Prayer zone for a better, empowering, inspiring, promoting, prospering, progressing and more successful life through Christ Jesus

Posts tagged ‘Mozambique’

Nigeria’s foreign policy in 100 years.


Diplomatic and bilateral ties which Nigeria had as a colony were mostly dominated by Britain.

Before the amalgamation of Northern and Southern protectorates in 1914, agricultural commodities were exported to Europe and totally controlled by the British Empire. This showed the level of foreign bilateral trade between the colony and the outside world, where cocoa, groundnuts, palm oil and palm kernels were exported and chemicals, machines, transportation equipment and other manufactured products were imported. This level of bilateral trade extended until the 1950s.

The dual mandate adopted by the Europeans, whereby African countries will receive Europe’s civilization in exchange for unrestricted access to the continent resources prevailed during that era.

British stood as Nigeria’s major trading partner, even as 70 percent of her exports, as late as 1955 went to Britain and another 47 percent of import came from that country to Nigeria.

However, this bilateral trade changed from 1976, when British dominance of Nigeria’s economy began to wane. The United States then took over as Nigeria leading trade partner. By this time, exports to Britain dropped to 38 percent while import from the country to Nigeria dropped to 32 percent.

At post independence and for decades, Nigeria’s foreign policy thrust remained consistent with catering for the interests of African countries. However, the change in policy focus was brought about as government sort to arrest the declining economic setbacks. The end of apartheid in South Africa brought to a climax the Afrocentric position Nigeria’s foreign policy. Hence, in the country’s 1999 Constitution the policy shift revolved around economic diplomacy. This became a useful tool for promoting and protecting the country’s national interest in its bilateral ties with other countries.

Each regime during and after the country’s independence in 1960, took to formulating its own course of action to manipulate and propel national interest within the international community; with the purpose of forging a unique identity for their governments. There was a welter of dynamic and conservative foreign policies that went a long way towards how governments of the country actively or passively influenced the country’s interests on the international scene.

While the governments of Tafawa Balewa, Yakubu Gowon and Shehu Shagari were seen as conservative by foreign policy analysts, those of late Muritala Mohammed, Olusegun Obasanjo (during the military era of 1976-79) operated dynamic foreign policies. However, observers of Nigeria’s foreign policy especially in her interaction with the international community may have confused radicalism for dynamism, hence, faulting this conceptualisation as a virile tool for measuring an effective policy. The erstwhileAction Group shadow Foreign Minister, late Anthony Enahoro was attributed as being a proponent of dynamic foreign policy.

He is reported to having moved a motion and prompted the country’s first post independence legislative house, arguing that the August 20, 1960 foreign policy adopted by the House of Representatives lacked dynamism and regretted that the Tafawa Balewa government’s interpretation and conduct of foreign policy lacked all ingredients of activism.

The August 20, 1960 official statement of Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa at the Federal House of Representatives, stated that Nigeria is “adopting clear and practical policies with regard to Africa; it will be our aim to assist any country to find solution to its problem”. Nevertheless, observers and analysts are of the view that the country’s foreign policy then lacked any definite direction.

Nigeria’s Afrocentric policy

By adopting an Afrocentric policy, in the wake of the country’s independence Nigeria aimed to engage the international community through Africa’s interests and issues that tended to be of benefits to the continent. Nigerian’s first Foreign Minister, Jaja Wachukwu threw more perspectives to this Afrocentricism posture, when he said; “Charity begins at home and therefore any Nigerian foreign policy that does not take into consideration the peculiar position of Africa is unrealistic”. Nigeria under this policy framework contributed immensely in the struggles that led to the independence of Angola, Mozambique, and Namibia and participated in the anti-apartheid struggles in South Africa. Nigeria also played a crucial role in the establishment of continental and regional organisations. For example, Nigeria was pivotal to the establishment of the Organisation of Africa Unity (OAU) on May 25, 1963. Nigeria was also instrumental in ensuring that it attained the two major objectives that included the quick decolonization of colonies in Africa and the rapid socio-economic growth and development of African countries.

Similarly, the creation of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) on May 28, 1975 saw Nigeria taking a fundamental role in spearheading the integration of neighbouring countries’ resources to enhance regional prosperity. Under the leadership of ex-General Yakubu Gowon, Nigeria led the formation of the 16-member regional body that signed the treaty establishing ECOWAS.

Nigeria further played a significant role in military peacekeeping operations on the continent. It contributed both financial and human resources in the ECOWAS Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) peacekeeping operations in Liberia, Sierra LeChad and several others.

New policy thrust in citizen diplomacy

The interventions to restore peace in Liberia, Sierra Leone and the fight against apartheid in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Angola among other missions of mediating in conflict prone countries like Gambia, Mali, Burkina Faso especially after coup d’états, signified the apogee in foreign interventions in the past decades. Of recent, the country’s foreign relations has become tamed, mainly due to internal problems and politics associated with getting a proper footing for our nascent democracy amid pressing economic problems.

The military regime of ex- Gen. Ibrahim Babaginda conceptualised a new face to Nigeria’s foreign policy, where economic diplomacy would enhance the promotion of export trade, investment and financial assistance from friendly countries. The then Foreign Affairs Minister, ex-Gen Ike Nwachukwu in June 1988, said that “it is the responsibility of our foreign policy apparatus to advance the course of our national economic recovery.”

It was during the democratically elected government of President Olusegun Obasanjo that the country’s foreign policy was refocused to de-emphasise an explicitly African bias. While appointing ambassadors in 1999, his administration admonished that “Nigeria’s foreign policy today extends, however, far beyond our concern for the well being of our continent, Africa”. In addition, Obasanjo, pointed out that “The debt burden, for instance, is not an exclusively African predicament. Many countries in Asia, the Caribbean and South America were facing similar problems.

