WHEN THE COMMUNITY PLANNED TO BEAT ME UP AND CLOSE THE CHURCH
Having heard about the many attacks on the church and some prophets, I want to share an account of what happened to me between 2007-2009 when I pastored my first church.
I was very young, in my early 20s then. God had spoken to me to go and set up the church, not even my bishop could sanction it but he had no option.
There was this DJ called John, John became my local interpreter as I couldn’t preach in the local language, he also brought some of his speakers and we do use his truck to mount them and travel around preaching. He’ll sing as he was good, we have the keyboardist and then he’ll interpret for me; soon people started calling John my assistant pastor as we are always together preaching.
Ministry was moving on smoothly but I didn’t know the devil was planning to strike.
One of our women was having marital crisis with her husband but because I wasn’t married and John was, she found it safer to confide in John and instead of John to relate the issue to me, John decided to marry her and she accepted.
They started an affair and I didn’t know. The husband of the lady decided to report the matter, not to me, but to the community. The community chairman comes to my church but he wants to lord over me because he thought I was too young to be his pastor. He was the men’s fellowship chairman and during men’s meeting he’ll serve the church’s men with alcohol and when I discovered, he wasn’t remorseful so I unseat him as the chairman and he told me he was going to deal with me and remove me from the church therefore this occasion served as his opportunity to effect his treat.
All the while, I didn’t know what was happening, the community had made a decree that no person who lived in that community should attend the church and the church grew empty. But God would have his way, two families who live in a very far place were told by God in a vision to come and be worshiping with me. This two families have lots of children and friends and they all started coming. So the church of God kept moving on. When I ask my members living in that community why they stopped coming, they’ll be giving me several excuses and not one of them told me the truth. When I go to preach in the market place or at their houses, they’ll be murmuring about me and I couldn’t figure out why all that was happening.
It was later I realized that they said I’ve been sleeping with all the girls of that communities therefor the community won’t tolerate a male prostitute posing as a pastor. They were determined to beat me up and close down the church. But because I paid for the venue, they asked my landlord to evict me, he said, he can only do that when my rent expires at the end of the year so the community youth agreed that at the end of the year, they’ll all gather and beat me and chase me away from their land.
All these I never knew even when I heard it as a rumor, i refused to believe it and beside I was so sure God sent me into that land and I don’t even have any close relationship with any girl talk less sleeping with all the girls. I had cut communication with my parents them because they never wanted me be a pastor, my bishop was fed with lies and he cut communication with me; I was just all alone with those families God told to join me through a vision.
One of the girls couldn’t hide it anymore, she came and told me all the accusations against me and how they said i’ve been sleeping with all the girls including her. I went to John and asked him if it was true that he was having relationship with that woman, he denied, I begged him to tell me but he swore that it was a lie. So I left things the way they were. I fasted for three days none stop, not because I actually knew what I was fasting for, I was just led to fast and I did and yearned in my spirit.
Few days to the 1st of 2009 the day the community had planned to beat me and destroy church properties and chase me out of their town, something happened, the lady who was having an affair with John which was the main reason the community started laying accusing fingers not on John but on me had an accident that deformed her until today (if she is still alive, I don’t know) in a spot where according to the community, no one has ever had an accident on that spot in their history. The community interpreted the accident as an act of God to vindicate me. The news spread and on the 1st of Jan 2009 the day should had been the my doom and that of the church, the church was filled, and the overflow was filled up, all those who had planed to evict me, had come to join me serve my God.
If God has called you to open or pastor a church, there’ll be attacks, false accusation and many lies would be merged up against you but at the long run, not a hair on your head would perish. Jesus would build His church and the gate of hell will never prevail.
God bless you
Pst Promise Ikpe
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