Empowerment is defined as
'authority or power given to someone to do something'
'the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in claiming one's rights'.
The Kingdom Empowerment conferences truly lived up to the grand title. The Lord's Power was demonstrated through His Presence. His Presence was truly the hallmark of both these conferences. Remember Acts 1 v 8. "
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
- Well similarly all present can and should bear witness to what they heard, saw and experienced. Let me try and capture some of what happened. Allow me to start at the beginning in Abuja, although the narrative of this conference was not about a beginning, middle or end . It was about freestyling with Holy Spirit. The sessions all Interwoven with the amazing Chingtok and his worship team being the glory thread connecting the Fathers mood and heart for what He wanted to do and when He wanted to do it.
So here goes a whistle stop tour of the two awesome days at the International Convention Centre in Abuja. There are so many highlights that I regretably will not be able to mention but I will pick a few to give you sense of the Kairos timing of the events as they unfolded at ICC.
Day one Abuja conference
Bishop Joseph Garlington, the elder statesman amongst the speakers for his first time at a Lapis conference spoke on shame. Wow, we were all undone and it was not even lunch time. The words to "Holy Spirit you are welcome here" which he made us sing again and again - had new meaning. "I've tasted and seen of the sweetest of loves-Where my heart becomes free and my shame is undone". We did not see that one coming and it seemed to hit a chord with us all. "
In your presence, Lord!"
We recovered and thought it was safe to return after lunch only to be taken out by Charity Cook in a deceptively, understated but extremely powerful message about how do we behave, how do we survive, when we are in the middle of the story- we off course know how the story ends-Victory! Are you intrigued-listen to the CD or watch the dvd. Then dear, dear Leif Heitland, our ambassador of love was to speak at the evening session. We knew we were in for a treat because he had spoken on Identity earlier and we were all feeling like sons and daughters of the most high King . So we were ready to hear what Papa was going to speak to us again on through Leif.- However, the Lord's ways are not our way. Instead of hearing from the Lord through Leif, we were visited by His presence ushered in as Leif does so very well. Leif felt papa God's pain because there were many broken, hurt, oppressed and wounded people in the ICC, so the Father poured out His love. No message, no talk from Leif, just the Lord's presence, inexplicable, unbelievable. So sorry folks No dvd or cd can reproduce what was so tangible in the auditorium of the ICC. Overwhelming, love of God filled the ICC. What a privilege! The exhausted late arrival contingent from Kano were then invited down from the upper tiers and suddenly Chingtok and the worship led the most amazing Holy Ghost party as we all danced along with our brothers and sisters from Kano to Hausa songs. One simply could not have written the script to what we saw the Lord do that first day.
Day two Abuja conference highlights
Healings galore-How amazing that on day 1 the Lord was talking to us about our identity, covering our shame and healing our hearts of wounds and lies. Day 2 he was physically healing backs, restoring sight, opening deaf ears, etc ..............
Unplanned by us but orchestrated by the Lord -The Bishop in the afternoon session called Mina and Femi Bajomo up on the stage. They were both taken out as Bishop Garlington and his lovely wife Barbara prayed for them. Bishop had also asked his two co speakers Leif Heitland and Tom Jones to come up to the stage to help with prayers but they both also ended up flat on their backs. Bishop called Chingtok to come forward and he landed up on the stage flat on his back. The Lords presence must have been electric up there. The Bishop was done-Mission Accomplished except there was no one to announce the next speaker as Femi who usually does this was out cold on the stage floor, and Leif the next speaker was out but still holding unto Mina's feet and now the worship leader Chingtok was out - God was just having an absolute ball! So were we who were witnessing all of this.
Then we heard the Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo was coming to join us for the evening session- You may recall that last year at the conference in Abuja we suddenly similarly got a call mid-afternoon that General Gowon was coming. What can we say, it really was the Lord's conference, we were just partnering with what he had planned for us.
You guessed it for the Abuja finale evening session, Bishop Garlington took it up a notch and decide to teach on how to do spiritual warfare. He got us all, singing battle songs (in tongues), stomping, clapping, laughing .......
Next stop Kingdom Empowerment Lagos
You know how one worries needlessly? How were we going to fare after an amazing Abuja conference. Would busy Lagosians come? If they came would they stay? Abuja was all about His Presence -. Well guess what ? The Lord is not Omnipresent or Omniscience for nothing. We should know by now that geography or location is never a barrier to His purposes.
Lagos conference highlights
So Nathaniel Bassey kicked off the worship and as you know he puts as much into his worship for two people as he does for a stadium full of people. Oh the trumpet sent the sound to heaven that the Lapis show had rolled into town.
