The charismatic revival and the sacrifices of the pioneers
In many ways, the heroic faith of the early pioneers of the Charismatic movement laid the foundation for what the Church is today. The late Archbishop Benson Idahosa was a victim of physical, verbal and spiritual attacks by individuals, Church leaders and the occult groups. Undeniably, his pioneering efforts gave the Charismatic movement an identity.
A few other examples are worth mentioning here. In 1972, during a Morris Cerullo crusade at Aba, Amos Aderonmu, a one-time International Director of CAPRO, travelled on a motorcycle all the way from Ogbomosho to Aba, a five-day journey of over a thousand kilometres to attend the crusade and the ministers’ conference. Today, that journey would take about eight to twelve hours to accomplish in a Harley Davidson type of motorcycle. In the early 1970s, Rev. Uma Ukpai travelled to the then Benue State on his Honda motorcycle to hold crusades. Today, this would be done in a luxurious SUV jeep.
Still, in the early 1970s, Rev. (Dr.) O. Ezekiel and Evangelist Argemiro Fagiro of Brazil embarked on an evangelistic trip from Port Harcourt to Jos in a chartered small aircraft. As they tried to stopover at Enugu airport to refuel, their aircraft crash-landed and disintegrated. Miraculously, they both survived the crash unscathed. The following day, they continued their journey in a bus by road, without bothering to go for a medical checkup. Rev. Ezekiel is still alive today to relive the experience!
In 1975, within one week, Bishop Simeon Okah, founder and General Overseer of Flock of Christ, Warri, had two life-threatening encounters with two different pythons. In the first instance, he had just returned from a crusade and was about to rest in his bedroom, when he felt a hand tap him to wake him up. Suddenly, he looked and saw a big python coiled beside his daughter, Dorcas. He commanded the python to remain still, until a cutlass was brought to kill it. The python bled profusely like a human being that night. A few days after the incident, he was showing a friend around the new church auditorium, when upon getting close to a door; he sighted a snake hiding in a crevice by the door. Suddenly, as he opened his mouth to speak, the snake spat into his gullet.
Bishop Paul Nwachukwu and his fellow revivalists faced persecution, discrimination hunger, and rejection in the heydays of the revival. Once, after he quit his business and took to full-time ministry, he soon ran out of resources. Faced with severe hunger, he sent one of his colleagues to a businessman to request for money with which to buy some food to eat. The response from the businessman was very disappointing and blunt. He sent back Paul’s emissary empty handed and disappointed, “Go and tell Paul Nwachukwu that I did not ask him to go into full-time ministry.” Dejected at the response, his emissary set out to return home. Miraculously, on his way home, he found five pounds on the street. The emissary immediately headed for the market stall, where he bought enough food for the team and hauled the food home in a taxi.
During the early days of the Igboland revival, Bishop Nwachukwu and his colleagues were thrown out of their churches. They resorted to meeting under trees and shades. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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