From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
As it was practically demonstrated by Jesus Christ in the Bible, when He fed the multitude with five loaves of bread and two fishes, He had clearly shown that feeding the needy and catering for the poor, was essential ingredients of evangelism.
Thus, Jubilee Christian Church International (JCCI), Abeokuta, Ogun State, as part of the commemoration of its 25 years anniversary, decided to distribute food items to the over 3,000 indigents, while 30 widows were empowered.
Tagged ‘Jubilee Food and Charity Day’, the church headquarters at Isale Abetu, played host to people who had thronged the venue to benefit from JCCI’s hands of fellowship. Food items like rice and beans were distributed to the elderly, while the young ones got noodles as well as other freebies like popcorn, ice cream and assorted soft drinks.
For the widows, however, cash gifts were given to them to invest in their trading and businesses. Apart from that, the church used the occasion to entertain the people as the gospel group, Ayan Jesu and Victory Dancers from Lagos, thrilled the audience to melodious songs.
The guest minister, Apostle Ayo Akingbade, enjoined Christians to imbibe the culture of helping the less privileged in the country. He said the well-to-do in the society must always create avenues to ameliorate sufferings of the downtrodden as this symbolises love as it is exemplified by Jesus.
He added that extreme hunger and poverty could drive even the strongest of the believers to commit sins, appealing to well meaning to assist the Church in its bid to reduce poverty in the society. He prayed for the speedy recovery of the nation from its various afflictions, including economic crisis, insecurity and corruption.
General Overseer of the church, Rev. Kunle Adesina, said many Nigerians were experiencing difficulty due to the current economic situation of the country. He noted that as a religious organisation, his church offered to assist the less privileged people towards making their lives more bearable.
He said there was pervasive hunger and poverty in the country, adding that the authorities must quickly fix the problem to avert people’s revolt. He equally advised the government to desist from policies and programmes that could aggravate the poor living conditions of the citizenry:
“If you notice the situation of things in the country today, there are so many people that are passing through different shocking challenges. My advice to the government is that whatever policy they introduce, they should take the poor people that are in the majority into consideration.
“Policy that will not cater for them is not good as far as I am concerned. I don’t pray that we get to the point where the poor people will not be able to take it again and that’s when you’d see people revolting and calling for revolution.” He tasked leaders to put effective measures in place to prevent the economy from going out of control.
A beneficiary of the programme, Madam Felicia Adeyanju, said she was surprised to receive substantive food items from the church despite the economic situation in the country. She added though she had never attended the church before, the cordial treatment given to her, showed that love still dwells in the country noting, “there still hope for the country”.
A 14-year-old JSS 3 student of Lisabi Grammar School, Akorede Abass, lauded the church for the kind gesture towards the needy. He said he actually attended the charity event when he learnt free ice cream and other item would be given to the young ones.
One of the widows who benefited from the cash largesse, Mrs. Ibidun Adewusi, said since she lost her husband 10 years ago, it has not been easy to cater for three kids. She said the N20,000 cash will be injected into her petty trading.
But for Pa Muraina Adekunle, the programme should be sustained by the church. According to him, apart from government, religious organisations should serve as places of refuge for the needy in the society. He, therefore, saluted the church’s large heart and sincere catering for those who bear the brunt of the present economic woe in Nigeria.