Alex Omokudu is not just a preacher but a practical demonstration of what God can do in a manâ€™s life. As Senior Pastor, Victorious Pentecostal Assembly (VPA), London, a Christian deliverance ministry, set up 12 years ago, the church through his leadership is fast becoming one of the churches in the UK that is redefining what Christianity stands for. The London-based preacher during a recent visit to Nigeria spoke about his exploits in London and future plans for Nigeria. Writes Mary Ekah
For close to 40 years of his life, Pastor Alex Omokudu, Senior Pastor of Victorious Pentecostal Assembly (VPA), London could hardly speak. He was ridiculed at school and regarded as worthless in his family. Born in a little village close to Auchi in Edo State, Omokudu was practically a dumb when he was born. He struggled through school with his difficulties and was always the target of his teachers, all of whom did not fully understand his condition and how to help him. His co-students did not help the situation too as they constantly made jest of him. Due to his disability, he was quick to temper and lashed out at people so easily, which always led to him being thrown out of class. He was regarded as uneducable because of his disability.
By a twist of fate, God touched him in a miraculous way and the moment he was touched, things took a different shape in his life. Suddenly he could talk. He was not just able to speak but started speaking to a congregation of highly educated people in the United Kingdom where he now resides. And so when God arrested him, he that was dumb spoke and the once uneducable became a fast learner. He started his pastoral journey in Lagos preaching, healing the sick, raising the dead and touching lives.
He has become a source of inspiration to many and he is today, a man who God has used to transform faith and also affirm Godâ€™s miraculous works. He is a Nigerian son who has done good in the Diaspora. He loves to tell his story because it shows the miraculous power of God in his life.
â€œIf the story of my transformation is real then anyoneâ€™s story can be changed by God,â€ he began telling his story.
Omokudu was a man who hardly believed in God much more dreamt of being a pastor but when the troubles of life gripped him, no one told him it was time to seek Godâ€™s face. And so he sought for Godâ€™s intervention in his life at various churches and that was when the journey to his lifeâ€™s transformation began.
Before he got healed of his disability, he came in touch with a man of God he simply refers to as Pastor Julius. â€œSomehow, I got encountered with a man of God, Pastor Julius; he was actually the very first man of God I met. I never believed in pastors but when problems and reproaches were too much on me, I just knew I needed to seek God. And so I went to this church. I remember I went there very early in the morning and I was the 60th person on the list waiting to see the man of God to proffer solution to my problems then. I waited that long with so much patience because I had been told stories about this particular man of God that he had the power to tell your future the moment he sets eyes on you. So I really wanted to know what the future holds for me, if I was going to prosper or not. And when I met him, he simply said, â€œHalleluiah! I see God using youâ€ and that was all he said to me. I was sad within me because that was not what I wanted to hear. I was a hungry man and needed a man that will tell me that how I will eat food and not tell me that God was going to use me. I was also considering how God can use a dumb like me. And without wasting time, the man of God told me to go for deliverance. And after the deliverance I was determined not to leave the church because he told me God wanted to use me and I wanted to see how God can use me in his presence and today the story has truly changed,â€ he recalled.
