BY ELE ADEJOH.
Nothing in recent history has prepared mankind for the ravages of Covid 19 virus. It is quite unlike any natural disaster mankind has known in recent times. We have known and handled wars, famines, earthquakes, even hurricanes and Tsunami floods and volcanoes, but nothing in recent memory prepares one for this current pandemic. It is like an unseen angel of death, slaying without pity, the old and young, poor and rich.
To be safe, you have to remain indoor. Governments all over the world are implementing total lock downs. Factories, places of worship, schools, markets and entertainment centres are all closed. Only real essential services are allowed to operate. Perhaps the most deadly thing about this pandemic is the degree and ease of contagion. It is reported to be highly infectious. As a result, the most effective way to contain it till a cure or vaccine is found, is to minimize movement and implement social distancing at all costs.
This has led to an unprecedented situation where people are locked up at home, afraid to go out or mingle with others. If you step out of your home, you could either get arrested or worse, you could get infected with this virus speculated now to be airborne, and face the possibility not only of infecting members of your household, but also painfully face the fatal consequences. Few things can break the human spirit like a situation like this. The whole experience can only be compared to being in a lawful custody or confinement. But beyond the restrictions and inconveniences, the most destructive effect of the pandemic isn’t just that people are dying, it is the fact that a palpable sense of fear has come upon most people: a fear more powerful and deadlier than the disease itself. How much more terrible can things be when the four walls of your own home becomes your prison? The traumatic fear and despair caused by this virtual imprisonment is even reportedly killing more people than the virus itself.
Yet in the midst of this situation, I want you to know that even in this virtual confinement, you can find hope. If anything, the current situation is the perfect setting and opportunity for God to manifest His power of transformation in your life if you let Him. I know because I was in detention (solitary confinement) once. I had enlisted into the Nigerian Army on 22nd of July 1991, as a member of the 32 Regular Recruit Intake of the Nigerian Army, and was posted to Lagos in December 1991 after my training in Depot NA. It was this posting that brought me in contact with Empire; The late Fela Kuti’s Kalakuta Republic.
Life was on the fast lane. If there was any place or spot on earth to define immorality in the country, it was Fela’s Kalakuta Republic. I became a key figure and a gang leader in this immoral cesspool. Every dark vices you could imagine or name then: prostitution, sex trafficking, drugs, alcohol, stealing, robbery and fraud; I had my five fingers in them, directly or indirectly. My notoriety was such that it was so easy to get implicated into any criminal activity or the alleged terrorism acts of NADECO; even though in reality, I had nothing to do with them. I was just a fun loving young man, that was known to fight a lot, and commanded the respect of all the bad elements in the area. My high profile in the left-wing radical world of the late afro-beat maestro simply made me a big fish by default.
By the Hand Writing of God, I was arrested on Wednesday, 12th February, 1997, and detained by the Abacha junta for exactly one year; Feb 12th, 1997 to Feb 4th, 1998 on the trumped up charge of aiding NADECO in terrorist activities (planting and detonating bombs etc). I was placed in leg cuffs (chains) for the period of eight months of the one year period I spent in military confinement. This unjust detention was to become the turning point of my life. It was while in detention in 1997 I had my first encounter with the Lord. It is amazing what can happen to us if in the midst of emotional trauma, despair, pain false accusation, chains, and fear, we turn to the Lord. In my case, while in detention, I read the whole Bible in five days for the first time; and it became a regular practice for one year. While praying the rosary (with the Roman Catholic prayer beads) one of those nights, I was baptized in the Holy Ghost, and prayed in tongues from midnight to 6:00 am.
I continued praying same way every midnight for a week, and the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to me in my solitary cell. During this encounter, the Lord asked me to stretch forth my hands upon which came two cloven tongues of fire. A red flaming tongue rested on my right palm, while a very white tongue rested on my left palm. Both tongues then dissolved into my body, and the Lord said, He had given me the Power Gifts, and to this end has He called me to be a messenger for Him. This marked the beginning of a very strong and strange manifestation of the supernatural power of God in my life, right from detention. In September 1997, I was ordained as detention fellowship pastor by the presbytery of the same detention center. I began ministry right in detention while in chains, with all manner of signs and wonders following. I then discovered that the solitary confinement, chains, hunger, fears and despair were no longer the issue; all I wanted now is more and more of fellowship with God.
Released from detention in 1998, I returned to the Nigerian army a different man; God’s own man and the good Lord has continued to manifest His power and faithfulness in my ministry. Nothing on earth ever showed I was in detention for one year; in the military confinement centre were only high profile suspects were detained. My skin was glowing and fresh, the marks from the leg cuffs had cleaned, I was looking like a soldier just returning from foreign missions!
In this moment of seeming hopelessness and despair, I want everyone to know that God is vigilant and alert to all those seeking for Him. God is Sovereign over the universe and nothing can happen in the realm of man without the express permission of Heaven. God’s purpose for allowing times like this has to do with His end time moves among the nations of the world. God is demonstrating His hands in the affairs of mankind one last time especially among His chosen ones; the church. However, the church being the channel of God’s blessing, world transformation and revelation of His will to this fallen world has long gone to sleep. Discerning hearts and minds have come to understand that the peculiar situation necessary for the resurgence and emergence of the glorious church is being laid by the difficult times we are facing today. For the first time in recent church history, the church is being pushed and constrained by difficulties to begin to function in its original apostolic pattern and standard. The apostolic church was focused on Christ and His second coming and were grouped into households churches concerned with making disciples out of everyone they encountered.
There is a surge of the Spirit of God over the nations now seeking those who will cry out to Him. I want you to know that the ears of God are opened to those who seek Him now than any other time in human history. In whatever ‘prison’ situation you find yourself today, make it a portal into a glorious future by calling earnestly on God today. He is eager to answer you and save you.
In a moment of hunger, pain, despair and emotional trauma, God worked out something beautiful and eternal for me. That same God is still on the throne. He will do the same for you too. Therefore, seize the lock down period for a fresh divine encounter!
By the way, the reason many could not recognize my most recent pictures was because staying indoors was a light burden to bear with the right attitude and exercise. The mystery of the beards (gemu). “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28). “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God” (2 Cor. 1:3-4)!
Ele Adejoh is the Senior Pastor of End Time Universal Mission Inc. – CTI Abuja. Located in Bwari, F. C. T. Abuja, Nigeria .