It is imperative; therefore, that these regions harmonise their efforts in the search for a fairer deal from the industrialised nations of the west; and this requires of us a more global approach to world affairs than was previously the case.

Last year, the President Jonathan administration paved a new path for the country’s foreign policy thrust, by embracing an agenda that promotes growth and national development. In this new policy, both private partnership and foreign missions will be utilised as new vanguards in economic diplomacy. Hence, the collapsing of both economic and citizen diplomacy by the current administration, that is geared towards attaining national economic development and growth where the citizens at home and abroad are used as agents towards achieving policy goals.

Bilateral relations with members of the developing eight countries for economic cooperation (D8) have been a centre piece for the country’s economic diplomacy. In this regard, the foreign ministry has engaged in various economic activities of the D8, especially since it assumed leadership of the group in 2010.

Using the economic diplomacy policy to source and promote trade between Nigeria and D8 members, the foreign ministry has rectified three of its important legal documents: The D-8 preferential Trade Agreement, Multilateral Agreement on administrative assistance in Customs Matters and the Simplification of VISA procedures for businessmen of D8 member countries.

Former Foreign Minister, Olugbenga Ashiru, while expatiating on the new paradigm shift, said that: “We will redress existing imbalances and forge a strong partnership with OPS to assist economic growth. Consequently, members of OPS will frequently constitute part of any bilateral discussions between our governments and other foreign delegations, so that Nigeria can benefit from visits to and from other countries.”

“Our envoys will be directed to drive this new focus of our foreign policy by spending more time and effort on attracting foreign investments to Nigeria. Simply put, our ambassadors will be the foot-soldiers in this new approach for the purpose of achieving our Vision 20:2020 while bringing economic benefits to Nigeria.”

When contacted, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, told National Mirror, that any country’s foreign policy should be for the benefits of the people.

“I will say Nigeria’s foreign policy is not really doing badly and not getting worse. Though, sometimes we may not be getting it right and in other times we do get it right. The people must come first, so Nigerians at home and those in Diaspora should be the centre of our policy thrust.

Nigeria was faced with huge challenge during the military era where her public image was relegated. The country’s foreign policy could not stand as imperative tool for image building, especially, where dictatorial rule and clampdowns on human rights were strongly opposed by the western world.”

Nigeria played a prominent role in the Congo crisis of 1960-1965. It sent military peacekeeping troops.

In addition, during the Cold War era, Nigeria adopted a non-aligned stance; where it refused to align with any of the power blocs.

Another significant development in Nigeria foreign relations after the country’s independence was the protest of Nigerian students against the signing of agreement by the then new Tafawa Balewa’s government with the British government. The Anglo-Nigerian Defence Pact entered by the government then meant that British military could maintain bases and presence in Kano. The Nigerian student’s protest made Tafawa Balewa’s government to back down from the intended deal. The message of the student then was that Britain was to be kept at arm’s length.

The foreign relations between Nigeria and Britain experienced some challenging moment, especially during the military regime of Olusegun Obasanjo where the Nigerian government nationalized the British Petroleum’s (BP( interest in the country, as a measure to arm-twist the UK government into withdrawing its sanctions and to restore British authority in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). This was after the white supremacist in that country hijacked power. This created a scene at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Lusaka in 1978. When the British Prime Minister challenged the Nigerian Foreign Minister, General Adefowope, he told Margret Thatcher, “Madam Prime Minister that is Act 1, Scene 1, many more will follow if you don’t play ball on Zimbabwe”. Thatcher had no choice than to relent and began process that enabled Zimbabwe have a free and fair elections.

Source: Radio Biafra.

What Mandela Wrote In His Will…ANC, Staff, Family On High Priority.


 

Late South African President, Nelson Mandela
By SaharaReporters, New York

Widespread international curiosity about the will of late former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela ended on Monday afternoon, when the document was read to members of the icon’s immediate family and was also made public.

As read by Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke, Mandela willed his $4.1 million estate to family members, the ruling African National Congress (ANC), his former staff and a number of local schools.

His third and last wife whom he married on his 80th birthday in 1998, Graca Machel will have half the estate under South African marital law; and although she has yet to make a decision, she is entitled to relinquishing her claims in favour of specified assets, such as properties in Mozambique, her native country. She has 90 days to decide

A part of the estate would be split among The Mandela Trust, The Nelson Mandela Trust, and The NRM Family Trust. The NRM Family Trust, which was set up to cater to his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren numbering more than 30, gets R1.5million.

Each of his children, as well as some of his grand-children, will receive $300,000; while his grand children — the ones sired by his late son Makgatho — have been willed the posh house in Johannesburg, where he has mostly lived since his release from prison in 1990.

Executed by Mandela on 12th October 2004 with a first Codicil on 7th September 2005 and a second on 9th September 2008, the will could see ANC receive a portion of his royalties from books and other commercial outlets produced with his name and image. Mandela’s staff — even up to his personal assistant of many decades, Zelda Le Grange — will get R50,000 each.

Mandela’s personal chef, Xoliswa Ndoyiya could not contain her joy. “It really makes me happy”, she said. “I didn’t think Tata [a native term for father] was thinking of leaving something for me”.

Wits University, Qunu Secondary School and Orlando West High School in Soweto were bequeathed R100 000 each.

Although the revered statesman’s family is known to be notoriously discordant, Moseneke, after reading the will on Monday, denied potential uproar over the provisional R46,000,000 estate but admitted that the mood at the will-reading was charged with emotion.

“I am not aware of any contest of any type and the will has been duly lodged and accepted”, Moseneke said.

Also part of the estate are a high-class house in Houghton, a modest one in Qunu as well as royalties from the sale of books, such as his famous autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom”, which some of his grandchildren have begun exploiting with a line of caps and sweatshirts featuring his image under the brand book’s brands. Also two of his granddaughters based in the United States have already starred in Being Mandela, a reality television show.

