A A Publication of Jesus House Baltimore May 2012 | Volume 5 Issue 6
Out of South Africa
The JHB Sanctuary Expands
Thousands of Dollars Raised for Wells
Revolve 26 5
Pastor’s Note Re-Cap
8 10 12 14
December 2011 Praise Night 2010 Watch Night The Expansion Project 2012 RCCGNA Leadership Conference
From the Pulpit 28 29
Preserving the Family
Trusting God God, My Provider
The Holy Police
One Woman’s Work
Top 5 Health Screening Tests for Men Teen
4 | Contents
Grow Your Capacity Entertainment
Martha Munizzi Style
Bishop Mike Okonkwo Apostle Ladi Kuyinu Leadership
What New Members Think Get to Know
Ministry Feature 19
The Secret to a Lasting Marriage My Church
This is My Testimony 17 18
Reposition Yourself Never Let Go Love
A Woman’s Complete Closet In Review
Financial Peace for Teens
Media for the Body, Soul, and Spirit
In the Community
Walk for Wells 2011
Bible Quotefall Puzzles
All Things Are Possible
DTC is here again! If you recall the 9th anniversary of DTC in 2010, we had the theme “No More Limits,” and last year we had the theme “Exceedingly Abundantly.” This year, we are decalring that “All Things Are Possible” based on the discovery in Luke 1:37 that “with God, nothing shall be impossible.”
You cannot believe in God beyond what you know about him. For example, I know some people wonder if it’s possible for God to change one’s genotype. I, however, can’t doubt God’s ability in this matter because He’s done it for me. I used to be AS in genotype until God changed my genotype to AA. As we learned last year, God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly much more than we can ever ask or think, according to the power that works in us. One of the keys to seeing such breakthroughs is our ability to believe He can.
These themes all require us to stretch our minds and stretch our faith. But even more, they challenge us to remove the limits we’ve placed on God in our lives.
So how do we increase in the revelation of God? Well, God decides what He wants to reveal and to whom He wants to reveal it. But we also have a part to play in deciding our proximity to Him and His Word. God says “Draw near to me and I will draw near unto you.” He says “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Today is always a good time to draw near unto God. You do so when you come to DTC not to be a spectator but to hear from Him. You do so when you hold on to the Word He gives you until you see it come to pass.
Over time, I’ve discovered that a person’s expectations of God is determined by that person’s revelation of God. Someone like Sarah has no problem believing that a 40-year-old woman who has been declared barren can still have a child; after all, God gave her Isaac when she was 90 years old. Joseph has no problem believing that weeping endures for a night but joy comes in the morning; God promoted him from being a prisoner to a prime minister in one day. And someone like Lazarus has no problem believing in God’s ability to return the dead to life again; he’s living proof that God can.
The Bible records that Jesus could not perform great miracles in his own hometown not because He was out of ability but because they were out of faith. Don’t hinder God by your lack of expectation. Hold on to what you know of Him and increase your capacity to know much more. In so doing, you will come to know the God for whom nothing is impossible. So come to DTC expecting something from God; it is my prayer that you will not miss His response. See you at the top!
Pastor Tola Odutola Pastor’s Note | 5
Contributors Tokunbo Savage
Olumide Savage Pastor Bimbo Runsewe Dcn. Festus Araowou Omoyosola Odukale Teju Famodu
6 | Editors
Sundays Worship Services at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Mondays & Wednesdays 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.
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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Designed by Tayo Abereoje | 646-320-1453 | email@example.com
Pastor Peter Balogun
Pastor David Ijeh
Pastor Jumoke Kilo 8 | Re-Cap
River of Life Choir
Re-Cap | 9
Night - The Year to Rebuild Foundations 2012 Watch
Re-Cap | 11
The expansion of the JHB Sanctuary is both a response to the growth we are experiencing as a Church and an act of faith to attract the next level of growth we would like to see. We have faced various challenges from the moment we embarked on this journey: First was the laboriouos effort to secure a permit from our local county, then we had to convince our neighbors that the expansion would not be detrimental to the community, then we had to pray that the weather would not delay the work, and of course, we also had to trust God for financing. Through it all, we know that God has been with us and has raised help through many people and diverse means. The work continues and attests to the fact that with God, nothing shall be impossible! This building is also a reminder that we, as a Church, are called not only to dream but to pursue those dreams. We are truly grateful to every member and guest who has contributed to this work so far. May your contribution stand before God as a memorial and may He also expand your coasts. Please continue to pray with us toward the completion of this project and our next level of growth.
Re-Cap | 13| 11 Re-Cap
RCCGNA Leadership Conference
Pastor Tola Odutola
Pastor Charles Jenkins II
Pastor James Fadele
Rev. Sam Adeyemi
Pastor Bimbo Runsewe
How does one define a family unit? Most definitions would describe a unit consisting of father, mother and children. However, in the beginning the Almighty God started with the man and the woman, provided a comfortable place for them to be together, and then added the children to them. The family is preserved when the union of marriage is preserved in the context of God. From the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. “For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh...” (Genesis 2:24). There has to be a leaving first, before the cleaving. So in other words, make your family a priority, even if it calls for you to rearrange your lives. Set time apart to talk and plan; do not take your family for granted. Purpose to spend time together even with a busy work schedule as most people have today; make time for your family like you do everything else. Do not assume that they will understand your hard work outside the home. The book of Ephesians 4:32 gives some basic ingredients of having successful relationships even within the family: be kind, have a tender heart and be forgiving toward one another. Spend your time on things that enhance your family rather than things that diminish. Cultivate and nurture your relationships; a well nourished family is healthy in every way. Also, it is important for couples to recognize and strive to meet each other’s needs by keeping the line of communication open (practice active listening). In addition, we as Christians know that children are a gift from God and not a burden. We should therefore bring them up as such: get your children involved in the things that are important to your family from an early age. Nurture them; begin to apply the same principles you have applied to each other to them. The word of God in the book of Proverbs 22:6 says “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Be open and available to them and cultivate an atmosphere of trust, security, love, and understanding in your home. Make the home a place to want to be.
Abisola Abolude Morgan State University
16 | Family
2011 was supposed to be a great stress-free year for me. I was excited, for sure. The first two months of the year were just fine. I knew that the law firm I worked for was going through changes, but management assured the staff that all was well and that it would all work out. During that period, as I spent time praying, God gave me a Word. Jeremiah 17:7-8 says, “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.” I took the word that I’d received as a confirmation from God that I wouldn’t lose my job and if I did, I would find something right away to avoid being out of status (I was on an H-1B visa). Unfortunately or should I say fortunately, I was wrong. A couple of weeks later, on March 30, 2011, after Digging Deep, I went home, opened my work laptop and saw that I had an email from the firm’s management informing the entire staff that March 31st was going to be our last day. There I was, on the floor of my bedroom thinking, “so, this is what it feels like to be given a pink slip-- only mine was an email.” Well, it wasn’t time for me to feel sorry for myself. There was much to be done and if I wanted a job, as soon as possible, I had to speed things up. I had started meeting with recruiters and revising my resume before I got laid off. For months, thereafter, I would sit on the floor of my living room and apply to jobs. From 9am-5pm, I was on different company websites, on the phone with recruiters, on my laptop revising my resume, on the road to an interview/a second interview/a meeting with a recruiter, and basically doing anything I could think of to get hired. April came and went, then May, then June, and before I knew it, it was October and I still didn’t have a job. I was overqualified, under-qualified, not as qualified, not a citizen, not a permanent resident, and just not the right candidate. After months of applying and a number of rejection emails or phone calls, I told myself I was done applying for jobs. For a few weeks, I didn’t send out a single resume because truthfully, my resume was just about everywhere you could think of. So, what was the point? I prayed that if I was going to get hired, the company would have to find me. I was tired, but after a few weeks I got back on the search. For seven months, I tried not to lose my mind. I was smiling on the outside, but had moments of depression. I would at least once a month say to God, “…but You said…” or “God, how… why?” And He would say, “Trust me!” Once He said to me, “I know you believe that I am able, but do you truly believe that I am willing; that I want to and will do it?” He reminded me of Isaiah 55:11, 59:1. With His reassuring presence, I held on to Jeremiah 17:7-8 and later received Isaiah 41:18-20, 43:18-19, and Jeremiah 32:17-19 as confirmation of what He wanted to do in and with me. For eight months God was my strength, my joy, my provider, my all sufficiency, the ear that listened to my midnight ramblings, the one who carried me when I couldn’t go a step further, and my peace. There were times when I didn’t know if I would be able to make it through the month and God would just show up. He would sometimes do it on His own, but He also sent me helpers to whom I am eternally grateful. Toward the end of August, as I was packing up my apartment to move in with my older sister, I got a call from a company in New Jersey that was interested in me. After two interviews with the company, I finally heard back from them, and it was
God Ogechi Umeh
another “No.” I remember calling a friend and just crying on the phone because the last glimmer of hope was gone. My visa was expiring on November 13th and now, I had to start making arrangements to return to Nigeria. Don’t get me wrong, I love my country, but I wasn’t ready and this was not the way I planned to go back. The day before I got the news from the New Jersey company, I had received a call from a company in Pennsylvania. I wasn’t too keen on applying because my focus was on NJ working out and I felt it was too close to my visa expiration date for anything to work out….and it was in Lancaster, a city not on my list of places to live. I took a look at the job description and thought nothing of it because it was 99% similar to the NJ position. I unenthusiastically applied for the position and was told that my resume would be forwarded to the hiring manager who would get back to me by Monday. I asked them if they sponsored and was told that they did….okay, not bad. What were my chances? Well, the next few days were a bit hectic, but on Tuesday morning after I bought my ticket to Nigeria, I got a call from the company in Lancaster saying that they wanted to schedule a phone interview. Now, why didn’t I get the call before I bought my ticket? Only God knows. I informed the HR specialist that I was leaving the country on Nov 10th due to my immigration status. She assured me that they would do everything to expedite the interview process and that I would have a response before I traveled. I had the phone interview on Wednesday and at the end of it was invited to Lancaster for a face-to-face. I didn’t have all the qualifications they were looking for, but I prepared myself to the best of my ability, said my prayers, and on Nov. 4th, I drove to Lancaster for a five hour interview session with seven people. An hour later, as I drove back to Maryland, I got a call from HR with a verbal offer. The only words that I could mutter were, “Okay…good.” An hour after that call, I got another call informing me that the official, written and signed job offer was in my email inbox. The only issue was immigration. My employment was contingent on the approval of my work permit. Since I was already out of status, in order not to incur unlawful presence, I was advised to go ahead with my travel plans and await instructions from them. On Thursday Nov. 10th, I left the country knowing I had a job, but not sure that I would get a visa to return and did not know when I would return. I packed just about everything that I had and started making arrangements in Nigeria just in case the visa application was denied. While in Nigeria, I waited, day after day, for updates from Lancaster. As soon as we got the approval notice, getting a visa appointment date and interviewing at the U.S. embassy went very smoothly. On Dec. 26th, I bid my brother, whom I had had a great time with, farewell, boarded the plane and on the 27th, I was back in Maryland. The one thing I learned or was reminded of through this experience is that, “in God’s time, out of His perfect plan, come beautiful things.” Basically, I had been living the names my parents gave me. God is faithful. Trials and tests may seem unbearable, daunting and just plain hard, but with God, even the highest mountain is a molehill. With God, All Things Are Possible!
