or many years, God placed a heavy burden for marriages in Nigeria (and
Africa on my heart), particularly as I became more active here in the US
and God’s influence through this forum (Nigeriaworld). The vision was very
clear and they were clearly written. First, was to institute a Family
Research Institute – which would then anchor so many marriage issues in
Nigeria and Africa generally.
Initially, I tried using influence and contacts but I soon learnt that
God’s timing is definitely not my timing, I also learnt what it meant to
really wait on God, not just say it. The written proposals for what God
showed me, stayed in my computer for at least six years (I transferred
them as I changed computers), then 2013 rolled around.
The Olaores (Dr. and Dr. Mrs), that notified me of their return to the US
on sabbatical, Dr. Israel and I, had talked briefly six years before (they
both have a strong passion for the marriage institution and prayer, like I
do). Although, I can’t give more details at this time (I promise to share
are the appropriate time – soon), God’s plan to put together a reputable
organization to fight for Godly principles and educate the people on
marriage (both individually and as an institution) in Nigeria (and Africa)
is in place and almost ready to go (public). Continue to pray.
Also last year, on a trip the Tampa FL, I met another pastor (who reads
Nigeriaworld and was familiar with my writings) and his lovely bride, we
became good friends because we share the same passion for the institution
of marriage, and he has a unique gift of organization and writing as well
(he currently write Tune-Up for Nigeriaworld as well – Gbenga Owotoki).
We discussed the concept of a Weekend Retreat for Couples in Nigeria, ten
years ago this was a novelty among Africa Diaspora couples, but to God be
the glory, it is now a common place to have weekend marriage retreats in
America particularly. I must commend Pastor Brown Oyitso, of RCCG, he put
together a weekend retreat for his pastoral leadership in 2003 (I still
heard of testimonies form the retreat last year – 2013).
Pastor Gbenga Owotoki, using his organizational network in Nigeria is
partnering with me, and another organization to have a weekend of
education, fun and either enrichment or healing for marriages in and
around Lagos. The weekend has been set for Friday, October 17th – Sunday,
October 19th 2014, at the Lekki Penninsula Hotel, Lekki Lagos, Nigeria. I
will be speaking and would be available to chat, my friends Dr. Israel and
Dr. Augusta Olaore would be speaking and Pastor Owotoki would be sharing
I look forward to meeting many of you who live in Lagos and have read the
Home Improvement Series and have been blessed by it, and would love to
strengthen you marriage, with a get-away for both of you to seek knowledge
and also have fun, and renew your vows.
Please register early, as I heard rooms are limited at the hotel. Please
contact the phone numbers on the flier for any question. God has an
amazing plan for marriages in Nigeria and in Africa.
My Trip to Santo Domingo, DR - May, 2014
Ferlinda Valdez was on a religious visa to the US, she was the
administrator and city connector to her uncle and aunt (Pastors Rafael and
Clotide Aristy), who were both pastors and president of the Hispanic
pastors alliance (A.M.E.N), when I met her. She would often interpret for
her Uncle and was his contact person in all city activities, even after
her uncle stepped down as president, her demeanor and gentle spirit
endeared her to so many who've been working on city transformation,
particularly in the area of prayer.
It was a sad time when she informed many of us, that she will be returning
to her native country early last year, I also noticed that unlike many
immigrants, she was not crazy about living in the US, she simply wanted
the will of God to be done. We stayed in touch through facebook, where she
informed me of all the prayer activities going on in DR, and wondered
Omaha could partner in some of them (she is part of an initiative called
Global Day of Praise).
As I put together my calendar for 2014 (late last year), I felt one of my
mission should be Dominica Republic for two reasons, Ola (wifey) had
always wanted to go with me to an island (just not Haiti) and based on
Ferlinda's description of what God is doing in DR, it would be a fertile
soil to invest in. Her denomination leadership extended the invitation and
it was put on the 2014 calendar for Mother's Day, but we moved it back to
accommodate a business travel for Ola's work.
This was supposed to be a dual visit, vacation with Ola and speaking for
me, we booked a day and half for vacation with each other and another day
and half for my speaking (and she does not have to attend the second day
of my speaking). I also did not fully understand the denomination or who
is hosting us (either Ferlinda or her church - the travel and
accommodation was Ola and I, a mission gift from us).
