An extensive report fron Sports-Day on the thanksgiving service for members of Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets at The SCOAN on Sunday 22nd November
SUNDAY 22nd November, 2009 will go down as one day the over 20,000 worshippers including ex-President Frederick Chiluba of Zambia will forever live to remember. The venue of worship was the famous Synagogue Of All Nations (SCOAN) church which is fast turning into a tourist centre as people from all walks of life especially foreigners visit the holy place to either seek the face of God or view the environment that has become one of the holiest of places.
The event was the thanksgiving service organized for the duo of Sani Emmanuel and Ogenyi Onazi who helped the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria win the silver medal at the just concluded FIFA U-17 World Cup. It was in that same championship that Emmanuel won the silver boot and golden ball. The service was put together by the church to celebrate its products that shone like million stars before the watching world and as well give all the glory to God Almighty.
The atmosphere was simply electric as the church auditorium was filled to the brim. Worshippers who could not find their way in due to lateness enjoyed the service from their positions outside as Emmanuel TV crew provided television sets from which worshippers could view what was going on inside the magnificent edifice. The program was scheduled to kick off by 9am but was slightly delayed for about one hour to enable guests from overseas arrive the church premises. One of such guests is former Zambia President Frederick Chiluba who came in an entourage.
The choir group dazzled the worshippers with different gospel songs that left all standing and dancing for hours all in praises and worshipping of God. The normal service started as soon as the man of God, Prophet TB Joshua entered the auditorium at about 10:05am. He apologized for the delay and explained to the worshippers that guests were being awaited. Before the Prophet stormed the auditorium, President Chiluba had entered with his entourage and seated. Prophet Joshua had to introduce the former Zambia President before taking his sermon from the book of Ephesian. His lesson dealt on why man’s integrity and outward appearance don’t grant him desired esteem position but the grace of God.
He linked his sermon with the success story of young Sani Emmanuel who came to SCOAN as a needy following the many troubles in his family but was able to rely on God to lift him to the pinnacle of success even though he is just beginning.
CUTTING OF CAKE
At the end of the preaching which drew wild applause from the worshippers Prophet TB Joshua invited the duo of Emmanuel and Onazi to deliver their speeches and cut the ceremony cake. Both players spoke on how God used the Prophet to touch and change their lives. Emmanuel promised to set up a foundation that will cater for the needy as he was a needy. He further promised a scholarship scheme for the deserving ones to ensure that it is used to discover talents just as he was discovered by Prophet TB Joshua. He apologized to the Nation for the inability of the Golden Eaglets to win the World Cup saying, “God is still saying something with that. It is not our intention to lose the World Cup having fought to get to the final but God knows why he allowed the Swiss to win.”
Emmanuel dedicated the awards he won to the needy sating that “I know what it is to be poor. I am here today to show what God’s ability can do. As we all know, going by what happened on the field, I am undeserving. Yet, by the grace of God, I am the best Under 17 player in the world.”
In his speech Onazi who came to SCOAN through Emmanuel after both players were initially dropped from the camp of the Golden Eaglets and were accepted to live in the church after being introduced to Prophet TB Joshua who counseled the boys and revealed that God is taking them to higher ground, said “we are here to thank everyone for your prayers and support. I don’t want to repeat myself since my brother (Emmanuel) has spoken on my behalf, I will only add that we shall leave the rest till we go to our future clubs.”
The cutting of cake took place immediately after the speeches which were applauded. There were two cakes, one for the Golden Eaglets as a team and the other for the celebrants (Emmanuel and Onazi). The cake for the duo was cut after the name Jesus was spelt while Eaglets’ cake was cut after Christ was pronounced. The awards were also placed on the table beside the cakes.
PHOTO WITH EX- PRESIDENT CHILUBA
After the cutting of cakes the players were allowed to dance with some of their colleagues from the Golden Eaglets and My People FC and immediately the duo went into photo session. They snapped pictures with family members and colleagues but that was after they took some shots with Preseident Frederick Chiluba who hailed the kids for, “their courage and God fearing stance. Their success should surprise no one because they are in safe hands and on the path of glory. It is good to follow God from one’s youth because when one grows old you will always abide in the house and glory of God.”
The Eaglets’ duo then went into ball juggling. They delighted everyone with skills as they remained on the floor of the auditorium doing ball work.
TEE MAC RAZZMATAZZ
Veteran musician and multi-instrumentalist Tee Mac stormed the choir and did a special tune for the celebrant. The music of the flute expert held the worshippers spell bound as the handsome Tee Mac radiating in his Aso Oke attire danced and sang to the glory of God. It was a razzmatazz as the music icon stylishly left the stage swinging his flute even as the worshippers applauded and sang on.
