Do You Agree? Yoruba christians have peculiar spiritual challenges – Pastor Adu

Badagry, the Nigerian coastal town situated be­tween Lagos and the border with Benin Repub­lic, at Seme, is reputed as the land of many firsts. It was from there, from its lagoon leading to the Atlantic Ocean, that the first slaves were exported to the Americas in the 18th century. Even till today monuments of that unedifying historical episode, such as the popular “point of no return,” and the big, heavy chains used to shackle the slaves still remain at Badagry.

It was at Badagry that the first major Christian mission­ary work began in 1842, by Rev. Bernard Freeman. So also the first storey building in Nigeria and the first prima­ry school, St Thomas Anglican Primary School, in 1845.

You would think that dark forces would have nothing to do with such a place that became the first to experi­ence the Whiteman’s civilization before other places in Nigeria did. But Pastor Matthew Oluwadare Adu, found something to the contrary when he was posted there as a Regional Overseer, some years ago, to oversee the mission work going on under the auspices of Deeper Christian Life Ministry.

In a chat with Saturday Sun, Pastor Adu, who is today the founder and General Overseer of Full Redemption Christian Ministry International, Igando, Lagos, but with branches in Kenya, Uganda, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Benin Republic and Togo, shares with readers the scary experiences of how he was attacked by demonic forces while ministering in the place and how he survived. Read excerpts after the cut

Life as an Overseer

I started my church ministry career as a full-time pastor in Akure. I was posted to Akure in 1990. Before that time, God had showed me a revelation, the meaning of which I did not know very well. I only knew the beginning. I didn’t share it with anyone while praying about it. At that time, I was coordinating Badagry from Agege. One Sun­day, Pastor Kumuyi sent his driver to bring me. He left a message for me. I went to see him at Gbagada. But by the time I arrived there, it was 11pm. They said I should come back by 10a.m the following day. By this time I had left Royal Exchange Assurance Company and was working at Ark Insurance in Victoria Island, Lagos. I was in charge of finance. When I saw the pastor the next day in Gbagada, he told me that for the December retreat, he wanted us (ministers) to record our messages and send them to all the retreat locations so that there can be variety of preachers. He gave me a message and said I should find time to come to the studio to record it, and then I was free to leave.

Then he asked me what I’ve been thinking about full-time ministry. I shared a bit with him. He told me he had been following my ministry in Agege, and Badagry, un­known to me. He asked me to resign my job so that I’ll move to Akure. He told me to be swift about it, promising that the church would offset my outstanding loans. So, I sent in my resignation. The members of the staff were in­consolable.

The chairman received the information all the way from the U.K. He was devastated. Very early December 1990, I was driven with my luggage to Akure and introduced as the new state overseer. I was there by the grace of God and within the first five months, we added about 1,000 new members in Akure alone. There was a general problem in Deeper Life in 1991 when all the state overseers wanted to leave. That led to a re-organisation: the former state overseers were posted back to their former stations. I had to wait for my children to conclude the academic year in Akure before I came back to Lagos. The pastor, (Kumuyi) sent me to Badagry. I was there for 10 years and three months.

Ministering at Badagry

Whenever I go to a place, I like to study that place. So, when I got there, I met a brother working in the library. From him, I got a book about Badagry. He took me around some landmark locations – where Bishop Ajayi Crow­der translated the English Bible to Yoruba, the first place where the gospel was preached in 1842. I observed that the first year I got there, there was no addition of members to the church. People were coming and leaving. I reported back to the GS (General Superintendent) at IBTC (Inter­national Bible Training Centre, Ayobo, Ipaja, Lagos), that after two years we only added 15 people and with my re­cord in Agege and Akure, something was not right.

He made several promises to attend our crusades there, but he never came. Also, I experienced serious poverty. Not to talk of spiritual attacks. At a point, from Wednesday through Friday, I couldn’t eat or drink water. I felt as if a razor blade was being used to cut away a part of my body. I was seriously dehydrated. On Friday, I went all out to prepare and deliver a strong message. Later while praying in the library as the pain started again, I fell into a trance.

There was a workers’ meeting going in the French vil­lage and in the trance Pastor Kumuyi was presiding. I was watching from outside. Somebody then asked about the exact attacks I was facing then. God then revealed to me through Nehemiah 13 that the attacks were coming from within the church.

Eventually I got assorted fruits miraculously, ate them and defeated that episode. Our prayers also paid off. Once, while we were in the middle of a seven-day fasting and praying in the church, silhouette of a naked man was seen behind the fence crying out loudly in the night that we should stop. That was a messenger of darkness. At another time in Ijanikin, during a church service, somebody was flung from his seat hard across the wall and when we in­terrogated him, we discovered he ‘flew in’ diabolically from Taraba State to carry out the devil’s assignment. So, these things taught me deliverance was real and so was the devil. Also, the poverty in the Badagry church was deep. We held a breakthrough crusade in 1997 to destroy yokes, break strongholds and release destinies. Within a short pe­riod, the prayers started yielding results. When I got there, no member had a bicycle. After the crusade, people started testifying about land acquisition, house completion and vehicle acquisition. Till today, people still talk about that crusade. Meanwhile, it was not until year 2000 at Reinhard Bonke’s crusade that I saw and bought a book for the first time about deliverance. But before then God had wrought mighty works of deliverance through my ministry.

His ministry and ministration

I’m not a prophet. I’m an evangelist/pastor. But there are occasions when the Holy Spirit will minister specific things. For instance, there was one Christian sister whose family was so poor that the church used to pay her trans­port from Festac. I saw what was coming for her and told her, that God was going to change her situation, according to revelation shown to me. Today, she’s a pathologist with the Lagos State government and she is doing very well fi­nancially and helping others. Her husband is overseas as I talk to you. Whereas the prophets get discernment regular­ly, we the evangelists/pastors don’t. That’s the difference.

Spiritual challenges of a typical Yoruba Christian

There are many and it’s the same problem all over Af­rica. In Yorubaland for instance, we have a lot of deities, powerful ones with which, directly or indirectly, most Yorubas are involved – Ogun, Obatala, Sango! So, how can you be a Yoruba person without getting your roots en­tangled with these gods? So, you need deliverance from these.

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