Our amazing speakers started again and one would have thought we had never heard them before as we listened spell bound. The talks were familiar yet new insights, new twists, new stories. The speakers seemed to be doing a 'Trinity' style approach. Each would speak about identity in different ways, each about Holy Spirit's power to execute declarations and commands, and to be in all places at all times, each about the Presence in which anything could, literally anything could happen. Then they would each welcome the Presence -each time an invitation to the brethren to "come taste and see that the Lord is good" - what anointing! How lucky are we? We then got to witness and co- partner in displaying His Power. Healings, holy tears and the catchers were kept busy as people fell under the power of the presence as they were ministered to by the International team that accompany the speakers. It was great to see the local ministry team join the international ministry team. This is a testimony to the healing workshops, treasure hunts and training that has been ongoing with the Lagos team over the past year. The team (me included) all got to play and allow the Lord to use us to accomplish his desire for his children to be healed, restored, delivered during Ministry time.
So much happening, Femi dispensed of some of the breaks in between sessions. It felt full on because it was full on .There was a healing room opened in lunch and supper breaks which turned out to be too small for the queues of people frequenting the room. There were seminars on Sozo and how to start healing team/ rooms in your churches.
We managed to launch Mina's new book 'Co - labouring with the Lord'-an inspirational accurately chronicled story all about saying- Yes to the Lord. I suspect after the conferences there are many many people saying "Yes Lord-use me!" Incidentally, this is a must read book!
Too much still left to say but I do not wish to introduce open the FOMO (fear of missing out) door for those who were not there. Truly fear not!-you can get CDs/DVDs of the sessions and talks from Lapis website. Listening to Charity Cook's Lagos talk for the second time the other day still gave me goose bumps.
The programme was essentially the same as Abuja but the Lord seemed to want to use individuals and individual moments to show case His presence, illustrate His power, impart gifts and declare His thoughts through powerful prophesy. Unscripted, spontaneous and spirit-led was the Bishop. He was so presidential ( a very special emissary from the Lord for us) -All so very powerful to witness.
Examples I hear you say-OK v briefly, here goes
- A Beautiful prophesy over a well-known- photographer/ singer. She was called out and I have never seen anyone fall so elegantly under the power of words being spoken over her.
-A ministry team member is called forward and was prophesied over but then Bishop opened a portal using him as point of contact so if you went close -you could feel the open heavens over where the team member was lying flat on his back. "Oh the Glory of your presence, we your people give you reverence"
- Bishop heard a spontaneous shout from one of the team- saying "thanks for coming to Nigeria" She immediately gets called forward and is prophesied over - ends up on floor and then Bishop and his wife decided to honour and impart to the female members of the local ministry team by laying hands. - whoa! Guess where we all end up - yup on the floor! Incidentally the team seemed to suddenly treble in size during this impartation!
Testimonies galore from the conference attendees- eg from a man dragged reluctantly to conference by wife using a crutch - yup you guessed it, he came up the stage without his crutch which was no longer needed. So many healings the Lapis team I am sure will collate these and publish on their website so all the Glory can be given to God.
Tom Jones one of the speakers demonstrated on the stage (using conference attendees) how easy their five step praying model was for healing and how we could all do it. Why, because it was not about us but about the Lord using any of us! A young lady with a baseball cap was called forward, given a mike and was able to demonstrate this method with great panache following Tom's guidance. Backs and shoulders were healed in front of us on the stage. It was so cool, Tom prayed for this young lady at the end because she was so overwhelmed with what had just happened-Yup she ends up on the floor on the stage!!! The story does not end there because she comes to stand alongside the ministry team under the supervision of one of our local members and she is now laying hands and people are falling under the power of the presence through her! The anointing had been imparted to her. Freely receive, freely give!
We partied -There is no party like a Holy Ghost party. We sang and we danced, Flags were unleashed all colours glory gold, Heavenly blue, royalty purple, white purity/cleansing.......There is something about Nathaniel Bassey's trumpeting that demands these banners are raised.
I heard someone say "I have heard Leith speak last year" and seen someone write "I was at the conference last year." Neither attended. My hope from writing about the conference is that you can see how those innocent views are so deceptive. We have no clue what the Lord is going to do, what He wants to say to us, what He wants to impart to or commission us for. I have been to all the previous four conferences and I have to say they felt like the dress rehearsal for Empowerment conference. I end as I started with Acts 1 v 8, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." - I am a witness along with many others there.
Sometimes you just need to show up to receive your blessing!
Mina and Femi - we all salute you, God bless you both and you have seen some of the amazing result of your faithfulness and obedience. We will no doubt continue to hear of the fruit of transformed lives from these two conferences.
Over and out
Gubby Ayida May 2018