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Adoption of children is scriptural –Mrs Aramide Oikelome

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Mrs. Aramide Oikelome was called into the ministry of providing hope to hopeless children in the society which spurred her to establish Bestspring Children &Youth Development Foundation and Goshen Home, that cater for vulnerable and physically challenged children and orphans. In this interview with ESTHER BAKARE, she discloses how God gave her the mandate to heal hurts and cater for orphans

How did you receive the vision?

The vision for the orphanage came in 2014, while I was at a Women Conference in my church then.

It was precisely on 7th June, 2014 and we were having a fasting and praying session. While on my knees to pray, I heard the Lord say to me, ‘Daughter, I want you to set up an orphanage.

It is going to be a choice home where destiny children will be nurtured.

I will cause it to flourish and it shall be a fountain from where many lives will be nourished. Let it be within Akute-Olambe area. I will cause many churches/organisations to adopt the home and sow into it’.

Prior to that time, in December 2002, my husband and I started Bestspring Children and Youth Development Foundation to advocate and cater for orphans, vulnerable and physically-challenged children but we became formally registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission in 2010 as a non-governmental organisation.

Our mandate is to heal hurts and restore hope to vulnerable children and youths.

We have served in this capacity in the last 14 years and have provided humanitarian support to indigent children in areas of education, nutrition and psycho-social support.

What was your reaction to the call?

When the message came, I laughed because I didn’t have a dime.

The NGO we were running had lot of challenges with paying school fees and caring for the vulnerable children under our care.

We couldn’t afford a lot of things at the time, so I didn’t see how I would be able to afford to rent a bungalow or duplex and furnish it as an orphanage.

So, I told the Lord that if truly He is the one leading me in this direction, He should speak to my husband to approve of it.

That was the litmus test and confirmation l needed most.

Of course, I could not tell him immediately because I was almost too sure he would raise objection in view of the financial stress we were already going through with running Bestspring Foundation.

But the very day I told him, he was all out for it and even encouraged me to look for a suitable place to rent.

His words, ‘I perceive that God wants to build us an institution that will outlive us, so there is no need to delay’.

So I went on to search for a place for use. I also sent someone to the Ministry of Social Development, Abeokuta, to make enquires about government’s requirements for us to run an orphanage so we would be guided aright.

We searched and searched but did not find a suitable place. It was in the process that I lost my dad on 3rd August 2014.

I was devastated and forgot all about the project. But exactly six months later, 7th December 2014, a miracle happened that blew my mind.

Someone donated a piece of land to us and said God told him to give it up for an orphanage.

At the Bestspring Partners’ Dinner that month, we were able to raise some money and on 24th January 2015, the foundation of the orphanage was laid and that was when the building project commenced.

It was tough but God proved to us that this was His project.

He used some of the Board members, our friends, family and good hearted people to provide the resources. Like they say, today, the rest is history.

As Christians, what is your take on child adoption? Is it scripturally acceptable for couples to adopt, especially if they are still of child-bearing age?

Well, the Bible says we all are adopted children. Ephesians 1 verse 5 says, ‘Having predestined us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will’.

Again, Romans 8 verse 15B says, ‘But ye have received the Spirit of adoption whereby we cry, ‘Abba Father’.

From these, we understand that as Gentiles, we were far away from God and the commonwealth of Israel but we have been brought near and accepted into the kingdom of God through the love of Jesus and His sacrifice for us on the cross. In the same vein, we are to extend the love of God to others, especially those children that are vulnerable.

They need us; they need our love and care. Adoption should not only be for childless or waiting couples. Even those that are blessed with biological children should also be open to adoption.

Those children in the orphanage homes need to mingle with the society.

They should not be confined to the home, to a life of rejection and isolation. They are not outcasts and should not be treated as such.

What they need most is empathy, love and acceptance and the best way to give this is to adopt them into our lives and homes so they can grow in a happy and healthy environment as other normal children.

