LIVING FOR THE POOR
For flouting God's instruction to disengage from any form of business venture and live his life totally for the poor and needy, Evangelist Samuel Ikoku Anyanwu believes he is now reaping the reward of his disobedience, as God had to punish him thrice by allowing him to suffer setbacks in his businesses, leading to loss of huge borrowed capitals to armed robbers.
The 47-year-old, who hails from Umuogu-Amuzu in Aboh Mbaise Local Government Area, Imo State, told Daily Sun in an interview that he was regretting his action because at the moment he was still feeling the pains of his disobedience. He is, however, hopeful that having repented, God would cause a turn around and restoration for him.
He said when God gave him the vision to be an apostle to the poor, needy and less privileged persons in the society 18 years back, the modus operandi was unclear to him, so he went about involving himself in different kinds of businesses, thinking that with the proceeds he would fulfill the commission.
Thus, he said he began to get involved in the businesses and was raking in so much profit that he forgot to attend to the poor. Then suddenly, following government's policy, the business crumbled. In an effort to set up another, which he said was quite lucrative as he raked in huge profit at the start, he was robbed and that brought it to an end.
He said the last straw that broke the camel's back was when he went into telecommunications business, which also showed a big viability indicator. But suddenly, armed robbers struck in his shop and carted away everything, and this led to a series of revelations and prophecies from renowned servants of God that his affliction was as a result of disobedience to God's mandate.
He explained his latter day passion in these words: 'I am a missionary pastor in the area of preaching to the less privileged; that is where God called me and my wife. We take relief materials to remote villages, making sure that the less privileged, the needy and the poor, who work for God in the church but go unrecognised (are cared for).
We encourage them by the little things we give to them - small cash and some materials like fairly used clothes and shoes. We give to them to let them know that God has not forsaken them, that God thinks about them and God cares about them. So, that is what God called us to do, to encourage the poor, the less privileged, the needy. That is what we are doing as our own ministry.'
It's something the couple has been doing for the past 18 years. Anyanwu said further: 'By the time I accepted the Lord as our personal Lord and Saviour, Jesus instructed me in a revelation that the ministry He was giving to me is a passionate ministry, reaching out to the less privileged. In fact, the first place we went was the General Hospital, Wuse. We went there with some bags of fairly used clothes and other good things. And from there, we proceeded to so many towns and states. I remember we visited Kafanchan, visited Lagos and Aba, we also visited Kaduna.
'But at a time the thing was like, it was dead because there were no more funds coming our way. But by the time we graduated from Dunamis School of Ministry, Jesus also revisited us, reminding us of the need to continue with the ministry He had given to us. So, what we did was to send materials worth thousands of naira to our Mararaba branch of Dunamis.
We sent it to the Liberian branch because we discovered that our brethren there in Liberia were suffering, so we also sent some materials which our senior pastor's wife witnessed, she called and asked us to kneel down, she prayed for us and also encouraged other brethren to follow suit. So, from there we have been sending a little cash to some orphanage homes, sending materials to remote villages, up till now we have not relented in our efforts,' Anyanwu said.
Married to his ever young looking pretty wife, Sarah, the father of six said they had resolved to commit at least 30 per cent of whatever resources available to the family into taking care of the poor and needy in the society. Apart from giving relief materials to the less privileged, Anyanwu said they had concluded arrangements to visit some schools to identify the needy whose academic responsibilities they could assist to certain levels.
Named 'Spirit of Truth Missionary Outreach International' the ministry is not a church as Anyanwu explained, saying he was never called to make a church out of it. Nor is it affiliated to any church. However, he said they welcome collaboration with churches, individuals and organisations, both governmental and non-governmental, who appreciates what they are doing and wishes to pass through them to touch the lives of the poor and needy.
How I was called
Since my childhood, I found myself falling into this passionate ministry. Nothing gives me peace, what you will do and have peace is the ministry God has given to you. There is nothing that gives me peace on earth except when I reach out to the needy and the less privileged. That is what gives me joy. Having said that, the wife God gave me is also an encouragement to my ministry, she also believes in the ministry and that is why it is easy for us to do the little we are doing now.
