking back on everything, instead of complaining to God and asking him why my life was put in danger, I thank Him because it worked out for my good. God is truly wonderful and if we just believe in Christ everything will be made fine. Jesus Viola Olayinka, SA Leader saves.
This is My Testimony | 25
Pastor Tola Odutola
Got Power? Patterns can be self-inflicted
but we must also understand how patterns are developed. Like it or not, patterns have roots, so investigate. Patterns can be generational. They can be set in motion because of the sins of the father (Jeremiah 31: 29). Abraham and Isaac both lied about their wives and both experienced delay in childbirth (Genesis 20:2; 25:21). Fathers ought to be careful about the seeds that they sow. Some of our fathers have made some sacrifices that are still working for or against us today. Some of us have noticed patterns of suffering right from our grandfather, then our father, and we have started experiencing it as well. You must break the pattern because if you don’t, they will break you. Patterns can be self-inflicted (Romans 7: 19-24). There are many believers who have exposed themselves to negative patterns because they have forsaken the law of righteousness for the law of sin. So, there is battle-- they cannot do good even when they want to do good, but when they started with sin, they never realized a pattern had been put in motion. They are lawful captives according to Isaiah 49:24, and until God has mercy on them, it will take a while to break the pattern. Patterns can be inflicted by the enemy. The Bible says while men slept, the enemy came and sowed tares. Sleep here refers to spiritual sleep. Some of us have opened the gates for the enemy to come in because of our spiritual sleep and slumber. Patterns can be the result of curses such as the one pronounced by Joshua concerning the rebuilding of the wall of Jericho (Joshua 6:26). Once a curse is pronounced, it goes to the root. Not everyone has a right to place curse on you but be careful how you deal with your parents, spouse, and spiritual fathers. Words are very powerful and there is power in curses and blessings. Parents, husbands, wives, and men of God ought to be careful what they say when they are angry. In the early Summer of 2012, Pastor Tola taught on “Building According to Pattern” and “Destroying Negative Patterns.” Here are some highlights of these messages. Please visit the Word desk to obtain your package. Text: Exodus 25:1-9 and Mark 9:17-29 A pattern is a form or a model purposed for imitation. It can also be anything that occurs time and time again. Patterns can be very strong and take on a life of their own, so we need to be careful about the pattern we build upon. There are positive patterns and negative patterns. A positive pattern is one that prospers you and elevates you, whereas a negative pattern is one that diminishes you or takes away from you. In the text in Mark, we see a pattern in the manifestation of a deaf and dumb spirit that had tortured a boy since he was a child. If we pay attention, we also can identify positvive and negative patterns in our lives,
26 | From the Pulpit
Prayer and fasting as a believe in Christ Jesus is very potent in breaking patterns. Concerning the boy who was tormented by an evil spirit in Mark’s account, Jesus told His disciples that such a negative pattern cannot be broken except by prayer and fasting. You, too can also try this weapon in breaking any negative pattern you observe in your life. Although there is need for prayer and fasting, there is also need to build our lives according to the right pattern. God has already established a pattern in His Word for how we ought to live. His pattern secures a mulitplication effect when two people come together. His pattern inidcates that marriage is honorable and the bed undefiled. His pattern also celebrates prosperity. Patterns can be introduced by external sources, but you have a major role to play in determining what patterns you allow in your life.
Activating the Abundant Life Pastor Sam Ore Kingdom Ambassadors Christian Center, Largo, Maryland
The abundant life has been given to us (John 10:10). The word “abundant life” is from a Greek word which means “the very essence of God,” which means that you and I can do what God can do. Psalm 82:6 states that “You are gods; you are the sons of the Most High.” If you are a born again Christian and have made Jesus the Lord of your life and your Savior, then you have the abundant life.
the day everybody becomes an expert in everything, everybody will become rich. Every time you take your car to the mechanic’s and you pay for the service, you are just paying for your ignorance. Because if you knew how to fix your car, you would never go to the mechanic. That’s just life. Every person’s legal issue is a good lawyer’s delight. Because if you knew how to fix your legal issue, you would never need a lawyer. So when you pay your lawyer, you’re just paying for your ignorance. Anytime you are signing a check for something, just say “Oh, I’m paying for my ignorance.” It’s as simple as that.
