Nseobong Okon-Ekong and Vanessa Obioha record their impression of an electrifying faith conclave superintended by Bishop Chris Kwakpovwe
Since its inception in 2012, the Manna Miracle Mountain has become the go-to-place of sorts to believers seeking miracles or hungry for fresh anointing every July. Usually, there is a day set aside in the seventh month of the year for what has become known as the World Anointing Service, a gathering that climaxes a 14-day fast to fortify faithful in the run-off of the second half of the year.
There are two similar services in the Manna Mountain Ministries calendar; one in January, preceded by a 21-day fast; and the July conclave. Both attract a great pool of people from the continent and beyond who tap from the anointing of Bishop Chris Kwakpovwe.
The established tradition is that the January meeting holds at the Tafawa Balewa Square at Onikan in Lagos, while the July gathering takes place at the headquarters of the ministry at Ogudu also in Lagos. However, it may not be long before the increasing number of attendees at the July assembly forces a shift to a bigger venue. Although, the mountain’s main auditorium is constructed to accommodate an upper terrace to accommodate as many as possible, on a day like this, tents were erected within and outside the building to harbour the teeming congregation.
Smiling but firm ushers and protocol personnel insisted on orderly conduct to avoid mishap. Their firmness was for a good reason, having learnt from previous misfortune which dragged the reputation of the ministry and that of its leading light, Kwakpovwe into unnecessary mess. For instance, a lady who allegedly fell ‘under anointing’ and broke a tooth as the Bishop ministered at one of the meetings has sued the Man of God and the ministry for damages. Caught in this seeming precarious situation, Kwakpovwe has weighed many options, but he knows better than to obey his instinct or the summation of his intellect as a knowledgeable man who studied Pharmacy at the University of Ife.
“When I am under the prophetic unction, I am not myself. I do not know anyone at that time. I don’t even know my wife. People may take me to court, but I am just a tool in the hands of the Holy Spirit. Who should I obey? I will continue to obey God because He has never failed. I do not want anything. I am the least qualified person for all the things that God has accomplished through me. When I hear these testimonies, I am encouraged to remain steadfast for the manifestation of the Glory of God.”
True to his resolve to obey the leading of the Holy Spirit, every now and then, there will be a high-pitched scream or some mild commotion from someone who ‘fell under the ‘anointing’. The pastors and ushers were alert to these occurrences and would quickly rush there. Sometimes, Kwakpovwe would ask that the person be brought forward to the altar. At other times, he would just stretch his hand and command ‘peace’, ‘quiet’ and the excited person would experience immediate calm.
An immediate evidence of his obedience to divine instruction was the daunting task of personally laying his hand on everyone at the assembly. Given the teeming crowd, it was a tiring assignment, but he had no choice than to obey the Holy Spirit. Those who watched via internet were asked to place their hands on their screening devices to connect with the anointing of the prophet.
Many were eager to be blessed, touched and healed by him. After rolling out series of prayers and prophecies, backed with the Word of God, not a few in the congregation proclaimed their healing. A woman whose menstrual period had ceased for many years said her cycle returned during the ministration. Another who had waited for 10 years for a fellowship in America got a text during the prayer session. She was not only selected, she was made the leader of the team. It is her first travel out of Nigeria!
A man who had been coughing frequently before the assembly said, for over five hours that he was there, the embarrassing cough had disappeared. The queue of persons who had one testimony or another was long. To save time, a good number of them were persuaded to relay their testimony to the media department who would document them.
Their bold acts of faith equally moved the Man of God with compassion. He urged the sick, the afflicted, the heavy-laden to come to the throne of the Almighty God to seek His mercies. Kwakpovwe who has also gone through turbulent times said he understood what people go through and believes that’s why God put him through the wilderness.
Despite a live telecast and streaming on the internet, the throng of worshippers who would rather be live at the venue, only those who are determined can be persuaded to remain in their locations. However, a great deal exercised faith by congregating at designated centres in various Nigerian and African cities. Manna Mountains were created in cities in the United States of America, the United Kingdom and other European and Asian cities. Indeed, Kwakpovwe’s reputation for excellence has gone global, largely on the strength of his connection to audiences worldwide through his best-selling daily faith devotional, Our Daily Manna.
As he ministered, there was a need to mention and acknowledge the sacrifice of leaders at the various Manna Mountains outside Lagos whose duty it was to coordinate activities at these venues.
For the thousands who thronged the Manna Mountain in Ogudu environs, Lagos, their quest was not different from the teeming crowd at the satellite venues. Everyone was hungry for a testimonial of turn-around in circumstance; from a harrowing condition to a place of comfort. This year’s theme was ‘That Delay is Over’.
Although the service is mainly for deliverance prayers, healing and testimonies, there was also an orchestra performance from the youths while the choir serenaded the congregation with praise and soul-lifting songs.