This is My Testimony | 17
God, My Provider
The lord has been so faithful to me and I have been convicted to testify of His goodness. My first two years in the US were very tough. It seemed to me I was a lot better off when I was in Nigeria but looking back now, I can say that I have seen and experienced the divine works of God. I thank God for this Church, for it has been a strong pillar of spiritual support for me, through the powerful messages from the pulpit and also through the special individuals that have been a huge blessing through their prayers and moral support. When I finished my MPH program, I was unable to find a job. I later got a position as a research assistant (in a casual on-call position) and this helped to keep my F1 visa active on Optional Practicum Training (OPT). I worked for 10 months without pay! But God was my provider indeed! Thankfully when I graduated from my masters program I still had the money, which I had put aside to buy a car. I thank God for His divine wisdom because this was the money (together with my other savings) I used for my upkeep during the time I did not have any income. But I soon ran out of money but God was faithful. He created for me a financial opportunity through the gift of teaching he gave me. I started to teach fellow foreign medical graduates who needed help with their medical licensing exam preparation. God blessed this endeavor and provided a steady stream of students for me. I did not personally advertise to the students who came; they all came on referral from previous students. I even taught an American medical graduate who also came on referral. My God is Jehovah Jireh indeed! I had no cause to borrow. In fact, God so blessed me that I was able to lend to friends. During the 10 months I didn’t have a regular job I decided it was wise for me to use the free time I had to write my licensing exams and apply for residency with the hope of starting at the end of my OPT. In order to do this, I had to rush to write my exams (at least 2 of the 4) within 4 months in order to be able to apply that same year. No one thought it was feasible and they told me so; the recommended preparation time is 5-6 months per exam. But I prayed to the God of all flesh with whom nothing is impossible. This was the period when Pastor Tola was doing a powerful message series on faith. His message was that we should ignore negative reports and walk in faith while holding on to the Word of God because it is our results that will silence negative reports. I did. And to the glory of God, I wrote my exams and was done in 6 months! In six months I wrote 3 exams and I passed all of them in flying colors! Praise be to God! Even though I was able to write my exams in a remarkably short time, it was still too late to meet the regular application timeline for residency last year. I still applied—in faith— to participate in the supplemental application period but I was not able to get into a program. I thought all was lost because at this time, I had only 3 months left on my F1 visa and my job prospects were even slimmer because no one would employ someone with an expiring visa. I did not understand what was happening because I prayed so hard, had so much faith and worked so hard to get a residency position. I had focused on that singular task and even stopped applying for a job. I asked God for answers but none came. Thank God for this Church, which was my lifeline during this difficult process. For several months I was seriously downcast in my spirit but every Sunday I dragged myself to Church because of the God-inspired words that somehow kept me going during the week. I was down most of the time but every Sunday, I became recharged. I began to prayerfully apply again for a job. I prayed and waited and waited but no job came. Soon my visa expired and I was on the 60-day grace period on my F1 visa. I waited and prayed, and still no job came! So I decided to leave the country before I ran out of status. I sold my stuff and left the U.S. for Canada with about 20 days grace period left on my visa. But lo and behold, 4 days after I arrived in Canada I got two invitations to interview for jobs. I decided I wasn’t going to come all the way back to interview and then be rejected because I didn’t have work papers (this had happened several times before). But then I got a third e-mail that same week saying there was a job for me if I wanted it! I came back to the U.S. to accept the offer, which turned out to be a casual Research Assistant position. I decided to accept it anyway because it would keep me in the U.S. legally
18 | This is My Testimony
until the next residency application season. However, I had to apply for a TN work visa in order to take this job. This became another major issue for me because I had violated my eligibility for the TN visa because I had put in an application for a green card the previous month and the TN visa is only offered to people who did not have intent to stay in the US permanently. I prayed to God and went in faith to the border to apply for the TN visa. I asked God not to let them discover that I had a pending green card application. But God revealed His awesome power again. It was discovered that I had another application but the immigrations officer decided to give the TN to me regardless. He looked me in the eye and said: “Technically, I shouldn’t give you this visa but I will. I advise you to withdraw your other application and remain on the TN visa and we will keep renewing it for you”. He went on to tell me that the next time I appear at the border and they discover that I had a dual intent in the US they would reject my application and send me back to Canada! He wished me luck and sent me on my way! God is great indeed! Soon it was residency application season again. I did not have enough money to apply because my part time job didn’t pay much. Residency applications costs $2000 on average and it is recommended that foreign medical graduates apply to at least 100 programs in order to improve chances of getting a residency position. Furthermore, statistics have shown that a residency applicant who has 10 interviews has a 97% chance of getting into a residency program. So applicants apply widely and hope for at least 10 interviews to guarantee them a position in the next year. As for me, I didn’t have a lot of money for application and also didn’t have money to travel all over the country to attend 10 interviews. So, I prayed to God for divine favor. I said to Him that I wanted one interview and that I should be accepted into that one program. God proved Himself. I had 3 interview invitations. I attended one interview in New York and before the dates for the other interviews arrived, I was called by the program director and was offered a position! This program was exactly what I wanted and prayed for (a community program with university affiliation). What’s more, it is the fourth highest paying residency program in the U.S. Praise the Lord!
The Holy Police Dcn. Festus Araowou
After moving to this sanctuary several years ago, our Church became host to scores of visitors. Consequently, we experienced growth in membership and parking became a challenge. The Holy Police was part of the Ushering Department until 2002 when it became a stand-alone department. The Holy Police Department was created, not only to park cars but also to maintain orderly traffic flow in and out of the parking lot. We pride ourselves in the 4 Cs of our department: • Courtesy: The experience of visiting a Church begins in the parking lot. We believe that first impressions last long, and with this in mind, our objective is to create a positive lasting impression to our members and guests every time they come to worship the Lord. We want to ensure that all members and guests are welcomed and well treated with the utmost respect and sincere love. • Control: One of our major goals is safety. We make the parking lot very accessible, well organized, friendly, and safe by keeping the traffic moving in and out of the parking lot. • Caution: We also watch out for individuals with malicious intentions in the parking lot. Members and guest who park in our valet system leave their keys with us in trust and therefore we watch out to prevent vandalism and theft. • Care: We are also available to respond in case of an accident or any other emergency which include but are not limited to vehicle lock out, flat tires, engine problems, etc.
The Holy Police Department is made up of diverse dedicated men and women ranging from young adults to OASIS members (those age 50 and older). We who work together as a team rain or shine, winter or summer to assist in parking and traffic control. We have quartetly departmental meetings hosted by rotating members. At our meetings, we discuss ways to move the department forward in consonance with the mission of the Church. We also discuss matters arising and have training sessions. Our meetings also give us the opportunity to bond and fellowship together but we take time to have fun during our summer picnics, for example, where we bring our families together. It will also be interesting to note that we do not only park vehicles, we also pray. We have our prayer conference every other week whereby we call in and pray for about one hour. Surely, God has been very good to us as a department. Our team has become a training ground for leaders in the Church. Many leaders in the Church today emerged from our department. As we grow as a Church, so does the need for more parking spaces and more volunteers. If you are considering joining the dream team of Jesus House Baltimore, consider joining the Holy Police department, where you will have the opportunity to give the first smile to visitors and members on Sunday mornings. We have each other’s back and God has our back. Come out of the crowd, talk to our minister, Bro. Festus Arauwou or our HOD, Bro. Abiodun Onabiyi. They are waiting to receive you into this great ministry. Our age long challenge is the insufficient quantity of parking spaces. God is blessing and expanding us as a Church in such a way that we have never had enough parking spaces onsite. We dealt with this challenge with the introduction of valet parking and occasionally use the middle school close by. The word of God says “I can do all things through Christ which strengthenes me.” We have been able to successfully manage the challenge with Christ strengthening us. We have received enormous support and encouragement from the Church members in achieving our goals and managing our challenges, we want to urge them to continue to do so. Thank you!