Many of us have certain things that God has given to us but because of ignorance or lack of understanding, we don’t know what to do with what we have. My assignment in the body of Christ is to stir and empower people through the grace of God, through the Word of faith, and through teaching to move them to where they are supposed to be. The abundant life is not going to be given to a Christian; the abundant life has been given. Ignorance of who we are in Christ Jesus has the capacity to limit us and to put us in the background. Understanding is therefore very imperative in the journey to rediscovering or experiencing your life’s purpose. “The man that wanders out of the way of understanding shall remain in the ... congregation of the dead,” not referring to the cessation of life but ineffectiveness (Proverbs 21:16). It does not matter who you are-- if you do not have understanding of where you’re supposed to be, what your life’s purpose is, or what your gifting or passions are, then you are going to wander in life. The abundant life is yours for the taking if you are a Christian. If you are not a Christian or born again, you can have the abundant life by confessing your sins to Jesus and coming to Him; very simple. One of the expressions of the abundant life is financial breakthrough. The abundant life includes family well-being, academic success and everything else. But in this material world, wealth is one of the basic physical, tangible expressions of the abundant life. Half of the problems people have are solved when you have money. In fact, it has been found out now by medical science that majority of the diseases that people have today are caused by stress. There is nothing that causes more stress than lack of money. Because of lack of balance in the Body of Christ a lot of people have been exposed to only one aspect of the prosperity message, so they’re bitter and they just shut down when you discuss prosperity. But the truth of the matter is that there is nothing wrong
with you being wealthy. God Himself says in Deuteronomy 8:18, “I am the Lord that has given thee power to get wealth so that you can establish my covenant that I have with your fathers.” So if God is the one who gives us power or the anointing/resources to get wealth and wealth or money is evil, is God supporting evil? We know that evil cannot dwell with God. Ecclesiastes 10:5 states, “I have seen an evil under the sun, princes are walking on the ground and slaves on horseback.” In other words there is a reversal-- those who are supposed to be walking are driving nice cars and the covenant people who are the kings and the priests of the earth and the heads are walking barefooted. The Bible calls it evil. So it is poverty that is actually evil, not wealth because wealth is an expression of the abundant life. As good as the abundant life is, with the expression of financial abundance, unfortunately, a lot of Christians do not understand the philosophy of how to attract it. Money or financial breakthrough will not just come to you because you are a Christian or because you can pray or because you can fast. All of those things are good, and I do them always by God’s grace. But I also believe that people get wealthly by two reasons: (1) Everybody pays for their ignorance one way or the other (2) Everybody is supposed to be rewarded for their expertise. The day every problem is solved in this world, everybody will become poor. And
The honest truth is that you have a particular gift that you can develop and that is what is going to make you wealthy-- not just prayer. Prayer will bring grace upon it. People were not going to Solomon because he was a Christian; not because he could pray, not because he could fast, but because he could solve their problem. The man was a global consultant for kings. The Queen of Sheba came to Solomon as recorded in 1 Kings 10 and all her questions were answered, and that was when she emptied everything she brought to the man. He was becoming richer because he was solving people’s problems. It doesn’t have to be something very glamorous, it can be something as simple as starting a restaurant in Baltimore City. People will refer you if your food is good. Now unfortunately, there are so many people today who do not understand this simple thing and so our prayer meetings are filled with all kinds of prayer points and God is saying, “I’ve given you everything you need.” If everybody is going to get wealthy because they can pray, African Churches should be filled with millionaires and billionaires because they can really pray. How many prayer points did Steve Jobs pray when he was alive? What about Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, Jeff Bezos? I don’t even think they go to Church. There is a universal law that works for anybody, regardless of who you are. But we have an advantage because we now have the covenant connection with God. There is something in you that when you pray and you allow God’s grace to come upon it . . . we have not seen anything yet. There will be Christians in these last days who will download from Heaven the grace of God and will solve problems on earth. The Church of Jesus will experience a wealth transfer that is prophetic and that the world has never known before.