It turns out Ferlinda and her immediate family (Mom and Dad) were our
primary host, in many ways her parents (Dr. Fernando and Dr. Mrs. Linda
Valdez) reminded us of our parents (particularly my father-in-law), only a
little younger. Dr. Linda closed her dental clinic for many hours during
our stay and helped through the entire program, running things in the
background, Dr. Fernando (a GYN) cleared as much as he can to be part of
the program as well, we spent time with them, traveling to their village
cottage (30 minutes from the city), where they get to get away from busy
city life (surrounded by variety of fruits), they also treated Ola and I
to some of the best DR food (at different places) while we were in town,
to that I will be eternally grateful, your hospitality was simply amazing.
Ferlinda, as with most of her family, belong to a denomination called
Evangelical Mission Church (in English), this denomination started in
America and they have four provinces in DR, the province in Santo Domingo
have eight parishes/branches , so it was these eight churches that came
together for this "Marriage Enrichment Conference", all together they had
over 50 couples register for 700 pesos (which included one meal, 2 snacks
and workbook - I sent the Spanish version of my BHM workbook ahead and
they did a god job with it - heading to Tijuana, Mexico soon with the
Our first day was pleasant, Ferlinda took us to a floating restaurant on
the Carribean sea, the water was very clear and simply beautiful, after
which we settled into our hotel, on George Washington street (in Santo
Domingo, DR) right across from the sea (simply gorgeous), every room at
the Hilton hotel has a view of the sea. That night the Valdezes took us to
a restaurant where we get to eat good local food (would not try anything
new, Ola did) and enjoy some local dancing (great exercise for the dancers
- even dance on a bottle, no kidding). The next morning, Ferlinda took Ola
and I to what is called the colonial village (our official paid for tour
cancelled) and some shopping (for the kids not for us, does that happen to
everbody? even though i've complained that they have too much stuff).
The conference started late the first night, so many logistics issues, but
once it started, the presence of the Holy Spirit was palpable
(expectations from God was high), even though we had over 50 couples (more
registered late), five couples from one of the parishes/branches did not
come, a member of their church died that day, and as it customary in DR,
they all went to that family that night, instead of the conference (even
though they have paid). The topic, the first night was Understanding Love
- love as a decision, three stages of love and five love languages.
The conference started early the next day, Ola and a missionary to DR
(hoping to start a 24hours house of prayer - was part of IHOP KS), went
out to do some more shopping. The conference started at about 10am till
about 5pm (three sessions and a lunch break in between).
The three sessions were tiring for me, spoke on conflict resolution, on
money and finance and on sex (and differences in men and women). Lunch was
wonderful, got to meet with different people, I met with an older couple
(their daughter and husband were part of the conference as well), the
husband introduced himself as a retired Colonel in the DR Air-force (must
be in his late 70s), he clicked his heel and saluted me, I told him I
appreciate it and that God would honor him. Most of the questions as usual
were on sex and finance, we made sure every question was answered before
we let out at about 5.00pm.
My host Dr. Fernando Valdez (a GYN), told me later that my explanations on
the differences of men and women were on-point and said, even as a
physician, it was nice for me to relate those differences to how he
relates to his wife.
After the session, the Valdezes, drove Ola and I (we picked Ola up at the
hotel) to their country home, more like a village cottage, with many fruit
trees within the 3-4 acres of land, it gave my wife a nostalgia of her
grandpa's farm in the village (in western Nigeria), because they have
similar fruits, we counted about 8 different fruits. Our drive also
allowed us to talk about the history of the Dominica Republic, from their
independence from Haiti, to willingly becoming a protectorate of Spain, to
the 30 year reign of a dictator named Trujillo.
It was encouraging to me that there where many prayer initiatives going on
the island, there seem to be an awakening particularly as the LGBT agenda
is now being rammed down their throat by the Obama administration
appointee as Ambassador (James Brewster) who is in the DR with his
partner, whom he refers to as my husband.
The visit was a blessing, i'm happy my wife enjoyed it, I typically don't
have any feeling (except real bad), other than being in the mood to share
from God's throne room and pray that the folks hear and the seed fall on
While discussing with a pastor friend (Nigerian) on imprecatory prayer, he
“joked” that God did tell us to pray for our enemies, but He did not tell
us what type of prayer we should pray? We laughed at his joke, but I sure
do hope it was a joke!
To imprecate is to invoke evil or curses on one’s enemy. Imprecatory
prayers is was very common in the Old Testament writings, chief among such
prayer advocate was king David in Psalms 7, 35, 55, 58, 59, 69, 79, 109,
and 137 (scholars believe 79 and 137 were written by other authors of the
book of Psalms, Asaph etc.).
