God rewards the faithful- James Odedeji
The Bishop of Lagos West Diocese of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Rt. Rev. Dr. Olusola Odedeji has affirmed that God rewards those who are faithful in His service.
He gave the affirmation at the dedication of a two-storey building in the premises of St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Akesan, Lagos.
The building which was dedicated on Saturday December 28 2019 is named after him. The building contains both the youth church and the vicarage for the church. It also has an event centre.
In his sermon at the event, Bishop Odedeji who dedicated the complex said when Rev. Canon Wale Opeagbe came to tell him he would like to put up the complex, I was wondering how he would do it. “He told me he would secure space in the church compound and also get government approval for it. This is a man who is ready to work and he has worked. He is a man of integrity.
“Few of my friends come to me and say they want to give something to some churches and I will tell some of them to write their cheques in the name of Akesan St. Peter’s church. He has been so faithful with the funds that he received. And he has displayed rare courage in ensuring that this building is put up.”
While praying for him that God will prolong his life to eat the fruit of his labour, he said no one works for God and go unrewarded.
The dream that gave him hope
He recalled the time he was serving in the church as a priest. “When I was living here in 1996. In this same place I had a dream and I was given a letter of transfer. I was angry in that dream and one invincible hand touched me and told me, “my son I will build your own house for you. Today, I can say I am a testimony of God’s faithfulness “If you serve God he will serve you. I wonder why people struggle for what is not theres. You must know that wherever you are is not forever, what you are able to do there will determine what next will happen to you. What you do for God will not go unrewarded. The people you have served will not forget you.”
He said it could only have been God that would make the church which is located in a rather obscure downtown place to be able to erect such magnificent building.
It is an evidence that with God nothing shall be impossible. “As we stand here today I want to stress that all things are possible to those who believe. When you look at the antecedent of this church you will agree with me that it has been God all the way. It is the doggedness of the vicar that has made this building possible. I encouraged him to go on with the work. This is a template for whoever will come here.”
Bishop Odedeji share similar testimony of how the Anglican Church secured an acre of land at the GRA Ikeja, a feat which a former governor could not achieve when he was governor. “A former governor of this state once visited me. He said to me that when he was the governor of Lagos he looked for an acre in GRA but could not get any. But he got one owned by two families. But the families did not agree to sell the acre of land to him.
“But when it came to the time of the church the two families agreed. That is how we are able to secure that acre of land for the church in Ikeja GRA.”
He charged his listeners that they must be ready to do the unusual so they could get the unusual. “If God is in it, it is possible. God’s factor will break protocol.” He said.
Opeagbe: How I got inspiration for the project
Rev Opeagbe who has just been posted to St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Maidan, Mile 12, said he was moved to begin the structure because of how rain often sacked the children section of the church during Sunday service. “Each time it rained the children would have to move to the adult church and the service for that Sunday will be disrupted. There was a temporal shed where the children worshipped. So during the 90th anniversary of the church we used the opportunity to raise money. The Bishop asked me what I wanted to do if we had money. I told him we wanted to build an edifice for the children and buy a church bus. He advised I should not buy bus. But that we should concentrate on the building because the bus will only be gulping money and yield nothing. We took his advice. I conveyed same to the parish council members and they bought into it. That was how we began.
“On November 3 2014 the foundation was laid by The Rt. Rev Dr. Olusola Odedji. In November this year I told the church that this edifice will be completed. But many would not believe me. As God would have it the Apostle of Peace society was inauguration came up in the church and we felt it will be a good opportunity to launch again and raise funds. The AOP from Ishaga tedo was around and told us that they will assist us. And they said they will do all that we wanted on the list because we had a list of our needs published and distributed during that service. But the list was not exhaustive. They gave us about N4m and that was a big motivation for us. We had to levy ourselves in the church and here we are today. The Bishop has been so supportive of the project. He gave us money just about two weeks before the inauguration. That goes to show his love for us as a family.”
Rev Opeagbe said about N30million was used to put up the structure. Explaining why it was that cost effective, he said, “The construction work was done by direct labour. We got an engineer who helped to supervise but what we gave him was just an honorarium. I was always on ground to supervise the project. I feel on top of the world that this project is being dedicated. It goes to show that when you are focused on something that God will back you up.”
Apostle of Peace input
The President of St. Paul’s Anglican Church Chapter of Apostle of Peace, Engr. Paul Ajisafe and the President of the National Body of the group, Arch Gbenga Barbington said the Apostle of Peace was motivated to help with the project because of its conviction that the building would serve the common good.
“Our vision is to ensure there is peace in the church. We also believe that we need to help in any activity that will engender peaceful existence. When we came to inaugurate a branch of Apostle of Peace in the church, we saw the need and we were inspired to come into the project. That was what informed our support.” Said Engr. Ajisafe.
Arch Barbington reasons, “If you are talking about peace we need the right infrastructure in place. There can’t be peace of mind when the immediate needs of the people are not meant. The Apostle of Peace is a child of necessity. It was born when there was rancor and problem in the church where it started and it has helped to solve many crises. Part of our vision is to look at areas of need of the church and support the work.”