The 2013 West Africa Missions (WAM) Leadership Conference came to a rousing and breathtaking conclusion in Abuja, Nigeria as about 700 people attended the well organized grand finale at the International Conference Center in the nation’s beautiful capital.
WAM 2013 witnessed visitors from all over the sub-region as representatives from Ghana, Guinea, the Gambia, Sierra Leone, Cameroun, South Africa and the USA. It was 3 incredible days of inspiring classes, worship and great fellowship as the capital city effectively hosted the WAM Leadership Conference for the very first time!
The Conference commenced fully for delegates on Friday 23rd August after the WAM Management meeting and the WAM General Assembly meeting, which targeted Church Leaders, Administrators, Board of Trustees/Finance Committee Chairmen, Elders and full time staff, from the previous day.
The Conference began with a colourful opening ceremony performed by choreographers in the Abuja church depicting the rich cultural heritage in Nigeria. In his welcome address, the Lead Evangelist Chris Ogbonnaya welcomed delegates to three incredible and inspirational days of prayers, scripture expose and fellowship. He thanked all delegates and facilitators but especially the sacrificial hearts and hard work of the brothers and sisters in Abuja as he declared the 2013 WAM Leadership Conference open.
The first message to set the conference rolling was by our wonderful brother from the New York church Onyechi ‘Nitchie’Oguagha titled ‘Set the Captives, Blind and Oppressed Free’. In his speech, Nitchie revealed we must first set ourselves free from guilt and sin before we can set others free and that the first thing we need to set free is our mind. He also cautioned that we cannot set our minds free unless we wish to renew it. Using the texts from Romans 12:1-3, Hebrew 3:7, he further stated that our churches today needs to go through some spiritual mind change and that after we set our minds free, we should also set our hearts free and then finally set our mouths free (Acts 2:14-42).
After Nitchie’s sermon, Emeka Okechukwu, who leads the church in Abuja, spoke on ‘Unfailing Leadership’ which is a core need in the church. He urged leaders to set an example by being a shining example at home for the need to raise more leaders for the churches and to strengthen the existing leaders.
After lunch, classes resumed as Dolapo Ogundipe encouraged the delegates to embrace the heart of Jesus with regards the Poor. In his sermon titled ‘Preaching Good News to the Poor’, Dolapo challenged disciples to have a willing heart to give to the Poor and to make a difference in their lives and not serve as the world does.
Day two at the Conference started early as delegates took time out to visit an orphanage home. Further classes followed which includes ‘Walking with the Spirit’ by Dr. Douglas Jacoby, Fred George spoke on ‘Speaking the Truth in Love, Jide Ojo taught on ‘Family Communication’ while John Obaje spoke on ‘Leadership: God’s Gift to the Church’. Different classes were also held for the Singles and Marrieds.
The well decorated International Conference Center in Abuja was the venue for the grand finale as delegates with their guests arrived bright and vivacious on Sunday morning for the Church service and end of the 2013 WAM Leadership Conference.
As usual, the fellowship was deep as disciples from the different countries and cultures mingled.
After a stirring Praise and worship session, the Church settled down to the Communion message presented by Trevor Cook of the Cape Town church in Ghana. Sharing from the first recorded miracle of Jesus in Cana (John 2:1- 10), he gave an illustration that the new wine signifies the new life that can only be found in Jesus. He further revealed that disciples should strive to seek the new life that Jesus brings.
The final message of the conference from the theme of the conference, ‘The Most Excellent Way’ was taught by Onyechi Oguagha. Teaching from John 13: 1, Nitchie reminds disciples that love is crucial to our survival as a movement. He implored them on the need to learn to love and serve one another and that we all have something to give to other.
One of the special highlights of the service was the cultural dance presentation by disciples in the Abuja church as they showcased the rich cultural heritage of our great nation. Certificates were also awarded by the Athens Institute of Ministry to grandaunts of its bible school.
The curtains were drawn on a truly remarkable and exciting WAM 2013 Conference as the flag was passed on to a jubilant Warri, Delta State, who will host the 2015 Conference in the oil rich city.
Elder Israel Ereola closed out the Conference with a closing prayer.