Ministry Feature | 19
An Interview with Pastor Nike Adeyemi (Co-Pastor, DayStar Christian Centre, Lagos, Nigeria)
Women have a tremendous ability to multitask. We are homemakers, wives, mothers, and nowadays career women. Considering all that we have on our plates, is it really practical to think that we can do more? Not “more” in terms of how much we do, but “more” in terms of the impact our lives have on our society. Pastor Nike Adeyemi certainly gives one hope that we can. A Pastor, Pastor’s wife, mother, and visionary behind several social service organizations in the city of Lagos, Nigeria, Pastor Nike is living proof that one woman can make a tremendous impact within and outside her home. We hope you enjoy DW’s interview with her. DW: Please tell us about your background. PNA: [I] grew up in the University of Ibadan because my dad was into academics; he was a lecturer and a scientist to the core. We had very nice growing up days. I had opportunity interestingly because of his career to visit the States every 6 years as I grew up. Every 6 years he would take a sabbatical from the University of Ibadan for a year. He would come to the U.S . . . I am the first of four children. I went to University of Ife and I studied Architecture because that’s what I really wanted to study. I was passionate about it—or so I thought. I did it to a Master’s level and came to Lagos to do my NYSC, met my husband in Lagos as member of a Church he was pastoring then. We got married in 1993, we have 3 children: Sophie, David, and Adora. DW: How has Architecture proven relevant for you? PNA: I think my training in Architecture, being in school for 7 years helped me to understand details, so today I’m a very detailed person. Even in Church, at work, people notice it. They say I have like a finishing anointing – that I’m a finisher because I will see what is wrong, what is out of place even in the bulletin, even in the arrangement of spaces; it’s just that thing that is missing and I seem to always see because in my training you are taught detail. So you don’t just draw anything. You have to draw something that’ll work in real life. It’s what the Architect draws that the Engineer goes to build. I think that training helped me; education is just an opportunity to learn not just the course you’re learning but it’s an opportunity to be able to experience life, relate with other people. All those things prepared us, and maybe it also prepared me for living in a man’s world. Then, I think we were two ladies in my class, then it became three, out of about 60. I look back and I just see how relevant it was. Even in Church, even though I’m not directly the one doing the building project, I’m called in from time to time on what I think about a product they want to use and so, I think it hasn’t been wasted at all. Though I think if I had studied Law or something, it would
20 | Jewel
have fit better because certainly, I like justice, but really, nothing is wasted. Do what you love, I think that’s the thing. I still love [Architecture] but the passion is not as much as the passion for building people’s lives. We should let our children or people around us do the course that they love whether or not they will practice with it. Some people now are into Fashion Designing, but their certificate was in Law. I think that Fashion Designer will be different from another Fashion Designer who studied something else. DW: As a Pastor’s wife and someone who is active in social work, what would you say about your background that has prepared you for what you’re doing now? PNA: I just found out that growing up I couldn’t stand injustice, I couldn’t stand people being cheated. I found out that I somehow had a great deal of compassion for people. I find myself wanting to defend that person that everyone was up against. When I was in the University, I had just a close shave with a particular lecturer like that who wanted to have – I won’t say maybe an affair or something and he withheld my result for his course. When I got talking with my friend at that time, I found out that she too had had that experience with the man. Well, I stood my ground; I remember I don’t even think I told my parents—I didn’t think there was any cause for that. I think he failed me for that course. I retook that particular course and at the end of the day, I passed it. At that time, I didn’t think it had so much impact on me, but looking back, people, especially women, go through things like that. And I believe it’s good to be able to speak out and to be able to fight for people like that, who are really really abused and those who are less privileged and those who are cheated. DW: Can you please speak about the women’s shelter that you run and your other social work projects? PNA: At the Real Woman Foundation, we have quite a number of arms of the work that we do. We have the shelter, which is called The Peace Villa.. That was started about 2001/2002. We have the Love Home Orphanage, which is about 6 years. We have For Girls Only—it’s workshops for girls in secondary school, girls from about 11 to about 18. We go into public schools to talk to them, to give talks on how to avoid sexual abuse, hygiene, the power of choice—to know that they can make choices for themselves. We also talk about HIV/AIDS prevention; just those things that sometimes they may not have been taught at home, just to prevent them from ending up on the streets because you know the shelter came about from reaching out to girls on the streets or girls that have been trafficked, girls that have been into commercial sex work and want to give it up and start a new life. Many times they can’t return to their homes so the shelter came about. We take care of them for
about 6 months to 1 year, sometimes even more than a year. Some have stayed up to about 3 years with us. So prevention, and just to be able to educate them on their moral lives, on their environment, to be on their guard, let them know that they have esteem. Been round lots of secondary schools in the city of Lagos where I live. We have also the Real Woman seminars; that’s like the flagship program. We’re having our 12th anniversary next week in Nigeria. We have this seminar for married [and] single women, but the theme of it usually is bringing about healing and encouragement, building women up. The vision is healing and empowering women and children. We have Word, we have prayer, we have question and answer interactive sessions. Sometimes at the end of the day it looks like a townhall meeting. We also have something that we have started now—life skill training for women. It’s a skill acquisition center where people come and they learn trades, beadmaking, things they can go out and work with. They learn how to do event decoration, makeup, [etc.]. So we have people who are already trained in these areas, they come to teach other women. We find out that a lot of women come and they’re needy, they don’t have money,[and] you’re always just giving out money. [We just thought] let’s empower them to be able to do something on their own. We’re starting [in January 2012] family school. We already have the curriculum. For two days every month we’re going to be taking those modules and people are free to sign up and just come and learn how to run their homes, etc. People are going to pay just a little token, something as small as N3,000. Every other thing we do is free. [Also] every Friday, we get someone to take food to Idiaraba. It’s like a juvenile home for girls or for young people. We take food to them just to support what the government is doing. There’s a lot of mission work in the city where we are; it’s not until we go to China and all these other places. That’s the core of my own calling, apart from supporting my husband in the Church. We believe we’re spreading the Word indirectly. They know we’re Christians and they know where we’re coming from. So overtime it’s going to build up and they’re going to know that this is just the love of God, and I think in the long run it helps them to make a decision. DW: That’s a lot of things, and you haven’t mentioned the husband and children part of it. How do you make it all work? PNA: I believe in delegation, in letting
people assist you with what you’re doing. At the Real Woman Foundation, I have a manager, and she has staff under her—volunteer and full-time staff that help. She practically runs the place now. I go in there from time to time, and over time, I’ve just had to tell them “I’m your consultant, I’m your resource person, so call me if you’re stuck.” I don’t go in on a daily basis even though I have an office there. Everybody has their work, they have their assignments that they do, and now that’s the beautiful thing about it. Years ago, I was really much [neck deep] into it but now everybody has their place. There’s the department of social work, there’s admin, finance, etc. [The manager] coordinates practically everything that is going on. That’s just the beauty—you have to let other people help you. Many times I think that if one were not there, the work would go on. So I’ve come a long way from thinking “[I’m] superwoman, I do all these things.” God can use whosoever, and that is really very humbling. Even children in the orphanage, their growing up, I just have the overall oversight. There are things [the care givers] do for the children; they help them with their homework… I’m not in the nitty gritty of doing the diapers and all of that. We have caregivers who do that. But if they’re stuck at any point in time, maybe with sponsorship or finances, I say “O.k., that’s my own area. God gave me this vision so don’t just struggle, we’ll find a way.” I take out time for vacation as well—on my own and also with my family, my husband and the children, and we have a nice time together all by ourselves.
DW: Are there times when you feel overwhelmed or like giving up? If so, what do you do? PNA: Yes, there are times when I feel overwhelmed. The area where I feel most overwhelmed is the Church work aspect of it. Not even the Real Woman job because the structure is so set up. And DayStar as well, we have a great structure, but I find out that people call me a lot, a lot. Because back home, people are really needy and some people just feel they have to call you, tell you their problems. So it’s bliss for me sometimes if I have to switch off my phone. Otherwise my phone keeps ringing, the text messages come in, and it’s usually about someone in need of this or that.
But what I try to do is that I do what I can; what I can’t do, I leave it. And if I pick a call or I see a text that needs my attention, I could forward that text to one of my associates . . . link that person up with somebody else who can help . . . and the person will give me feedback later on . . . People say I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so as I overcome that, I’m better able to rest and realize that things don’t have to be perfectly done; that it’s what I can do that I can do. I’ve been here for the past few days, my phone is off now and I put on my Nigerian phone and I still see texts coming in; sometimes I switch it off, but I tell myself “I’m here, I’m so far away. There’s nothing I can do.” I’m on another assignment, I’m preaching, and at the same time, just getting some strength back. You come to a point where you realize that “Look, I don’t want to die before my time.” People that have gone, life continues. When I look at the children in the orphanage, I’m humbled. When my kids, too, seem to take up my time—homework, etc… My daughter asked me [something], I said “Go on the internet and Google it. Check the dictionary.” [Laughs]. After all, there are children in the Love Home Orphanage, they don’t have Mummy per se but they’re being cared for. The parents are not there and God raised someone to help them, and life is going on for them, so that helps me to come down from that syndrome of “I have to be there; I’m needed by everybody.” I realize that God forbid if I’m not there, life will go on. So that helps me to balance things out and not to feel guilty if I need to take out a day for myself, switch off my phone for a few hours maybe at home and just sleep or just rest or just pray and stay in God’s presence.
Jewel | 21
Health Screening Tests for Men
Tokunbo Akande, MD, MPH
Based on statistics provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the leading causes of death among men in the United States, I have compiled a short list of health screening tests for men, especially those older than 50 years. Most of these tests are quite simple, involving a short visit to the physician for a brief physical exam and a blood draw for laboratory testing. Most insurance plans cover these tests and the results are usually available within a couple days. So read on and then make time to speak with your physician and schedule these tests: 1. Cholesterol Test Why is it important? High cholesterol can damage blood vessels and lead to heart attacks. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the United States. How often should it be done? Yearly as from age 35 (start at age 20 if you have a family history of heat disease). What’s involved? A simple blood draw. Health tip: Eat oat bran and foods with healthy fats like salmon and other oily fish, avocado, olive oil. Avoid red meat and processed foods laden with bad fat (e.g. pizza, cheese burgers, mac and cheese, etc.), and stay away from alcohol and cigarettes. Don’t ignore chest and/or shoulder tip pain, lightheadedness or breathlessness, as these may be an indication of an underlying heart disease. 2. Colorectal Cancer Screening Why is it important? Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States and colorectal cancer is a common silent killer. It can go undetected for many years until it spreads (metastasizes) to other organs in the body. How often should it be done? Every 5 years from age 50 years (with stool tests done yearly to check for invisible bleeding). What’s involved? The doctor will look into your colon with a sigmoidoscope (a flexible tube with a tiny camera and a light source). Some bowel preparation will be needed before the procedure. Health tip: Add a lot of vegetable and fruits to your diet to encourage bulk bowel movements, which help to clean out the colon. If you ever noticed unexplained weight loss; dark or bloody stools, alternating diarrhea and constipation or there has been a change in the caliber of your stools (pencil shaped stools), see your doctor without delay. 3. Blood Pressure Test Why it is important? People with high blood pressure (or hypertension) are often unaware of their condition until widespread organ damage has occurred. High blood pressure can cause the occurrence of stroke, which is the fifth leading cause of death among men in the United States. How often should it be done? Every 2 years (more frequently if your BP is high). What’s involved? Your doctor will use a sphygmomanometer. No blood draws involved! Health tip: Maintain an active lifestyle, keep your weight within normal limits, and cut down on foods with high salt (especially if you have a family history of hypertension). Also, know your blood pressure numbers and if they go above normal see your doctor immediately.
22 | Priesthood
4. Diabetes Screening Why is it important? Diabetes (DM) is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Left untreated it can cause heart disease, kidney damage, nerve damage, blindness, foot amputation etc. How often should it be done? Get screened if your blood pressure is above 135/80, you are taking high blood pressure medications, or you have a family history of DM. What’s involved? A simple blood draw. Health tip: Even for people with a family history of the disease, maintaining a healthy weight, a regular exercise schedule (30 minutes three times every week) and a healthy diet can delay and even prevent the development of the disease or obviate the need for medication. 5. PSA Screening Why is it important? Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths after lung cancer. When should it be done? Discuss with your doctor if you are 50 years or older to determine if this test is right for you. What’s involved? A simple blood draw and a digital rectal exam (DRE). Health tip: See your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms which may be a sign of an underlying prostate disease: difficulty in starting urination; weak or interrupted flow of urine; difficulty in emptying the bladder completely; frequent urination (especially at night); pain during urination; blood in the urine or semen; persistent pain in the back or waist; and painful ejaculation. *Source: CDC, U.S. Preventive Services
Financial Peace for Some teens will deal with sex. Some teens will deal with alcohol and drugs. But all teens will deal with money. At the beginning of the year, the Sovereign Army at Jesus House Baltimore began Foundations in Personal Finance, a 13-week course designed to empower middle and high students with sound financial principles that will guide them into adulthood. The program is taught by personal finance expert Dave Ramsey. In the course, students learn about financial responsibility and decision making. At the core of this course is planning and money management, specifically to encourage students to create and maintain a working budget for their finances. Budgeting is one of the most important concepts in maintaining control of one’s money. For example, Rotimi wants a new X Box 360 at $400; in order to pay for this he’ll have to save $40 a month for 10 months, which is just $10 a week. If he saves $80 a month, or $20 a week, he could have it in 5 months. Whatever he decides, this means cutting back on McDonalds or other impulse purchases to reach his savings goal. Budgeting allows you to control your spending and know where your money is going. Whether an adult or a teen, the benefits apply. By the end of the course our goal is that students develop a plan for spending and saving, learn how to invest for wealth building and to encourage charitable giving. Students are also taught how to find and evaluate financial information from a variety of sources to make a good decision. In the class, students are introduced to the basics of investing through learning about mutual funds, the stock market, bonds and real estate. Concepts like taking advantage of compounding interest are explained in detail. Teens learn about income and careers by exploring different career options. They learn about working in their strengths whether it’s through providing a service, being a salesperson, or developing leadership skills or other talents they have. The class also teaches students about understanding credit and insurance. Generally, students are persuaded to steer away and avoid credit cards as they lead to debt.
