Mary Nnah writes that Christ Chapel International Churches, Ojokoro Housing Estate, Lagos, recently rolled out the drums to celebrate their three decades of existence and service to humanity
It was a period of merriment and jubilation for the entire members of the Christ Chapel International Churches (CCIC), Ojokoro Housing Estate, Ojokoro, Lagos, when they rolled out drums recently to celebrate 30 years of God’s faithfulness to them as individuals and the church as a whole.
The 30-year journey started in 1990 with a fellowship in the estate holding meetings in a room. It was led on the hearts of the members then to start a church from the fellowship and thereafter it moved to a primary school within the estate before it finally relocated to its present site where the church operated first under a canopy for many years before God proved His faithfulness and they moved to their edifice.
“We grew not only numerically, but we also multiplied in terms of our personal and spiritual lives and the edifice we are seeing today is a product of God’s faithfulness upon the people worshipping here.
So far, it has been the faithfulness of God that has kept us because in that little beginning we never despised God. And God says we should not despise little beginnings. So, the people that were here at that point, were faithfully committed, hardworking and dedicated to what they believed in and that gave life to this fellowship, made it to continue to grow and for people to continue to come”, recalled the Pastor, Dr. Ayo Ayodele during the ceremony.
He revealed further that centre in the course of 30 years, has also given birth to two other centres – one at Sango-Ota and another at Abule Iroko, both in Ogun State, adding, “These are the products of God’s faithful upon our lives”.
Speaking on the theme of the celebration, “The Glory of the Latter House”, Ayodele said it was based on scripture from Haggai 2:9, where it is written: “The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of host: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts.”
He noted, “our believe is that the Glory of God spoken of in that bible verse, is actually about our human lives, which the Holy Spirit has already given to us but which is going to be activated in a dimension that we have never seen before such that we would operate at a higher spiritual level; to get more results – spiritually, physically, materially and financially.
“So, our celebration of this year is actually, one, to look back and thank God for what he has done – there was glory no doubt, but also to look ahead and to see the greater things that He would still do”.
Relating the anniversary theme to the present situation in Nigeria, he said, “Certainly, Nigeria is a blessed country. Nigeria has had glory. Nigeria is blessed in resources, and human materials. We had once been the cynosure of all nations – people ran to Nigeria because we are blessed. But what we are seeing today is the product of the challenges we are going through, which makes Nigeria to appear as if the glory has departed.
“But the truth is this, if we return to God, if we seek his face, God will do greater things here. He has promised that what He would do for Nigeria, eyes have not seen, ears have not heard; neither has it entered into the heart of any man.
“And in many other scriptures, God is urging His people to return to him, saying, If you return to me with all of your hearts; if you seek me and call on me, I am going to do a reversal of your fortunes and I am going to bring you back to a place of restoration where everything I have for you will begin to reveal and manifest.”
Speaking confidently about the promises of God for Nigeria, the clergy further said: “In Nigeria, specifically, I dare to say that Nigeria is yet to experience a greater glory. Only those who have spiritual discernment can see it. Right now, everybody complains, cries and throw abusive words but if we look beyond the realities of our circumstances … this time will pass and the glory will yet be revealed. But it’s for only those who would be ready to partake of it.”
He urged therefore that, “our leaders must seek God. They must return to God otherwise, they may see it but may not partake of it.”
Apart from grooming humans spiritually, the church has also impacted on its environment tremendously over the years.
“We believe that as a church, our primary purpose is to bring people to the knowledge of Christ; preparing them for heaven. But at the same time, God wants us to be blessing to every human on the face of the earth particularly our neighbours.
So, in our own little way, we have awarded scholarships to students of secondary schools in the past; we have gone on medical outreaches, touching the lives of people in this community. Even recently, we had an outreach where we distributed food items, cloths and other materials and people came in large numbers to be a part of that.
We have had empowerment programmes where we empower women in some vocations, giving them not only financial support, but also buying equipment for them, so that they can also have means of livelihood. We have just gone to equip a classroom at the Ijaiye Ojokoro High School. Last year we equipped a Home Economics laboratory for the very school from where the church started; we went to give back to the school.
We have done these bearing in mind that if we cannot affect our community, then we become irrelevant and the gospel that we preach may not make sense”, Ayodele noted.
The General Worker Coordinator of the church, Blessing Ukute said it has been great being a member of the church from inception.
“God has been faithful and it has been a wonderful journey. Everything I am today, I owe it to God through this church”, he noted, adding, “The driving force for me is that you don’t change a winning team. I have been here right from the day the church started. And since then I have seen my life transformed positively and moved higher”.
Speaking on what it took to put the anniversary together, the Chairman, Planning Committee, Omobolaji Salako, said, “Basically, it was a collective and team effort. If you have a team who are up to the task and knows what it takes to get a job done, basically your job will be made easier.
“So we have got people who are willing and have the drive to get a job done, so basically, it is just almost like a piece of cake. That is because everyone amongst us knows what to do and they are well abreast of what needs to be done at a particular timeline and that’s exactly what we did.”
Highlights of the anniversary were donations of items to schools and food stuff to people in the community where the church is located.