The Law of Moses (which form the bulk of Old Testament laws) have been
broken down into three types of laws, the Ceremonial laws
(sacrifices/atonement), the Civic laws (conducts within the community) and
Moral laws (behavioral pattern expected – what is wrong or right). Under
the Civic laws, given to Israel and written by Moses, the basis was “an
eye for an eye”, there were severe consequences for immoral or wrong acts,
such as stoning for adultery, when you give your word as a leader or king
– you cannot back out of it, even if it means killing a family member, and
many laws that instills the Fear of Man.
King David who invoke almost all referenced imprecatory prayers, was not
sinning when he invoked those prayers at the time, he was a fugitive and
was on the run for approximately 23 years, then twice he was dethroned by
his own family both as a king and by his generals, so he learnt to invoke
curses on his enemies (humans being used by the real enemy), some of the
verses of his imprecatory psalms were referenced by both Christ and Paul
(not sanctioned, just referenced).
Under the New Testament (covenant) brokered by Christ, we no longer live
under the civic and ceremonial laws of the Old Testament (Christ fulfilled
them – He bore our curse on the cross), and we now function under a new
deal, that guarantees our eternal relationship with us having the Holy
Spirit indwell us. Rather than curse our enemies - we are now encouraged
to pray for them, rather than an eye for an eye – we are now told to turn
the other cheek, rather than avenge those who trespass (or might trespass)
against us – we are now to let God carry out vengeance against them –
while we remain nice, rather than adultery be a physical act or
penetration – it is now thoughts within, basically the standard of the New
Testament is higher because much have been given to us, we have knowledge
and understanding more than the Old Testament folks, we have the Holy
Spirit indwelling us and we have the name of JESUS – the name that is
above all name to invoke in any and all circumstance.
From all evidence available in scripture, imprecatory prayers while
legitimate for Old Testament saints, is no longer tenable for us under the
New Testament, in-fact repeatedly we are told to pray for our enemies, to
love our enemies, not to avenge ourselves but to forgive and let God, etc.
Proponents of Imprecatory prayers under the New Testament often reference
the following scriptures as evidence of its continuity Matt. 23: 13, Matt.
26: 23-24, 1 Corinth. 16: 22, Gal. 1: 8-9, Gal. 5: 12, and 2 Tim. 4: 14 –
as I have examined these verses in context, none of it falls under
invoking harm or curses on an enemy rather “warning” of God’s impending
judgment when humans don’t repent.
It is important to note that the New Testament never said our (human)
enemies would go free after doing evil against us, rather it repeatedly
said let God avenge you, let God fight for you, and I think there-in lies
the issue with New Testament believer, we often have an idea of how we
want that person to suffer or feel the pain we are going through, and
often because God’s timing is different from ours, we feel the person is
getting away with the crime?
I believe one of the maturity attribute of a New Testament True Believer,
is getting to that level of relationship or intimacy with God, that first
you trust that He’ll avenge you at His time as He said (because the wages
of sin is death), second, that God would rather have a sinner repent than
condemn the soul (while he/she is still living and have the opportunity) –
judgment is inevitable where repentance is not forth coming (repentance
does not deter or abolish consequence), thirdly, a mature believer who
understands that the real enemy is God’s enemy (Satan and demons – who are
already judged) would not invoke an imprecatory prayer rather (like Jesus,
Stephen, etc.) would pray for the salvation of such a soul.
Rather than pray imprecatory prayers, why not pray for confusion in the
camp of the enemy, pray that God would change their minds (after all we
believe God have the heart of kings in His hands), pray for protection for
yourself particularly as you wield your weapons of warfare which are
really your lifestyle (faith, righteousness, truth, saved, God’s word, and
consistent prayer life), and if you really want vengeance, then hand that
person or people over to God for vengeance.
My prayer for the Boko Haram and Shekaru - its leader, is that there
should be confusion in their midst or camp (that some of them should start
to empathize against their own will), that the fear of the Lord would fall
on that camp (like it did with Nebuchadnezzar), this does not mean that
they would not suffer consequences when caught, but I’m sure the God of
heaven that I know (after almost two decade as a prison clergy) will love
to have those guys accept His Son, as Lord and Savior while in jail or
before a death penalty.
Here I stand and Remain Blessed