:

Nigeria’s Retrogressive Anti-Gay Law By Abiodun Ladepo.


By Abiodun Ladepo

This past Wednesday, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan elevated crassness and primitiveness to the highest level imaginable by signing into law a bill banning homosexuality in Nigeria.  I deliberately crafted the previous sentence so unambiguously.  He did not just ban homosexual marriage; he banned homosexuality as a whole!  Perhaps if the law had only stopped at “persons who enter into a same-sex marriage contract or civil union commit an offence and are each liable on conviction to a term of 14 years in prison,” one might not feel so much outrage.  But it went on to state that “any person who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organizations or directly or indirectly makes public show of same-sex amorous relationship in Nigeria commits an offence and shall each be liable on conviction to a term of 10 years in prison”!  In essence, only heterosexuals are allowed to hold hands in public, sit on each other’s lap, hump each other while dancing in clubs or kiss publicly.  What, in the name of God, just happened to Nigeria?

Let me state upfront that I am a Straight (heterosexual) guy who is happily married to a beautiful woman.  So, this write-up is not about me or my sexual preference.  It is about Nigeria’s lack of originality and lack of creative instincts.  We the people, along with our leaders, fail to do the deep thinking, the due diligence, in many respects that will take our country farther and more quickly than we have hitherto done.  Lethargy is irredeemably ingrained in our psyche.  Otherwise, how does being openly gay draw our country back?  We already have thousands of gay people in our midst!  How does their gayness prevent those of us who are not gay from going about our businesses?

This law assumes that the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community just arrived in Nigeria yesterday.  No, the LGBT has been with us since, at least, when I was a young boy over 50 years ago.  I recall growing up in (yes) Zaria, Kaduna State, of all places, and going to watch evening dances of members of the LGBT.  We used to call them “Dandaudu.”  We, the kids, used to marvel at their public display of amorous acts.  This was in the early 60s.  They were not hidden behind the walls of any clubs in the middle of the night; they danced in open spaces and in early evenings.  I have also personally witnessed “Dandaudus” doing their dances in Bukuru, Jos, Bauchi and Maiduguri in the 70s.  And if you lived in the hostel during your secondary school years, don’t tell me that you did not catch a few of your guy friends “doing it.”  I have heard from some of my secondary school female friends of the sexual trysts that went on in their hostel.  Let’s not even talk about what happens in the dorms of our universities.  So, why are we just now finding out that their presence in our midst is anathema and antithetical to our moral fiber?

Reuben Abati, that formerly celebrated anti-bad government champion, who is now a turncoat and who I now detest with so much passion, defended the law with the pedestrian argument that since 90 percent of Nigerians were opposed to same-sex marriage, “…the law is in line with our cultural and religious beliefs.”   Ninety percent?  First, how did we come up with that percentage?  When did we poll the country to ascertain that 90 percent of our people oppose same-sex marriage?  And even if they do, what right does the majority have to trample on the basic right of the minority – the fundamental human right to freedom of association?  What right does the majority have to deprive the minority of having sex with whomever it wants as long as it is consensual?  The worst that the Nigerian government should have been able to do should have been the denial of official recognition of such a union. But to criminalize it is akin to despotism, especially in a democratic dispensation.

And by the way, since when has this government or any past Nigerian government taken a decision in favor of an issue perceived to have received the support of the majority of Nigerians?  Don’t 90 percent of our people support the removal or Stella Oduah as Aviation minister, Diezani Madueke as Petroleum minister and Reuben Abati as adviser?  Don’t 90 percent of our people support the banning of government officials, especially the President, from seeking medical attention abroad until our medical facilities and personnel are of the same standard as those they use when they go abroad?  Don’t 90 percent of our people support the supply of 24/7 uninterrupted electricity to all corners of Nigeria?  Don’t 90 percent of our people support the revamping, rejuvenating and reinvigorating of the EFCC so it can better fight corruption?  Don’t 90 percent of our people support a massive overhaul of our educational infrastructures from elementary all the way to university systems?  Don’t 90 percent of our people oppose the blocking of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway by mega-churches and mega-mosques?  Have our lawmakers crafted any laws that criminalize the failure by government to do the things mentioned above?  No.  But these nosey people are eager to get into the bedrooms of Nigerians.

I find this homophobic inclination that is so rampant in our country as yet another example of religious zealotry and self-righteousness that have been the bane of our society.  Everybody is stampeding and trampling each other today in their quest to out-do one another as they condemn homosexuality.  But we will find out one day – tomorrow maybe –  just as we have found out in Europe and America that even family members of influential government officials can be (and are indeed) gay!  In fact, we will soon find out that membership in the LGBT community cuts across all spectra of our society – from the ranks of elected politicians, to traditional rulers, military officers, police officers, teachers, technocrats, pastors, imams, babalawos, traders and what not.  And what are we going to do when we find out that one of these influential people whom we had thought was heterosexual was indeed bisexual?  Would we throw OBJ or IBB or GEJ or Mama Iyabo or Dame Patience or any of their children into 14 years of prison terms if any of them turns out to be gay? What would we do when we discover that Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye or his wife, Folu do engage in homosexual acts (with other partners, of course)?  What about Sheik Muhammad Yahaya Sanni and his many wives?  Are we going to give them immunity against prosecution?

This is why I stated earlier that our leaders did not subject this law to a rigorous and intellectual discuss before allowing their emotion, religion and communal bandwagon mentality to overtake their sense of reason.  Before the bill was adopted by the Senate in 2011, a few Nigerian members of the LGBT community, supported by some civil rights activists, appeared before the Senate to argue against enacting such a law.  The lawmakers and religious zealots in the chambers of the Senate booed and heckled these gay folks till they cried and left in disgrace.  Among the booing and heckling crowd were men who maintain two, three, four or more wives – wives who are subjugated, mentally and are physically abused.  Among this crowd were women who cheat on their husbands with their pastors and imams to the extent of making babies out-of-wedlock while their husbands thought the babies were theirs.  These people, in my opinion, lack the moral right to tell a gay man or woman whom to love and whom to cavort with in public.