Teens Tokunbo Savage
As Dave explains, the great thing about teaching a teenager to properly handle money is that the feeling of responsibility spills over into other areas of life. Money is important to a teenager, so someone who is careful with how much they spend won’t carelessly hang out with the wrong crowd or be foolish about not making grades in school. That sense of accountability will permeate their lives and help them behave. For parents, they can help by discussing finances with their teens constantly; they can also spend and save wisely so their kids learn by example. It is advisable that parents discuss the financial ups and downs they’ve experienced in life and the lessons learnt along the way. Compare the financial gains involved in saving money and earning interest with the losses of spending money on credit and paying interest. Help your teen engage in hobbies or work that can produce an income. This might include selling handmade artwork, coaching or consulting, designing websites or even blogging. Whatever it is, it should illustrate the connection between earnings and work. Parents should encourage their teens to immerse themselves in their passion so that they might become specialists and produce an income doing what they love. It is imperative that children learn about money early on. A financially sound teen grows up to become a financially sound adult!
Teen | 23
Walk for Wells 2011 Modupe Savage
24 | In the Community
JHB Walk for Wells started as a small idea during a fitness cell group meeting in 2010, and grew into a successful fundraising event for JHB Hope Foundation in 2011. When we started our planning, we chose to focus our efforts on one area of need. That area was clean water. It wasn’t until we did our research on clean water that we realized how significant the lack of the clean water epidemic was: “1.1 billion people in the world lack clean drinking water; 1.8 million children die yearly from water related diseases; at any given time, half of the world’s hospital beds are occupied by people suffering from a water related disease.”
A HF Well in Jano, Ibadan, Nigeria
These are just a few of the multiple statistics out there. Our mission became clear: “to spread awareness of the world water crisis as we raise funds to supply clean water to rural areas of Africa, specifically in the countries of Kenya, Nigeria and Liberia while promoting physical fitness in our local community.” In 2011, Walk for Wells was held on September 3rd as part of JHB’s 14th anniversary celebration. It was a 3.1-mile (5K) walk and run event. We had more than 250 diverse participants ranging in age from 15 to those older than 70. David Nwanze was awarded an iPad for being the fastest overall runner, and Mrs. Christiana Egiefameh was recognized for raising the most money. Our participants in addition to our business sponsors and multiple pledges helped us raise $15,000! The funds helped JHB Hope Foundation build six wells last year and at least 12,000 lives have been impacted as a result of these wells. The need for clean water is still great. Our mission is far from being accomplished. This year, Walk for Wells is back on Saturday, September 1st. Our mission is still the same, but this year we plan to give back to our local community. We will be donating some of our raised funds to our local police, fire, and health departments. Walk for Wells 2012 promises to be a larger event. We have partnered with a few local businesses and posted our event on multiple running sites. We have also partnered with the Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority Inc at the University of Maryland, College Park and Yelp Baltimore. There will be multiple prizes for each age category and for the individual that raises the most money for our cause.
A HF Well in Mwamose, Kenya
Please join us in our quest to bring clean water to our world. Register today; encourage your friends and family to join us; pick up a pledge form and help us raise funds. For more information on Walk for Wells or if you would like to partner with us, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit us at www.jhbwalkforwells.com. Follow us on twitter “@jhbwalkforwells”, or “like” us on Facebook. Our fan page is “Walk for Wells 2012.” See you all on Saturday, September 1st at 8am!
In the Community | 25
R-Town Ekene Agabu
So if you walk in, you’ll see a six foot, two hundred and fifty pound guy lying on the floor with his head resting on his camera bag. To his right, you’ll see a young lady who happens to be a mother of two who is never at a loss for words and to her left you’ll find the exact opposite - a lady with her macbook who barely says anything but types and records everything. It’s a helm of chaos and mayhem filled with such diversity and the drive to serve. But one thing is certain, after a few hours of such unserious seriousness, Lol-ing, and high pitched opinions, we adjourn with a plethora of creativity and the opportunity for immense impact. In a nutshell, I have modestly described a Revolve board meeting. Just in case you’re wondering, Revolvers are the young adults of JHB which includes the single and married yuppies of the Church who are between the ages of 20 and 40. Some of us are students, professionals, wives, husbands, athletes and everything else in between, but if there’s one thing we do have in common, it’s the desire to know God in a real and meaningful way. A little over six months ago, we began the 2012 R-Journey with R-Town. We all came together to share our expectations, past successes and of course noted areas that needed tweaking. We listened, we talked and we prayed together for what has looked to be a promising R-Year. But it’s not just about the events and gatherings. It’s really about you. I’m sure you may have seen or been a part of some of our major events such as the V-Ball or the very talked about #whensexhappens. What you don’t see is the fact that Revolve consists of volunteers who work in teams for months prior to any major event. We’ve created a structure that involves and supports all who want to be a part of the movement. No contribution is too small and no idea is far fetched. If you think you have something to offer then you do and if you think you have nothing to offer, you may just need to attend an upcoming event so we can show you a different side of yourself. We’ll be heading into an impactful summer with lots of opportunities for building relationships and spiritual growth. We want you to be a part of it. It’s easy; simply send an interest of how you would like to participate to: R@JHBREVOLVE.ORG
26 | Revolve
Revolve | 27
Pastor Tola Odutola
Toward the end of 2011, Pastor Tola taught a powerful 4-part series on repositioning one’s self. Here are just a few pointers from the series, but please visit the Word desk to obtain the series package. Text: Luke 19:1-10 “. . . [Zacchaeus] wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see Him, since Jesus was coming that way. . .” The journey of life comes in stages. There are some people who may be in the right place in this season of life, but the majority of us are not where we ought to be. To reposition yourself, therefore, is to move yourself from a place of disadvantage to a place of advantage. Zacchaeus did not allow his height challenge to hinder him. He made haste to climb the sycamore tree because he knew he had to reposition himself in order to get Jesus’ attention. How do I reposition myself if I have a challenge? You must be convinced that you’re not where you need to be. Nobody can help you if you don’t believe you need help; nobody can change your position. You will not apply for a new job if you think you already have the best job— until maybe they fire you. Only then will your eyes suddenly open and you begin to wonder what you’ve been doing all this time. At each point in your journey in life, you must know where you belong. If you don’t, there’s nothing anyone can do to help you and there’s nothing you can do to help yourself to go forward. There just must be a realization; there comes a point in everyone’s life that you say enough is enough. For you to reposition yourself, you must be able to see the future. You must see what lies ahead. You must see what people will be looking for in the next 10 years. Our Church was all woods in 1998. But every time we had a guest minister, I would bring them to the site. We would go through a path and I would stop in the middle of the path and I would say to them, “The sanctuary will be across from you, the gym will be next to it. On this side we will have the school, and over there we will have the youth
28 | From the Pulpit
center.” Some of them saw it but some did not see it. The only way you can be prepared for the future is if you can see where you ought to be in that future. That’s the only way you can run toward it. When Jesus summoned Zaccheus, he came down from the tree quickly. When you see people in life who don’t know how to run or hurry, it’s because they don’t have a vision. When you have a vision in life, you run, you don’t walk toward it. Why? Because the more you run toward it, the closer you get to that vision. Increase your circle of influence. These are the people you reach out to or who come across your way who know more than you know; they are where you want to be and they’re the ones who will help you to get there. Depending on how far you’re going in life, your circle of influence must be people who are either at your level or higher than you. A man who is 6’6” tall does not need help from a man who is 5’8” if he’s trying to get something beyond his reach. We have friends who are in the same income bracket as us; that’s fine. But if you’re moving forward in some areas, look for people who are already there, who already have the experience, who can add to you. They become your ladder holders and you, in turn, become a ladder holder for other people. If you are going far, you must change your attitude. Attitude is everything. We might be in the same line of work, but our attitude can distinguish us. An average person with a good attitude will go far. I’ve seen talented people with poor attitudes and they have not gone far. Don’t sell yourself short. It is my prayer that your greatness will be acknowledged but you, don’t sell yourself short. Wait on God and your own time will come. For every single lady, you don’t have to marry that guy if you’re not clear within you that he’s the one. Don’t manage him because you’re getting older. If you manage him, you’re in trouble. If you’re not yet married and he bangs on the table and threatens you during arguments, what will he do when you marry him? Go your separate ways and trust God that your rightful husband will come. Some of the problems people experience in their marriage today started when they were dating but they never dealt with it. Now the die is cast and they’re stuck. But for those who haven’t gotten into marriage, if you’ve asked for help in your relationship and there are no changes, it’s time to go your separate ways. You need to reposition yourself for greatness.
Pastor Peter Balogun (RCCG Central Parish, Abuja, Nigeria)
Text: Luke 8:22-26 From the day a baby is formed in the womb of a mother the journey of life begins. For some the journey has been pleasurable, and vice versa to others. You do not talk about destiny if there is no destination; God has pre-determined a destination that you are going to get to in life and until you make it to that destination, destiny is unfulfilled. The disciples were with the Lord, and on a certain day, He said to them: there is still somewhere we need to get to so your life’s journey will be complete, now let us go onto the other side. There are two sides to every coin. There is another side to every experience that we are going through in life. In Deuteronomy 30:19, we see that God has placed two options before you, but you are the one who decides which one to go with. From this, we should understand the following points: 1. The experiences you are going through presently are as a result of the choices you made (many of us may not want to come to terms with that). 2. Even if it is the devil that is behind a problem, you gave him the right to your life. But the Lord says that He can still take you from where you are to the other side. It was Jesus who determined where they were to go; the disciples did not tell Him where they wanted to go. One problem I have found in the Church is that we want God to tag along with our plans. For example, some of us say “Lord I am going to this place tomorrow, so Lord go with me.” If your child did that to you, won’t you first ask the child, “Do you have respect at all for my own timing?” Don’t be comfortable with always seeking God’s permission on your will. Instead, get down on your knees and get to know what is His will concerning your life. Many of us since the day we gave our lives to Christ, nothing has changed. Based on Hebrews 4:12, you can’t have the Word of God in your life and you are stagnant. It is an error against divinity and destiny for you to have the Word of God in you and your life has no meaning. But many of us have allowed the Word of God to go to sleep in our lives, just like the disciples (Jesus was in the boat, but still the Lord questioned their faith). The Word can’t be up and active in your life and your life is subject to oppression. The Word of God will take you from where you are to where you are destined to be. Every Word spoken by God carries His presence and it has power to take you through to the other side. That is why any child of God that doesn’t know how to meditate on the Word of God is forfeiting His blessings. When God said the verse in Joshua 1:8, He was saying that we should not allow the Word of God to go to sleep in our lives. There are things that God has said to you 10-15 years back, promises. Those things are still pending and will be fulfilled because the Word of God cannot return to Him void (Isaiah 55:1012). Every word spoken by God remains on the earth until it has accomplished what it has been sent to do. So don’t let the Word of God go to sleep in your life.
