One Sunday, it was very refreshing listening to the testimonies of some brethren in the church. And that was after melodious songs from the hymn book by the choir and the congregation. Being ‘old school’, it was obvious that I enjoyed those songs. Trust me, I went around shaking the hands of all the Pastors and the General Overseer, sitting at the front row.
A lady, testified to how she was getting prizes all the time as the best teacher, best this and best that, even from places she never conjectured. When she wanted to contest in a particular programme, some of her fellow contestants withdrew immediately they heard that she was also contesting. Her enviable testimonies were true of her children, as they emerged as the best students in their various schools.
A brother testified to how, on their way for a programme, his Oga at the steering, their car had a problem that would have made it to summersault, but God intervened, and nothing happened to them. He recounted how his landlady made an uncharitable comment, even referring to him as a miser, before he left for a crusade at Ahaba, Isuikwuato, with the Deputy General Overseer. It was a great meeting at which God manifested His power, including the repentance of an occultist, who surrendered his charms to the Lord Jesus. At the end of the miracle crusade, as Uncle was entering his house, his landlady’s action betrayed her expectation that he would not return home alive! Uncle confronted her, questioning why she was looking at him like that. Aunty was speechless, perhaps, realising that ‘power pass power.’ She could not unfortunately live to realise it fully, as she died, perhaps, unable to exchange her life with that of Uncle!
The National Church Secretary testified to how God added one year to her age. An unbeliever may not do so. He may rather be complaining about what God has not done for him, as if God owes him. Our sister stressed the surprise packages she received from her children and also from some church members, which included I-Pad, birthday cake, et cetera. Once again, it is not in every family that you have children appreciating their parents and organising such things for them.
A Pastor testified about his first daughter, a pharmacist, who went through surgery in Port Harcourt and came out alive, when nobody, including the doctors believed that she would live. And she lived and is still living. The same sickness took her to England and even there, pessimism or not, she returned to Nigeria sound and is doing certain things she could not do before travelling abroad.
These were the people who informed the person that was to conduct the service that they would testify of the goodness of the Lord. For sure, they were other people in the congregation who had testimonies of what God did for them. In fact, there was nobody in the church that day who did not have a testimony to share, if we remember that going to bed at night and waking up alive in the morning is a testimony.
One of the days during the weeklong fasting and prayers last month, the service conductor asked the congregation whether anybody had a testimony. I reminded the congregation that I always had testimonies to share. I narrated how I arrived at the US Embassy a few weeks earlier and the crowd was like a market place. We struggled to get a parking space for our car. Pointing at the mammoth crowd, I said to a lady squatting at my left side, “See, all these people are queuing and suffering themselves for US visas, but there is a better visa, which is free and it does not require queuing and suffering”. She smiled and said, “Visa of going to Heaven. I am a child of God.” I appreciated her and still shared the gospel with her. When it was getting close to the counter, I started rehearsing the possible questions I would be asked. Surprisingly, the only question I was asked was how long I intended to stay in the US. I told the lady. She congratulated me and gave me the documents showing where I would go to collect my multiple visa after three working days.
Testimonies, as I have maintained always, is far greater than the message the minister gives during the worship service. The message is usually what we expect God to do if we behave in a particular way towards His Word. On the other hand, a testimony is about what He has done already in the life of someone. It, therefore, encourages someone more than the message. In some churches, much time is devoted to testimonies, but in some churches, it is more of a lip service. Thankfully, sufficient time was given to it in our church that day. We would have missed nothing if the minister did not give any message after the testimonies. And so it was a few years ago. The General Overseer said that there was no need for any message again. We went home satisfied.
They overcame him (the devil) by the words of their testimonies,” Rev. 14. The devil has nothing to argue over a testimony. There is nothing he can do about it. It silences him and his agents. Apostle John recorded one in Chapter 9 of his Gospel Message. Jesus restored the sight of a blind youth, a fit the Jewish rabbi and medical personnel could not do. The Jewish leaders told him that he was not blind. But the youth knew that he was. They even took him to his parents, questioning whether he was blind. They acquiesced. They told the youth that Jesus was a sinner. “Whether He is a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, once I was blind, but now I see,” he told them.
Testimonies, thus, speak volumes. Let sufficient time be given for them.
For further comment, Please contact: Osondu Anyalechi: 0909 041 9057; [email protected]