From the Pulpit | 27
Food Donation Outreach
Many times, when there is a call to give to those who are less priviledged than us, our emotions can be any or a combination of the following: anger for having to dig into our wallet yet again; annoyance that we’re having to donate to someone who didn’t know how to manage their resources in the first place; or pity-- we don’t know anyone like that but we can at least give some change and do our part. Some don’t realize how thin the line really is between living comfortably and being stripped of our comforts. You’d be surprised how many people are just one paycheck short of homelessness. We are all just God’s grace and mercy short of a circumstance that can really rock our world. Being in need knows no race, no gender, and no class. This is made somewhat apparent during the recent outreach activities JHB members have experienced, both in Baltimore city and beyond. Our Church is committed to making a positive impact in our society and that at times means meeting our society where they are. They are on the streets of Baltimore and in the villages of Kenya; they are all around the globe. As we review these outreach events, let us remember that we are no better than these ones, and let us resolve to help one way or the other. Those we are helping are not necessarily strangers; they are our neighbors and we share our world together.
28 | In the Community
Back to School Drive A School Supplies Outreach
In the Community | 29
Kenya Missions Trip Dcn. Godwin Okojie
The JHB Hope Foundation mission team visiting with the RCCG, Mombasa, host pastor and his family before heading out to the mission field in Kaloleni.
The children of Kaloleni, Mombasa, welcoming the missionaries with a presentation
Children in a classroom in the Orphanage School, Kiwegu Lunga Lunga, Mombasa. The Hope Foundation donated 100 desks and chairs
Orphanage School dorm currently under works and in need of support
Sis.Viola reading and explaining a story book to the children
Our missionaries on the field engaging the local children
30 | In the Community
Bro. Kuria Gitangia on the mission field obtaining water from an almost dried up well in Kaloleni, Mombasa
One of the old wells in the village of Kaloleni but it has dried up.
One of the only medical clinics available, yet itâ€™s still more than 65 kilometers away from the villages that need the medical care.
Posted sign for one of the 3-day medical camps in Mombasa. Approximately a total of 1120 people consulted with the physicians receivedd free medical care
The physicians and Sis. Viola getting ready for day 2 of the medical mission in Kiwegu, Kenya
Make a difference today. Empower the people of Turkana for success. Sow a seed of $25 a month to start a water irrigation to plant crops
Turkana man in search of water to purchase. You can help!
After a farewell dinner at the home of Pastor Peter Amenkhienan, Special Assistant to Pastor Adeboye
In the Community | 31
Rev. George Adegboye Rhema Chapel International Churches, Kwara, Nigeria
Rev. George Adegboye is the President of the Ever Increasing Word Ministries, also known as Rhema Chapel International Churches, with many branches worldwide. He is also the President of the Word of Victory Bible Training Institute and the Young Ministers Teaching School. He teaches God’s word with a simplistic practical prophetic insight. Here is an excerpt from the interview DreamWorks had with him during the last DTC Conference. DW: Can you give us some background about you? RGA: I was born in Offa, Kwara State, Nigeria to the family of late Pa Samuel Oyekola and Comfort Adegboye. I grew up in Offa for a while. My father was the Chief Inspector of Education for Northern Nigeria. So I traveled around with my family due to my father’s job. My mother went home to be with the Lord in 1965 and my father in 1973. I finished my West African School Certificate in 1973 and did my Higher School Certificate. Thereafter, I proceeded to the University of Ibadan for my first degree, 1975-1978. My salvation experience was on September 28, 1980 when I gave my life to Christ. I was filled with the Holy Spirit on September 29, 1980 and got called into the ministry on December 19, 1991 with an audible command: “I have called thee, chosen, ordained, and anointed thee to take My word to the nations.” DW: What made you give your live to Christ? RGA: It was a peculiar and special incidence. Before then, I was in the occult and also suffered from addiction. I hated religion and made it difficult for anyone to tell me about Christ. I was a member of the Marxist Socialist Movement. I came to the realization that I needed something I never had. I graduated from the University of Ibadan at age 20, had 3 jobs waiting for me to choose from on graduation. One day after getting drunk, I ended up in a soccer field rather than home. It then dawned on me that my life cannot continue like this. I then asked God to make sense of this life. DW: What was your major challenge after the event? RGA: It has been an excellent experience since the event. After the salvation experience, there has been nothing to go back to. Having done it all before my salvation experience, there was nothing else to turn away from God to pursue. Comparing my life before and after Christ, the difference is clear. My former