I am called to be an evangelist. I was ordained as an evangelist and the man of God that ordained me is Evangelist Sunny Njoku. He ordained me and also ordained my wife as an evangelist. But you know, when we graduated from Dunamis School of Ministry people started calling us pastors. Some people call us apostle, but we are not moved by the so-called ranks.
What we know is that we are featuring in the department where God placed us to speak the word of God to people, and not only speaking the word but speaking with what is in your hands to encourage people, because so many of them think that when they receive Christ as their personal saviour they will start suffering, that it is the last thing somebody can do, but it is not like that.
When you receive Christ as your personal Saviour, God is able to give you even double of what Satan gives you because Satan doesn't manufacture anything; he gives you what he stole from the other side. So, we are telling them that it pays to serve Christ. In Christ you have life, you have hope and you have whatever you think of.
Disobedience and punishment
Of course, I've disobeyed God. That was the reason I told you that since this ministry was given to us 18 years ago, there was a time I deviated and entered into business. I did so many businesses but to no avail. They didn't yield any profit. I thought the area God called me was to make money, sponsor a church, do this and do that, but the businesses all flopped. But, I regained my peace when I visited the orphanage, the less privileged, people in prison.
When we do something like that, that is where my joy comes from. I considered myself to be a disobedient person because the Bible says an act of disobedience is like witchcraft. You see, when I was disobeying God, I thought I was really a child of God, that is the worst unbeliever. It is not good to disobey God in any area.
When I was disobeying God by doing this type of business, I had a driving school in Garki, and the driving school was moving very well, but all of a sudden something happened. El-Rufai came and said any driving school proprietor must have his own field, have his clinic, have at least five cars, and I was not up to that, so I had to leave that business.
The school was God's Mandate Driving School, it was very, very booming. Then I entered into cement business. For me to put up to a trailer load of cement, the business was also moving; all of a sudden armed robbers came and evacuated it. I also entered into distributing GSM cards, not in a small amount, and armed robbers also attacked my children there.
So, from these happenings I started to know that as a child of God I shouldn't be a victim of all these things that happened, they were caused by my disobedience. Some close pastors and friends told me so, do you know that you are disobeying God and that is why these things are happening to you? And let me tell you the truth, since I finally came to God and confessed to Him, and started what he wanted me to do, things have been moving very, very okay to the glory of God.
If God asks you to do something, do it, don't bring your own wisdom, because our own wisdom compared with God's is just like a filthy rag. If God has called you to be an evangelist, go and do the work of God. If God has called you to be an usher, stay in that department. If he has called you to be a singer, an artist to his glory, do it, don't ever try to change whatever God has made you to be.
Like these days, if you lay your hands on somebody and he got healed, somebody will say, because I have prayed for this person and he got healed I am called to open a church, you can now open church and begin to do things that you don't know. So, I advise that when God calls you, try to know the area God called you and follow it. By and by, God will show you that He's the One who called you into that ministry.
We give God all the glory. My wife has been a source of blessing to our ministry because the little business she does, whatever she brings out of the business, is being shared to so many places, that is the area we do get something for the needy. Some passionate homes, some families do send for us and hand over bags of fairly used clothes, shoes and other items to us.
So, this is how we've been able to get funding for the ministry. We don't want to go to the roads and start soliciting for help and begging for things to give the needy, but whoever is being touched to donate, knowing that this thing these people are doing is what is recorded in the scripture, which says that pure and undefiled religion is for us to care for the widows and less privileged, would be appreciated. As the Bible says, we should remove 10 per cent as tithe, when we remove it, we now remove 60 per cent for family expenditures then the 30 per cent will now be for the needy.
I want it to be a ministry that would be recognised throughout the whole world. If God can bless us to the extent of opening school for the needy to go without paying any money, have something like hospital where the needy can go and be attended to without paying any money, these are things I want for the ministry.
The poor is neglected
Honestly, it is irritating. When you see a pastor that was supposed to take care of the less privileged, if a needy, poor person goes to complain for assistance he'll tell you that the church is not a place where you come to eat and drink.