The fight against you is not about where you are today, but about your future. Because if the enemy could stop you from being where you are today, he would have. So instead he fights you so you won’t get to where you are destined to be. Every word you speak goes into the hearing of God and also to the devil. In the book of Job, the children of God gathered together, and the Bible says that the devil also was there. Therefore, everywhere you go his presence is there, so when we say things that agree with God’s presence He steps in. On the other hand, when we say things that contradict God the devil takes over from there. Consider Isaiah 54:16. Indeed, life and death are in the power of the tongue. Be encouraged, never let go. Don’t let go of God’s promises. He that watches over Israel neither sleeps nor slumbers. You can’t abort God’s promises. Whatever the devil has said “you can’t have again” reply him with “you are a liar.” Hold on to the Word that pointed you in the direction of a glorious future. A woman, said to us in our family, “No member of this family will ever become great.” She said it to our faces, and not in our absence. For many years, we were all struggling; but, thank God for salvation because it was salvation that broke that power over my family. Therefore hold on to the Word of God. Life is a process; if you are “going through,” it is because you are “going to.” So when you feel tired and you don’t feel like pressing on again, remind yourself, it’s a process, and I am going through it. You are closer today to your breakthrough than you were yesterday. The Lord will take you there in Jesus’ Name, Amen. Believe me, if God ever spoke to you, He will bring his Word to pass. You will get there. Despite what the enemy did to stop Joseph, or the disciples they reached their destination. What matters is that you get to your destination not the time that you took to get there. You have a better tomorrow, you have a glorious future. Therefore, hold onto the word that the Lord has given to you. Never let the Words of God concerning your life go, for His Words will surely come to pass.
From the Pulpit | 29
Secret to a Lasting Marriage “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” St. Peter
“Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get only with what you are expecting to give which is everything.” Katharine Hepburn “Keep the eyes wide open before marriage and half shut afterwards” Benjamin Franklin
“The course of true love never did run smooth.” William Shakepeare
“The heart of marriage is memories” Bill Cosby
“Love one another as I have loved you” Jesus Christ “The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother” Theodore Hesburgh
30 Loveto Know 26 || Get
“I have always considered marriage as the most interesting event of one’s life, the foundation of happiness or misery” George Washington
“More marriages might survive if the partners realized that sometimes the better comes after the worse.” Doug Larson Catchy headline, would you say? It was only meant to draw your attention! Even Solomon had to admit: There are “four things I do not understand.” He goes on to list them and the fourth item is “how a man loves a woman.” So we thought we would try to find out from those who are celebrated enough, old enough, and hopefully wise enough-- what is the secret to a lasting marriage? We hope you enjoy these quotes on love and marriage, but ultimatelty as the Scriptures say, the joining of a man and a woman is a mystery. Perhaps it’s a mystery that has something to do with the grace of God . . .
“Love is absolute loyalty. People fade, looks fade, but loyalty never fades.” Sylvester Stallone
“Who gave you permission to divorce?” Pastor Tola Odutola
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Prov 17:17
“Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave” Martin Luther
“Ultimately the bond of all companionship, whether in marriage or in friendship, is conversation” Oscar Wilde
“When asked his secret of love, being married fifty-four years to the same person, he said, ‘Ruth and I are happily incompatible.’” Billy Graham
“Marriage is the hardest thing you will ever do. The secret is removing divorce as an option. Anybody who gives themselves that option will get a divorce” Will Smith
New Members Think Isioma Okonkwo
purpose which is to praise the Lord. I remember thinking that this is how one should praise the Living God. My family joined JHB because we felt that the leaders of JHB are truly inspired by Christ. We did not observe a single instance where the focus or praise has ever shifted from Christ to man. We were members of a well established local Church but still hungered for more of Him. We even visited another well established Church before visiting JHB but didnâ€™t get the Spirit comforting our inner desires as we have here at JHB.
Kingsley, Carla, Kingsley Jr., Colieth, and Ms. Xavier Norwood; we are the Bernard family. My wife and I first visited JHB on December 31, 2009 for the watch night service. I had gone to the Holy Ghost Convention down town earlier that year with my dear friend, Dr. Olaku, and from there considered coming to visit JHB. My first impression was that the praise and worship was a continuation of the Holy Ghost Convention. The whole service was quite organized and I observed that much effort was put into protocol. The choir sang familiar songs, the prayer points were relevant, and I observed that Pastor Tola knew exactly who he is in Christ. I observed that it was not about the pastor or anything else but all about Christ. I enjoyed the service very much, especially the rhythm of the talking drum. Because I grew up in Jamaica, I was familiar with its deep spiritual sounds but had never heard it used for its true created
I am Ezenwa Uzoho, and I first visited JHB in September 2011 when I was looking for a branch of the Redeem Christian Church of God to attend in the area. I discovered the Church by searching for RCCG parishes close to my residence. However, I had also heard about JHB when I living in Georgia. My first impression was that Jesus House Baltimore was purposeful and dynamic, having a structure and organization that was unlike many other Churches of its caliber. On my first visit, I was not opportuned to hear Pastor Tola preach, but to my amazement, the service was excellently executed even in his absence. I remember being welcomed celestially. I enjoyed the service as the praise team ministered with passion and the Word was delivered with precision and conviction. It was a worthy 2 hours in Godâ€™s presence altogether. I honestly tried a few other Churches before finally pitching my tent at JHB. I felt led to worship at JHB and it was more convenient for me to commute. However, the biggest conviction to join the house was the Senior Pastorâ€™s passion in his message and vision. I could identify with both of these qualities in this phase of my life. I noticed that the Church was not a lazy but a proactive Church; I saw a lot of commitment from the members, which I felt was simply encouraging. I became a fully registered member on March 24, 2012.
After visiting and serving at JHB for about 6 months, my wife and I finally decided to yield to the Spirit leading us and accepted the invitation to become members. Attending JHB has redefined my Christian life. I have bought into the mission of the house, I am learning how to really pray, my faith is growing daily, and I feel more focused in my daily walk than ever before. I feel challenged by the leadership and more confident than ever about who I am in Christ. My wife is growing tremendously as well and eagerly looks forward to upcoming events. The children are at home with their peers and help out whenever they get the opportunity. My mother in-law was a devout Catholic for decades before becoming a member at JHB. My family truly enjoys being a part of Jesus House Baltimore.
Since joining the JHB family, I agree that the Christian life is a progressive experience and I have been challenged in the areas of fruitfulness, obedience, and renewed commitment to the call and service of God. God is building a spiritual house in me; removing and replacing all the debris until my spirit man becomes like refined gold.
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[The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM) International Headquarters, Lagos, Nigeria]
into the military. When the war became severe, the conscription was eventually extended to the essential services and the soldiers came to the banks to conscript us. Initially, a ballot was drawn but I was not picked. Due to my physically imposing build, our manager felt that I should be involved in the war, so he abandoned the ballot and told the soldiers to come back and handpick their recruits. I believe it was God’s providence that made me step out briefly while we were waiting for the soldiers. In my absence, the soldiers came to make their selections and I was exempt yet again! The manager was furious! He invited me to his office where the soldiers were waiting and instructed me to go with them! I asked to be excused to go withdraw some money and as soon as I was given permission, I ran away with the other recruits! I initially went to a military camp where a friend of mine was the captain, and from there, moved on to join my parents.
Background I grew up in Lagos, I was brought to Lagos at a very young age; primary 2 I think. I was born in Enugu, My Father was a civil servant with the Post and Telegraph (which later became the Ministry of Telecommunications), and so, most of his service was in Lagos. He started in Enugu and later moved to Lagos with his family. My father was a strict disciplinarian, as was my mother. We were of Anglican background and very religious I must add. My father was a People’s Warden and one of the elders of the Church then. He ensured we attended choir practice and Church services regularly. My father sent some of us to live with relatives, as he believed that this was essential to making our upbringing more complete. My elder sisters were living with our grandmother in Onitsha, my younger brother was with a Reverend minister in the Anglican Communion, and I was sent to live with a lecturer in Offa. Then, I was in standard 3. By the way, our family’s made of 10 children, although we lost one sibling before adulthood. I started standard 4 in Offa and took my entrance examinations in standard 5 to go to the Mayflower Grammar School in Ikenne. At that time, the school was just starting off, with only four classes. That was in ’59. I did 2 years there before being sent back to the East to complete my education. My parents thought I was maturing and had little knowledge of the Eastern region where I’m from, as I had practically lived all my life up till then in the Western region. I was transferred to the Oba Merchants of Light Grammar School where I completed my secondary education in ’63.
The war was however relentless and I figured that it’s better to volunteer as an officer than be caught and sent to the front with no training at all, so I signed up for the 3-month Officer course with my younger brother. The third month of my training was in January 1970. While in camp, we were summoned to camp HQTRS where we were to be issued guns and sent for one last ditch effort at the front. I called my younger brother and we carefully moved over to the gate of the camp, telling the guards we had something to pick up outside. We disappeared into the bush immediately! We then made our way in the darkness to Orlu, where we got news of the war’s end. We later heard that everyone mobilized that day was killed in action in the last few skirmishes of the war. So, that was how I escaped being killed in the war.
