In a bid to ensure better life and improved livelihoods for both Christians and non-Christians alike in Nigeria, the Redeemed Christian Church of God empowered several citizens during the recent Easter Letâ€™s Go a Fishing programme, which took place at the Overflowing Mega Zone, Fagba, Lagos. Abimbola Akosile captures the event
It is easier to give a fish to a hungry person to assuage his or her hunger temporarily. But when such a person is given the right equipment to catch fishes personally, that connotes a lasting positive empowerment process.
That may well have been the focus of the Redeemed Christian Church of God Overflowing Mega Zone, Fagba, Lagos State, during the Easter Letâ€™s Go a Fishing and Empowerment Programme, where both the worshippers and non-worshippers, in a life-changing experience, benefited from the caring heart of the church.
At the empowerment programme with the theme â€˜Skill Up Entrepreneurship Scheme Season Twoâ€™ an initiative of the Assistant Pastor in Charge of the Province (APICP) Administration, LP 14, Pastor Paul Adewunmi, various forms of equipment worth several thousands of naira were distributed freely to worshippers and non-worshippers alike.
The church had earlier also embarked on a medical outreach where over 1,000 participants benefitted from medical intervention for different ailments, all free of charge.
According to Pastor Adewunmi, the empowerment programme was borne out of the passion to spread the love of Christ and add value to the quality of living of Nigerians; Christians or non-Christian. The clergyman, together with his wife, developed a lifelong project known as Skill-Up entrepreneur.
The project, Adewunmi said, was geared towards developing the skills of participants for the period of three months (two months of intensive training and one month of industrial training).
After the successful completion of the first season which graduated about 100 students, the academy decided to launch the second season and the second season graduates were empowered during the last Letâ€™s Go a Fishing Programme where over 20 outstanding students were empowered with tools that would aid their vocational skills.
The graduates emerged from various departments including Fashion Design, Desktop Publishing, Bead-making, Makeup and Gele Artistry, Catering, Photography and Film making, Website Design and Music.
The project was managed by Datapower-Africa, a human capacity development organisation which is ITT endorsed and the trainees were trained by Lifeguard Leaders and Vocation School, a standard and highly equipped training centre.
Beneficiaries at the event included Oluwaji Oseni, who went home with photography equipment; Joshua Adeboye who got a Photo printer; Esther Adesola who was given a make-up tool-kit; and Modupe Eniojukan, who was empowered with computer printers etc.
The National Overseer of the RCCG, Pastor Joseph Obayemi, who graced the LP14 event, showered praises on the convener (Adewunmi) and his team for the empowerment programme.
Obayemi described the empowerment gesture at Zonal level as the first of its kind in the Region 2 Letâ€™s Go a Fishing Outreach. He admonished the organisers to keep the flag flying.
In a brief chat with journalists, Adewunmi said â€œthe Missionâ€™s vision is that we should empower people, feed them also and then plant churches. We felt we needed to pursue the vision of our General Overseer, Pastor Enoch Adeboye.
â€œWe did the Letâ€™s Go a Fishing and we empowered 120 people on skills acquisition and at the end we empowered some of them with solid tools to work, such as oven for baking and gas for some.
â€œThose who trained in beauty were empowered with full make-up kit; those who graduated with desktop were given computers; those into music were given piano and guitar; those from fashion designing were given sewing machines, while those who are cake bakers were given oven and mixer.
â€œWe also gave those who are into internet modem. This is not the first time the church would be embarking on such humanitarian gesture. In May 2016, the church empowered over 30 persons and this year is season 2 and we pray and hope that next year will be betterâ€, he added.
According to the pastor, â€œI believe in mixing spirituality with business because the Bible says faith without work is dead. Even Jesus Christ preached and worked and Proverb 22: 29 says that a man who is diligent in his work will stand before Kings and not mere men.
â€œJesus Himself had business according to Act chapter 6. Whom shall we choose to appoint over this business? He also taught us to do our business and make business. If you donâ€™t have business you cannot make business. Jesus wants us to make profit in the Kingdomâ€, he added.
Commenting on his churchâ€™s expansion project, Adewunmi said. â€œWe opened up or expanded because it is a zonal headquarters, and since the church debuted four years ago it has already planted six parishes with the seventh one in the pipeline.â€
Speaking on how he gets funding for the projects, Adewunmi replied, â€œI also contribute to this and some of my friends in the mission have been supportive. Also, the members of Hours of Solution, a Wednesday prayer that we do weekly, have been supportive. They saw that we are faithful to that mission, which has continued to touch lives and they support us with their resources. We are rest assured that we are developing renowned entrepreneurs that would take the world by storm.â€
Adewunmi used the opportunity to admonish all graduating entrepreneurs that â€œwhatever your hand findeth to do, do with all your heart.â€ He also expressed his gratitude to Pastor Adeboye, â€œwho has given us the opportunity to reach out and be a blessing to the world.â€
Expressing their gratitude, the beneficiaries in unison thanked the organisers for such a life-changing programme. â€œGod will continue to enlarge his coast and his anointing shall never run dryâ€, they prayed for Adewunmi and his team of organisers.
A lot of energy and commitment have been brought into the empowerment project by the team members who are professionals in their various fields of expertise with national and international professional certifications.
THISDAY gathered that all the training resources were provided by Pastor Adewunmi. None of the students were required to pay for any of the materials as all the materials were catered for. The training processes were 100 per cent practical with each student having relevant machines and tools to themselves throughout the training programme.