The team entered Imini with high praise. The convoy was long, led by an open pick-up truck customized for the day filled with drummers and trumpeters. The teams from Samonda conference centre, US, UK and other Liberty supporters merged into
a united praise machine, a symphony orchestra bellowing out melodies to our Lord. The villagers turned out in their hundreds with amazement at the extravaganza. Trumpeters, drummers, men and women filled with love and the power of the Holy Spirit had invaded their domain. What was all this about, they probably thought.
The school children in their check blue shirts and blue shorts or skirts lined the road leading to the Oba’s palace. Some sat on the wall to have a glimpse at what was going on. A few with their mouths agape watched in amazement. The old, young, strong and fragile joined the procession of worship which was led by the Boys Brigade through the market square to the centre of the village. The epicentre of the land absorbed the glory, power and praise of the Almighty God. The mountains shook, the trees bowed and darkness fled at the presence of the Lord. The village ceased all activities in worship of the King of Kings. In front of the Olumini of Imini’s palace, the city dwellers and the villagers danced together to the glory of the Lord.
In the midst of this, Baba Adepoju “the tailor” was grinning, jumping up and down in gratitude to God for his healing. He was eager to tell the whole world what the Lord had done for him. He had met Mummy Kate on her last trip to Imini in May. He could not walk. His movement was restricted to crawling and moving from A to B on his bum. He was prayed for and Jesus healed him. He returned to report of his healing. He could now walk and dance. He was eager to receive Jesus as his Lord and Saviour. On the spot it happened. He was later baptized in water on Thursday.
We proceeded from the Palace with praise and dancing down the main highways. It was a dirt road trodden by villagers, children and spectators on okadas (motor bike) towards the outreach site. Our entourage had multiplied in volume as a stream of people flowed towards Covenant Primary school in expectation of the next phase. The praise intensified in power and volume as we got closer and closer. Students, preachers, children, villagers, missionaries all blended together with a common purpose of lifting up the King of Kings. The sound of praise resounded in the lips of all.
A boy in a Chelsea jersey was grinding pepper with a loud antiquated grinder but nobody could hear the sound of neither the generator nor machine turning out the paste. The praise of the King was above all the sound. After the procession had passed some homes, people still stood, arms akimbo, on their veranda amazed at the grace of God and puzzled at the invasion of their village by these strangers both white and black.
The camp site was within sight. No walls, no boundaries or restrictions, the site opened to all with joy. It was a familiar site to the children, it was their school. To a few villagers it was their church building and to some, a source of clean and pure water from the borehole. The music filtered the air like a sweet smelling savoury offered up to our Lord. Joy was expressed through the moving of arms, legs and lips. Hearts were pounding, hips swaying to the sweet music offered to our Lord. He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords the drummers vibrated. A joint celebration erupted to the sound of the song “You alone are worthy Lord, to be praised and adored, You are faithful Lord…” Children and adults alike raised their hands in praise. It seems as if there was a coordinated movement of legs and arms synchronized by a conductor but it was all spontaneous praise.
The yellow and red canopy provided little protection from the sun and humidity. The heat was intense, men and women were dripping in sweat but nobody noticed. You could see the tan lines form but who cared. The praise continued despite the elements. The rigour and expression of praise did not stop. What could stop us from praising our Lord? Be it the sun, sweat, tiredness, thirst, hunger, dehydration? Nothing would, nothing could. Higher and higher our hands rose towards the heavens, lower and lower, bodies went down in worship to the King of kings. It was great being in the midst of the congregation praising and worshipping the Lord.
We congregated under the thick canopy singing and dancing. The Covenant School pupils joined the praise party. The children took over from the adults. It was like a relay race, one generation receiving the baton from the other. A new generation of worshippers danced and sang with joy. The day ended with the knowledge that the presence of God had descended over Imini. The atmosphere had changed.
Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts is the King of glory.