From time immemorial, man has always sought a better way of showing appreciation to God as an acknowledgement and submissiveness to the supremacy and greatness of the creator.
Such biblical analogies like the sacrifices of Cain and Abel, the attempted sacrifice of Isaac by his father Abraham, as well as the erroneous sacrifice by King Saul who was impatient in waiting for the Prophet Samuel, readily come to mind.
With the supreme sacrifice of Jesus on Calvary’s tree several years ago, the era of animal sacrifices and other forms of blood sacrifices where abrogated, while the divine charge on followers was that they should go out into the world to evangelize and make people believers.
It was in response to this charge that several dignitaries from all works of life thronged the ultramodern auditorium of Qua Iboe Church, Ewet Offot, Uyo on Sunday October 5, 2014 to celebrate this year’s anniversary of the church.
It was a colourful celebration galore and a harvest of buses at the Church, as top government functionaries led by the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio, the wife of the Governor, Mrs Ekaette Unoma Akpabio, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Elder Sam Ikon, members of the organized private sector and the political class in the state thronged the Church to celebrate the 105th anniversary of the Church.
Usually, such unique occasions are set aside for memorable exercises, and for Qua Iboe Church faithful, the occasion was a unique opportunity to receive and honour the secretary to the State Government, Mr Udom Emmanuel, a deacon of the Church and to recognize other sons of the State with distinction in services to humanity and God.
Among those recognized where the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Aniekan Umanah, Commissioner for Special Duties, Barr Emmanuel Enoidem, the Special Adviser in the Bureau of Political and Legislative Affairs Otuekong Emmanuel Ibiok, and the Permanent Secretary in the State Ministry of Youth and Sports, Elder Nse Ekefre.
Others who were appreciated were the Managing Director of Septa Energy, Arc Ufot Ebong, the member representing Nsit Ubium in the State House of Assembly, Barr Onofiok Luke and the Chief Executive Officer of Idem’s Ultimate, Mr Unyime Idem
Over the years, people have always found reasons to celebrate or confer honour on outstanding personalities. Such an exercise could be done as a mark of appreciation for a feat attained, or a symbol of fraternity with the celebrator. In the last couple of years, Governor Godswill Akpabio has been at the receiving end of several awards and honours from reputable national and international organizations and has clearly been a global brand for redefining leadership as an avenue to change the story of a people for the better.
But for Mr Udom Emmanuel, the honour at Qua Iboe Church Ewet Offot was no lesser than a five star garland for a man who has remained steadfast and focused in edifying God in all positions he has found himself.
If the planning committee of the anniversary did not say enough about their star guest Mr Udom Emmanuel, then the Rev Daniel Akwatang’s exposition said it all.
Rev Akwatang of the United Evangelical/Qua Iboe Church Oron Superintendency speaking on the theme, “You are created for God’s Glory,”said that everyone owed God an obligation to serve him faithfully and recounted his early days at Qua Iboe Church Surulere in Lagos, where a certain young banker Mr Udom Emmanuel had made personal sacrifices to improve the worship service in the Church.
It was discovered that Mr. Emmanuel was responsible for the first template that was developed for national use as the Sunday Schools manual for the Church, and also introduced the use of musical equipments which he usually hired for use during major occasions in the Church.
At a time when his contemporaries where seeking for loans to buy new cars and build mansions for themselves, the then young banker who was still living in a rented apartment, and who drove a fairly used car, had stunned the congregation when he acquired a loan to buy a set of musical instrument for the Church, the first of its kind in any Qua Iboe Church in Nigeria.
It is instructive to note that no human being is a product of chance as God created everyone for a purpose, and such divine purposes are easily realizable if people allow themselves to be used as instruments of blessings in God’s hands.
The success story seen in the life of the SSG, sums up the notion that God has adequate provisions for all those who genuinely serve him.
The cardinal objective of the church is to evangelize and make people disciples of God. To fulfil this Divine mandate, one of the highpoints of this year’s anniversary of the Qua Iboe Church, Ewet Offot was to acquire Buses for evangelism.
In a rare show corroborative of his reported history of services to God over the years, Mr. Udom Emmanuel donated an evangelism bus to the church, and made a cash donation of N5m on behalf of the State Governor before he practically performed his assignment as a deacon of the church by ministering to the guests one after the other to support the project.
Indeed the mood at the 105 years celebration of the church was that of an unpredictable joy and excitement among everyone present, as they responded to the charge of supporting God’s work through sundry donations.
In the entire country, no other governor has whole-heartedly placed God at the center of his administration than Governor Godswill Akpabio in whose hands, God blessed the state with a network of quality roads and others gigantic infrastructure as well as the free health and education which shows that the Governor means well for his people.
Just as God does not have room for abandoned projects, Governor Akpabio is keeping faith with his promise to complete all his turn-key projects before the expiration of his tenure on May 29, 2015.
The vision of the present administration, to industrialize the state and make it an emerging hub in the Gulf of Guinea is realizable if the people continue to support the State Governor to produce a successor who believes in his ideals for the state.
As the Governor’s wife Mrs Ekaette Unoma Akpabio clearly stated at the occasion, it is no longer time to listen to people who preach ethnicity, disunity and hatred, but a time to support a detribalized man who has the capacity to surpass the achievements of the incumbent Governor.
In doing this, Akwa Ibom people will not only be showing appreciation to the Governor for placing the state on the global map as a model of good governance, but will also be making significant contributions to the sustenance of the uncommon transformation in the State.
This year’s anniversary of the Qua Iboe Church Nwaniba road, Ewet Offot Uyo, will for a long time to come remain fresh in the minds of all those who were present at the occasion, as it was an occasion were service to God was not only projected, but was clearly displayed in huge measures; in consonance with the summary of Rev Daniel Akwatang’s message that, “as Christians who are created and blessed by the Almighty God, we all owe Him an obligation of whole-hearted service in return.
[+] Essien Ndueso