Like the early days of Jesus Christ’s ministry in Galilee, a coastal city in Palestine Israel, when he called His disciples like Peter at Genessaret Lake, Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye under the influence of the Holy Spirit chose the Lekki Beach of the Atlantic Ocean in Lagos as the venue for the outreach which now metamorphosed to the Annual Global Event called Holy Ghost Congress.
In his characteristic way of obeying his Senior Partner (the Holy Spirit) in God’s business, Pastor Adeboye decided to organise an all-night preaching and praying programme at Lekki Pennisula 20 years ago and mobilized all his human and material resources for the great event which turned out to be great indeed. It was not only time-consuming but also money-consuming as Adeboye will stop at nothing to give His God every best available at his disposal. In Olaitan Olubiyi’s account in Pastor E. A. Adeboye: His Life and Calling, the venue which was to play host to an estimated 4 million people from all the continents of the world would require, as at that time, about N200 million to get it ready and suitable for minimum comfort.
The size of the venue was 2 kilometres long and 1 kilometre wide – an unprecedented big venue for open air Christian outreach in this part of the world. In retrospect, when Bishop David Oyedepo was to take one of the items of the programme that night, his first observation was that the programme was capital intensive. In his words, “Looking at the preparation of this programme from the beginning till now, one is left without any doubt that financial and material fortune have gone into this programme.” According to him, a poor Church cannot put up such a gigantic soul-winning programme. But contrary to the Bishop’s imagination, still in Olubiyi’s account and quoting one of the members of the Planning Committee, they did not spend up to a quarter of that because apart from the fact that the money was not available then, God’s miraculous provision in kind supplied a great part of the need. For example, an individual donated the venue for use for that day – an answer to the prayer of God’s people.
Then came the D-Day. The Heaven opened indeed and there was divine visitation. There were astonishing testimonies of healing, deliverance and above all, salvation of souls. By the time the programme was over in the early hours of December 19, 1998, people were not ready to go back to their respective homes. One could see how plainly-written, such suggestion like that of Peter in Matthew 17:4 when the Bible says: “Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.” In this programme under review, it was God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit that people would have loved to make three tabernacles for. This is because the Trinity visited those who came from all walks of life that very day and met their needs.
It is now 20 years after, glory be to God who has replaced Lekki 98 with greater visitations ever since. We now have Holy Ghost Congress and this time around, not on a borrowed landed property but on the 3 kilometres By 3 kilometres auditorium with more than minimum comfort as Jesus has not only promised us life but life in its abundance. John 10:10. As we observe the 2018 Holy Ghost Congress, the glory which the Almighty God has promised ahead of the coming year shall be our portion in Jesus name.
An Eye Witness at Lekki ’98.