32 | Get to Know
life offers me no attraction. DW: What is your passion? RGA: My passion is to take the word of God to the nations, emphasizing its integrity. I love the Lord and I discovered the purpose for which God created me after my salvation experience. I am passionate about eradicating ignorance in the body of Christ and inspiring people, challenging them, and bringing the Bible to the place it ought to be in their lives. God’s Word does not want us to be ignorant. I want to see people come to the glorious knowledge of the God they serve. It’s one thing to serve God and another to know the God you are serving. For you to know God there is no better way than through His Word. Simply put, educating people to be able to answer to their purpose in life so they can profit the Body of Christ and the world. DW: What is your message to the world? RGA: I want people to desire to be like Jesus in their conversations, looks, actions, devotion, commitment and consecration. People should desire to be like Jesus and not any man of God. A disciple cannot be greater than his master. He that shall be perfect shall be like his master. DW: What’s your advice to believers on achieving God’s purpose? RGA: Give your life to God in your youth. Start preparing for your destiny early. Professional athletes are starting young; same should apply to the issues of the Kingdom. Attend a Bible-based Church to receive the right training to achieve destiny. Don’t waste your youth; invest your resources in the things that will impact.
Rev. Sola Kolade Vine Branch Ministries, Ibadan, Nigeria
Word can shape our thinking if we allow it and apply the Word daily. DW: Your Church, Vine Branch Ministries…? RSK: God’s Church! DSW: What makes Vine Branch Ministries Unique? RSK: The vision is to lead God’s people into new realms of His glory. Jesus said at Lazarus’ tomb, if you believe God’s Word, you will see His glory. The ministry is helping people apply God’s word to their lives. DW: How is the Church impacting the city of Ibadan? RSK: God is helping us make impact.
Rev. Sola Kolade is the Senior Pastor of Vine Branch Ministries whose headquarters is located in the city of Ibadan, Nigeria. The mission of his ministry is to take believers to new realms of God’s glory by providing an environment where they can know more of God and enjoy serving Him. He is a diligent teacher of God’s Word, providing insight into Godly principles for everyday living. He is a dentist by training, but has become a vessel for the Masters’ use. Below is an excerpt from DW’s time with Rev. Sola during his last visit to Jesus House Baltimore. DW: Can you tell us a bit about your background and did you know you were headed for ministry as a young person? RSK: I was raised in a monogamous family of five children. We attended the Baptist Church. My mother is still very active as a deaconess there. I was taught God’s Word from a very early age. I asked my mother her opinion if I ever decided to be a pastor when I was in form 2 [second year of high school]. She said that was fine if God was leading me in that direction although my parents had always wanted me to become a doctor. While in college to train as a dental surgeon, I met my wife. She was a medical student in college too. Although I feared God, I was a bit rascally. My relationship with God grew and on graduation I became filled with the Holy Spirit. The conviction for the ministry was then placed in my heart. DW: How did you transform from being rascally to ministry? RSK: Being in school among peers fuelled the rascality. When I met my wife, I had to become serious with God to get her attention. DW: What is your passion? RSK: My passion is to see people live in the line of God’s Word. If we walk in the light of God’s Word, believers can live a balanced life (emotionally, spiritually, etc). DW: How do you allow the Word of God to lead you? RSk: God’s Word runs the universe. The Bible is relevant in every work of life (banking, etc). I don’t read the Bible to preach but to receive the light of God to practice. The Word of God says do not conform to this world but be transformed according to the renewal of your mind (Romans 12:1-2). God’s
DW: Can you tell us about the partnership your ministry has with Jesus House Baltimore for well projects? RSK: The project is overseen by the missions department of our Church. The wells have been a blessing to so many rural communities. DW: What keeps you coming back to JHB? RSK: I have always been invited by the Church leadership. I also value the relationship with Pastor Tola Odutola. He is a real and genuine person and has always been a blessing. DW: What is your all time never giving to change message? RSK: God’s Word works!