Speaking further about his life transformation, he said, â€œWhat is remarkable about me is that I was born a dumb, abandoned and was unable to go to school. I survived by foraging on the streets of Lagos. Then one day I was miraculously healed of my disabilities at a church service and later ordained a pastor and then relocated to the UK where I set up the VPA which is now among the fastest growing churches in the UK. I tell people my story almost every day to inspire faith in God.â€
â€œToday, people still wonder if miracles happen and if God exits, I will say that my life alone is a miracle. It is a case of the captive becoming the captain. It can only be God that can cause such transformation in the life of a man that was without education and also lacked direction in life. Today I am being celebrated.â€
Recalling his journey into the ministry, Omokudu said he never dreamt of being a pastor because for him, his life was nothing to write home about. â€œI was just after how to fend for myself. I didnâ€™t plan to be a pastor because I felt that a man who could not fend for himself nor even express himself could never preach to others. But one night God showed me a vision. He said that I should wake up and read Isaiah 61 and when I refused the next thing I heard was a slap on my face that woke me from my sleep and got me so scared. I was the only one in the room and the door was locked. I rushed to read the Bible passage, which says that the spirit of God is upon me to set the captives free but I could not understand what that meant. And so I went back to sleep and the voice came to me again and said to me that for me to confirm His word which he has spoken to me that morning, I should go to the general hospital. Immediately I went to the general hospital because I was so scared that if I refused this instruction, something bigger than a dirty slap might come upon me. And at the casualty department of the hospital, I could not believe the wonders God used me to perform. In fact, I raised the dead and healed the sick and the whole hospital was shaken. And that was the beginning of the ministry and since then, I am shocked and amazed at what God has been doing. In fact right know I will say I still donâ€™t know what is happening because Iâ€™m still so confused about the miraculous deeds that are happening in my ministry.â€
For Omokudu, his success story is tied to his compassion. According to him, â€œFaith, love and hope are the three things ruling destiny. The greatest of them is love. Love gives victory and does not know defeat.â€
I can go to any length to attend to the needs of those who seek my help. My wealth belongs to the people; whatever I make I give out. People are suffering and need help,â€ he noted.
He has a passion for turning around the lives of gang members, murderers, criminals, drug users and other questionable characters in the society. Young Kenny Oladipo is a typical London youth who was into â€˜gangsterismâ€™ and was notoriously known by the police. After his encounter with Pastor Omokudu, his life was changed for the better and he was placed on the right direction. His change was so exceptional that the police visited Victorious Pentecostal Church, where Pastor Omokudu is oversees, to see the man that could affect the young manâ€™s life in such a positive way within a short time.
Pastor Alex as the congregation calls him, is in fact sometimes surprised himself when some miracles happen but for him, he knows it can only be Godâ€™s fingers at work.
â€œMembers of the ministry believe anything I touch can bring about a miracle but I never fail to remind them that God is the miracle worker and not man. Benny Hinn, the renowned American pastor, has made VPA his partner church where he preaches up to four times in a year and last year went on a special pilgrimage with me to Israel,â€ he noted.
Omokudu believes this is the time that Nigerians need to seek God in a different dimension, noting, I know Nigerians need what God has deposited in me. I left this country in 2002 and now I am back with good tidings.â€
To show how prepared he is for Nigerians, the VPA pastor on his arrival recently, bought about 40 plots of land in Lekki, this he said is part of his plans to affect his country Nigeria. â€œIt is time for Nigerians to also experience what people in Great Britain have been experiencing over the years,â€ he said.
Speaking further, he said, â€œWhen God called me if he had asked me where I would wanted to preach, I would have said in my village. After I left this country in 2002 for the UK, I know Nigerians want what God has embedded in me. I just know that this is the time for Nigerians to know God in a different way. When God calls you he backs you up. I just got about 40 plots of land in Lekki, I tell you that I do not know how I got the land, it is just God working. I believe God wants to use me to affect my country because God knows how to use foolish things to calm down the wise and to prove himself. And I know this is the time for God to prove himself in Nigeria. If the miracles experienced in British are experienced here, then God is proving himself.â€
Having been away for so long one would think that pastor will be worrisome of the peculiar challenges he might have to face in Nigeria as he plans to operate his ministry in the country but he said, â€œGod who called me has been backing me up so I do not fear challenges. Without challenges I wonâ€™t be here. I love my country and I want to impact my country. Based on what has been happening in London I am not afraid. A criminal case was forced on me and God proved himself that he is with me, so I am not afraid of whatever the challenges maybe because God is on my side.â€
â€œNigeria truly needs God, people are battered and when I think of all these, my heart is broken for Nigeria, I see people and I cry in my heart because of sufferings they go through. People will suffer and go to school and end up not getting jobs. I have come to affect my country,â€ he said.