Greater Evangelism World Crusade e-Newsletter Issue: 0002
KEYNOTE ADDRESS DELIVERED BY PASTOR ISAAC VALENTINE OLORI, THE INTERNATIONAL DIRECTOR OF GREATER EVANGELISM WORLD CRUSADE ON THE OCCASION OF THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY (SEPTEMBER 9TH 1972-SEPTEMBER 9TH 2022) CELEBRATION OF GREATER EVANGELISM WORLD CRUSADE
Beloved, It is with great joy and a heart full of gratitude that I say congratulations to you on this remarkable feat of attaining fifty (50) years in the Lord’s mission as a Ministry. First, I am most grateful to God for counting us worthy as a people to carry this Vision. Indeed, His grace and mercies have been our story and our song these fifty years. King David’s words in the 124th Psalm aptly capture God’s faithfulness and protection toward us, our reliance on His mercy, and our expression of thanks.
“If it had not been the Lord who was on our side,”Let Israel (GEWC) now say—“If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, When men rose up against us, Then they would have swallowed us alive, When their wrath was
kindled against us; Then the waters would have overwhelmed us, The stream would have gone over our soul; Then the swollen waters would have gone over our soul.”Blessed be the Lord,… Our help is in the name of the Lord, Who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 124:1-8).
Considering all the Ministry has been through, we wouldn’t have even survived the formative years of this work, “If it had not been the Lord who was on our side.” We have had our share of false accusations, media trials/scandals, oppositions, different forms of perils, and persecutions in abundance. Also, as our founding International Director of blessed memory, Apostle G. D. Numbere always reminded us; he did not go to any man to sponsor this Ministry when he started. God had always sustained and supported His work. Indeed, we can boldly say without contradiction, that our help as a Ministry is in the name of the Lord. Second, I want to commend and salute the courage and doggedness of our founding International Director and father, Apostle Geoffrey Dabibi Numbere of blessed memory for yielding to the call of God on his life. Like Paul, he was not disobedient to the Heavenly Vision. He forfeited his ambitions and dreams to follow the course of the Lord. His burning passion for the Lord and the Vision was felt by all who came close to him. He was ready to face any danger, even at the risk of losing his life, for an opportunity to share the gospel. Apostle Numbere did not only preach the gospel, but he also defended the gospel too. He did not mind being the lone voice against false doctrines that threatened the faith of believers and the testimony of the Church. What a man! Heaven alone can declare the full impact of his life and ministry. Our father did not work alone, he was surrounded by dogged young men and women who saturated towns and villages with the gospel amid persecutions and great personal loss. Time and space will fail me to list their names here, but I must salute this pioneer generation of heroes who have trailed a blaze for us in this generation. Most of them have gone home to be with the Lord and have passed the baton to us. They have left their footprints on the sands of time. Of them, it could be said like it was said of David that they have served their generation by the will of God, “For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God,” (Acts 13:36). And for those of them who are still alive and committed to the Vision, I say Bravo! You are veterans of this Vision and Heaven will always cherish your labours as this generation continue to tap from your grace. These great men and women ran the first lap of the marathon and are counting on us to continue the race with vigour and an expectation of success. It now behooves us to follow in their steps of zeal, commitment, and sacrifice.
The Significance/Burden of Jubilee
Attaining fifty years is remarkable in the life of any person or group of persons and celebrations are in order. There is no doubt that some strides have been made in the pursuit of our calling, but we are far from our destination. As we joyously celebrate this significant milestone, we must also find the time to reflect and measure our achievements against our assignment. There are three (3) main phases of the Vision- Nigeria, Africa, and the World. How are we faring on these three (3) levels? Are we satisfied with the level of work in Nigeria, Africa, and the World? How much impact have we made in the last 50 years? Does our achievement match the number of years of our existence?
Beloved brethren and co-labourers, there is still much work to be done in all the phases of our assignment. Amid our celebration and rejoicing, the Lord is calling our attention to the demands of our task and the brevity of our time with these words in Joshua 13:1: “Now Joshua was old, advanced in years. And the Lord said to him: “You are old, advanced in years, and there remains very much land yet to be possessed.” We are 50 years old and advanced in age as a Ministry and there remains very much land to be possessed in Nigeria, Africa, and the rest of the World. The challenge is daunting, but our God is able and willing to give us the land. The perilous times that mankind and the different nations of the world are facing point to the imminent return of our Lord and the urgency of our task. The resources are scarce; the time is short; the enemy is desperate; the time to act is now.