runs the universe
Get to Know | 33
Revolve Week 2012 Vision Speaks
Pastor Folarin (Flo) Falayi
Revolve Executive Board
34 | Revolve
Decisions, Decisions Considerations in Choosing a Career and with the right attitude.
The decision about one’s career is probably one of the most important choices we make throughout our existence. The career we choose often determines how much we earn and where we spend much of our time. Some people tell you not to choose a career based on how lucrative it is but based on your passion for that particular field. Others beg to differ because let’s be honest, money matters. Perhaps you can have it both ways and pursue your passion in a field that has a high salary braket. Whatever you think, do not underestimate the importance of this decision, keep in mind that it’s never too late to change course if you have to, and talk to other people. We hope our contributors’ accounts will inspire you to make the choice that works best for you. I originally had no clue what Architecture was about, but my elder brother had a lot of Architect friends who are pretty successful and he saw a talent in me that I myself did not notice-- that is my ability to visualize and put things together. So he mandated me to study Architecture. I had no choices since I was depending on him to pay my school fees. The rest is history, and I thank God that I have no regrets today. As soon as I got admitted to the School of Architecture, I developed a very strong passion for the field and I put hard working in motion. One of the most challenging and enjoyable aspects of Architecture is the ability to visualize and imagine a space not yet built. Every building is different but you get a tremendous sense of delight after your concepts on paper transform into real buildings. You’ll know the joy of creation in this field of Architecture. Architecture entails the study of various fields of human endeavor including Art, History, Material Science, Physics, Engineering… anything and everything that can help improve the living environment of human beings. It is the most diverse subject you can find. And yet, this field attracts the most creative and romantic minds in the world. It is true that college will not teach you everything you need to know about the profession. In my experience, I found that school was an environment that developed my creative talents while real-life practice has taught me much about business and the technical aspects of the field. This is a service-based profession, and you will find that you will not always be the master designer on the next big breakthrough project in Architectural record. But the most rewarding aspect of the job for me has been the relationships that I have built with the other entities that help bring a building together: clients, Engineers, and Contractors. It’s also nice to have a tangible product of your hard work. As far as money goes, Architects can do very well in the right environment...
It is never smart to set your sights on any career path that you are not completely passionate about. The best Architects in the world today as well as from the past are all individuals who are extremely passionate and driven when it comes to bringing their designs to life. Architecture may sound like a 9-to-5 office job; I wish!!!! Most of us work all day: you’re still thinking and sketching at 4 am, and then 8 am, it’s time to work again! Even after 5 pm, you take the work home! Hard work is key, because becoming a success never happens overnight. Seun Owojuyigbe, Architect I chose this profession because I am inspired by and have a passion for children. I knew I wanted to make a difference in the young lives and had lots of aspirations and expectations about the field. Growing up I always played the role of a teacher. I desired to nurture and shape children’s mind and build on their curiosity in learning. I anticipated it being a rewarding experience, so I chose Early Childhood Education as a major in college and studied Child Psychology as my minor. I also did post graduate studies in Administration and Supervision in Education. I attended trainings, seminars, and fulfilled current licensure requirements in an effort to keep abreast of the latest research and studies. I enjoy every aspect that comes with being an Educator. It entails many components and this has given me the opportunity to teach on the college level, conduct trainings, and supervise and mentor teachers. One of the things that I didn’t enjoy though is the limited resources I had to ensure that children with special needs have a more inclusive environment. However, I would advice that anyone who wants to enter this profession should have passion working with children, be a lifelong learner, and have integrity. Remi Akpan, Educator I chose my profession when I lost my first pet at 8 years old. I knew anything in the medical field would be difficult to study, but I didn’t know that Veterinary Medicine was harder. I prepared very hard for admission into a veterinry college, but even with all the preparation, school was not what I expected. We had to study different species of animals and barely had any vacation for 6 years. I love my job though. What keeps me going is my passion for the profession; I just like taking care of pets. I especially love when a pet recovers and I see the joy in the owners face or when the pet also looks up at me and barks to say thank you in their own way. I also get an internal peace when I do surgeries and can open up and stitch up a pet, and the animal is able to get back on its legs again. On the other hand, being a veterinarian is a time consuming profession and it requires a lot of commitment and dedication. The hardest part is putting pets down. I would advice anyone who wants to become a Vet to be ready to work very hard and pray for God’s grace because lot of people drop out midway.
