Annual Conference of OFNC

A great weekend at the annual meeting of the Overseas Fellowship of Nigerian Christians: This year was different from others in many respects. First, the guest speaker didn’t speak on Friday as usual. His first two sessions were on Saturday morning. Friday was exclusively devoted to registration, exuberant praise from the newly constituted, youthful worship band, and a welcome address from the national chairman.

Then, the age group from 18 to 30 had a session to themselves. Actually, they were given 30 minutes, but they extended it for as long as they liked. They’ve promised to be more active in the fellowship, urged parents to remind their children of the Fellowship, etc. Everyone was really pleased. The assembly prayed for them at our prayer meeting on Sunday and encouraged them further during the closing session on Monday. They appointed representatives for each branch, and Lancaster has two representatives. I spoke to them on the way back. We’ve agreed to work together in our nationally acclaimed programme to introduce students coming in from Nigeria. Most of the 18 to 30 group were either born in this country, or have spent at least half of their lifetime here. It’s not the same for people arriving for a postgraduate programme in the UK.

I found out what was happening by reading my Braille programme. That too was a first. They’ve promised to do even more next year and they’ve even said they’d talk to me as part of the preparation for the next conference. That wasn’t all. I found that my room had been specially chosen for proximity to the meeting venue. Only problem is that the building is also occupied by several guys who have decided that they don’t much want to sleep. I can’t do that, because I’m with the prayer team.

The theme of this year’s conference was “God’s workmanship” taken from Ephesians chapter 2 v10. This year, for the first time since I’ve been attending, the main speaker wasn’t Nigerian. He’s Dr Keith Jenkins, international co-ordinator of Servant of the Lord Ministries in Nottinghamshire. He reminds us that as God’s workmanship, we ought to be totally submissive to His will. To love God means to obey His commandments. Actually, it means to seek His will in everything, even whether you’re to have coffee or tea. And the greatest commandments are to love God with our hearts, souls, minds and strength and to love our neighbours as ourselves. It doesn’t just mean to love God, but to love Him with everything; similarly, not just to love our neighbours, but to love them as ourselves. They were very good talks, but I found that he only ever talked about one other person, Joseph Hedgecock. I don’t know much about Joseph Hedgecock, but he only ever mentioned Mr Hedgecock’s books, only ever ralked of him as a great teacher, etc. After four talks, I started to feel that that was a little too much.

I met one of my lecturers, professor Yemi Osinbajo. He taught me at the faculty of law, University of Lagos. Now, he’s the attorney general of Lagos state, a pastor at the Redemed Christian Church of God and an emerging authority on righteousness in government. He’s doing a great job in a state with seventy percent of the lawyers in the country. In 1999, when he took office, it had the most corrupt judicial system. It’s all different now. He reminded us of the command in Genesis to “be fruitful, multiply and dominate the earth”. How can we dominate if we’re not in government? He said that God had told him, within his first few days in office that he’s supposed to be salt. Salt is ineffective in its salt shaker. It needs to come out, to be in the food, and in the same way, Christians are to make a difference in their interaction with non-christians, and not just hide in Christian circles. It was good to know that he still remembered me after 18 years.

I also heard of six year old twins who have both passed their GCSE maths. I’m jealous, because I failed mine. When I meet them, I must ask if they’ll give me lessons. I wonder what Marzique thinks of that!

15 Responses to Annual Conference of OFNC

  1. uaridi says:

    There is one thing I envy about Ghana and Nigeria is that they form and keep associations. Kenyans do not do that and if they do….

    I like what your lecturer said about Christians taking an active part in the governenment (and all aspects of life), otherwise how shall we make a difference or change the world. Isn’t it wonderful how Prof Yemi has changed his part of the world.

  2. Olu Ojedokun says:

    This is a very factual account of the conference, capturing the essiential mood but also a very perceptive account. The future, you know through God, belongs to the youths.

  3. Henry Adewale Akinnibosun says:

    I must , as a matter of fact commend Dr. Ife Akintunde for this brilliant write up.One need to see him to appreciate the work of God in humanity. He is really a sent servant of the most high, keep it up brother;more grease to your elbow.

    This write-up has summarised most of what happened in the Annual Conference of the OFNC in August this year and it is a good thing that a vivid account was given and placed on record for the benefit of those who were unable to make it to the conference this year.

    The youth and children’s variety show was fantastic!The various workshops were also timely, especially the workshops on how to plan for retirement, cross cultural marriage and righteosness in government inter alia.

    If we as christians could participate in government and make our positive impact felt, then our country and the world in general would be a better place.

    “The future is but a slogan when the future has no hope”- Anonymous (…and the youth are the hope of the future !!!)

  4. Olu Ojedokun says:

    As Nigeria celebrates its 46th anniversary today, 1st October 2006, i feel compelled to give further credence to the previous comments made.

    i think the challenge of National Associations abroad, is not simply the unity for its sake, but far they can impact the host culture to understand share and adopt their values (Christian values in this case). To the extend that these adopted values begin to impact on the frame work for policy decisions of the host country and influence the populace.

