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Different kind of send-forth by LWTS President, Rev Okonkwo

Posted by By CHIDI NNADI, Enugu on 2008/07/24 | Views: 1711 |

Different kind of send-forth by LWTS President, Rev Okonkwo


It was a day of songs, praises and thanksgiving to God as the Living Word Bible Training School in collaboration with its sister organization, Living Word Manifestation Ministries Intíl, marked its 10th graduation and ordination service on June 14, 2008 in Enugu.

It was a day of songs, praises and thanksgiving to God as the Living Word Bible Training School in collaboration with its sister organization, Living Word Manifestation Ministries Intíl, marked its 10th graduation and ordination service on June 14, 2008 in Enugu.

The over 2,000 capacity Ivory Hall of Dannic Hotel, New Haven, venue for the occasion, was filled to the brim with people from all walks of life who had come to witness the service and second graduation of the schoolís associate degree students with Christian Leadership University , USA .

For the President and Founder of Living Word Bible Training School, Rev Ifeanyi Okonkwo, the day was one to give God the glory as he has been successful in training ministers for the vineyard of God.

Despite that the beginning was not rosy, God has been with Okonkwo as the first and the second place the school is situated came to him as a miracle from God, through other people.
And Rev Okonkwo today has continued to be grateful to God as he makes sure that he assists those who passed through his school in their various ministries financially and otherwise.
In a chat with Daily Sun at the graduation service, he, however, said that one of the greatest problems militating against the school is lack of accommodation for people who come to enroll. He gives an insight into how he started the school and church, and what God has been able to do for him and mankind.

Excerpt:
Serving God
The thing that informed the setting up of my ministry was something from God. When God wanted me to start the ministry, I refused because I did not want to be in the forefront, I always liked working behind. But at a point, He arranged something to push me out where I was. I lost favour with the people I was working with, I didnít do anything, but they asked me to leave. I was the vice president of the ministry at that point.

They asked me to resign as vice president and I did. Then, they asked me to l resign my teaching appointment and I said no, I wonít resign as that was the call God has for me. I have been a teacher in the Bible School, so, I said I wonít resign; that it was better they terminated my appointment.
I told them that God asked me to be a teacher; that I wonít resign unless He terminates me Himself. So, at that point, they sacked me. Then somebody I used to know came to my house early in the morning about 5:30 a.m. and said that God had sent him to me to say the thing He had asked me to do that I should go and start it now.

I told him to come back to explain to me, he said he had spoken and just left. So, I was confused, but at a point, God began to direct me on what to do. Some people who knew me when I was in the other ministry came to me and urged me to start something and people who were in the other Bible school came to me to say that they wanted to graduate under me, but I said no. I told them that you started with that ministry, so you have to graduate under them. Then God began to send people to me and I started. Through the mercy of God, I got so much encouragement from people.

Starting the school
I started on October 1, 1997 at Asata Primary School. Then, I did not have the courage to meet the management of the school, but somebody went and made the arrangement and paid for me for six months. So, I did not pay a kobo and I started the programme and God started sending people to me from all over Enugu and the school was growing. I had wanted to start it in a better place because it was only on Saturdays that we were running the programme at Asata Primary School and when we are in classroom, children used to play football and we were always distracted.

Then, I started praying that God should help me get a place that would be quiet and conducive to studies. Then, one of the students told me that she knew of a place, only if I would like the place and I told her that I had none to reject any. So, the lady paid for one year for the place and bought all the chairs that we needed to start the school and other things. Then I had no doubt in my mind that God wanted me to start the school. From then on God has been helping me and we have been growing from strength to strength in our own little way.

After take-off and some publicity about us on radio and TV, people started making enquiries that they wanted to come to the school and the problem was that we did not have a permanent site where we could build hostel for the people because most of them wanted to live in the school. Some of them are couples, some are singles and it is not easy to get accommodation in Enugu now.

Our graduates
Some of them have their articles in magazine. In fact, one of them is now in a place called Becheve between Cross River and Cameroon. The graduated students are doing wonderfully well. They collect used clothes, shoes and money for the less privileged and we encourage them. And one of the things God put in me to be doing in the ministry since we startedis to encourage the students to collect offerings every week and at the end of the year when we do the graduation they divide the money into two and one half goes to the widows and the other half to the missionary. Like that of today, it will go to one widow that I know.