I then moved back to Lagos and started work immediately in February with the Nigerian Ports Authority in Marina. I spent one month there before moving over to the Apapa branch. It was at this point that the African Development Bank was starting up and employing people, so I decided to join them, which I did in April 1964. I worked there till the Civil War started in 1967. Initially, I stayed back in Lagos, hoping the crisis would subside, but it didn’t, so I moved over to the Onitsha branch of the ADB. During those wild days, we moved around quite a bit when Onitsha fell, but the work kept going, as the banks were considered essential services. This also prevented bank workers from being conscripted
In the days following war’s end, I went back to the bank and was reabsorbed. It was in this period that I felt a deep yearning for God. The aftermath of the war brought a wave of revival that swept the country, originating from the Scripture Unions of the Universities. An event at that time made me re-evaluate
32 | Get to Know
my life and thus change my life forever. I was visiting with friends in Lagos and when it was time to turn in, they called themselves to pray and left me out, as they felt I was an unbeliever who was not interested in prayer. I spoke to God on my bed that night: “Whatever you want to make of my life, do it; it’s yours now.” That was it. My background in the Anglican Church placed emphasis on Christianity as a religion and not as a relationship with God. You go to Church, read the litany, say grace and go home and feel you’ve done your part. When you become born again you feel the difference, you feel the presence of the Holy Ghost and take responsibility for your faith. When I got back to Enugu, I started attending Church— The United Church of Christ and gave my life to Christ. What happened afterward can best be described as a complete transformation. My former drinking buddies were surprised at my turnaround and thought it was just a transient phase. God surprised them as I became more involved in the Church. My days were spent in the office and the Church. Ministry As time went on, I became dissatisfied with my job, as I felt it was competing with my time for God. When the Church announced that it was starting a new branch in Lagos, I volunteered immediately, leaving my job to start full-time ministry with no remuneration. I wouldn’t call it a direct vision, even though there were prophetic utterances over my life at the time. What I had was an inner witness telling me that the bank was not my calling. As soon as I got that, I knew it was a matter of time before I left the bank, albeit for an unknown future. At the time, ministry was not as rich and famous as it is now. But I was joyful because I knew I was fulfilling my destiny. My parents were understandably upset, as they felt I was leaving a guaranteed future for uncertainty. Furthermore, they were staunch Anglicans who couldn’t fathom the Pentecostal movement. They felt something was wrong with me and made several moves to “return me to my senses.” I had a strained relationship with them for a while before we reconciled.
I was in that Church from 1971-1978. It was then that God revealed the ministry of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM). At the time, I was very unprepared to start a Church. There were not too many Pentecostal Churches around at the time. The only ones I could remember were Assemblies of God Church, Foursquare, and CAC. I remember speaking to Pastor Kumuyi (of Deeper Life Christian Church) about my challenges and he gave me sound counsel. I gathered all I had and we started out in January 1981. I got a scholarship to the U.S. at the same time through Morris Cerullo ministries. While in San Diego, California, I met many men of God: Morris Cerullo, Ken Copeland, Fred Price, Kenneth Hagin, to mention a few. I got all their materials and that helped me a lot. I also enrolled in Covington Theological College in Georgia and ran the two courses simultaneously. And that was how I started out in ministry. I met my wife during that period. She got saved through the Scripture Union and was already attending the UCC in Enugu before I joined the Church. It’s quite funny because we did not see eye to eye initially, but somewhere along the line, I proposed to her. Shy person that I was, I couldn’t approach her directly but told my sister. Eventually, I summoned up courage and approached her directly. She agreed but the marriage was delayed because that was the period I was transiting into full-time ministry. Part of the gimmicks my parents tried was to get her to turn her against me, telling her she’d starve if she followed me into ministry! She stood by me and God smiled on us. She got an opportunity to travel to London to complete her studies and we eventually got married in 1980. TREM Our uniqueness plays out in our areas of emphasis: we place emphasis on the integrity of the Word of God, especially in our Churches, our outreaches, and television ministries. We believe that whatever the Word of God cannot give you by your standing on it does not exist, and, you don’t need it. We emphasize the Word of God because the Word of God works. We also emphasize prayer, as well as worship. TREM places a strong emphasis on music; we believe we have the best choir in the world! Our mission statement says TREM is a place where we gather together in quality praise and worship of a true and living God, equipped with the word of God for growth and fellowship with one another in covenant relationship and then released into your world to make a formidable impact. Passion I think I’m passionate about helping people actualize their dreams; bringing out the best in people. I’m passionate about raising in people things which are considered ordinary and encouraging them to make something extraordinary out of it. Keeping the faith The hope of eternity! Without that I’ll say there’s no hope and reason to live. It gives me joy that God would look down on me and grant me the grace to know Him and not die in my ignorance. Each day is a plus. Favorite past times Well, the occasional movie, spending quality time with people and sometimes driving around town to see new developments. I also listen to music and watch football. In Church, I am the presiding Bishop of TREM but at home I am husband to my wife and father to my children. Message to the world You must have a root in God. A lot of people are building their lives and existence on their expertise, their wisdom, concepts and creativity. As good as all these are, they can be shaken. The only unshakeable being is God. With God, the shaking will come, but you will thrive!
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(Pastor, King’s Church, South Africa)
Background I pastor the King’s Church in South Africa. I am married with a lovely wife and three beautiful children. Professionally, I’m a Chartered Accountant, similar to my wife. As a matter of fact, we met at KPMG when I had completed my articleship and she was still busy with hers at the time. This was way back in 1987. We got married in 1990, and to the glory of God, we’ve been married now for almost 22 years. I’ve been in the corporate world for about 26 years. The latter part of that period we were both in ministry until about 6 years ago when we both went into full-time ministry. We planted the King’s Church in South Africa in 2001. We’re currently in the process of expanding to the U.K. We own and run a Christian satellite channel called the Omega channel. Omega channel broadcasts to a potential 60 million people in Africa and South West Europe. And that, we founded about 5 years ago on the 1st of April. Omega channel is an evangelistic and discipleship platform with an apostolic dimension. Our call is basically to seek and search for men and women of God who preach the Gospel in truth. And that is why our slogan is “Truth on Air.” Our assignment is quite a difficult one because it means you have to go through the haystack to find the needle. But the Lord has helped us because it’s been a very turbulent period in getting to where we are right now. Gradually we started to find the people [but] we’re still looking. It’s a continuous search that never ends. Now the [platform of the] airwaves is vital to the dispensation of the Gospel, to dispensing the fragrance of Christ. And the airwaves is largely controlled by the secular system. So forays like ours into media meet with opposition, which is to be expected because the Bible says that the devil is the prince of the power of the air. And we believe that that also includes the airwaves. We thank God for the opposition because it makes us stronger; it makes us even more aware of the significance of and the necessity of the assignment. Our vision is based on Isaiah 11:9, and it says “For the air shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” So that is what we’re trusting to see as we move closer to the end time. Challenges of a television station First of all, to start a TV station requires a considerable amount of money, which we did
34 | Get to Know
not have in the physical. And you would also agree with me that when you want to start a Christian TV station, you even have more challenges. So we had to move by faith, believing in the mission and the commission that the Lord had given to us. Television is very finance intensive. When you buy equipment . . . in fact, your satellite segment alone is a lot of money every month, and then you have other things: you need your broadcast facilities, you need to pay specialized staff, and all your expenses that come with broadcasting. That, I would say has been our main challenge. The other part has been to get faithful people because it’s a ministry. The Lord has been faithful in every area, we have good people; we thank the Lord for that but we still need more people. We’re trusting God for more people but again that [takes] us back to finances. But what we’re trusting the Lord for is that the Lord would raise up partners that will support the vision and the assignment that the Lord has given to us. All over the world. We have ridden on the back of God’s grace, God’s mercy. If it was dependence on money, we wouldn’t be here, but dependence on God is a totally different story. In Africa and in South Africa where we’re based, we’ve seen channels come and go. And those are channels who had 10 times, 20 times, 100 times more resources than we did. Like I said, TV is very capital intensive. But I believe that behind such an enterprise, there must be a vision from God, otherwise you will quit. Basically we put in all our resources, everything that we had; we staked everything on the line to be able to achieve the vision that God had given to us. African ministers What the Lord said when we started out is that “I’ve got 7,000 who have not bow their knee to the image of baal. There are men and women that I have called, I’ve chosen, I have prepared, I have taken through process.” He said “But I have hidden them till now.” He said “Go find them.” He now said to me “Just like Simon of Syrene, being the last man to carry the cross for Christ, so is the African minister today,” that we have a special work to do at the end of the age. Just like Simon of Syrene, being the last African man to carry the cross, so shall the African be in the ushering in of the Kingdom. So He said we should look for Africans in Africa and in the Diaspora.
Answering your question, almost, I would even say all our ministers are African ministers, either based in Africa or outside of Africa. We have a couple of programs but they’re not teaching or preaching programs where we have non-Africans, and I think that’s just one or two. And then we have music, which is quite universal. In terms of people who minister, we are constantly and consistently looking for African ministers because the Lord says “I have set them in the nations. I have prepared them, I have chosen them, I’ve taken them through process, but I have hidden them till now.” The impact of the Word in Africa Great impact. Now earlier on, I’d said that we’re an evangelistic and discipleship ministry. Personally from our ministry we have a teaching ministry and the whole idea and the whole vision is to cover the earth with the knowledge of the Lord. It’s the hearts of people. What we lack as Africans is discipleship. There is a lot of what I would call preaching, but as African people, largely, we have not learned Christ. And that is the key. The key to every Christian life is the learning of Christ. To learn of Christ requires that you have to die to self. As African people, we’re not there yet. Now there’s a lot going on in Africa where the Gospel is concerned, and the Gospel is presented in different flavors, some of them not quite the flavor of the Holy Spirit. Why do I say that? Because in presenting the Gospel to Africans, who are largely paganistic in our background, we have mixed Christianity with pagan practices, which brings us an animistic version of Christianity. We have out of that developed a flavor which is not entirely Christian. What is going to deliver us out of that is the teaching and learning of Christ, which is the reason why the Bible says the five-fold ministry was given: to edify the Church, to bring us to a place where we learn Christ. We grow in Him, then we can now begin to teach other people. So what is missing is that discipleship, which largely is not available in Africa. Discipleship on air It’s a powerful and effective approach. I like what a friend of mine said to me in 2010 in England while we were having a meeting. He said “preaching draws the crowd, but teaching draws the disciples.” When you preach, you preach to a
multitude of people. Jesus Christ preached to a multitude, but when it came to discipling them, He had a group that He discipled starting from the 12. He sent out the 70. They were disciples, they were not the crowd. And His commandment to us is that we make disciples of all nations. Yes, preach the Gospel of the Kingdom. People get saved, and then the process—and this is where we make a mistake when we talk about conversion. Conversion is not salvation. Salvation is being saved by the Grace of God. Conversion is the process of renewal of the mind where you now begin to learn the Word of God and you essentially learn Christ, and then you get converted in your mind. The Bible says “The commandment of the Lord is sure, converting the soul.” When you become a Christian, let’s say you were formerly a [Jew], and you become a Christian, you now need to go through the process of the conversion of your mind to really start to behave like a Christian. Even Peter, as powerful as he was, had that little bit of flaw that Paul had to challenge. So it’s a conversion process and that is what we need largely in Christiandom coming out of Africa. When it comes to Church, we don’t have the concept of learning. I believe that the Church is the University of the Holy Spirit, and when we go into Church, we must learn Christ. We go to universities, we learn about different disciplines, we obtain different degrees, but when it comes to Christ, we don’t learn Christ the way that we should. As we start to do that, we start to see a difference in the way that we practice Christianity. As we learn Christ, the Holy Spirit has much more to work with in us. Now whether it’s easier to do that one-onone or to do that via media, I cannot tell, but this I can tell you: the Word of God that is taught that falls on good ground will bear fruit, whether it’s one-on-one or through media. What media does is that it gives us the leverage of reaching masses, millions of people at the same time. South Africa as a base Almost 17 years ago, we moved to South Africa long before the manifestation of the Omega Channel vision. The vision was given to me in 1998. The Lord spoke to me then. This was how He spoke to me—I had the desire to float the hot air balloon for the Lord and declare to the world that Jesus Christ is Lord. This was 1 year after I got saved. So I said to my wife (we were not yet married then), “One day I’m going to float a hot air balloon and it’s going to go all over and declare Christ. Everybody that looks up will see ‘Jesus is Lord.’” And the interpretation of that came to me in 2004 when the Lord spoke to me about starting a Christian TV channel. In 1995, we moved to South Africa. We were pushed out like most of us due to the economic woes that we experienced in Nigeria at the time. My friend had gone there, he got a good job, and he said “Maybe you guys should come and check this out.” The initial response was “South Africa? No way.” But we started to pray. The whole process of getting into South Africa was a whole testimony on it’s own. So that’s how we got into South Africa. We had been living there, we started working in South Africa as professionals. I [worked] with IBM, my wife with Coca-Cola. And then later she worked with Deloitte. I also worked with Deloitte. But inbetween IBM and Deloitte, I had planted a Church, our first planting, I had worked in some consultancy areas, and then gradually until 2004 the Lord told me about starting a TV channel, which eventually we started in 2007. We believe that God took us to South Africa in order to birth the Omega Channel vision. . . . God disposes When Pastor T and I were in school, I don’t think either one of us had the thought that one day we’d be working for God because we were far away from Him. So doing what I’m doing now never crossed my mind. 1) I did not know Christ. So going back [in my ]20’s, I was going to be an Accountant. I qualified as a Chartered Accountant at the age of 25. And I was looking forward to being a successful Chartered Accountant and having a successful business in the secular world, possibly in the financial world. But hey, God had His own plans. Man proposes but the Lord disposes. Many are the desires of a man’s heart, but the counsel of the Lord, it shall stand. So I find myself now in the counsel of the will of God and I tell you I am so thankful for it because there’s nothing like doing God’s will. If it’s God’s will to do what you’re doing, you’re going to be fulfilled, you’re going to be passionate, you’re going to be happy. And that’s where we’re at. So we’re just looking forward to the future with a lot of excitement at what God is going to do because we have just scratched the surface of this assignment; it is huge. You know, sometimes when you look at yourself and you say “Lord, so you mean you can use me too with this kind of assignment?” But that’s how God is. He uses the foolish things to confound the wise. I’m always the first to stand up if you’re looking for a foolish thing that God can use.