Return to our Primary Mandate
God’s commission to our founding father was clear when He gave him the Vision of this Ministry, “Go, raise their faces that they might look up to me and that they might live.” This is God’s commission to us as a Ministry and our name reminds us of that- Greater Evangelism. We have been given the solemn responsibility of reaching out to people who are bent by Satan and sin and are to raise their faces to look up to Jesus and live. Our society may seem filled with religion, but the commission is as relevant today when many, though in the church, are still bowed by sin. Our mandate is an offshoot of the Great Commission given to the Church by the Lord, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.” (Matthew 28:19-20). This must be our priority as a people and at the centre of our plans and programmes. As our name implies, we must be noted for a greater level of evangelism and missions. We must not be too comfortable in our local church buildings and worship services to the point that we neglect our core duty of reaching out to the
lost. Let us not be like fishermen who gather continually to learn, plan/strategize, and gather their fishing gears but never get to the river to fish. Let me at this point emphasize that grace works with purpose. The Lord will make all grace abound toward us as we focus and get involved in that which is the burden of His heart. He has given us a task to accomplish, and His grace and resources will flow in the direction of His assignment. Our God is forever faithful and committed to prospering His work in our hands. Apostle Paul noted, “He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24). Nehemiah testified; “The God of heaven Himself will prosper us; therefore we His servants will arise and build” (Nehemiah 2:20). I urge you, therefore, brethren by the assurances of God’s word and the integrity of His character to give yourself wholly to this task. God is committed to prospering us to carry out this mission. God will prosper our Churches, Zones, Areas, Districts, and Regions as we rise to the task of raising the faces of people to look up to Jesus for salvation and building them into disciples. Amen.
Buying into the Vision
The Lord promised to give our founding father the men and women who will help him actualize the Vision. You and I are the people that the Lord promised His servant. The baton of running with the Vision has been handed over to us by the previous generations of brethren who laboured in and for this Vision. We have a moral obligation to not only sustain their labours and the Vision in our day but to take it to the next level. The imperative to sustain the Vision is hinged on the premise that we have first bought into it. Buying into the Vision entails seeing ourselves as stakeholders in the Vision; having a stake in it. We must take ownership of the demands and responsibilities of the Vision and rise to any challenge that may confront us along the way. This is not the time to complain, find faults or sit on the fence; it is the time to put our hands on the plow and shoulders on the work, and courageously bear the burdens of fulfilling this Vision The Prophet Habakkuk was instructed to, “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.” (Hab 2:2). Over the years, the history and significant landmarks of the Vision have been graciously and painstakingly made plain by our mother, the wife of our founding father, Pastor, Dr. (Mrs.) N. E. Numbere. Have you read the vision? How do you read it? Are you running with the vision? These are pertinent questions that must be answered by every one of us who identifies with this Vision.
Reinforcing the Pillars of Love, Prayer, and Evangelism
The tripod or three (3) main pillars on which this Ministry is built are namely; Love, Prayer, and Evangelism. These are the key attributes of the Ministry of GEWC. An objective assessment of our performance using these key indices shows that we are becoming weak on these pillars. The occasion of this 50th Anniversary provides an opportunity for us to remind ourselves and reinforce these key pillars of the Ministry. This will be done through renewed teachings and practical applications of ourselves to these virtues. Every structure is as strong as the pillars that support it. Brethren, let us get on our knees again to pray, let us love one another the same way Christ loves us, and let us invest our lives and resources in evangelizing our cities and villages as it was in the beginning. The power and glory of God will be manifest in our midst in a greater dimension when we reinforce these pillars. Testimonies abound of the great workings of God among the older generations of this work because they stuck
to these pillars. It is time for us to pray like Habakkuk, “GOD, I’ve heard what our ancestors say about you, and I’m stopped in my tracks, down on my knees. Do among us what you did among them. Work among us as you worked among them…” (Habakkuk 3:2 The Message). Let us go down on our knees for fire from God that will revive us in love, prayer, and evangelism.
