It is my prayer that the Lord will continually pour out His presence, His peace and His divine grace upon each and every one of you; may it be as it is written, surely goodness and mercy shall follow me/us all the days of our lives.
It has been on my heart to finish writing to you and share with you the events of the last part of my recent trip to Nigeria. As of my last letter to you, we had just finished up coming back to Port Harcourt from Uyo. At that time we had two more cities to visit which would be Umuahai and Owerri.
As we arose the morning that we were going to be traveling, as I remember it, that night had been a night of prayer and wrestling in the Spirit. Owerri for me has never been an easy trip. There has always been a great deal of spiritual warfare that was fought over going to this particular place. It would seem to be one of those hot spots in the Spirit. There are areas in the World and especially in Africa where satan has set up what the Bible calls seats of spiritual wickedness and for me, personally, Owerri has always been one of those places. It has also been one of the places where I have seen the Spirit of God and the word that has been given unto us bring great victory and deliverance. It was in this same city years prior to this particular visit that God gave me the revelation of man and how he is bound to the earth of his nativity; of the darkness that is around that feeds the soul of man so that the soul may produce more darkness and how the power of God can break that authority of darkness. It was to this place then that the four of us, Brother Obi, Brother Chijioke, Brother Joshua and I would be traveling by car.
The first stop would be the city of Umuahai. This particular place, by the way, is the home place of Brother Chijioke. We would have two days of meetings here with a small fellowship that is in a small village that makes up the part of the city that is called Umuahai. These cities in Nigeria will often be villages that have in some manner or another been swallowed up by the growth and development around them and will finally succumb to the metropolitan pressure to become a part of the whole. There is one event that happened that I would like to relate. Many years ago, probably twenty-four or twenty-five years ago, I met a Brother Uchena, who at the time I met him was part of the original fellowship that was started in Owerri. On recent visits I have wanted to get in contact with him again, but for one reason or another it just didn’t work out. It just so happened that he lived in Umuahia and we found out that he would be at his home in Umuahia during this current visit. It was arranged that we would visit him one afternoon while we were there. It was a very good visit. I am so glad that we had that opportunity for it was just a week or so ago that I received the news that Brother Uchena had passed away.
The meetings in Umuahia were quite good, there was a very good spirit and the people seemed to be hungry for the Word of God. The meetings were well attended and though the meeting place was humble, God‘s presence was obviously there. The message centered on the original thought of God when he created Man, as to the intent of God for man and the destiny that He has established for man. It is quite a marvelous thought and one that is hard to fathom, when you think of the creation of man; what he was made out of and how it was that the “breath” of God, when He breathed into man, man “became”, it changed the elements from which it was originally created to a form that we now call flesh. (…..for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.) To me it is just a marvelous, miraculous event that totally blows my mind, especially when you think of that breath as it is used so often in the scriptures concerning God and man.
The second night the message that came was on ‘The Pattern to Perfection’. It was a word that showed the progression and development of the mind of God concerning His plan for man. It began with God and man in the garden to Moses on the mount where God gave him the pattern of the Tabernacle; down to the time of David and what the scripture says concerning the Tabernacle of David and how God desires to restore it (Amos 9:11). This all of course deals with the coming of Jesus Christ and by virtue of what He accomplished concerning the development of Christ within us. When you begin to think about the absoluteness of God and all that He is and that He wants to reside within man in the totality of that fullness, it is almost incomprehensible and it would be so if it were not for the scripture in John 14:26, But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. So you see God does not leave it to happen-chance or to the discretion of the individual believer; He has provided every resource that is necessary to accomplish what it is that He wants done. All this is to say that all in all the two days spent in Umuahia were quite good and I believe very profitable.
The next morning which was a Saturday, we would be back on the road again and heading for Owerri. We had meetings scheduled for that Saturday night and Sunday morning. There are several fellowships in Owerri and they had agreed to come together for a joint meeting to facilitate our coming.