Get to Know | 35
Dr. Samuel Chand
At the 2012 JHB workers’ retreat, Dr. Sam Chand, a notable leadership expert who consults, mentors, and coaches pastors and ministers of Churches worldwide, shared with us essential principles on how we can grow and enlarge our capacity not only for work in the house of God, but also in our homes, companies, and in essence, society at large. Dr. Chand explained that everything has a capacity. Thus unless we are willing to grow our capacity we will never be able to do what God wants us to do. He shared from Luke 10:2, discussing Jesus’ statement about the need for more workers for the great harvest. This passage tells us that the Kingdom work has to do with the capacity of the laborers. He emphasized that often times people do not have a problem with Jesus but they have a problem with the Church. Evidently, the challenge of the Church is that we have limited capacity to invite people, welcome people, assimilate with people, forgive people, love people, and engage people. Thus, in order to overcome this challenge we have to grow our capacity. Here, Dr. Chand shares with us seven areas in which we can grow our capacity: Pain. You will grow only to the threshold of your pain. The more pain you have, the more you will grow. The difference between a Church that has 10,000 members and one that has 1,000 members is not the building, location, or preaching, but their ability to handle pain. The challenge is determining how much pain you can handle. When people come into leadership they think they are on easy street, but the reality is that once in leadership that is when pain really starts. If you are not willing to handle the pain, then leadership is not for you. Growth brings change. Change equals loss and loss equals pain. Therefore, growth equals pain. There is no growth without pain. The more growth you are willing to have, the more pain will come your way. The problem with being in leadership is that everybody wants to lead, but no one wants deal with the pain. When God calls you into leadership, He gives you a target but once in leadership you become the target. If you want to get into a high level of leadership you have to increase your pain threshold and be willing to hurt more. If you lead, you will bleed. No bleeding, no leading. Relationships. There are two types of relationships in this world: people who make deposits and people who make withdrawals. People who make withdrawals keep on coming. Every
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time they call or send an e-mail, they always need something or need a favor. In order to grow our relationship capacity, we have to become a depositor and hang around people who make deposits into our lives. We usually have new and old relationships. Old relationships are people who see where you used to be and new relationships are people who see where you are going. The people who see where you used to be will keep you there and people who see where you’re going will help you get there. Therefore, pay close attention to whoever is in your ear because whatever has your attention will determine your relationships. When trying to grow your relationship capacity, you should always look for a place or person to sow your seed. Exposure. All enlargements come through exposure; that is why we need to increase our exposure capacity. When you put yourself in positions that are uncomfortable, they will stretch you and that will increase you. We can increase our exposure by reading more books, listening more, and travelling more. In our world today we have become less creative. We know how and where to get the information but we do not think about our own ideas. What are you currently reading to expand your exposure? Identity. We all move through life at different levels. The tension in our life is between who we used to be versus who we are becoming. If you do not know your identity, you are in trouble because people will keep you at an identity that they wish for you to stay at. Just like people will keep you at the level that they first met you even if it has been years since you last saw them. The question is, “what is your identity?” Who are the people around you that make you what you are becoming now? Your identity capacity will allow you to say “That is what I used to be and this is where I am now.” You have a choice to make; to either be around people who will enlarge your world or reduce your world. Unfortunately, there are a whole lot more of reducers than there are enlargers. Therefore, find your own identity based on the unchanging Word of God. Crisis. The Bible talks about going from glory to glory but in real life we go from chaos to chaos or from pain to pain. Unless we have the capacity to manage the chaos, everything in our lives will decline. We have to be able to make the right
changes at the right time, even when others don’t see the need for it. In fact, even you may not physically see the need yourself. How do we make decisions in a crisis? There are five stages to an organization: (1) Entrepreneurial - starting something from scratch, like having an idea. (2) Emerging - getting a location to give shape and form to your idea. (3) Established - having your own logo, by-laws, insurance, website, etc. for your organization. (4) Eroding - most people get comfortable with beign established and do not see the erosion. So “eroding” is the inevitable decline most organizations go through eventually. (5) Enterprising - this is different from entrepreneurial. You can get over the eroding phase by moving into the enterprising phase; this is starting again in order to get out of the erosion phase. This stage introduces new thoughts and ideas. You’re asking “What else can we do differently?”
Dr. Samuel Chand
Dr. Sola Adeaga
In essence, this is a five-step cycle. Where are you in the cycle? The enterprising stage prepares you for where you are going not where you are currently located. If you’re going to get there, you might need to kill a few things. For example, part of an enterprising process as a Church, is the need to kill a few programs and activities that are not working. You might not know where to start but you have to know what to kill, meaning what needs to go. Character. Grow your character capacity. Character is what you do when no one is watching. Guide your character. Your character is what makes you a leader. Watch your character; live a clean life. People can steal your property, take your finances away, burn your car, take your clothes and everything you ever owned, but the only thing you give up voluntarily is your character. Nobody can take your character; only you can surrender your character. Therefore, live holy, live pure, and know that people are watching you. Your character is what makes you a leader. Risk. It seems larger Churches take less risks. This is because when a Church is small, they depend completely and totally on God to make things happen. Likewise, you notice that as we grow up in age, our faith becomes lessened. Everybody wants a sure thing, but here is a radical suggestion, “go play in traffic.” Anybody can play it safe. Most times we are looking for someone to go ahead. What about you? Anybody can be like anybody else. By the time you are 100% sure you are too late. Take a risk.