Believe me, gays are the least of Nigeria’s problems.  Graft in high places, greed in high places, hired assassination, kidnapping, murder, armed robbery, neglect of rural areas, neglect of urban areas, lack of functioning basic amenities like electricity, water, hospitals, education, transportation, youth unemployment – all take precedence over what my neighbor is doing in his/her bedroom.  I am ashamed that my leaders do not see this.

And I get it. I get the fact that Nigeria is a deeply religious country.  Even if I wonder how truly religious we are when we watch our religious leaders steal from the religious houses and sexually abuse the laity; even if I sometimes wonder why our religious leaders live in obscene opulence while they watch their followers wallow in abject poverty, I still get the fact that Nigeria is a deeply religious country.  It is the reason why an issue such as gay rights should have been thoroughly debated intellectually.  I hope the passing of this primitive and retrogressive law begins the rigorous discussion of how we allow members of the LGBT to bask in their rightful sense of belonging.  We should lead Namibia, Botswana, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, Angola, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, South Sudan, Cameroon, Togo, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leon, Guinea, Senegal, Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia out of the comity of nations still wedded to the archaic tradition of segregating their own people on the basis of sexual preferences.

We should join South Africa, Zaire, Congo, Gabon, Central African Republic, Chad, Niger, Mali (yes, Chad, Niger and Mali), Burkina Faso, Benin Republic, Cote D’Ivoire and Guinea Bissau in the comity of nations that embrace the diversity of their people’s sexual preferences and have legislated to protect the rights of their LGBT people.

By Abiodun Ladepo

Los Angeles, California, USA

Oluyole2@yahoo.com

 

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

Step Into the Realm of Glory.


woman praying
(http://www.istockphoto.com)

All of creation is waiting for the day that you and I become like Christ. It is waiting for the day we become God‘s holy love revealed to a world that desperately needs that love.

It is waiting for the day on which we finally step into the realm of glory that God has prepared for His sons and daughters—those of us who, like Jesus, have fully yielded our lives to Him.

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us,” Paul wrote in Romans 8:18-19 (NIV). “The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.”

That is a powerful scripture! According to Paul, a time is coming when God will so possess His children that we will manifest His glory to the whole world!

Already we see people who operate in this realm of glory—forerunners whose lives are characterized by the love and power of God. We may, at times, even step into this realm of glory ourselves.

The Role of Suffering 

Taking that step, however, is neither easy nor painless. Romans 8:17 reminds us that we are children of God and heirs of Christ—”if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory” (emphasis added).

Suffering is part of the human experience. In life there will always be times of pain, sickness and misery. In a fallen world, they’re unavoidable.

But that suffering is nothing compared to the glory God has prepared for us!

I personally know what it means to suffer. During my years as a missionary, I’ve experienced great suffering.

But when I compare that suffering to the glory God has poured out in my life, which has spilled over to many hundreds of the world’s poor, homeless and orphaned, the pain seems like nothing.

We have to share in Christ’s sufferings in order to share in His glory. I have experienced both. And the glory has always far eclipsed the suffering.

My husband, Rolland, and I began our ministry in Mozambique in southeastern Africa in 1995. The government offered us a horribly dilapidated orphanage as our base. Before long we had planted a church and taken in 320 orphans, all products of years of brutal civil war.

Ministry was a struggle from the start. We had little support, and the formerly communist officials in the town were openly hostile toward us.

At one point I went into our warehouse and saw that it was empty, except for a little ketchup and some herbal tea. “How am I going to feed 320 hungry children with that?” I thought to myself.

“What should I do?” I cried out to God.

“Get together a couple of people who believe,” He said.

Immediately I went and got two or three believers, and we started worshiping in the empty warehouse.

“God, I choose not to look at the ketchup and herbal tea,” I prayed. “I choose to look at You. And here are a few people who will look at You with me.”

Within three hours, a huge Mack truck pulled up to the warehouse, and a man stepped out of the truck. “This food is for you,” he said. “Where do you want it?” Then he and another man proceeded to unload the truck, filling the warehouse with food.

We were ecstatic! We didn’t know where the food had come from—except, of course, from the hand of God.

Our happiness was short-lived, however. Thieves came, broke the lock on the warehouse and stole all the food.

But God’s glory would not be deterred. Soon another truck arrived and filled the warehouse a second time. I quickly changed the lock!

More Suffering, More Glory 

More suffering—and more glory—followed.

The local newspaper ran a story that called my husband and me Marxist spies. A contract was put out on my life, offering $20 to the person who killed me.

Government officials came and told us we could no longer pray, worship or sing to God at the orphanage. Neither could we continue to distribute “unapproved” food, clothing or medical assistance. I was personally banned from the property.

“I don’t think I can do this anymore,” I told the Lord. Overwhelmed and exhausted, my husband and I and our two children evacuated to our office in the city, 20 miles away.

The orphans who stayed behind refused to follow the government’s new rules. They continued to praise and worship God until officials came and beat them.

One by one, the children began making the 20-mile trek to our office on foot. Before long we had more than 50 children with us in the city—with one bathroom and not even a pot to cook in! But once again, God’s glory broke through the suffering.

A woman from the U.S. embassy brought dinner to us: chili and rice, enough to feed our immediate family of four.

“We have a very large family!” I told her, thinking of all the orphans who were living with us.

“Oh, this is only enough for you and your two children,” the woman responded.

“We have a lot of children,” I replied.

Not feeling particularly full of faith, I asked her to pray over the food. Then I directed all the children—several dozen of them—to sit down, and we began serving the meal.