That next morning I received a call from Brother Jokes at 6 A.M. telling me we had to be checked out of the hotel and on the road by 6:30 A.M. It seems on certain days of the month many of these cities have what is called street cleaning. If you are found driving on the road between certain hours, they will stop you and either make you help in the cleaning of the streets or give you a very big fine! Although we did not make our deadline for getting on the road, we did make it out of the city limits without any mishap.
We had little difficulty in getting to Owerri and to get checked into the hotel that they had provided for us. Our first meeting would be that Saturday evening in a place called Tabernacle of Grace. As we made our way to the evening meeting place, we had some difficulty in finding it being they had moved to a new location and were in the process of building. When we arrived I was a bit surprised to see the number of people so small in comparison to the size of the building. It would seem that we, as a people, still give preference to holy days, weekdays versus Sundays, and not to mention the Word of God. I was given the opportunity to share the word that God gave me concerning “This is the Time, This is the Place.” The Word began with a bit of history lesson concerning the Word of God and its effect upon them as a people; in particular them as a people concerning this word for the end time and that of Sonship. The time is serious and the jeopardy that the world is in because of the darkness that is becoming more and more dark is consequential to us as Christians. Brethren, we need to wake up and smell the smoke. There is an old expression that says where there is smoke there is fire, and, brethren, there is a fire that has already been kindled and it will come to be seven times hotter than any fire that we or the world has ever experienced. We are called to be the First Fruits of Christ, those that participate with Him in the saving of the world. The meeting ended with a call to repentance and a rededication to the Lord concerning His plans and purposes for humanity.
We had one more meeting, one more opportunity to repent. Perhaps you might think that that thought is presumptuous? Well, I believe it is scriptural and in context with what the Bible says about man. Do I presume to tell God that I will yet have one more opportunity to turn from my position of stubbornness and rebellion? The Holy Place church is a church that is in danger of not becoming, but is becoming the Abomination that is spoken of by Daniel the prophet. He speaks of a church that has a word of Sonship, but it is denying the power of that word through dissemination and apostasy. This word has the ability to change man from mortal to immortality; from the smell of putrification to the smell of the rose, from the depths of the lowest hell to the ultimateness of God’s eternity, but for that to happen man must die, die completely and absolutely to the demands of his soul. It is a soul that is no longer ruled by its passions and the unholy desires of its gross darkness, but is a soul of pure and holy light that burns with such intensity that no unholy flesh can abide within its presence. That is the soul that will flee from that apostasy of self-fulfillment, self-preeminence and self-preservation. It is a soul that would rather die in the physical sense than to be bound forever in that state of eternal agony, obliterated from the mind of God.
Sunday morning held a bit of a surprise for me. When I walked into the meeting place that morning, the place was packed to the max!
When it was determined that I would be going to Owerri, I began to seek the Lord for a specific word and not just any word, but a word for the church, the true church in Owerri. It was a word even as the words that are given to the seven churches of Revelation; Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand (Revelation 1:3). And again seven times the Spirit of God sayeth to the (Holy Place) church, He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. I thought as of Friday night that I had missed God in that word, but when I walked into that hall that morning I knew that this word was for this people and in this place. I have to also tell you that as I walked into that place a fear fell upon me, not a fear of man but a fear of God, that I would not step out of the will of God in thought or in word. The word that the Lord gave me was a word that was a story of the church and it is found in Isaiah 7:1. It is the story of God and His people and the insurrection of the church against the church and the rebellion against God and the apostasy that comes because of it. It also speaks of God’s redemptive love for those who repent and “turn again to the Lord.” I have to say that the response to the word was very good. This meeting would conclude our multiple visits to various cities and to the various fellowships that we have helped over the years to lay the foundational truths of this Kingdom of God message. It also brings me to the end of this segment of the trip. The next adventure and the last report for this trip will be the up and coming Port Harcourt Youth Conference.
May God bless you and thank you so much for your prayers and support.
Brother Burt & Sister Nancy