DOCUMENTARY ON THE SANIS
Grass To Grace Of Emmanuel
A documentary was showed to the worshippers and viewers of Emmanuel TV worldwide. It was all about the family of Sani Emmanuel. In the 30 minutes documentary Emmanuel’s father who said he hails from Edo State revealed how he came to live in the Synagogue. He stated that he was married to his first wife who initially had four girls for him. Pressure came from his ageing parents who demanded for male children or at least a son as they are growing old and needed to see their grand sons who should keep the family lineage alive. This persistent pressure led him to taken a second wife. But before the second wife took in, the first wife took in for her fifth child and miraculous had a son. Later the second wife also put to bed and was delivered of a baby boy. In all the first wife had four girls and two boys including Emmanuel while the second wife had three boys.
Then the trouble attached with polygamy erupted as both women started fighting on daily basis. On this fateful day the man (Emmanuel’s father) went to work and fighting broke out in his home between his wives. He was called to urgently return home to avert further damage. On reaching home he called both women and as peace talk was going on the younger wife picked a bottle, broke it and drove its sharp edge into the neck of the senior wife who fell and was bleeding profusely.
She was rushed to the hospital but on reaching the hospital she gave up the ghost. The younger wife was arrested and the matter charged to court, where she was convicted. She had to go to jail with her three months old son. And that was just the beginning of trouble for the man who does not understand how to cope with about nine children. He couldn’t pay school fees and the situation was so bad that two of his daughters were forced into early marriages. In a move to commit suicide he was advised by one of his children to see the man of God Prophet TB Joshua.
He met the man of God and explained his predicaments to him. In one of the church’s programmes for widows and widowers he was given N150,000. e later sent for his son, Emmanuel from Abuja and the two went to see the man of God. Emmanuel’s father appealed to Prophet TB Joshua to allow his son to live with him in the Synagogue. The man of God in his magnanimity accepted and prayed for them.
Emmanuel started living in the church and helps in domestic activities like cleaning of the church’s environment and assisting in project building. From there My People FC was born and the young lad joined the team. It was from the club that he was spotted as a budding star having shone in friendlies with Gateway FC, Golden Eaglets and Flying Eagles. He was invited to the Golden Eaglets but was later dropped alongside Onazi whom he met in camp. They both returned to the Synagogue when Onazi told Emmanuel that he had nowhere to go. On return they reported to Prophet TB Joshua who prayed for them and counseled them.
The man of God then organized a trip for the players including one Yakubu Azeez for Sweden. The intention of the man of God was to expose the trio to quality football after which they can return and try out with the national team again. They traveled to BK Bodens with all expenses paid by the man of God who gave the trio $5000 for upkeep aside the money spent to procure visas and tickets. They spent six months in Sweden and returned. On return the man of God ordered them to go to the Golden Eaglets camp again unaided. And that was the story celebrated today. The documentary according to the man of God will continue as the best of the players is yet to be seen.
Prophet Joshua: I’m Ready To Guide Eaglets
Man Of God Pledges Support
Prophet TB Joshua told the worshippers and viewers of Emmanuel TV worldwide that “I am ready to give spiritual guidance to the entire squad members of the Golden Eaglets because these kids need to be protected so that they can reach the heights that God has set for them. We should not forget that destiny can be tampered with and even altered that is why we need to give these boys God’s cover.
“Whoever among them needs my help in this regard is free to reach me. I will not charge them for this service because we have to give out our precious time and most cherished items as gifts to the less privileged and needy. When you give what you don’t need to the needy it does not count before God. The Almighty God wants us to part ways with things we will greatly miss or feel when we want to give to the needy. Therefore I am giving out my time to help these kids to reach their promised land. Last time I sent out three players to Sweden and I am promising by the grace of God that I will be sending six out to Europe the next time, not to go and sign contracts or to go and seek for clubs but to go for training and equip themselves with the current trend in the game because football is dynamic and it is fast changing.
“I want to use this opportunity to inform everyone that My People FC will be conducting screening exercises every Tuesdays and Wednesdays to select the very best players who will be under our care for free. Those who will not be successful during the screening will be given money to take care of their transport back to their respective destinations. The screening is for the whole world and not just for players within Lagos or Nigeria. We expect players to come from the rest of the world. We will cater for them.
This is one area that everyone here today should endeavor to partake in. Think of how you can help these less privileged people. The future of these young ones is very important because they will determine our future when we grow old. I am out to help the world. Let’s start building the world, let’s start healing the world, let’s start creating hope for all. We can indeed make the world a better place. We have started with Emmanuel and Onazi, more will follow even as I follow the career of the entire Golden Eaglets squad to the top.”
By DESMOND EKWUEME,
who was In The Synagogue
SOURCE: Sports Day