Papa Back in The Days: 16 Thought-Provoking Things About “Brother” David Oyedepo.

When he turned 6o in September last year, many dignitaries from all walks of life graced the occasion – ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo; a former Head of State, above-80 General Yakubu Gowon; Ex-Minister, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina;  great men of God, including the spiritual father of the birthday boy, Pastor E.A. Adeboye, and a host of others. You already know who I’m talking about – he’s Bishop David Oyedepo, the President, Living Faith Church worldwide also known as Winners’ Chapel. He was born on September 27, 1954. Let’s take a journey to when he was still a small boy – yes, a small boy; he was not born a Bishop or Papa, as we know him today. He crawled, played on sand, ran around without clothes as most kids do. But he
also did a few things differently as a little child, which forms the crux of this piece dedicated to his 61st birthday.

1. At age 10 (in 1964), he already started fantasizing about heaven (based on the ‘heavenly’ stories he had heard), and he wanted to be there by all means. So, he made a child-like attempt to ‘relocate’ by running towards the horizon that always looks like heaven is touching the earth, until he (and his co-traveller kid friend) met an old man who sent them back.
2. Between ages 10 and 12, (1964 – 1966), he was already ‘practicing’ preaching using his grandmother’s living room as church and her soup cupboard as podium – and he had about 5 children as ‘congregation.’
3. At that same age, still based on biblical stories he had heard, he asked a carpenter to make a Moses-kind-of-rod for him – to ‘divide’ the Red Sea and take people to the Promised Land (whatever that meant then).
4. At 15, he got saved – and till today, he remembers when (February 19, 1969), where (school), and through whom (Betty Lasher).
5. After he got saved at the age of 15, he embarked on a 40-day fasting and prayers, going without breakfast and lunch, only dinner.
6. In September that same year, having been a victim of tuberculosis, he woke up one night and discovered that his dormitory mates had moved away from his space because he coughed very badly that night. According to one of his books - THE MANDATE, he took a step of faith: “I went out and stood on a little rock behind the dormitory and called out to God saying, ‘Jesus, if it is true that you did all those miracles that I read about in the New Testament, do it again…” According to him, that was the end of TB…at age 15! He set me free from tuberculosis in 1969 and I'm free forever for whatever the Lord does shall be forever,” said he on Sunday September 20, 2015 during the 3rd Service.
7. At 16, he earned his first money, having learnt and internalized the virtues of the dignity of labour from his maternal grandmother, the late Mrs. Rachael Adeyiola Odetundun. Though he was comfortable, he just needed to learn how to earn – at 16! Well, he didn’t forget to ‘spoil’ himself a little with his hard-earned money: he bought himself a pair of shoes called ‘Apollo’ (which was in vogue then).
8. He attended his first Christian conference in March 1970 at age 16 – and he still remembers the theme till today (‘God is not slow’)
9. In 1970, (do the Math – 1970 minus 1954 =?), his younger brother died of measles but he won’t take that. He made his mother put the ‘dead’ child on her back and led her to an uncompleted building where he laid the child down, prayed, called on Jesus, and the child jacked back to life. A young man at 16!
10. When in 1973 he was asked to relieve a teacher who was due for maternity leave, he jumped at it. It was at a village in Kwara State.
11. The first thing he noticed when he got there was that there was no single church, not even the ubiquitous Catholic Church! What did this young man do?
12. First, he prayed, “Lord, let me never leave this village the same way I met it; Lord, put your name in this village.” And 40 days later, a church building was already in place.
13. On his last day there, he got a prophetic gift (a lantern) from the elders of the village with these words: “Silver and gold we have not, but we give you this lamp. Let the light that you brought to our village shine round the world.” That light is still shinning, even brighter today.
14. Between 1974 and 1979: “This period saw my itinerant preaching engagements multiply, mostly among young and emerging ministries, university campuses, other tertiary institutions, secondary schools, etc,” he wrote in THE MANDATE. That’s a young man of 20 and above!
15. From 1971, he was already a student leader organizing special prayer meetings in his school. “Prayer was indeed like food to me,” he also wrote in THE MANDATE.
16. In 1976, at age 22, he had an encounter with the Holy Spirit and that was when the Rhema behind the Logos of Matthew 6:33 was revealed to him: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things that others are dying to get shall be added onto you.”

Dear friends, time and space will not permit me to write about the other exploits that God did with ‘small’ but willing hands. You may have read about them, and possibly know more about them than I do, but each time I read them; each time I hear them, even though I get blessed and inspired, I also get a little bit worried. Worried that some of us wasted a lot of time before latching on to the message of truth thinking we were still young and had time on our hands; worried that the erroneous thinking that ‘we have not come of age yet’ has robbed many of us of what would have been a glorious destiny; worried of asking myself the question: what if the things I lost are irredeemable? Worried of how to get this message to many people I know today who think they are still very young and therefore keep pushing things till tomorrow, or wallowing in the valley of indecision.

However, I take solace in what I heard a man of God say one day: “If I knew what I know now 10 years ago, I wouldn’t be where I am today. But now that I know, 10 years from now, I won’t be where I am now.” Add that to the message we hear from God’s servant everyday; the books we read, and the prophetic declarations and instructions from the prophet God has placed over us, you will agree with me that indeed all hope is not lost because there is hope for a tree even when it is cut down…(Job 14:7)

Let me end with these words, if you have gone past the ages I mentioned earlier, we all know there’s no need to worry; you can start from where you are as God is all you need to have all your needs met. If you are still a teenager, don’t let that word “teenager” limit you; you can do all things through Christ. And no matter how old or young you are, if you are not born-again, there’s no hope for you.


No comments

Theme images by cmisje. Powered by Blogger.