She is not only a widow, but she also cares for the orphans. So, we are going to give her a package today. The other person we are going to help today is the man in Becheve missionary. And by the grace of God, you wonít believe what God does, With N10, N10 and N5, N5 that we collect, each of them is going to collect about N26,000 today by the grace of God. The other one that we are helping who is in Cameroon now, is into TV and radio ministry. When he grew and became stronger in Cameroon, he told us that he could take care of himself, that we should take care of the others. So, each year we take care of all of them, if the personís need is more, we take it the following year. And if we see another person who is in dire need, we also cater for it.

The Bible, on pure religion in James 1:27 says "that pure religion is to take care of orphans and widows". And if you are practising religion and practising the act of God, we cannot tell somebody that God is good if we cannot minister to him in his physical needs. So, we believe that if we have the opportunity to minister to somebodyís needs, it will make the person realize that truly God actually cares because God will always use people to help others.

Our Church
Yes, church business was my fear, because I knew that I was not, from the first day, called a pastor, but in 2005, God asked me to start a church. And I asked how I could start, church is too involving, a person toils too long before he begins to have members, because people have to trust you before they believe that you are even a pastor. And if a person starts coming to you, he wants to see miracles before he begins to believe in you and miracle does not happened everyday and the ones that happen everyday we do not see it until we are transformed. And the pastoral job is speaking to the people about the word of God and believing that they will believe.

So, we started our church and God said that part of the programmes in the church is that some of the students who are coming that did not come from the church could have a place they could practise what they learnt.

The church and our school
It is involving, but I am not solely taking care of them because by the grace of God, some of the students who are raised here are also involved. I am not a pastor who will want to preach every second of the hour, I want other people I trained to grow, so that they could take over from me. One of the students is now the principal. He trained part-time and my prayer is that God will bring somebody who will take my position, so I can step aside. And God has been faithful, so, He brings people along and I help them to come up and take my position, then I step into a different thing.
I believe if I could train people who could take over from me, then they could consult me, so that I will help them to do their job easily. My prayer is that God will help me to get to a point where I will only help these people to grow up.

Future of our graduates
The future depends on God and it is also in their hands and that is what I believe about every man. One, if you step in with God and you are faithful to God, God will be faithful to you. The way may be difficult but not it would not be impossible. And I believe like we told them, one of the courses we taught them last week is ministerial excellence. We teach them that if you followed the way of God, no matter how hard it is, God will finally bring you to your destination. Like He said in Jeremiah 29:11: "I know the thought I have towards you; thought of good and not of evil, that you will meet your expected end."

We know that there are so many fake pastors that are 419ners, some are accused of carrying cocaine, some are accused of doing one bad thing or the other, but I believe in the name of the Lord that I preach that whosoever steps on the grounds of God, He will take you to a very great height that you will be satisfied just like Paul said: I finished the race, I have kept the faith, I am going to take the crown. I know some people like the missionary I served, Rev. James, he died at the age of 88. I was jealous when he was about to die.

He did not die because he was sick; he died because it was his time to go. I rushed to him, he called me my regular son, he called other people son, but he called me my regular son because I lived with him. I went with him to the toilet and when he came out I washed whatever he used. So, when he was about to die, he would sit in the palour and he would say my son, the angels are here. And his eyes would be opened and I would be imagining why he was seeing them and I was not seeing them? And he said I was going because they wanted me to come back home. And I became jealous, you see some people always crying when they want to die, but this one was rejoicing that he wanted to go home. You would see him imaginarily pulling off his clothes and putting on an imaginary dress, telling me that he was entering into a glorious dress to go home. So, I believe any other person, including you and I, who would want to follow God, and believe Him, that person would have a glorious future.

Message to those who want to serve God
The message I have for those people who aspire to serve God is that God can never fail any man. I have a testimony last year, I was using my car and somebody was in dire need, I have to give out that car. So, for two years I did not have a car, but last year, July 23, somebody that I have never seen, met or dreamt of visited from Germany and came to the school, drove in, closed the gate and said that he has come for me to pray for him.

I said to pray for you for what? And he said that he had an encounter that he made a promise to God that he wanted to fulfill it, and that was why he came for me to pray for him. I said okay and cited some people who made vows to God and what God did for them and I prayed for him and he handed to me the keys of the vehicle and the particulars and said: God wants me to give you this. I was beside myself; that was a Ford Montes. And if God can bring somebody that I have never seen to bless me with a car, there is nobody that God could not meet at the point of his needs.

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