Word and Wisdom Conference 2018
We had a large crowd come and I was amazed that a great percentage of those—about 65-70%—were meeting me for the very first time, and it was through our Radio Program on Wednesdays, 6:30 a.m., on Quest F.M. 93.1.
The first speaker, Dr. Innocent Kasarachi, from the University of Port Harcourt narrated his story of how God raised him from the dead. He had to learn to crawl, learn how to walk, and was despised by his father. There was an attempt to discourage him from schooling at even the school he was taken to. However, he insisted he wanted to learn. In one year, he was promoted three times and ended up in Primary 3 in one year. From there, he went to secondary school, and subsequently gained admission to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, a prestigious university. He went through very difficult challenges because he was paralyzed in one leg and needed to move with a stick. Despite the humiliation and frustration—he needed to climb three floors to reach his room—and the fact that brethren had to pay his fees, he still made a First Class.
A lot of people in life give excuses for their reasons for not doing well. They complain about what they don’t have. They complain about what is wrong with their lives. They complain about people who have treated them badly, and they justify themselves.
Dr. Innocent Kasarachi made a very strong statement that you are where you are now because you chose to be there. He decided not to be paralyzed by his paralysis. After making a First Class (he made the best result in his graduating class), he went on to do a Master’s Degree, and finished with a PhD. In the course of his studies, lecturers made fun of him, and said that the best place for him was to be at the gates with beggars. He, however, refused the suggestions of people that were based on his inadequacies.
A lot of people counsel you based on what you don’t have. They counsel you based on what they perceive you to be. They counsel you based on what others, who have failed, chose to do. You can, however, decide who you want to be based on your dreams, desires, drive, determination, and direction to stand out. Once you can put those D’s of standing out under mental, physical, and intellectual pressure, you will get the final D of Distinction.
Dr. Innocent Kasarachi became a lecturer in the University of Port Harcourt, and there were incidences when his students looked down on him and wanted to disdain him. One lady, in particular, found out that the man she was looking down on was her lecturer, and she came and fell and prostrated before him.
People will always want to treat you the way they see you. It is the content inside you— the remnant of God inside you—that is most important. And you must strive to prove them wrong. You don’t have to fight with them, but you must prove them wrong.
There was a time he was at an airport and a security man came and met him and told him that beggars are not wanted here. This was a man who was about to board a flight. As he was checked in and about to board the flight, the man approached him and told him that he had warned him not to go there and he could have given him some change. He didn’t know he was talking to a university lecturer, who was reading his own book, and the security man was mocking him that he was pretending that he could read.
There are always perceptions of people around you. In my post on Scars, Stains, Scandals, and Stars, I said that most individuals, who have become stars in life, have negated the scars, the stains, and scandals in their lives and determined to push on. Dr. Kasarachi owns and drives his car, lectures, is a guest speaker, is a radio personality, produces, and does several other things, despite the fact that he is handicapped in one leg.
Therefore, the fact that there is something not functional or not the best in life should not negate you, or stop you, or give you an excuse to fail. The title of his message was, “No Excuses”. He is married to a very beautiful woman and has four children. In fact, he was subsequently driven to that university with an official car of the university to the Vice Chancellor’s lodge to speak to the university for three days. This was the same university that someone told him he had to stay at the gate as a beggar amongst who they imagined he belonged to their class.
As a black man, the tendency of the others is to categorize you based on your colour. As a Nigerian, the tendency is for people to categorize you based on your nationality. You have to prove them wrong by being the best you can be and excelling. They would eventually come around to acknowledge you.
The next was a lecture on personal finances by Mr. Patrick Okhimamen, a bank manager with Eco Bank, Ughelli. He talked about the need to be frugal, manage resources, not acquire liabilities, learn to plan for old age and death, and he talked about passive income.