Amazingly, everyone ate until he was full! But what was perhaps more amazing was that we never ran out of the plastic bowls we were serving the chili in or the utensils we gave the kids to eat it with.

God caused faith to rise in my spirit that day. “I have so much faith right now,” I told the Lord, “you could tell me to feed 100,000 people, and I would say yes.”

Some time later, when I was praying and worshiping God, something like a video screen appeared before my eyes. Face after face after face of starving people in Malawi, the small country bordering Mozambique, began to flash before me.

As I cried about the suffering I saw, I heard God say, “You give them something to eat.”

I was momentarily speechless. Then I said, “OK, I will.”

After all, I’d seen Mack trucks full of food show up out of nowhere. I’d seen chili and rice multiplied. Why would I question God now?

That was the beginning of our outreach into neighboring countries. At some point, you don’t care how much suffering you have to go through in order to see the glory of God touch people’s lives!

Spiritual Renewal

Thankfully, our God is a loving God. He doesn’t allow us to suffer indefinitely. He is faithful to renew our spirits with His glory when we need it most.

At one point I decided to leave Mozambique to attend a conference in Toronto, Canada. Exhausted, ill and discouraged, I’d heard that many people were experiencing spiritual renewal through a move of God there called “the Toronto Blessing.”

I determined to make the 30-hour journey against the advice of two doctors. I’d just been diagnosed with pneumonia, and they said I should not travel.

I went anyway, determined to trust God. Mercifully, He opened my lungs at the start of the conference, and I was able to breathe freely for the rest of my stay.

Each day I was there, my strength increased. I spent many hours receiving prayer from the people on the Toronto ministry team.

One night during ministry I began groaning in intercession for the children of Mozambique. In my mind’s eye I could see thousands of children coming toward me.

“No, Lord, there are too many!” I cried.

“Look in My eyes,” He said to me. “There will always be enough bread and drink because I paid the price with My life. Don’t be afraid. Only believe.”

I returned to Mozambique healed and strengthened—and ready to take another step into the realm of glory God had prepared for me.

God is saying the same thing to each of us: “Don’t be afraid. Only believe.” He’s waiting for us to step into a new realm of glory.

Will it involve suffering? Yes. But the suffering won’t compare to the glory we’ll experience as the children of God!

Source: CHARISMA MAGAZINE/ SPIRITLED WOMAN.

HEIDI BAKER

Miracles Performed, Millions Reached for Jesus on Global Outreach Day.


A deaf girl reportedly was healed in Mozambique during Global Outreach Day, May 25, 2013.
A deaf girl reportedly was healed in Mozambique during Global Outreach Day, May 25, 2013. (globaloutreachday.com)

The following is a report on Global Outreach Day, in which millions were mobilized to reach the world for Jesus on May 25.

Psalm 126 describes our overwhelming feelings of the second Global Outreach Day: “We were like those who dream” (v. 1). It’s like being in a dream!

According to the figures provided by our partners, we estimate more than 15 million Christians were active on Global Outreach Day. If each one spoke to only two people, we were able to reach 30 million people with the gospel.

We printed more than 22.7 million tracts and 760,000 training booklets to reach out to people and to train Christians in evangelism. One of the first fruits of this great harvest was a Mexican customs officer who, when processing our shipment, saw our tract, read it and got saved.

Saturday, May 25, was the kickoff day to reach the entire nation of Nepal as well as Mexico City, the world’s second-largest urban area. We also reached a huge region in Asia of 100 million people and a village in Switzerland. Of course, completing Mexico and the Asian area took longer than a few days, but all of those projects started together on the Global Outreach Day.

Nepal: The Impossible Becomes Possible

Nepal has 5.4 million homes, and 8 million tracts were printed. We saw that most of the regions had been covered in a short period of time. Special teams went into the mountain areas, with 500 churches traveling into the Himalaya regions to reach many people with the gospel for the first time.

In one village, a mentally ill woman received prayer, and the Lord healed her completely. That same weekend was a Buddhist religious festival, where Buddha’s birthday was celebrated. It was the perfect opportunity to proclaim the truth.

Mexico City

In Mexico City, 1,000 churches have been active to reach the lost. They set their goal to reach every one of the 6 million homes there before this Christmas. A total of 3 million tracts have been distributed there. Our national coordinator reports that 90 percent of the churches he spoke to said they have had new visitors following the outreach.

Also in Mexico, Global Outreach Day brought many churches together to work in unison. Many decisions were made for Jesus. One of our workers says that up to 95 percent of the people he had spoken with received Jesus. One teenager reportedly distributed 2,000 tracts and met a man who had for years sought real Christians. He gave his life to Jesus.

A small child gave his alcohol-addicted father a tract, and he was so moved and convicted that he called a pastor the next day at 5 a.m. to get right with God.

Many Ideas, One Goal

Winning people for Jesus was what it was all about. A wedding couple went to prostitutes with roses. Facebook was used. People went into hospitals and retirement homes. Others used family celebrations and open-air events to proclaim the gospel.

Some supernatural things also happened on Global Outreach Day, according to the following reports.

In Moldova, teenagers prayed for a woman who was unable to walk. After the prayer, she walked again. At an open-air event, 200 people made a decision for Jesus. A young man prayed for another man who was deaf in one ear, and his hearing was restored.

In Mozambique, a group of Muslims came to faith, after which 48 people were baptized in the name of Jesus. A 12-year-old girl received prayer, and her father testified the next day that she was healed and could hear again.

In Zurich, Switzerland, 50,000 Christian newspapers were printed and distributed. Believers reached out to prostitutes in nightclubs, bringing them roses. A huge flash mob organized in the downtown area, as did one in Tokyo, Japan.

In Brazil, a 20-year-old believer mobilized Christians in more than 300 cities. One church movement alone organized 40,000 evangelistic events all over the country.

