Wilmer Market, Lagos, was the recent mission field of Miracle Assembly Bible Church (MABC) for sharing of essential commodities to the needy. The busy commercial market on Thursday, March 16, 2023 received as guests, members of Miracle Assembly Bible Church in large numbers, led by their compassionate shepherd, Bishop Theophilous Ugochukwu into the huge market to extend MABC’S Love feast to the needy in the market vicinity.
At the Wilmer market, members of the Maryland, Lagos-based Pentecostal Church joyfully and freely shared many packages of rice, beans, garri, noddles, drinks, beverages, condiments and toiletries with tokens of cash secretly tucked inside some of the food stuffs, to the needy; the sellers, the buyers and the passers-bye, at the market.
The Love feast is a regular outreach of Miracle Assembly Bible Church to the needy as a gospel of compassion beyond the spiritual to the less privileged. “We call it Love Feast. It is a kind of compassionate interaction with the people on the streets, particularly the needy. Initially, we used to cook foods and shared it to the needy within the church. When we considered the stress of cooking and decency we decided to be packing food stuffs for sharing to the needy in-house before we launched out to the streets and market places. Sometimes, we put money inside the food stuffs without the people knowing until they open the packs at home and see the cash. The Love feast is a revelation from God,” Bishop Ugochukwu disclosed.
The amiable bishop said the revelation was preceded by a vow he made to the Lord to be sharing with the needy fifty percent (50%) of every of his personal income in appreciation to God for his survival of fatal accidents six times. “To the glory of God I have survived six fatal accidents. I had passed on before but came back to life by the mercy and compassion of God. When I considered these miracles and all other wonderful things God has done in my life I made a vow to be sharing with the needy 50% of any money that comes to my personal purse. Over the years I have been committed to this vow and God has been faithful,” the bishop testified.
Aside the vow, the cleric also explained to Christian Benefits how he received from God the revelation about the Love Feast outreach that practically expresses the gospel of compassion of Miracle Assembly Bible Church beyond the spiritual. He explains “It (the Love feast) is a revelation from God in which I saw helpless people, weeping and looking for food to eat. In that revelation, I saw myself preaching to the people and also giving them food to eat and they started rejoicing.
The lovely bishop said when he shared the revelation with the church members and suggested the ideas of the church hosting a Love Feast of sharing food stuffs to the needy; the entire members embraced and supported the idea. “Before I knew it, the church received 50 bags of rice and other food stuffs from the members to start the Love Feast programme for the needy. Even the children were not left out. They also donated food stuffs. This confirmed the revelation about the Love Feast. Since we started the Love feast we host the programme every two months sharing food stuffs to the needy. But last month we held the programme twice on the streets.
The Love Feast initially started as an in-house programme in the church until the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 that led the church to sharing food packages to people from all walks of life from house to house during the pandemic restriction.
“Before COVID-19 we were hosting the Love Feast in-house. We cooked foods and shared them to people. When the cooking became strenuous we started sharing raw food stuffs in paint buckets to people. There was a particular woman that came to one of the feasts with four of her children and each of them went home with a bucket of rice But at the COVID-19 outbreak, we moved the love feast from house to house sharing food stuffs to people. From there we launched out on the streets and market places distributing food stuffs to hapless needy.”
Bishop Ugochukwu lamented the way mass of people rushed out struggling to collect the Love Feast largess of food stuffs. He said it shows the depth of poverty and despondency in Nigeria today. “To be honest, it shows the depth of poverty and despondency in our country. If you have not come out to see the mass of the people struggling to collect foods you will feel that all is well in Nigeria. I don’t go on the streets and market places with the church members to food stuffs to the needy until the recent visit to Wilmer market. Perhaps, God allowed me to go with the members this time in order for me to see the level of poverty in our Land.”
Seeing the level of poverty, hopelessness and desperation presently in the country, Ugochukwu enjoined fellow gospel preachers, privileged individuals and corporate organizations to come to the aid of hungry Nigerians. He particularly reminded fellow pastors that the first major concern of the gospel is compassion to the poor.
“The calling of a pastor is majorly compassion to the less privileged. If you are not fulfilling that aspect of your calling, you should go back and confirm if it was actually God that called you. There was a woman that came to meet me in pains and hunger. I went inside, brought out a package, gave it to her and we prayed. And she returned home fed and happy. The next day she came with another person. Today, that woman is a multi millionaire. God had connected her to another level. When she visited the church again I couldn’t recognize her. Her beauty has come out. There was another woman who trekked to the church and begged for transport fare back home. I directed her to my wife to collect her transport fare. Today, she is a very committed financial vessel in our church. The poor you helped today may become the source of your joy and sustenance tomorrow
“You don’t have to charge people fees to be able to fund your ministry. If you are committed and honest in what God has called you, He will raise even the poorest among your church members to fund the ministry. I have experienced extreme poverty to understand that rather that feed on the poor, I should raise the poor. It’s not that I have so much money but the little that comes to me I give 50% to the poor to appreciate God for saving my life from fatal accidents six times, and also for bringing me back to life from death. My joy is seeing the needy happy.”
Meanwhile one of the church elders, Elder Amadi confirms Bishop Ugochiukwu’s heart of compassion for the less privileged. In an interview with Christian Benefits he testifies thus, “I am Elder Amadi of Miracle Assembly Bible Church. I have been a member of the church for 15 now year from its former site at Oshodi, Lagos. Since I joined the church I have been seeing bishop relating with people with love and compassion. At the time I joined the church I had nothing, but today when you count those God has blessed at Miracle Assembly Bible Church, I am among them. Bishop Ugochukwu is our spiritual father, pastor and mentor for life Miracle Assembly Bible Church is our church for life, “the elder enthused.
He continues; “The Bishop prays and God answers. Whatever he instructs you to do; just obey. If you obey you will definitely have testimony He is a nice man. He is a spiritual father indeed. We see God in his life and conducts. We don’t joke with his instructions, counsels and prophetic declarations. or disobey them. If you disobey the consequences are yours only to face,” Elder Amadi remarked