    If we are able to faciltate that, then we are relevant and seeking to reflect what God has called us to be.

    Dr Olu Ojedokun.

  5. Simon Luke says:

    Brother Hedgecock is the founder of Servants of the Lord Ministries and has been commissioned by God for over 30 years now to teach around the subject of Knowing God Personally (John 17:3). As an avid reader of J.C. Hedgecocks books I can say the materials are all based on clear simple scripture and have helped me get closer to God than I ever thought possible.

    Keith Jenkins was blessed also to learn of the scriptural truths shared by Brother Hedgecock on relationship with God (John 10:27) and has put them into practise and now travels the world sharing his heart on this subject. The basic teaching and heart beat of the ministry can be found in the book My Sheep Hear My Voice by Joseph Hedgecock. A must for anyone longing for intimacy with God and desiring a fulfilling and exciting walk with the Lord. It will teach you how to walk in the Spirit and hear God ‘s voice.

    Yours in Christ

    Simon Luke

  6. Abel Adegoke says:

    This is an accurate account of what happened over the weekend. Very good Bro Ife and welldone

  7. Dr Olu Ojedokun says:

    Thoughts For The Future

    As i move into the year of 2007, i am challenged by James Lawrence, about how, i as a servant can build an effective team that dose not just share the tasks and challenges ahead but is also able to share my life? How to raise resourses to keep the vision/mission going? How to capture a clerer sense of direction that does not just reflect my own ideasand hopes but is owned by the group i am serving? How to implement vision so that it does not stay an interesting dream but becomes a vibrant reality? How to make hard decisions that leave people not trampled upon by me but cared for?

    Every Blessings for 2007.

    Olu Ojedokun

  8. dajmio says:

    I am Polish and had possibility to see and also to feel the atmosphere of the group that Nigerian Christians are thanks to Olu Ojedokun. That has been great experience and stays in my mind and heart although three years had passed by. Everything i could say is “thank you”. God bless all members of the group.


  9. Ayo Mustapha says:

    I was at the same conference and bless God for Bro Ife’s account.

  10. Davdaz R says:

    Totally agree with Simon Luke about JC Hedgecock’s books and I understand why Dr Jenkins referred to the Hedgecock books so much. Joseph Hedgecock has intimacy with God that I desperately crave and it’s not about the books but the keys to intimacy that they share.
    Be blessed Brother Ife and I hope you managed to read one!

  11. kabababrubarta says:

    Good site! kabababrubarta

  12. Sylvia Michaelis says:

    As regards Joseph Hedgecock and others:
    How can any book on earth reveal more truth and give the key to more intimacy with our Holy GOD than the Holy Bible itself? There’s no such light/easy gospel as promised by men. How is it possible that so many people trust all sorts of teachers than just read God’s Word and do His will. Being obedient, we will earn all the blessings He promises!
    Please remember, only the truth sets free.

  13. Davdaz R says:

    Joseph Hedegcocks books aren’t meant to replace the Bible as you may think. They very much refer to clear and plain scriptures in a form that is easy to understand. The Bible focusses on many areas but the JC Hedgecock books emphasise and look into the key scriptures relating to fellowship with God, hearing Jesus’ voice and walking in the Spirit.

    It’s right that the Truth will set you free but there have been many scholars in the past who have read the Bible and not been set free! The Bible needs to be discerned and intrerpreted correctly, then you must apply the Truth to your daily life… and then you will be set free! If you read the Bible and interpret it wrong or have your own opinion then you may not have the Truth. Jesus is the Truth!

    Therefore, if you apply the scriptures that JC Hedgecock presents in his book you will learn to hear Jesus’ voice and then He (Jesus – The Truth) will set you free!

    Blessings and love

  14. Peter C says:

    I had a chance of listening to Joseph Hedgecock yesterday in person. I know he is trying to drum up the support for the ministry he beliefs the Lord has called him into, but to indirectly put organized churches and pastors down might not be the method Jesus Christ used himself.
    I am not sure how successful someone could be in their ministry in which after 30 and some years, he has transferred knowledge, he received only on one more person, namely Keith Jenkins. Living with the point, may be that we as ministers are too protectionists of “our tricks of the trade”, when the fact of the mater is, Jesus has entrusted the knowledge to the 13 disciples.
    Blessings in Christ

  15. Simon Luke says:

    Having spent time with Joseph Hedgecock and worked with Servants of the Lord Ministries I have seen that they have no desire to drum up support but the heart of the ministry is to serve God and the brothers and sisters in the body of Christ.

    The ministry is a small team who God has called to serve the body of Christ. They assist in the work of the ministry and desire to share the message of how to get to know God in a personal and experiential way (John 10:27). If you would like to get to know God better feel free to check out the Servants of the Lord website :

    The teaching of fellowship and communion with God that God has sent Pastor Hedgecock around the world sharing, has effected lives on every continent. I pray that you would be blessed also.

    God bless,

    Simon Luke

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