Dr. Seyi Sobowale, Veterinarian Career | 35
Developing a College Savings Plan Mercy Fadoju
Knowledge is power but also remember that knowledge is dollars. What you don’t know will cost you twice as much as what you actually know. It is our desire that our children will be greater than us educationally, financially, and materially; paying for college is the single biggest higher education cost in achieving this. We have all heard the incredible projections about future college costs but I’m sure you would agree with me that even the current costs are disheartening. The average cost of a 4-year college ranges from $30,000-$80,000. So, how do we pay for this without going broke? I recommend a book for both parents and students-- it only costs a penny from Amazon.com and it will give you more tips on how to prepare for college: “Paying For College without Going Broke” by Princeton Review, Kalman Chany, and Geoff Martz. We can invest in the future of our children now instead of subjecting them to heavy student loans in the future. I participated in the Maryland Prepaid College Trust, which allows you to pay for tomorrow’s tuition at today’s prices. This means you can lock in future college tuition prices. This account can be used for colleges nationwide and includes eligibility for generous federal and Maryland State tax benefits up to $2,500 per year. The program is backed by a Maryland Legislature Guarantee. In 2002, I bought a 4-year college tuition for $22,000 and paid for it over 5 years. The total 4-year cost paid is still lower than the cost of one year’s tuition at today’s rate. They also have 529 plans which is the investment section of the program, but it is variable, unlike the Trust account that is fixed. For further information you can visit their website: www.collegesavingsmd.org. It is never too late or too early to plan for college. Start saving for your child’s future today! Some parents choose private elementary and high schools because they expect better education for their children, but this sometimes means subjecting the children to college loans in the future. There are some public school programs that will adequately prepare our children. For example in Baltimore County, we have: the Gifted and Talented program and various magnets school in different majors based on students’ areas of interest; Advanced Placement (AP) courses from 10th–12th grade (scores of 3-5 on AP exams may build up to 30 transferrable college credits, saving parents the fee for 1-1 ½ years of a 4-year college); parallel enrollment in 12th grade which I generally refer to as 50/50/50 (the student attends 12th grade 50% of the day, community college 50% of the day, and pays 50% of the college tuition. The credits are transferable to 4-year college); Summer classes at a community college at half the tuition fee (this might provide up to 15 transferable credits to a 4-year college). It is possible to lower the cost of higher education by attending your local community college. It is the least expensive way, offering low tuition, nearby location, and a jumpstart to your college experience in a cool, relaxing environment.
lock in future
college tuition prices
36 | Money Sense
You can also save for college by applying for financial aid if you are eligible. Financial aid is money that can help you pay for college in the form of scholarships, grants, or loans. Assume you are eligible for financial aid; never rule yourself out and do not be narrow-minded about getting the help that you are eligible for in America. Don’t wait to be accepted to a college before applying for financial aid. More than $207 billion in aid is available through federal and state governments, colleges, universities, and private organizations; but most of that goes unclaimed. To qualify for aid, apply January 1st – March 31st of any year by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.gov or download the hardcopy. Some schools may also want you to complete CSS forms but the most important form is the FAFSA. You can also import your family’s tax transcript from www.irs.gov, so prepare your family’s taxes on time or you may use estimated income tax based on the previous year’s income and apply for corrections on your FAFSA after filing your tax. Lastly, it may be a better opportunity to scrounge money from your financial credit such as equity line of credit, rather than getting loans to support the next generation’s leaders. Resources: www.collegeboard.gov | www.collegesavingsmd.org | www.fafsa.gov www.mhec.state.md.us/financial | www.scholarships/fatomei.com/college.html
What New Families Think
songs I knew and songs I did not, making it even more intriguing.
