Tuesday, 10 April 2012

I am Brother Enoch Adeboye, made in heaven, assembled in Nigeria and exported to the world'

Daddy and Mummy Adeboye
Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, is seventy but satisfied. The man who is behind the phenomenal growth of the largest church in Africa is today viewed as God's rarity. Pastor Adeboye, in this piece by KEHINDE OYETIMI with additional information from Rebecca Bible-Davids’ Enoch Adeboye: Father of Nations,  reminisces on rib-tickling aspects of his life, among other issues.

•Adeboye and his mother's breasts
It is no longer news that Papa Adeboye was not born with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth. While others were born into comfortable families, he went the disadvantaged route. Being his parents' last child and the only son born in their old age, he was seriously loved.
According to Adeboye, “All I could take was breast milk but it was to the extreme. Even when I began to walk, my mother still continued to breast feed me. As a toddler, I would go and play in the rains with other children but would come back home only to tell my mum that I needed to be breastfed. I was so close to my mother's heart that she protected me from any suspecting dangers.”

•Adeboye and the witchdoctors
“I was a young man way back in 1972, though I am still young. I bought a car. I had been driving my car without any problem in Lagos. I went home to show the car to my people and somebody asked whether the car was fortified. I asked him what he meant by being fortified. I told him that the car was insured. He said I did not know anything.
  “He then took me to a man who said he would fortify the car. The man gave me three charms. One was to be tied at the bottom of the steering column. He said this was to prevent me from colliding with anything in the front. He gave me another one to tie in the boot to prevent  anything from hitting me from the back.
  “He gave me a third one that he said I should tie under my seat so that if anything happened, 'the son (referring to himself Adeboye) would just disappear.' I did all he asked me to do. However, in two weeks I had three accidents. Nobody taught me before I threw the charms away.

“I did not learn my lessons then. Things became better still. I built a house at a very tender age. I got my PhD. Some people approached me that they needed to fortify me… I obliged and they took me to one herbalist. He told me to go and bring a goat and some other things. He insisted that the goat must not be brought in a car. I must lead the goat from the market to his house. Can you imagine? A lecturer in the university, struggling with a goat on the streets! The goat gave me tough time. After struggling to get the goat to him, I looked at the man who was going to fortify me and I saw his leg heavily bandaged.
  “He saw me looking at the leg and he explained what happened. He said he was involved in a car accident in which everybody died while he only broke his leg. If the protector broke his leg, what should the one protected break?”

•Day anger made me trek for a mile
  “When I became married, I agreed with my wife that we must not get angry at the same time. Then the devil tried to trap us one day. We were travelling from Ilesha to Lagos. Something made her angry and I knew she was right. She really had an opportunity to hit me. She was talking and I was driving. I was angry but I could not talk and there was nowhere to run. When I could not control it anymore, in order not to break our rule, I parked the car. I got down and began to walk back towards Ilesha.
“I left her with the baby in the car. After walking for about a mile, I got to a village where they were selling fruits and bought some. I ate some and I took the remaining to her in the car. By now she was frightened because she did not know what had happened. When she saw me coming, she became relieved and as I got into the car, I gave her the peace offering.”
•Adeboye, the ladies man
  “Before I met the Lord Jesus Christ, I had some problems. The first one was that I was a sportsman. The second one was that I was a good photographer. Combine those two in the life of any young man and you know he can have problems with girls. I am yet to meet a woman you tell that you want to take her picture and she would refuse.

“Before you know it, they (the women) are already adjusting their dresses, and from picture taking, you to move to something else. I had so many girlfriends that I did not even know the number at a stage.”

•Love birds say I do
One of the major challenges he had was proposing to Foluke. Despite the fact that he was capable of wooing any lady with both his looks and charisma, she was known to be very blunt, plain and descent. Foluke could not entertain liars and deceivers and was ready to reprimand anyone with such tendencies.
  Bearing this in mind, Adeboye was careful not to receive a negative answer from her, since he was yet to be turned down by any lady. He put himself together full of charm and confidence, he followed his heart and went ahead to propose to her.

While the other suitors were busy promising her heaven on earth, Adeboye never promised what he could not do and he proved to be a man of his words. After agreeing to marry him, she sought for her father's consent which she got.
   On the wedding day, the couple glittered in glamorous traditional outfits. Foluke wore the traditional buba and iro. She combined all these with very gorgeous headtie and beautifully beaded jewelry. She wore a high heel shoe that was about inches tall. The couple beamed with smile as guests and family could literally see the love emanating from Adeboye's eyes towards Foluke.
•The prayer God did not answer 
“Under no circumstance would I have become a pastor, not to talk of a General Overseer if God were not the Almighty. There is no way you can fight against this God and win. That is something everybody should know because left to me, I did not want to have anything t o do with priesthood.
   “When I knew that I was going to be ordained a pastor, my wife and I fasted for 14 days praying that God would change his mind. At that time as a lecturer in the university, I had done a little human management because of the rapid promotion that God gave me. I had to act for my head of department while he was away and I found out that the most difficult creatures are human beings. Even in the university system, you have an element of what I call 'power to enforce whatever you say', but in the church, it is different.
  “I have always said that the power which the pastor has is the power given to him by God principally but also mainly by the congregation.”

•Adeboye and the EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission)
“I feel that EFCC is of God. God is behind the reason to establish the EFCC. Corruption has had negative effects on the Nigerian economy. I was shocked by a recent remark that the country would be a paradise if all state governments spent 30 per cent of their budget.
  “My heart bled when I travelled to Malaysia and saw what the country had done with palm kernel. They have no oil, no land, no natural resource of any kind but they have good leaders. The war against corruption and financial crimes will begin to produce results when the leaders begin to demonstrate the fear of God. The wealth you accommodate through illegal means…you might not live to enjoy.

“Many Nigerian leaders steal from the country's resources and hide them in coded accounts in foreign lands. Now the money is abroad, they are not there. The money is benefiting the country into which it has been stashed and here we are suffering. And this money is in coded accounts and many of them (these Nigerian leaders) die suddenly without anybody knowing the code. That money is lost forever.”

•Global impact
Over the years, Pastor Adeboye has made remarkable contributions both with and outside the country. In October, 2000, in Jerusalem Israel, Pastor Adeboye introduced himself saying: “I am Brother Enoch Adeboye, Made in Heaven, Assembled in Nigeria and Exported to the world.”
  J. Grant Swank Jr, a South African writer on contemporary Christian theology has noted “This is the face of 21st Century Christianity: Big, Restless and African. What began as a living room Bible study in 1952 is now a juggernauta university, movie studio, satellite television and Wi-Fi internet  provider. Now add to that millions of followers in more than 90 nations, including footholds in China and even Dallas.”

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