The occasion was graced by three kings. HRM E. S. Meslore, Retired HPM, King of Ogodobiri from Bomadi Local Government Area, which is a member of Church of God Mission, HRM King Duku II, the Orovworere I of Effurun-Otor Kingdom, and Okobaro of Ughievwen Kingdom, HRM Matthew Ediri Egbi JP, Owahwa II. I must confess I was overwhelmed with joy when they responded positively to the messages that was sent on WhatsApp. And for royalty to come to grace an occasion without any formality was exceptional. The two kings spoke because one is from my mother’s side, while the other is from my father’s.
King Duku II spoke on his experience in childhood after his father died, and he had to live with an uncle. He did house chores, he had to polish police shoes, iron police uniforms, carry cassava, and went through many challenges. Eventually he went to the prestigious Government College, Ughelli, and he had a Master’s Degree from the UK before becoming a King.
The road to greatness for most people is neither straight, smooth, nor stress-free. The stress you pass through on the path to greatness is to prepare your muscles and your story to encourage others, as you keep your eyes on the prize.
Next was the King from my Father’s side, the Okobaro of Ughievwen Kingdom, who spoke about his own experiences. He spoke about how he used to ride a motorbike with four children and his wife from church. He talked about the difficulties and the challenges he had to go through. Most importantly, he talked about three gifts a man has to have:
- The gift from God—grace
- The gift of the pronouncement of your parents upon you when you honour and bless them, when you treat them right, and bring pride into their lives.
- The gift from a man of God, after the first two.
He spoke extensively on the need for people to live beyond the immediate needs of their lives and contribute to the lives of others, which is the abundant life.
I then spoke on The Abundant Life, which will subsequently be posted in the near future.
There was a massive turnout for the conference. People came as far as Okrika, Aba, and Benin. What also challenged me was that there were visually impaired people who also attended. One of them came from very far with his son, a day previously, and spent the night with me before the program. Another person, visually impaired, was a retired venerable from the Anglican Communion. I saw another visually impaired person from one of the Local Government Areas of Isoko and different kinds of people. There was a Muslim, an African Traditional Religionist, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Catholics, Anglicans, Baptists, Methodists, and all Pentecostal denominations. There were two Bishops and people of different classes represented.
There was an overflow. The hall upstairs was filled to capacity; I had to sit on the floor. The hall downstairs with the projector was filled to the brim with chairs arranged in the corridors. It was an overwhelming population far beyond what we planned for. This goes to emphasize a point I’ve been making about 21st Century Ministry—there is a new dispensation of ministry, which I call “The Church without Walls”. Denominationalism and congregationalism is such that the way it has gone in Orthodox, Pentecostal, and several other denominations has made people get bored and hear the same messages all over.
People want to know what has worked. They want to see who it has worked for. They want to see how it works. They want to know how they can work with what works. This is because just promising just miracles and great deliverances will not really act as enough stimulus for people of today’s dispensation. There are a lot of people in different denominations who are tired, and in fact, every Sunday, always look for an opportunity to hear something new and inspiring, which, most times, they don’t see. Like in the Book of Amos, the Bible says that a time shall come where there will be a scarcity of the Word of God. Routine religion and denominationalism is something we need to reconsider and have a new approach in the way we run ministry.
Ironically, ministry, in the last days, according to Charles Price, will be in the hands of professionals. We did not put the people under pressure. They are not indebted to us and we spent our money and resources, but they were blessed and they went home rejoicing. People came from many cities, went back home, and have arrived safely.
I want to thank the members of Petra Christian Academy, Ughelli and my listeners on Quest F.M. radio. This also shows that good use of media—social media, radio, television, and satellite—would be barrier breakers. It also goes to show that truth is universal; the fact that a Muslim and several other denominations were in attendance shows that people are willing to learn the truth, no matter who is speaking.
Most importantly, we started by 10 a.m. as is our usual custom and as we promised. That means that we can be organized, keep to time, and do things well. We can kill the spirit of African man time and CPT. We closed on time, too, even though we had an intense, elaborate, and satisfying program.
I’m looking forward to the next Word and Wisdom Conference on Easter Monday, where we’ll gather again to share the Word of God and testimonies.
We are also looking for noble men and women, who feel the need to support the work we are doing.
God bless you.