The New Generation
May I at this juncture address the wonderful youths who God has blessed us with in this generation. I want you to know that you are the New Generation that the Lord is banking on to conquer new frontiers for this work. There is a crowd of witnesses watching and cheering you on as you engage in the good fight of faith within the parameters of the Vision of GEWC. Your task is simple; stand laboured for. You have a history littered with 50 years’ worth of guidelines and lessons to fast-track your success. You can’t afford to fail God or the older generations. I charge you in the words of Paul, “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12). This passage brings up the issues of position, capacity, and performance. Our father, Apostle Numbere ran with this Vision as a youth and he was surrounded by other youths who were on fire for God. You are the foot soldiers and active workforce of the Vision of this Ministry.
Position yourselves and take your proper place in this Vision. Dear youths, I implore you to stand and be counted: show up in prayers; show up in fellowship; show up in purity; show up in conduct; show up in the study of the word; show up in leadership; show up in missions; show up in sacrifice. But showing up or being available is never enough; you must develop competence. Endeavour to build capacity in all areas of your life so that you will perform at your peak. You can’t be ignored if you have developed the necessary physical and spiritual competencies. It is your gifts and graces that will position you and make a way for you. This 50th Anniversary marks the beginning of a New Era for a New Generation. It is your generation. You (the youths) are the new generation!
A Decade of Harvest and Discipleship
The main thrust of the Ministry of GEWC for the next decade will be Soul winning and Discipleship. We will mobilize all our resources towards bringing a harvest of souls into God’s kingdom. This will be at the heart and measure of every programme, conference, and any other activity. The success of any programme should henceforth not just be measured by how ‘glorious’ it was but its impacts on our mission of soul winning. We are setting forth ourselves as God’s answer to the prayer request of our Lord Jesus Christ. “Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” (Matthew 9:37-38). Greater Evangelism World Crusade would be God’s labourer to reap the plentiful harvest. The Anniversary crusades were part of renewing and relaunching the Vision in this area of soul winning. This renewed drive has just begun and must be sustained at all levels. The world is now a global village and with Information Communication Technology (ICT) it is easier and faster to reach the world. We must be deliberate at all levels to explore and invest in digital platforms for reaching out. This is where the world is and the way to go if we are to catch up with the time. It’s a pulpit without borders. We would also be strategic in equipping and furnishing disciples for the effort to raise faithful men who can stand for God and help to raise others too, “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:2).
The next phase of the Ministry will have the following engaging activities and operations:
- Strategic Evangelism and Mission Outreaches through Crusades in Cities and Communities to win souls and raise the spiritual consciousness of the people.
- Focusing on the young ones (Youths and Teenagers) through concerted discipleship programmes and leadership capacity-building schemes to raise godly leaders for the future.
- Full deployment of Hybrid (In-Persons and Virtual) Congregation in our church structure and activities to enhance the dissemination of the Gospel to the nations of the world.
- Increased literature evangelism through the promotion of the Ministry’s publications and materials on all available global platforms.
The Glory of the Latter House
The theme of this anniversary is drawn from Haggai 2:9- “’The glory of this latter house shall be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the Lord of hosts.” This theme presents both hope and a challenge. It is prophetic and shows what the mind of God is for every work which is of His calling. Job 8:7 paints the same picture: “Though your beginning was small, Yet your latter end would increase abundantly.” God’s mandate and expectation of us are clear and our solid spiritual foundation and heritage are an added advantage. The challenge of our generation is whether we can discharge this burden. Can we enter this greater glory? Yes, we can if we are willing to pay the price by following the footsteps of our founding father of blessed memory. I urge you to be involved in this great move of God in His dealings with us as a Ministry. It is a New Beginning! The LORD is on our side! Let us ride on the grace and wings of Jubilee. And may the Lord Jesus Christ who is our Jubilee usher us as a Ministry and everyone into his or her Jubilee in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.
Again, I say, Congratulations.
Happy 50th Anniversary to Greater Evangelism World Crusade!
God bless Greater Evangelism World Crusade!