Leadership | 37
“It’s a New Season,” “Because of Who You Are,” and “Say the Name.” These are just a few songs that bring to mind the Stellar Award winning artist Martha Munizzi. You might think of her as an overnight success but she has been in the world of music for many years before her first album was released. We hope you enjoy DW’s discussion with her on the long road that led her here. DW: Your parents were traveling evangelists. What was that like? Being in a family like that? MM: It was a lot of fun, I grew up traveling with my mom and dad. But back then it was very different. We did not stay in nice hotels, we stayed in people’s homes. So that was a little different dynamic, but we really enjoyed it. We really loved being with our family and being very close knit and ministering together. It was a great way to grow up. DW: So obviously you grew up as a Christian. Was there a point where the walk became more personal as opposed to “I’m in it because my family is in it, and that’s what I’m supposed to do”? MM: Oh yes. My mom really taught me to connect with God on my own. I always saw her have such a great relationship with the Lord, so it’s always been something very personal. As a very young child I was very sensitive to the Holy Spirit and as I got older I realized that I had to continue to re-dedicate my life. When you get into junior high and high school and the pull of the world is there and all that. I went from “being a Christian is all the things you cant do” to “being a Christian is freedom and what we get to do.” That happened my late teens, early twenties; I realized that there is joy in serving God. And that is when it even became more personal for me. DW: How did you discover that it was music you were tending toward, as far as your ministry? MM: My mother always insisted that we sing; there was never an option. So growing up you sing, we sing, this is what we do. Everyone in the house sings. And there were moments when people would come to the house and my mother would cook dinner and say “Ok girls, let’s get around the piano.” And there was no “Oh we don’t want to, we’ll be in our rooms.” My mother does not even understand that language. I’m so thankful that she didn’t give me a choice and it was a part of my life growing up, at home, at school, at Church, wherever I was involved musically. And it’s just been something that comes very naturally. As I got older for a season I thought, I just want to make money singing. I’d go to Church and sing and that’s my ministry, but I could use my voice and
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make money and sing full time. I did that for a long time, I worked at Disney and it was an easy job, just singing. And then the Lord began to prick my heart and said that there’s no satisfaction in it, it was just entertainment. And then I just wanted to serve the Lord full time with music, and got involved with my local Church and that’s what I’ve been doing ever since. DW: Coming from your background and singing with your family, how did you emerge as a solo artist? MM: After spending years, 20 years or more, coming up in the Church, we were at a local Church in Atlanta for about 8 years as a the worship pastors and raising up the team of singers, musicians, and choir. You know I always had dreams as a little girl that I would be on big stages but when I hit this level of success in my local Church, I was doing what I loved to do, that itch was scratched so to speak. So it wasn’t anything that I really saw myself doing. I was happy where I was, but God began to really nudge us and nudge our pastor and say “There’s something greater.” At first it felt like rejection, but then we realized that’s why we were dissatisfied, this is getting old. We had done this for so long. It’s second nature, I don’t need to pray anymore to do it, I can just get up and do it. And God said, “I want to take you to a place where you are really going to have to cling to me.” And so, that was when we decided that we cannot cling to 2 worlds, you either go or you don’t grow. So that’s what we did, we stepped out and work with other Churches, helping them with their music teams. And going
to any Church, it didn’t matter where, we just wanted to help them build up their team. And we did that for 2 or 3 years and then God started opening the doors. I met Israel, I met him years before but we reconnected. He said, “What are ya’ll doing? Let’s make an album.” I said, “Well alright then.” And so we were able to do it in Lakewood and that was the beginning. DW: I read that you are also working on a mentoring program for other praise and worship leaders. What is that about? MM: Yes. Over the years I have spent a lot of time doing music conferences and mentoring and teaching. But we really want to take it to the next level; we’re still defining it, getting a strategy for it. But there is so much we can do through Facebook, there’s so much we can do through live streaming and U Stream, that’s really what we want to do. Just to personally help directors on a consistent basis. For accountability, a lot of pastors are not musical, and they know what they want but don’t know how to define what they want because they are not musical. And sometimes there’s a lot of frustration and we want to help be a liaison to the pastor and the worship pastor, whatever we can do to help mentor and train. We started a few years ago in Orlando E.P.I.C Worship and it stands for Experience Passionate Intimate Connection and it’s just nights of worship. We reached out to some musician and singers in our local area and other local Churches and said, “Hey come be apart of this, let’s put a team together.” It’s just a worship night. We did two live recordings from E.P.I.C. events and it’s been amazing what God has done. But we are ready to take it to the next level and continue helping and raising up and teaching and training the worship leaders. DW: Let me ask you about your style of music. You are the first non-African American to win a Stellar and obviously your music crosses across cultures. How did you arrive at the style of music that you have now? MM: It has been a very natural, kind of organic arrival, I should say. Back when I was 15 or 16 years old when I met my husband, he said have you ever heard of Andrae Crouch? I said yes. My husband has very diverse styles of music that he is a fan of. I remember hearing Andrae Crouch thinking, “Ok, this is otherworldly.” And then I worked at Strang Communications (which is Charisma Magazine) when I was 21, 22. They would have these cassette tapes at the time that different la-
bels would send in that the magazine would review. So when they finished reviewing it, they would put it in a box and put a bunch of the cassettes in the break room, so when we would go on break for lunch we would go in very Friday, and they were free. And so I walked back in one day, and I picked up a Ricky Grundy cassette tape. I went home, I put it in my cassette player at home in my living room, turned it on and I said, “This is it. I don’t know how God you are going to get me there, but this is it.” It was choir music, I mean it was far removed— I grew up Southern Gospel, but I just knew that was the kind of music that I wanted to make. This is what I want to sing, this is what I want to do. It was such a challenge, but that was really were it all started from. My local church at the time was very diverse and so that really made a difference. DW: What would you say is the key to you being who you are now? MM: Learning how to serve. That is the foundation for everything. Serving, it doesn’t mean that you are a doormat, but it’s that heart of saying that everything that I do, I do onto You. So when you hit a glitch or you hit an irritation or maybe a miscommunication, if your heart is to serve you know that you are in the right spirit. God has rewarded me with things that I had to say, “Ok, whatever You want I’ll do.” And at the end I got everything I wanted, just because I had a heart that said that I was willing to serve Him. And the older I get, and the more I do this I realize how important that spirit is. Again not a doormat, but just that learning how to submit and serve. DW: I wanted to ask if you have been through any situation that was just the lowest moment of your life. MM: My personality is sanguine, which if you have ever heard of the personalities, sanguine is more of the very outgoing, storytellers and talkers, and they are more upbeat by nature. So even the bad times, God has so blessed me at even the low points. But I find that right before I go to do an event or to do an album, the enemy really tries to attack my mind and I have to really fight for that. So there are times when I just feel like my best days are behind me or maybe all the things that I want to see happening aren’t happening and I get tired of waiting and I get low, and maybe I’m crazy. So those are the things that really get me low. My parents divorced after 30 years of marriage about 25 years ago, that was very difficult, but I wouldn’t change any of that. I had nodules a couple years ago and lost my voice and I’m a singer, and that was a really low point, that kind of threw me into a moment of fear that I just thought, “God I need You to help me.” And I am healthier than ever, I am stronger than ever now. But it was a long process coming back, so I know what it’s like to feel low, but God will always put you back on the mountain top to proclaim your testimony of His healing power. DW: We do a lot of praise and worship and you do a lot, the praise and worship mentoring program and all that. Is there something or a particular track on this album or any other album that is something for the person that is not necessarily from the Church and does not understand the way that praise and worship works? MM: Yes, on this album my daughter Danielle wrote a song that is called “Love of God.” And it really portrays how deep God’s love is for us. So if the unbeliever heard that, it would be presented in a way that they would say, “Wow.” It’s deeper than the ocean, it’s clearer than the sky, an all consuming fire, a love that will not die. God’s love is spelled out in the song. So it really is a great representation and presentation of God’s love. And then there is another song called, “I Know That You Love Me.” And it just says that “You will never leave me, that You’ll never forsake me. I will never be alone, You keep showing mercy, You’re never withholding. A love like this I have never known.” So, there is a presentation of the love of God on here that unbelievers can hear and be ministered to for sure. DW: What is your all time “if I can’t say anything else but this,” never going to change message? MM: I am never going to change that God is not only able, but he has already done everything that we need Him to do. That God cannot fail; you can’t talk me out of that. I don’t care how it looks, if the figs don’t blossom out of the tree. The Bible says that everything that I am believing for, if none of it happens, God still will prevail and cannot fail.
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A Woman’s Complete Nifemi (Skinny Hipster)
Yes, it’s arguable, but a woman’s complete closet is not so much in how many items she has to work with but the quality of what she has to work with. So ladies, don’t feel the pressure to respond to every sale; just make sure you have these essential items in your closet! 1. A black dress. This has to be one of the most vital items for a woman to own because of its versatility. It can be worn on multiple occasions and can be styled/accessorized so differently that in a few quick moves you have a NEW OUTFIT! 2. Neutral colored pumps (nude & black). You can never go wrong with a nude or black basic pump because they can be paired with virtually EVERYTHING. 3. The classic white shirt. There is nothing as handy as a white button down blouse. It gives a refined professional look when worn to work and can also be paired with jeans to create a more casual look. 4. “Perfect-fit” jeans. A good pair of jeans, in a dark wash, are always a good buy because it goes with everything. The right fit will always play down “problem areas.” I recommend straight-leg because it flatters the majority of body shapes and sizes. 5. A blazer. A well-structured blazer is one of the most timeless fashion staples out there. Blazers are one of the easiest ways to polish out a casual look. Neutral colored blazers like black, grey, and navy allow for more usability. 6. Everyday tote. This item does “double duty” as an office bag during the day and a shopping bag/carry-all afterward. Totes are beneficial to mothers also because a stylish tote can work wonders as a diaper bag without disrupting your outfit.
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7. Comfortable but chic flats. A nice pair of flats provides comfort without sacrificing style. The correct flat can be worn with a dress for a day or night look and look great on skinny or straight-leg jeans. Give your feet a rest from those heels. 8. Accessories. These are major outfit transformers and are the finishing touch to any look. Accessories include scarves, jewelry, hats, sunglasses, belts, etc. One can go for a classic and conventional look with simple stud earrings or bold and creative with statement pieces like chunky bracelets, large watches, or a bold patterned scarf. 9. Proper undergarments. The foundation of every outfit is what lies underneath. Make sure they fit without being tight, and lay seamlessly against the body. 10. A Smile. “A smile is an inexpensive way to change your looks” Charles Gordy. Smiling is very attractive and it’s a free attribute that completes the whole look. A smile is the ultimate accessory.
Media for the
Body, Soul, and Spirit There is a great hunger in the world for answers to questions and a yearning for real solutions to long standing problems. People are desperate to know who they are, why they are here, who they should marry, where they should live and work, where they will end up, and what the future holds. God knows every past secret, our concealed struggles, and our present and future successes . . . Dreams & Destiny will teach you to access and unlock the crucial secret things and mysteries concerning your life and destiny and that of others, and how to uncover the enemy’s secret plots and foil them. It provides a basis for you to: learn how to interpret the dreams you dream, decipher God’s special plan for your life, uncover hidden and secret things, reveal the secrets of people’s hearts and know them for who they really are, learn how to discern and avoid tragedy before it strikes, learn how to supernaturally receive direction and instructions, unveil future events before they happen, learn how to know when God is speaking to you, and learn how to walk in Supernatural insight and power and lots more. [Adapted from book cover]
Honor begins at home. Four men, One calling: To serve and protect. As law enforcement officers, they face danger every day. Yet when tragedy strikes close to home, these fathers are left wrestling with their hopes, their fears, and their faith. From this struggle will come a decision that changes all of their lives. With action, drama, and humor, the fourth film from Sherwood Pictures embraces God’s promise to “turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers.” Souls will be stirred, and hearts will be challenged to be...COURAGEOUS! [Adapted from www.christiancinema.com] Jamie Grace is the newest addition to the TobyMacfounded label, Gotee Records. Her debut EP, “Hold Me” was released by the label on February 22, 2011. Jamie Grace released the title track to the album at the same time and it was one of the most added singles to Christian Hit Radio stations. Her debut album, “One Song at a Time,” was released in stores September 20, 2011. In a somewhat unique style, Jamie Grace combines elements of hip hop, folk, and pop into one distinct sound. In addition, she occasionally uses elements of guest vocalists, such as TobyMac in “Hold Me” and GabeReal from DiverseCity in “One Song at a Time.” Jamie Grace is featured as a main artist and speaker in the Revolve Tour by Women of Faith alongside artists such as Britt Nicole, Group 1 Crew, and Hawk Nelson. [Adapted from http:// en.wikipedia.org]
Yummy | 37 | 41 In Review
Puzzles Solution to Number 41
Quotefall puzzle-solving instructions: Find the common two and three letter words first. Do the columns with all the same letters if there are any.
Blessings crown the head of the righteous (Proverbs 10:6) NIV Solution to Number 42
Keep going until you have found all the little words. REMEMBER - each letter is used ONLY once.
Professing themselves to be wise they became fools (Romans 1:22) KJV
As you use a letter CROSS it out so you don’t use it twice. Each column has the exact number of letters for that column - don’t mix columns.
Solution to Number 43
After all the small words are filled in then it becomes a process of elimination and deduction. REMEMBER - some of the words wrap around to the next line.
I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16) KJV Solution to Number 44 Grace be to you and peace from God our Father (2 Cor. 1:2) KJV Retrieved from: www.biblewordgames.com
42 | Child’s Play
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