In the United States, members of the International House of Prayer were active with an open-air gathering of 3,000 people in Kansas City, Mo. In Israel, Christians spoke with Holocaust survivors seeking restoration and a heart for forgiveness.

On Solomon Island, a teenager took to the streets and reportedly led 102 people to Jesus. In Pakistan, many thousands of Christians boldly testified of their faith and reached more than 100,000 people, including Muslims.

In one city in Austria, 1,000 people gathered for a human chain around the city center and proclaimed Jesus’ love.

Global Outreach Day 2014 has been set for June 14. The vision of reaching entire cities is now globally advancing. Please pray about possibly reaching an entire city with the gospel in 2014.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

WERNER NACHTIGAL

Angolan King to Build God’s Kingdom With Overland Missions.


Angolan woman and child
(Overland Missions)

God has sent Overland Missions kings, presidents and other international leaders of many nations over the years, allowing them to break into new areas and have greater influence in the Spirit among rural people groups for His kingdom’s advance.

A Christian man of kingdom principles, His Excellency the King Mbandu of the Mbunda tribe of Angola, Congo and Zambia is one such king who has sought out Overland Missions to bring Christ to His people. Overland missionaries have not yet been able to visit him at his home in Angola due to his remote location and timing of travel. However, when Philip Smethurst, founder and president of Overland Missions, took a recent trip to Livingstone, Zambia, the king was there and the relationship took off. The king is currently staying at Overland Missions’ Rapid 14 base in Livingstone as he prepares for his trip back to Angola.

This divine setup is a huge open door for Overland Missions to reach thousands of remote people within King Mbandu’s jurisdiction in central Africa. Not only will their relationship with him allow them favorable access into a historically difficult country to enter, Angola, but he has also chosen Overland’s base in Zambia as his main base of operations any time he is in the country.

During visits, King Mbandu will host meetings with numerous indigenous leaders from all his chiefdoms and Overland will continue to strategize with him on reaching more and more people with the gospel.

Phil and Sharon Smethurst say Angola has been on their hearts since the beginning of Overland Missions. Phil Smethurst fought in its civil war about 25 years ago, and he observed that while poverty, disease, destruction and abuse had reached Angola’s remote tribal people, the gospel had not. Upon leaving the South African army where he had been serving as a conscript, he set about locating and reaching Africa’s most remote tribal groups to preach the gospel and make disciples.

Today, there remain tens of thousands of remote peoples living in inaccessible locations who lack an accurate representation of the gospel.

In late July, Overland Missions will be running an expedition to the tribe in Angola. Follow the expedition on Timbuctu.me, celebrate with Overland and keep them in prayer as they continue to pioneer the gospel in the remote parts of this nation.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

VIDEO: The South African Police Cruel Dragging Death Of Mozambican Taxi Driver.


 

A cellphone video footage shows South African police officers beating and later   draggging a Mozambican immigrant and taxi driver tied to a police vehicle down the streets. The man later died in police custody. The incident has sparked global outrage due to its sheer cruelty.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Egypt’s Citadel sees higher revenues from weak currency.


DUBAI (Reuters) – Egypt’s Citadel Capital hopes to raise $300 million from divesting non-core assetswithin three years, its chairman said, predicting that some of its businesses would benefit from an export boom because of the weak Egyptian pound.

The pound has tumbled about 8 percent to record lows against the U.S. dollar since late December, when the central bank softened its defence of the currency, which is under pressure because of the country’s political and economic turmoil.

Citadel, one of Africa‘s largest investment firms managing $9.5 billion worth of assets, has stakes in companies which export over $300 million a year across different businesses, including food, founder and chairman Ahmed Heikal said in an interview on Monday.

“Currency devaluation is affecting our business positively. If you are investing in an exporter or import substitute, then you’ll benefit,” Heikal said.

“We expect that (exports) will be increased substantially rather than go down.”

Since the ouster of authoritarian president Hosni Mubarak in early 2011, Egypt’s transition to democracy has been plagued by conflict between Islamist and secular forces, disrupting the economy and leading to capital flight.

“We took a view a long time ago that Egypt will go into tough conditions. Since we saw it coming, we positioned our portfolio to have investments that will be least affected, if not positively affected, by what’s happening,” Heikal said.

“The management of the transitional period in Egypt aggravated things and made them worse. The economy is now being negatively affected in a faster way than we expected.”

ASSET SALES

As part of its strategy to focus on core businesses, Citadel plans to sell its stakes in eight firms and focus on five industries: energy, transportation and logistics, agriculture and consumer foods, mining, and cement manufacturing.

The company will sell its stakes in an “orderly manner” and may take up to three years, depending on market conditions, Heikal said.

“Given the restrictions that are there in the region on capital, we need to focus and grow only a select number of our companies. Those five sectors offer the best risk/return for shareholders.”

The company expects to raise $300 million from the sale of non-core portfolio companies worth a total of $1 billion.

Citadel narrowed its third-quarter net loss by 13.4 percent from a year earlier to $22 million.

The company has said it sees great opportunities in Africa, given growth in population, the supply of natural resources and improving governance in target countries such as Mozambique, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

By Mirna Sleiman | Reuters

Samaritan’s Purse Sends Emergency Relief to Mozambique.


Samaritan's Purse in Mozambique
A team of four hygiene promoters with 1,500 bottles of water treatment waits to cross to Guija City in Mozambique to begin community mobilization and distribution. (Facebook)

Samaritan’s Purse is providing emergency supplies and relief for thousands of families displaced by floods in Mozambique. The international Christian relief organization is coordinating relief supplies coming from three countries—by planes and across land.

Officials estimate that catastrophic flooding in Mozambique displaced more than 150,000 people and impacted 250,000. Many evacuees are now gathered in makeshift camps that lack access to clean water, food, shelter and sanitary conditions.