I am Viola Olayinka and I first attended JHB last Fall when my cousin and his wife, Lano and Jumoke Omotade, invited us to worship. My family just moved to the area and the sermon was preached by Pastor Tola Odutola. I believe it was the weekend after Steve Jobs’ passing. He taught on the importance of dream, inheritance, and legacy. To reiterate his message, Pastor Tola showed a commencement speech that Steve Jobs had given sometime before he passed. I knew in that instance that JHB was for me. I was grateful to be in a place where the ministration of the Rose of Sharon Voices led me into the presence of God. Growing up, I have always served in the choir and greatly admired contemporary Christian artists live. That first Sunday, the praise and worship felt so organic. I related it to my favorite group, Hillsong United. Yet, the Rose of Sharon Voices sang
As a teen I remember once hearing a minister mention that once someone has experienced different Churches with unique worship styles and culture, you will instantly know when you’re in the right place that God has ordered your steps to be. I didn’t understand it at the time, but I surely understand his statement now. I admired the amount of young adults serving as workers in various departments. I appreciated how family-based JHB is. I love how there’s something for everyone, regardless of age group and interest; it’s just up to you to make yourself relevant like my mom always says. Since completing the new member class in December of 2011, I have been a member of JHB for 8 months. Yet, it feels like I have been here so much longer. I commit my service to the Word department and the awesome Sovereign Army (ONE HOUSE!). So far, my most unforgettable moments at JHB have been with Sovereign Army on mission trips to aid homeless individuals in Atlanta, GA, and attending the live worship experience of Acquire the Fire youth concert. I can’t forget to mention participating in the flash mob during this year’s family picnic day-- much fun! We are Ambrose and Josephine Edebe and we first came to JHB during the 2008 Dunamis Teaching Conference. Our experience at JHB has been one of joy and unalloyed satisfaction. We were impressed with the welcoming atmosphere and the courtesy, skill, and helpfulness expressed by everyone with whom we’ve had contact. The mode of service and the sermons have been very spiritual and inspirational. We had no choice but to keep coming back Sunday after Sunday to be fed spiritually with the Word of God which has positively impacted our lives. We are also very impressed with the mandate of JHB. One of the best decisions we made was to enroll in the New Members course which we completed in December 2011. Thus, our JHB full membership journey began. Since we joined JHB, we have been blessed exceedingly and abundantly both spiritually and materially. Our children have greatly been blessed in all their academic and professional pursuits and we have enjoyed good health and peace. Recently, I completed my Ph.D. program and my wife was elevated professionally. Believing that God has a new and robust role for us to play in His world, I serve in the Prayer Department and my wife is a volunteer in the Children’s Department. We can truly say that we are better Christians and infinitely more knowledgeable in the Word of God attributable to the wonderful and inspiring teachings of our Senior Pastors and the JHB leadership team. delivered undiluted by the set man of this ministry, Pastor Tola, from the heart of God without fear or favor. JHB is a Spirit-filled and highly organized Church. It is a Church with committed ministers and members. The worship time is always awesome and it is a praying Church-- that was a powerful attraction to me.