Some people adopt children for mischievous reasons. How do you intend to guard against such?

All adoption of children at Goshen Home will have to pass through the Ogun State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.

They have the set standard for checks and balances and we intend to follow due process.

So, the government will take those interested in adoption through the various stages of tests and determine who is eligible or not.

What is your advice to government on the menace of baby factories?

It is quite disheartening that the quest for money has today become insatiable, so much so that people have completely thrown caution to the wind.

Today, even professing Christians and Muslims have turned criminals and will do anything just to be rich.

Also, the intense poverty and passion for instant gratification has made many of our youths (especially girls) to become vulnerable.

Hence they are easily deceived and lured into signing up as tools for baby factory business.

What I think government should do to nip this in the bud is to declare a state of emergency on youth empowerment as well as advocacy on girls’ reproductive rights and needs.

These should be sponsored by government at all levels to penetrate schools, communities, families, churches, mosques etc.

Also, there should be increased sensitisation and care for marginalised and out of school girls as well as alternative avenues for education and empowerment.

In addition, government should declare stiffer sanctions on culprits of such heinous acts and improve on security networks to check the practice.

How will you ensure the security of these children, especially now that kidnapping is rampant?

We are situated within an estate, so we will work hand in glove with the security network of the estate.

In addition, we will register with the nearest police station and liaise with them from time to time to partner with us in providing security.

Also, we have employed professionals as staff and we are sure they will give their best to safeguard the children against all harm.

They have also been trained on necessary checks. More importantly, we are a praying people and we trust that God will watch over us and the children and no evil will befall us at Goshen Home.

The land of Goshen in the Bible was a place of peace and plenty, a place of safety and rest from all danger.

That is what God will do for us at Goshen Home and Orphanage.

How do you source for funds?

We depend absolutely on God. He sends people to help us and provides for the children.

In our capacity as founders and board members, we also spend our personal funds.

In all, our God remains faithful. He is our Provider and we believe that we shall not lack.

What are some of the challenges of the ministry?

So many challenges I must say but basically, they are centred on cash flow and manpower.

Sometimes we are at our wits end because there is no money to do the needful, especially in terms of paying the school fees of the children but we call upon God and He makes a way where there seems to be no way.

Sometimes too, people come around as though they want to serve but they get offended and quit when they discover that here it is all about selfless service, not for personal aggrandizement.

In all, God remains our Refuge and Strength, a very Present Help in trouble. He has not failed us and will never fail.

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Women that call themselves GOs are acting contrary to God –Prophet Olatunji

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Prophet Olatunji Peter, founder of God’s People Bible Church International established 10 years ago with branches in Lagos and Ondo States. In this interview with ESTHER BAKARE he spoke about then roles of women in the church among sundry issues affecting Christendom and the country at large.

 

Tell us how you accepted the call of God?
I couldn’t accept the call of God easily and God punished me seriously for non acceptance, I faced a lot of challenges, my business collapsed, all my endeavours were not moving on properly even my marriage, in fact I used to trek long distances because of poverty, this affected me for about 10 years all because I did not heed the call of God, there has been indirect calling since 1984 but I did not pay attention to it because I thought life is more enjoyable than being in Christ.

Tell us some of the benefits you are enjoying since you came into Christ?
By the time I came to Christ I was able to buy a parcel of land which I built the family house in Ondo State also here in Lagos I have acquired a land which we are building the church on, the land was given to me by one of my fathers in the Lord, the house I am currently staying was given to me freely without paying any rent. I am grateful to God today that to be in Christ is a glory. I remember during that time I was struggling with the call of God, I buried a daughter since then I never had any other child again though I have three before her. After her death, I heard a strange voice that it is just the beginning that another one is still coming, it was then I gave up my stubbornness. After that I went to a seminary and did a Diploma course in Theology.

