Rev. Dr Mrs. Mercy Ezekiel is the National/International Coordinator of Christian Pentecostal Mission (CPM) International and President of the MEEZ Outreach, an interdenominational outfit through which God has been blessing this generation. A multitalented cleric, philanthropist and multiple awards winner, Dr Mrs. Ezekiel speaks on the secret of happy marriage, 2015 Women of Vision International Conference of the church and other issues in this interview with INNOCENT OKONKWO.
From all indications, You are set for the biennial CPM’s Women of Vision International Conference , What is the theme of this year’s conference and what do you intend to achieve by such a theme?
The theme of this year’s conference is, “Go! Make a difference.” It holds from September 6 to 13, 2015, here at CPM’s International Headquarters, Ajao Estate Lagos. We want our women to go and make the difference in the society. This theme became necessary because women have been sitting on the fence for a very long time and we are calling them up to go and make the difference wherever they are. For instance, Jesus told Mary Magdalene, shortly after his resurrection to, “Go, and tell my people that I have risen.”
That is the same charge that we are giving to all the women in this country and beyond during this convention. They should stand up and go and tell the world about the risen Christ and what he can do for us as women, men, community and nation. That is why we chose that topic and we believe that it will favour so many people and the participants will be blessed during and after the programme. We are expecting delegates from our branches both within and outside the country and we believe God that they will arrive safely for his special event.
Are there testimonies from the past editions of this conference to prove that God is behind it?
Of course yes, anytime we come together for this event which holds once every two years, we always look up to God who has never failed us. Our women always look up to God because they know that the conference is always a season of God’s visitation because the Holy Spirit always makes his presence felt throughout the period of the programme. The Holy Spirit has been with us since many years that we started this conference.
The conference is an opportunity through which the women table their needs before God and receive answers from him. And there have been innumerable testimonies of God’s intervention in the lives of the participants and their loved ones. As a result, participants have been coming to this event with many prayer intensions because they know that God will grant their requests. Testimonies abound of those who came to the previous conferences in need of babies, who were blessed with children afterwards.
In the same way, some of those whose husbands were not doing well financially, who tabled such problems before God had their requests granted by God. People in similar situation always look forward to this programme in order to tell the Lord about their predicament. Others whose children were not doing well academically also bring such problems to the Lord during this event.
Similarly, those with sicknesses and disease also come to the programme with their problems and receive divine healing. We are also hopeful that the Lord God of host will rise with healing in his wing and heal the sick during this year’s event. Even some people who don’t even understand what is fighting them come here and ask the Lord to fight for them since they cannot fight the battle with the arms of flesh; they believe that only God can fight their battle successfully.
In fact, we have been having series of outstanding testimonies. However, I have promised the Lord that I will never touch his glory and I have been returning the glory to him when these things happen. And it humbles me; when I consider all these, I keep on asking myself, ’how is it that God can pass through a mortal like me.’ All the glory goes to him.
Apart from you, who else are you expecting to minister during this conference?
We have Archbishop Margaret Idahosa of the Church of God Mission as one of the guest speakers; Rev. Mrs. Abiola Omobude will also preach at this event. Rev. Mrs. Faith Ukaegbu, and Bishop Etete from Ghana are among the guest speakers. As usual, our General Overseer, (Rev. Dr. O Ezekiel) will open the programme for us.
You have been promoting family values and godly society through your messages, you have also mentored so many people particularly women, as a mother, what do you see as the key to a successful marriage?
I will answer your question this way, the secret of happy marriage is the fear of the Lord. If the husband and wife fear the Lord, they will enjoy the blessings of God. When they understand the fact that marriage is give and take (You fall for me, I fall for you) and not like taking a rod to rule such a marriage will be a successful one.
When a man knows that his wife is part of him and not a stranger, he will know how best to treat her. The woman also should know how to respect the man because she is not married to an angel. The man is not an angel, in the same way; the woman is not an angel. There may be an occasion that the woman will commit blunders but the man has to forgive her. At times, the man will offend the woman and she has to forgive him.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of a happy marriage. Willingness to forgive each other as well as having time for communication with one another as necessary for a happy marriage; husband and wife should understand one another and see each other as one. These will make them happy in their marriage. The couple should also create time to read the word of God together and pray together because any couple that prays together stays together but when you don’t pray together, the enemy will take hold of the family. The couple should share their joy and sorrow together, it makes them a happy family.