I am Maria Favor E. Okere. Before I relocated to Baltimore, I used to visit my relations from time to time in Maryland, so I attended JHB sunday services and I liked it. When I finally moved to Baltimore in November 2011 from Texas, I made JHB my place of worship. I have been tremendiously blessed by the messages
In March 2012, I decided to join this ministry as a full member. I attended the membership class and the workers’ training in March and April 2012, respectively. I was subsequently deployed to the Prayer Department and I intend to join a cell group in the future. There has never been a dull moment at JHB with grounded and Spirit-filled programs, but DTC was a life-changing one for me with the impartation of great men and women of God. I was also blessed by the visit of Pastor E.A. Adeboye for the dedication of our new Church auditorium. JHB is said to be a place where “dreams come true;” I agree! Pastor Tola dreams big and accomplishes big for the Lord because of the grace of God upon his life. I have dreams, and so does everyone who comes to JHB. As we all bring our talents to serve God in His vineyard, in the capacity He has called us, we shall all see our dreams come true in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
37 | My Church
Our Children’s Emerging Sense of Style Folashade Olasimbo
Fashion is a way to express yourself and your personality. Each and every individual has a unique and different sense of style but no matter our personal sense of style, we should try as much as possible to dress in a manner that glorifies God; our bodies are the temple of the Most High. We should always live by example in all we do because our children are watching, and they can quickly pick up on many of the things we do-- including how we dress. Charity, they say, begins at home. I believe our appearance always says a whole lot about us. Having said all that, we should know that our children will begin to develop personal style in their early childhood. As soon as children start showing other signs of individuality, they will demonstrate preferences for particular colors, patterns, and styles. As of this time you have to be very firm in deciding for them on what to wear and what not to wear. If you do not want your children to wear any particular style of clothing, do not buy it for them at all. Clothes that are revealing are not appropriate for children to wear. Many of them will want to wear inappropriate styles because of peer pressure out there, but my personal opinion is that once you are very firm by not buying styles like that for them, they cannot in any way want to wear what they do not have. I often ensure that I explain to my children why they cannot afford to dress in a particular way. They are old enough to understand the saying that how you dress determines how you will be addressed or approached. I believe children can pick their own clothes when they are teenagers, and that is the age when they think they know everything. I struggle a whole lot right now with my children because they want to pick their own clothes and dress any which way they think is right. We actually discussed this, but I’m still so lucky because so many times they allow me to pick and my selections are final. Similarly, make up and nail polish for girls can wait until they are older. There can be exceptions perhaps when they are invited to parties and wearing make up and using nail polish is part of an activity. Otherwise, it’s a waste of their time because they do not need anything of such right now. Relaxing their hair is also a nono with my girls for now. They actually have a long way to go and I believe there are some things you dont want to start with them at this young age. It is time consuming, money wasting, and it will actually damage that hair before they get to that ripe age when they can start maintaining it themselves. Natural hair is very cheap and easy to maintain, and at the same time you can add some extensions to natural hair to make them look even more pretty. Working with boys on their sense of style is much simpler. They only need a clean cut, clean shorts or long pants, and a beautiful belt to keep the pants up and smart. Because children are very different as individuals and in personality, they always have different ideas about their own style and taste. Study each and everyone of them; know what they like to wear for casuals and also for formal outings. Then we can guide them and make sure their dressing will speak well about the home they come from. If the foundation is not faulty, then by the time they are ready to do it themselves, they will surely do it right. In everything we do concerning our children, we should also pray for them to be obedient both at home and out there and I know our prayer over them will not be in vain.
38 | Style
They are old enough to
understand that how you dress
determines how you will be addressed
DoublePuzzles Unscramble the letters into the boxes at the right of each set of letters. Copy the letters in the numbered boxes to the other boxes with the same number in the phrase below: Doublepuzzle 1 solution ADAM, GOSPEL, TIRE, GRAVE, HIGH | GIVE GOD THE PRAISE (John 9:24) KJV Doublepuzzle 2 solution DECAY, GROUND, JEWEL, LAWS, NEVER, PICK, REALM | WISE MEN LAY UP KNOWLEDGE (PROV.10:14) Doublepuzzle 3 solution SHOUT, TEMPT, WHIP, FORCE, DIVINE, ALONG, SIGH, LIFE | WISDOM IS THE PRINCIPAL THING (PROV. 4:7) Retrieved from: www.biblewordgames.com
Years and Counting . . .