As Pastor Ashimolowo, Rev. Mother Esther Ajayi, CAC President, General Evangelist, Others Set to Minister
At CAC Agbala Itura Ibadan International headquarters, all is set to hold this year’s edition of the annual Jesus Festival and no stone is being left unturned to have a well organised and rewarding festival.
The Chief Host and the head of the Church, Prophet (Dr.) S.K. Abiara preparatory to the gathering hosted a group of media representatives ahead of the programme and he spoke on the global spiritual event and a range of other issues that involved the Church and the larger society.
Jesus Festival according to the visioner, Prophet S.K. Abiara is a programme which has been held for the past 38 years and its 39th coming up this year is essentially to pray for the nation because this nation belongs to us all. The festival has His Kingdom With Signs and Wonders as the theme.
“The programme is for all people, Christians and non Christians participate, and Christians across Church denominations. It is to preach the message of salvation and the reality of the gospel of God,” he noted.
This year’s programme comes up from Monday 6th and Sunday 12th December, 2021 at CAC Agbala Itura City of Peace, International headquarters, Olode, Adegbayi, New Ife Road, of the ancient city of Ibadan, Oyo State capital.
The programme which holds all round day and night will attract distinguished and prominent men and women of God in Nigeria among which are the President of CAC Worldwide, Pastor Samuel Olusegun Oladele, the General Evangelist of the mission, Prophet Hezekiah Oladeji, Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo, Bishop Wale Oke, Prophet Funso Akande, Rev. Mother Esther Ajayi and Rev. Mrs Funke Adejumo.
There will also be special music ministration by top gospel singers like Evangelist Tope Alabi, Evangelist Bisi Akande, Bukola Akinade, Senwele Jesu, Evangelist Yetunde Are, Evangelist Elijah Akintunde, De Psalmos, Evangelist Dorcas Awolumate, Wolii Deborah (Ephphata International Music Ministry) and CAC Agbala Itura Mass Choir.
The programme according to Prophet Abiara was a global vision and it has attracted international preachers like Evangelist Benny Hinn from the United States of America, and Nigerian international preachers like Bishop David Oyedepo and Pastor E.A. Adeboye of The Redeemed Christian Church of God.
“This year is purposely to pray for Nigeria, and we want people to come to join us to pray together for Nigeria. This country needs our prayers. When we pray everything will be well with the people. God answers prayers.
“We will pray for all manners of needs, we will pray for all sectors of the economy, we will pray over health, education and infrastructure as we also present the governments at all levels before God,” explained the top cleric.
According to Prophet Abiara, there will also be prayers for personal and specific needs, saying, “We will pray for the sick, we will pray for all travellers for journey mercies, we will pray against all manners of diseases, we will pray for the jobless. We want everybody to come and present their needs before God. He is a prayer answering God and He is ever ready to hear our prayers when we call upon Him.”
Asked why some foreign preachers were not involved in this year’s Jesus Festival, the man of God said “Nigeria has many competent preachers that have also been making waves in all parts of the world. They are many in abundance, those who can preach, those who can pray as well as those that can minister in songs. We have noticed we have the quality and the materials, though the foreigners have their unique talents too.”
When told that Nigerians have been known for prayers for a long time and things seemed not to be getting better with the country especially in the area of governance, the iconic cleric responded that problems were not peculiar to Nigeria.
“I believe everyone in Nigeria is trying. But since the beginning of the world there has not been any government that pleased with people. Everywhere people blame leaders. When you look at the time of Noah, God was not happy with the people, the people did not follow Noah with all his preachings, in the time of Moses, the people revolted against him despite hearing directly from God. In the entire world of creation, only man gives God problem, to the extent that God said he regretted creating man.
“So in this situation we must manage what happens until when Christ comes. That is why we need to pray for the government and the people at all times. However, the leaders must listen to the people when they complain against what they don’t like. The government should make the people happy.
“That is why we need to pray for our leaders. 11Timothy 3 verse 1 tells us of the last days. These are the last days all over the world and it is a perilous time. What we need is prayer, and that is why we are organising prayers for the country. When we pray everything will be all right.”
Prophet Abiara also told Nigerians not to listen to prophets of doom on the state of the nation, and Nigeria would be great again. Nigerians, he advised, should keep their minds at rest. “There is no country without its peculiar challenges. There is no way we will live in the world without challenges. Like it is said, there is no country without flies. My message to Nigerians is to keep their mind at rest. The future of Nigeria will be all right. Let those Nigerians abroad come back home to make Nigeria better.”
Also speaking about his plans to empower the less privileged being carried out through Abiara Divine Foundation, the man of God said it was his own modest contribution to alleviate poverty among the poor and less privileged members of the society.
He further explained, “In the local areas, people are suffering, that is why we empower widows, widowers, orphans and the physically challenged among us. It is not limited to members of our Church, people come to benefit from it across faiths. We want to make it a blessing to all. That is why we call those who have to help the have nots and the helpless.
“I believe in using the little I have to help and empower the less privileged and make the life of the people better. If they are strong they will help others around them too. Through Abiara Divine Foundation, God has helped me to touch thousands of people directly and indirectly, some with food, some with refrigerators, others with grinding machines and other instruments of empowerment. Some have got cars, we have helped some people to complete their housing projects. It is not a show off and I want other privileged Nigerians to emulate this.”
On how he sustains the vision, the former CAC General Evangelist and now a global Prophet and Evangelist, Prophet Abiara explained that the vision was being sustained by his personal efforts and all that believe in the vision.
“I can say we are yet to start, as we have better plans in the future. We are already planning to take it higher and make it better. We are planning to build houses for the masses before I leave this world. We have helped a Pastor and a widow to build their houses. We have in plans to give 200 units of houses to people. That is my vision, and I want to launch it specially at national and international levels soon, but not in this festival. But it has to start from me.”
Prophet Abiara also spoke on why he does not criticise those in government but to stand in the gap to pray for them, saying “It is part of my strong belief to follow what is in the Bible. Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace came to bring peace to the whole world. He preached love not hate, He preached forgiveness, He healed the sick and helped the helpless, He visited sinners and brought them to His light. This is what I believe and do. This is what we want to do at the Jesus Festival. I recommend that other ministers of God should go ahead and do what is in the bible.
Also speaking in the same vein, Prophet Abiara’s first son, Pastor Isaac Abiara, the minister in charge of CAC Agbala Itura, in Dallas, the United States of America, who is the Chairman of the Jesus Festival’s Organising Committee, throwing more light on the festival explained further that Jesus Festival was a gathering to bring unity to the body of Christ, and that is why ministers from different Church denominations were being brought together.
“As Baba said, it is to pray for this nation, and for participants to pray for themselves, and it has enjoyed supports from Christian leaders across denominations in Nigeria.”
Pastor Abiara Jnr. also added that this year’s edition is going to have special appeal to youths, as the youth arm of the Church would play prominent roles in the festival which could be called the annual convention of the Church. He assured that there were provisions for all that would be part of the celebration.
“There are plenty of places to sleep and take care of all that would be part of the event. One thing about my late mum was that she was good in taking care of Baba’s visitors. In her days if you met her at home and she saw you seated, what she would ask you is ‘Have you eaten?’ She believed that if you come to the Church you must eat. So we will have provisions for those who would be there including security, and we want participants to observe all covid-19 safety protocols. It is like our Church convention, we are expecting participants from all over the world.”
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