Disaster assistance response teams from Samaritan’s Purse are helping more than 16,000 displaced families by providing clean water, constructing latrines, and promoting hygiene to prevent outbreaks of disease.

Relief flights arriving from the U.S. and Kenya Wednesday will bring blankets, plastic sheeting for temporary shelter, jerry cans, soap, water-quality equipment and diesel-powered water pumps to aid in relief efforts.

“Right now, water is critical to the survival of women, men and children living in these ad hoc communities,” said Aaron Ashoff, Samaritan’s Purse disaster team leader in Mozambique. “We are coming across family after family who have lost almost all they have and are living under the shade of trees with their few remaining possessions: buckets, makeshift tarps and basic utensils. We know the people of Mozambique are suffering, and we are committed to helping them in their time of need.”

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

Where Is Global Revival Headed?.


fire

In the early 1990s, after months of praying and fasting, St. Louis pastor Randy Clark was touched deeply by the Holy Spirit. Soon afterward, on Jan. 20, 1994, he began the first session of a planned four-day retreat at the Toronto Airport Vineyard, where he’d been invited to speak by the church’s pastors, John and Carol Arnott. During that first meeting, the small storefront church exploded with a dramatic outpouring of the Holy Spirit and almost overnight was transformed into ground zero for the revival now well-known as the Toronto Blessing.

Today Clark continues his ministry as a speaker and tenacious healing minister known for dedicating sometimes hours of prayer to one person. Yet the revival fires he witnessed in Toronto 18 years ago continue to spread across the world. As part of our ongoing series highlighting the “12 Communities of Charisma,” we asked Clark to speak on behalf of the revivalist community about what this move of the Holy Spirit means for the church today.

I am often asked the question, “Where do you believe the current revival is going?” I will respond to the question first with a general answer, then discuss one key aspect of my answer.

In general, I believe the revival is going to MEET HIM. This is an acronym for the current move of the Holy Spirit. God is touching Missions, Ecumenism, Eschatology, Theology, Holiness, Intercession and Mercy Ministry. Let’s look briefly at each of these components.

Missions. From the beginning, the Holy Spirit’s outpouring in Toronto in 1994 and the subsequent revival that spread from it have had a strong missions focus. Like the Azusa Street Revival did, the Toronto Blessing has had a major impact on missions.

I made missions one of the four main teachings of my ministry during the Toronto outpouring. The first week in Toronto, when I heard the song “Let Your Glory Fall”—especially the phrase, “Let it go forth from here to the nations”—I knew what God was doing there would be connected to spreading the gospel globally.

Ecumenism. I believe that the ecumenical movement in the body of Christ is very important to God. This is revealed in Jesus’ prayer in John 17:20-23, that His church would be one. Oddly, revival brings division; but the divisiveness is caused by human rejection of God’s season of visitation. The Holy Spirit isn’t the cause of the division. He wants revival and unity. This unity comes when the Holy Spirit reveals the Father’s heart to His people—a heart to see more love and grace among His children for one another. The Spirit leads us to cross our denominational lines with love and humility.

Eschatology. This study of last things is also important to revival. I believe we are going to see a turning from a doom-and-gloom view of the end times, in which we expect the church to be lukewarm, to an end-times view of hope, purpose, victory and great revival. I believe we will move into a more biblical view that is based on understanding that the kingdom of God is ever-increasing and ever-expanding. This characteristic of the kingdom is seen in Jesus’ parables in Matthew 13: the mustard seed growing and the yeast affecting the entire lump of dough.

Theology. I agree with missionary Rolland Baker, who believes that revivals are hindered by bad theology, and good theology is important to revival. Baker and his wife, Heidi, lead Iris Ministries in Mozambique and see great healings and miracles there. Since being touched by God in Toronto during the revival there, they have led about 1 million people to the Lord. They have started 10,000 churches, have compiled testimonies from about 450 people who’ve been raised from the dead, and are affecting their culture as they minister to the poor, the orphans and the widows.

Theologically, they have reconnected the gospel in Mozambique. It was separated by a Modernist-Fundamentalist split over the evangelistic emphasis on leading people to salvation and the social emphasis on ministering to the poor.

The Bakers conduct their ministry on the basis of faith and model it after the ministry of Rolland’s grandfather, H.A. Baker, who patterned his ministry after that of George Müller, the English evangelist known in part for his faith and reliance on God to provide for thousands of orphans under his care.

Rolland and Heidi don’t appeal for help or communicate their needs publicly. They instead trust God by faith and pray for their needs to be met. They even believe God for the supply required to feed 10,000 children a day through their ministry.

The miracles, healings and resurrections that occur in their ministry, combined with their service of compassion, open the hearts of the indigenous people. Currently, their ministry is focused on the Macoua tribe of 2 million, who resisted gospel outreach for years and were listed as an unreachable people group. Now in almost every village in Mozambique, including those of the Macoua tribe, there is an Iris church.

As the Bakers’ ministry illustrates so well, we must more clearly articulate in this current move of God that the issues of revival are not peripheral but central to the biblical message. I believe the move of God must deepen its theological roots.

Holiness. This is God’s original intention for making a man and a woman in His image. I believe that His plan wasn’t limited to giving mankind a legal position, or only “imputed” righteousness or holiness. I believe it was meant to be experiential righteousness and holiness. The revival led by John Wesley was strongly related to this emphasis, and we need a restoration of this truth in revival today.

Intercession. Prayer was a major focus in the church during the 1980s and 1990s. There were massive prayer movements and calls to 40-day fasts. The emphasis on prayer launched by Mike Bickle in May 1999 at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Mo.—which continues today—has been part of the Spirit’s working to prepare the ground for His outpouring.