What is the vision of the church?
The vision of the church is to call the sheep at the backyard to come into the fold and know that nothing we can achieve in this world without God. Jesus is the light of the world and we all need to come into that light.

But sir, there are some pastors that are called by their belly, what is the implication of this to Christendom?
The Bible says we should not judge any one in order for us not to be judged. In my church for instance we collect offering just once and I don’t tax members because I’m still a radio presenter and I’m still making money from that. Pastors that are taxing their members let’s leave them to the judgment of God, He is the only one that can decide their case.

What is your take on some Pastors’ wives who immediately their husbands are called they also join him in full time ministry?
According to the Bible, no woman is permitted to come to the altar, I used to say it at the Christian Association of Nigeria meetings that a woman is not supposed to climb the pulpit. For instance I am the only one called into the ministry my wife cannot come to the altar, it is not allowed, that is why our church is called God’s People Bible Church which means we believe and practice what is written in the Bible, those women that call themselves, Bishops, Reverend, Pastors or any title they give to themselves are above the Law of God, that is what they are indirectly saying because the Bible says thou shall not permit a woman to speak in the church but they have turned the word of God upside down that is why they are doing contrary to the word of God and God said in His word that He has given them a reprobate heart to do that which is contrary.

Are you actually saying God cannot call women into the Ministry?
It is not permitted because from Genesis to Revelation you cannot find a place where God called a woman to lead His people.

But what about women like Deborah who was a judge in Israel?
The case of Deborah is different, she was just privileged to lead the Israelites because there was no man to lead them to the battle field and Deborah volunteered herself and that is what gave her the privilege to be a prophetess of God. Women can be prophetess ordained by God but women that call themselves Mama GO are not doing the right thing some of them just go for a three months course and when they come out they will start calling themselves Mama GO because they have money, that is wrong and that is why the world has turned upside down because everybody is now living above the law of God, women wearing trousers, men plaiting their hair. Their case is like a father that has given his child a warning not to go to a particular place and as soon as the father turns his back, the child goes to that exact place, that is how I liken those women who call themselves church leaders or Mummy GO.

What is your view about churches being handed over to family members?
Well, my take on that is that church is not a property of anybody it is God’s property, I’ve already told my wife that whenever I’m passing away the church belongs to the people and not for you and our children, it is the church of God not for anybody, if that is the case then let’s call it church of man and not church of God, let’s think about it that way. I have also thought about this issue several times, there is a case of one church in Oshodi after the demise of the founder, the younger brother took over and he is over 90 years now, the members are asking him to retire but he is saying no that he will remain there till his death because the church was founded by his brother and he handed it over to him. I like to make an example of The Apostolic Church, whenever the leader is getting old, he retires and another leader will be selected, I’ve laid the foundation in my church also because whenever God ask me to go and relax I will hands off because the work of a General Overseer is not easy it is all about prayers all the time, it takes hard work, you don’t sleep anyhow.

Tell us the factors that can make a marriage stand?
What can make a marriage to be successful is to believe in each other, never allow suspicion or third party in your marriage, marriage is like taking steps, if you miss a step you might be disorganized for the rest of your life, marriage is a delicate thing that has rendered some people useless and insane, it is something that must be handled with care. My advice to couples is to have trust in each other, your marriage is your cross.

What is your advice to those who are yearning to become General Overseers at all cost?
Like I mentioned earlier, the work of a General Overseer is not an easy one, even if God calls you, it is not an easy task at all, if anyone is going into the Ministry for the sake of profit definitely he must look elsewhere either to bury something in his altar or something else that is not of God. For instance the day I wanted to do the dedication of my church, it was about to rain heavily but I looked up and called upon God that you are the one that called me into this ministry , I did not call myself and that very day, it rained all over the streets around us and no single drop of water in my church, some people were wondering if I used Juju but I said my God is more than able.