There is no doubt that you discovered your talents very early in life but many people are not that fortunate. How would you counsel the youths on talent discovering?
Well, discovering of talents entails prayer and as you pray, you look up to God for direction. But anything that you have strong passion for, could be your talents, it could be singing or dancing. Anything that you have passion for is your talents. That very positive thing that love to do always, such things that drive crazy, which you always want to do, of which if you don’t do in a day you are not happy is where your talent is. Just look into your life and ask yourself, ‘what are those things that drive me crazy, what do I love to do and when I am doing it, I feel on top of the world,’ if you answer the question without prejudice, then you are not far from discovering your talent.
How has your background as a trained musician influenced your ministry as a woman of God, any meeting point between music and preaching?
Yes, because before you preach, you worship the Lord and worship opens the heaven, God loves worship. So when you worship and you preach, God blesses the people. So the two works together, God loves worship; you notice that that was what Lucifer was doing until he became Satan and was thrown down from heaven.
Of all your recorded albums which one do you consider the best?
The latest one that I have is entitled ‘The name of Jesus’ that is my best so far but I have not produced it, because I don’t have the time yet but any time that it is rendered in the church people want it to be repeated again and again.
You are a composer, singer and an author, how do you cope with these demanding activities?
I will say that is where grace comes in. It is the grace of God. I can’t tell you that I did this or that, no, count me out of it. I cannot do anything on my power;
it is the grace of God that gives us that power to do these things. Moreover, one’s determination to excel is also a factor so when you are determined and you focus on what you do and not be distracted by what you see or hear; you have where you are going and you are focused on it, with time, you will get there.
The MEEZ Outreach has been a blessing to so many people since its inception; tell us the vision behind this outreach?
The vision is all about reaching the unreached. There are people that the enemy has battered their lives, they don’t even know why they are living, and the passion to rescue such people from such helpless condition is one of the reasons why the MEEZ Outreach was established.
There are people that cannot feed themselves, we help them and give them food, we also cloth them and also feed them with the word, encourage them and give them hope. A lot of them would come in here shoeless, and in the end, God turns their lives around. That is why the fame of this outreach has gone far and wide across the world.
People knew about the faith clinic from different parts of the world because God is changing the lives of so many people through this outreach. It is my passion to make people happy and wipe away their tears. And God has used me to wipe away tears. God has been helping me to touch the lives of these people. There are so many faith clinics but many people don’t know what faith clinic really means. It simply means faith in God, no medicine but faith in God solves the problems. So it is working to the glory of God.
As a woman how do you feel about the recent development in our nation where women and young girls are involved in suicide bombings in some parts of the country?
I don’t feel happy about it. It is a said development. However, I would say that we have the women to blame. Although some children don’t listen to their parents because they want to live their own lives but women should influence their children by inculcating positive values on them. When you have a child, influence that child with love and make that child understands that she is the best thing that has ever happened to you, if this is done, that child will not grow up with hatred. All those children that are involved in these bombings hate people, they don’t Love human beings how much more loving themselves, to them, life means nothing, ‘what is life afterall, lets end it.’
They were looking for care somewhere but that care was not coming, if you care for someone, such a person will lean on you. My counsel to our women is that they should take care of their children, create more time for them, let him know that you love them; bring them close so that no outsider can easily influence them. Let your child show you who the friend is, observe that friend of hers, if she is of a questionable character, tell your child, ‘I don’t like this friend of yours’.
On the other hand, mothers should influence their children with the little they can afford, give them what you can afford, give her something so that he will understand that her mom is trying and that she cares.
What is your godly counsel to Nigerians as a woman of God?
Well, I will beg Nigerians to go back to God. The fear of God is diminishing in Nigeria and in the whole world, people don’t fear God anylonger, where a man will marry a man and a woman will marry a woman, so what else are we talking about, there is no more fear of God but if we can go back to God and humble ourselves before him, we will receive his mercy, peace and riches shall be added to us.
It is better to fear God and humble yourself before him than to allow him to humble you because if God humbles you, you are in trouble, you have to humble yourself so that he can give you peace and riches; what else are you looking for if you have peace? So I urge Nigerians to go back to God, he will give us peace, if you have peace, you will live longer, so let us go back to him and ask him for mercy. Nigerians should go back and ask God for mercy that is the only way out.