I have just returned home…very happy to see my family and rejoicing over the glorious harvest that took place in Ikot Ekpene over the last week. In spite of the rainforest-like weather conditions encountered in this Delta region of Nigeria, the crowd topped 400,000 in a single service! Below is a video shot by one of the tech team guys with his little personal camera. It will give you a glimpse into what it was like setting up the equipment on the muddy field. They literally pitched the platform where the trucks got stuck.
On the fourth night I preached about restitution. I told the people to return things that they had stolen and if they didn’t know from whom they had stolen it, they could bring it to our team anonymously and we would give it to the police. The next night, the pile of stolen belongings was a big as the SUV they were stacked next to…a testament to the life changing dynamic that is inherent to the Gospel message. It is not simply a philosophy or even a doctrine and we dare not reduce it to mere cognitive ascent to the statutory definition of salvation. It is not embodied in a collection of words or ideas…but in a demonstration of real-life power. It is Zaccheaus returning 4 times as much to everyone whom he had cheated. It is the adulterous woman being rescued from execution. It is the demoniac of Gadara clothed and in his right mind. it is the cripples walking and the deaf hearing and the blind seeing and the dead living. Jesus said that his mission was to destroy the works of the Devil – that’s the Gospel!
The final service was cut short by the rain, but not before I had managed to finish the message and altar call. Once again, an entire region has been impacted – one known for kidnappings, bloodshed and all sorts of crime. Tonight, I believe Ikot Ekpene and the surrounding region is a different place from the one we drove into one week ago today. Praise the Lord!
(P.S. even as I write this, one of todays headlines says that some of the hostages that were being held in this Delta region have just been returned.)
The video below is rough pan of the crowd on the final night of meetings with 400,000+ in attendance.