Why do we have so many social vices going on in the country despite the number of churches in existence?
It must be because the Christian Association of Nigeria and Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria have compromised a lot. They believe that if you don’t ride big cars and have plenty of money you are not a man of God, even the general public don’t believe that pastors who are not driving big cars and big mansions or cathedrals are true men of God, everybody is worshipping money now and looking for miracles up and down that will drive them to hell fire, if you pray for someone and say you are blessed in Jesus name, they won’t believe in your prayers, all they want is to hear revelations that you have seen concerning them or prophecies either fake or real they don’t care all they want is to see vision for them, some would even say, the pastor did not ask them to do anything such as using a particular soap to bath in the night, doing some rituals and stuffs like that, definitely it is such people that turn pastors to herbalists or to become liars, because some don’t believe in their God talk less of believing in themselves.

In those days the success of a man of God was judged by the number of souls he has won, but nowadays it is no more so?
The Bible says by their fruit we shall know them, things have turned upside down.

Why do you think men of God fall into scandals?
It is because they are not serving the true God if so, before anything can happen to a man of God, God would have revealed it to him.

But the Bible says take heed lest ye also fall into temptation?
This is because many of them don’t read or practice what is in the word of God, I heard recently that some have printed a new version of the Bible, they turned everything in the real Bible upside down to suit themselves and their sinful ways, they turned it to their own benefits. We need to go back to the basis, most of our religious leaders are so corrupt and this makes me weep everyday, honestly if not that God called me and punished me for not heeding His call early enough I won’t do this work, I won’t even go near the Ministry because of the atrocities being committed by Christian leaders especially church founders who themselves General Overseers and God did not call them because being a Radio presenter is okay for me, but I faced a lot of challenges for not answering the call of God. If you flip through the pages of newspapers you see a fake pastor being caught with human head for rituals, this makes me cry. That is why many of them go into politics to go and corrupt government.

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Christianity

Reasons why God embarks on aggressive forgiveness

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Do you now see why God has embarked on Aggressive Forgiveness? Each person who is no more feeling guilty for condemn for his/her past sins, has supernatural advantage over the devil.

On how pleasant and willing our gracious Father feels when He forgives and in fact, when one whole-heartedly and convincingly accepts and receives His forgiveness.

No wonder the Lord directs His ministers to go about forgiving sinners in His name.

Whosoever (no matter how bad the person is) sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosesoever sins ye retain they are retained (John 20:23)

 

Supernatural advantage over Satan

 

Where people refuse to forgive themselves, Satan has upper hand.

Where people forgive one another because of Jesus, people have advantage, undue advantage over Satan, and in fact, over whoever is your enemy.

Forgiveness is a weapon of war. Use it today and you will experience set of great miracles when you forgive but that same Satan will tell you that it is coincidence.

Coincidence, that is what Satan and his cohorts call Miracle.

Forgive today and receive your own set of “Coincidences” which we call MIRACLES. You need this.

Mercies and grace are creatures, not concepts Conceive this scene in your heart and be blessed.

This is the scene. The Lord sat down before the foundation of the world and was molding man (Genesis 2:8- 9). The angels surrounded Him and asked Him what He was doing.

 

Angels: Master, what are you doing?

Lord God: I am creating my children.

 

Angels: What do you mean, Lord?  Are we not your children?

Lord God (Stands up): Shut up your mouth. How dare you call me your father?

 

Angels: (Embarrassed and gently)

Lord God (Continued): “For unto which of the angels said I at any time, thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee? And again I will be to him a father and he shall be to me a Son?

(Hebrews 1;5) Lord God (continued): And again; when I brought in the first begotten into the world, did I not tell all the angels (Michael, Gabriel, etc) to worship him? (Hebrews 1:6) Lord God (with forgiven spirit now): Did I not make you for the purpose of ministry to the human being, my sons and daughters I was yet to create?

(Hebrews 1:6-7) How dare you call me your father and how dare insult me by saying that you are my children?

No please, you are not and can never be my children (He told the angels).