Mercy Ministry. These are works of compassion, and they express God’s heart for people. Revival is about renewing our first love for God, and when that happens to us our hearts beat in unison with His. His heart beats for the poor, the oppressed, the forgotten, the unseen and the marginalized. In fact, revivals often have started among the poor.

The Value of a Good Education

Now I want to look more closely at one of the directions the current global revival is taking. It involves theology—or more precisely, theological education.

I believe that one obstacle to revival is inadequate theological education. Liberalism, cessationism and dispensationalism all hinder revival. Why? Because they cause people not to expect revival, not to believe in the power of God and the gifts of God that often reoccur in periods of revival, and to focus on escaping the world rather than having an impact on it.

Inadequate theology in the form of dispensationalism was one of the major flaws that had a negative impact upon those who were saved during the Jesus Movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s. We were taught a theology of defeat rather than victory. We were more focused on the Antichrist than the mission of Christ.

No one taught on influencing the seven mountains of culture (Church, Business, Government, Media, Education, Arts and Entertainment, Family) as is happening today. No, instead we rejected culture and were waiting to be taken from this world that was in such a mess.

God can use theological education to prepare His church for a new reformation or for a new revival. More than once, revivals have come as a result of a rediscovery of biblical truth. I believe we’ll see more unity as well as more openness to God’s Spirit as a result of both new biblical studies and the insights gained from historical theology.

Studies based on how the Scriptures emphasize key biblical terms are helping the church rediscover the role of the kingdom of God in the New Testament. It’s hard to believe how we missed the main emphases of the Bible for so many years.

For example, the word faith has traditionally been understood as “believing the correct doctrinal positions about Jesus.” He is the incarnation of God; in Him is the fullness of God; He is the second person of the Trinity; He died for our sins; He was raised from the dead, glorified, ascended to heaven and lives to intercede for us. I believe all these things. I believe they are important.

However, in the Bible these things are not the emphasis of the word faith. Instead, faith as Scripture emphasizes it is most often understood as “receiving a word of revelation from God, believing the word that calls for some act of obedience, and persevering in obedience to the word even when it is challenged by trials and tribulations.”

This emphasis on faith is seldom taught in our theological education.

The Bible’s Role in Revival

When asked how “emphasis” is determined in theology, Jon Ruthven, professor emeritus of systematic and practical theology at Regent University, gives us an answer in his forthcoming book, What’s Wrong With Protestant Theology. He explains that “the central emphasis of Scripture involves the process of the (prophetic) ‘word’ of God coming to mankind, directly and immediately into his heart.”

“The central point,” he writes, “is that Protestant theology, with its emphasis on ‘salvation,’ emphasizing repentance and baptism, suggests a theology of preparation. But ‘preparation’ for what?

“By contrast, the Bible emphasizes the goal of the Christian life. … We agree that the ultimate goal is intimacy and relationship with God, but what is ignored—even denied—in traditional theology is the process (direct, immediate, prophetic communication with God) of getting there.

“The real message and goal of the Bible, then, centrally includes the process of the Spirit of God revealing Gods will (instruction/wisdom) directly into ones heart. In other words, the reception or immersion into the Holy Spiritwhose main purpose is to reveal and empower. This is given for the ultimate goal of intimacy with God himself and his glory.

“Protestant theology primarily prepares us for this gift of the Spirit of prophecy and revelation—a theology that essentially stops at the first half of the message of John the Baptist (the preparation of repentance and baptism, based on the sacrifice of Christ, the ‘Lamb of God’).

“Beyond that, Protestant theology effectively denies John’s explicit, central New Testament mission of Jesus: ‘He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit’ (a concept tightly correlated with prophecy and spiritual gifts), since in Protestantism, the only role for the Spirit now is to enhance the stages of the ordo salutis—preparation for heaven.”

When we return to the Bible and study its emphasis, instead of developing doctrine by looking for proof texts to prove what we have already developed as a doctrine, then we will truly be standing on sola scriptura—which means “by Scripture alone” and is the firm belief that the Bible contains all knowledge necessary for salvation and holiness.

I believe this focus on biblical emphasis is important to building unity within the church among its various denominations; it will provide a platform for constructing a greater unity among believers.

This is also where historical theology can be helpful: Through it we can understand the historical context of a doctrinal position that has much more to do with the doctrine itself than the scriptural basis upon which the doctrine is supposed to be based. This approach helps us divest ourselves of biblical interpretations that have come from historical conflicts in the church and let the Bible’s own emphasis dictate doctrine.

This approach, which is truly sola scriptura, will help us differentiate between the most important doctrines and the ones that, biblically speaking, do not have a biblical emphasis. I believe we can find unity by rediscovering the unifying emphasis of the Bible.

Why is this important? Because greater unity will bring greater anointing of God’s presence, and His presence is characteristic of periods of revival. It is the authority of the Bible and its emphasis that most of the church is willing to submit to, and thereby find a basis for unity and understanding instead of division and accusation.

To summarize: Revival will be more powerful, have more impact and last longer when the church is emphasizing what the Bible emphasizes; and where the church is walking in greater unity it will also experience greater power.

Therefore, let us pursue His truth in His love, and let us walk in faith, power and love as we learn to listen to His Spirit and His Word as recorded in the Bible. Rediscovering the biblical emphasis will help us focus on the other aspects needed to release and sustain revival.

I believe God is leading us to MEET HIM—in Missions, Ecumenism, Eschatology, Theology, Holiness, Intercession, and Mercy Ministry.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.


Since his life-changing night in Toronto on Jan. 20, 1994,·Randy Clark·has traveled to more than 40 countries to fulfill God’s mandate for him to teach others what God has taught him about revival. He’s a co-author of·”The Essential Guide to Healing”·as well as·”Power, Holiness and Evangelism”·and numerous other books. He lives in Mechanicsburg, Pa., with his wife, DeAnne, and they have four children.

Tag Cloud