 

1.Stomach ulcer? Call me on phone as you hold a cup/bottle of water to pray for it and drink.

God shall heal you.

2. In dare need of money? Are you reducing in size because of lack of finance? Stop worrying. Just call 3 persons the Lord lays in your heart and you will get the money from them.

3. General body pains?

Call me on phone for prayers.

God will heal you after the prayer.

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Christianity

All musicians are prophets –Evangelist Hannah Osetoba

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Evangelist Hannah Osetoba started singing about 25 years ago, and she has four albums to her credit. In this interview with ESTHER BAKARE she spoke about how God called her into gospel music, challenges facing the industry, the role of gospel musicians to nation building among sundry issues.

 

How did you discover your gift of singing?
I discovered my gift through my father in the Lord, Pastor Moses Olagunju, founder of Christ Apostolic Church, Agbara Olorun Ni Gbani worldwide. I was a member of the choir in his church; I started with Ewi before I went into singing proper. I have launched about four albums; the first was in 2006 titled ‘The Mighty Power of God’. In 2008, the second was launched titled ‘Cry No More’ and in 2015 the third one titled ‘Goodness and Mercy’ was launched. The fourth one titled The Good Shepherd was also launched in 2016.

Challenges faced at the beginning
There is no way someone would want to take a step towards success that he/she will not face challenges. Even our Lord Jesus who is a role model for all of us today passed through His own Gethsemane. Therefore, there is no one in life that wants to be successful without passing through challenges. The gospel songs we sing are to win souls for Christ; this makes us to be confronted with challenges from the pit of hell. Definitely, the devil will not be happy with us because we are setting the captives free through our songs.

Who is your role model among gospel musicians?
My mother in the Lord, Dr Bola Are, the second person is Tope Alabi.

Which of your albums is most challenging?
All my albums gave me challenges but God has always given me victory.

What inspires your songs?
God is a spirit and He moves in diverse ways. I receive my songs anywhere anytime. At times I might sit down and see some animals moving together, I can receive the inspiration or in the midst of people and they behave somehow the inspiration might come or even among leaves in the forest; God inspires me in different ways.

Your first album, how did you receive the inspiration?
The song ‘Mighty Power of God’, what God told me then was that His power alone is the mighty power and that is why all creatures must worship Him alone.

What would you have loved to do if not singing?
I wanted to be a Security Agent; I went for the interview about two times and was not taken at Eleweran State CID. I was offered the employment and asked to come for an interview but God did not allow me. I also tried to go into the Medical line but God did not also allow me. Finally, I went into fashion designing and I did that for several years and even had trainees and apprentices before God called me into full time gospel music. God told me to go into full time ministry in songs but I was reluctant and He dealt with me severely.

Can you share some of the ways God dealt with you?
It was a sad experience but I thank God I have been able to overcome it. Apart from being a gospel musician, God also called me to be a field evangelist to be organising revivals and crusades from one place to another. He had been warning me through His servants to tell me to go into field evangelism and set the captives free, but I did not yield and instead I faced my fashion designing squarely. I remember one time I went to a mountain to pray and God sent one of His servants to tell me that He was angry with me and He would go violent with me and if anyone begs Him He won’t listen. True to His word, the following day I was coming back from somewhere with my last child then and our vehicle had an accident and the boy was the only one that died. Immediately, the Spirit of God told me that He had warned me but I refused to heed, that He would take away everything precious to me maybe by then I would heed the call. After the death of my son and several warnings from men of God, Pastor Moses Olagunju also called me and said God told him to warn me that after collecting everything that makes people recognise me as a human being, I would still come back to do His work; that was when I gave up everything to face the work of God.

Tell us about your marriage and ministry
I thank God for the kind of husband He gave to me. After God is my husband, he means everything to me. He has been so supportive of my ministry, he doesn’t hinder the progress of my ministry. I might leave home for one month, my husband would not complain and this made the work to be easy for me.

What are the major challenges confronting gospel musicians presently?
Marketers are not ready to sponsor gospel musicians. If we approach them for sponsorship, they would ask us to bring money for jingles on radio and television and many other things and this is quite discouraging. That slowed down my journey into music industry, as I said earlier, I have been singing since 1992 but I have not had a major breakthrough because there are no sponsors.

What is your advice to upcoming gospel artistes?
If one is called a gospel musician he/she should see himself as a living sacrifice to God because no man can receive any good thing except it comes from God and God does not dwell in a filthy place. That is why someone like Mama Bola Are is evergreen so also Evangelist Tope Alabi. Their songs are unique and very uncommon; therefore anyone called a gospel musician must be highly spiritual.

What will you say of gospel artistes that mix secular songs with their music?
One cannot trade with God and be looking elsewhere. My advice to such people is that they should remain with God; He does not owe anybody though it may take long but He will surely reward everyone that serves Him diligently. They should be patient.

Many gospel artistes usually establish churches. Are you also planning to establish one in the future?
Like I said that I am a field evangelist, evangelists are like caterpillars that clear the forests for men of God to establish their churches. But if God calls me to establish a church, I will have no choice than to obey His call but for now, He has not asked me to do so.

Can you give us an insight into your background?
I am from Imeko Yewa in Ogun State. I attended primary school at St. Peter’s Anglican School, Joga-Orile where my mother comes from. I also attended Owode Secondary School in Yewa before going into fashion designing.

Tell us your most embarrassing moment in the ministry?
You see, a refuse dumping site is the richest in manure; highly fertilizing. If we get sand from there and plant on it you will see how fresh the plant will look. The leaves will look green and the plant will grow healthy. If we look at the embarrassment we face as gospel musicians, we won’t like to go further. At times we go to perform in some places and we would trek back because nobody would pay us anything. They won’t even give us recognition and we would bear this with the mind that it is God alone that will reward us.

Why do you think people treat gospel artistes poorly whereas they offer big packages to secular musicians?
Well what we are also praying to God for is to advertise us to the world through our songs. Once God gives us a name then there will be breakthrough. All these come through the Holy Spirit and Power; once the Holy Spirit empowers one, he/she will be showcased to the world.

It is also discovered that some musicians started from the church but today they have gone into secular music, who is to blame for this?
We should blame churches for not supporting their members who are into gospel music. You can’t expect gospel musicians to produce their albums and take them to club houses to sell. Churches are supposed to support them but in a situation where there is no support from their churches, they would look elsewhere. If in a church of 500 worshippers someone produces a music album and all the members purchase a copy each, they are promoting us. I will like to advice churches to support gospel artistes in terms of promoting their music. If I hear that a gospel musician has gone astray I don’t blame them because if you look into their background, God wanted to use them but people did not give them enough encouragement. Pastors should also help their members who are talented in any way, especially those who have musical talents because God used music as we read in the Bible, to win battles like King Jehoshaphat.

Your advice to the secular musicians on the kinds of songs they should sing?
There is nothing like worldly music; all music has one message to preach and all musicians are prophets. For instance the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti was a prophet; I used to listen to his songs and I discovered that they all have one message or the other to preach so people should stop referring to some music as worldly. One of our musicians Adekunle Gold who sang a song ‘Answer My Call’, he was talking to God to make him rich like Dangote, Otedola and the rest, it’s a big message. I will only advise all musicians to see themselves as messengers of God because whatever comes out of their mouths is a message from God.

What is your advice to government on music industry?
I want government to see musicians as Godsends. In the Bible, when King Jehoshaphat was confronted with battles, God did not tell him to erect armoured tanks but he told him to select men who can sing and through their songs God won the battle for them. Look at the battle of Boko Haram, God can use gospel musicians to sing and win the battle. So also many battles confronting the country, God can defeat them through gospel songs, that is why I call on government to support gospel artistes and see what God will do for the country through them.

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