By Fred Latimore Oghenesivbe – in Jordan
Chairman of Delta State Pilgrims and Welfare Board, Archbishop Cyril Odutemu, has appealed to Christians, especially those currently on pilgrimage in the holy land of Jordan, to intensify prayers for God, to give Delta another reliable and committed governor like Senator Dr Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa.
He made the appeal while addressing pilgrims near Prophet Elijah’s town of Tall Mar Elias, saying that the incumbent governor, Senator Okowa, has laid solid foundation for spiritual revival in governance through open display of total commitments and partnership with Churches in the state.
Odutemu, who is also the leader of the Delta State pilgrims in the holy land of Jordan, said the spiritual realm controls the physical, which is why Christians and Spiritual leaders in the state must consistently place demand on God in prayers, for Him to give Delta another man of valour as Okowa’s successor in 2023.
He urged pilgrims to remain steadfast in prayers for Nigeria and Delta State, saying that the country is experiencing serious challenges which requires divine intervention; especially problems of insecurity and high rate of unemployment currently inflicting untold pains and on the people
“We need to pray more than ever before for God, to give Delta another committed governor like Senator Dr Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, who I dare to describe as a faithful partner with God.
“Okowa has been able to lay solid spiritual foundation in governance and it is very important for the body of Christ in the state, to work closely with him in prayers.
“It will be dangerous and suicidal for us as Christians to pitch tent with somebody who is not genuinely grounded and rooted in Christ. We must therefore go on our kneels in prayers to make this happen for Deltans.
“Our governor has substantially restored spiritual revival in governance, and we must do well to remember him, his family and other leaders of our state in prayers even as we seek the face of God in this holy land of Jordan,” Odutemu said.
Delta pilgrims on Friday September 3, were in Gedara, where one of the miracles of Jesus took place, usually referred to as casting of the demons or the Gadarean swine. The demons shouted “have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?” (Mathew 8:29).
Gedara was one of the most brilliant ancient Greco-Roman cities of the Decapolis, and according to the Bible, it was were Jesus cast out the Devil from two mad men into a herd of pigs (Mathew 8:28-34).
Pilgrims saw River Jabbok, where biblical Jacob crossed on his way to Canaan, after leaving Harran. It leads West into the Sukkot Valley, from where one crosses over the Jordan and can easily reach Shechem, as Jacob eventually did. River Jabbok is first mentioned in book of Genesis in connection with the meeting of Jacob and Esau, and with the struggle of Jacob with the Angel (Numbers 21:24).
The pilgrims had a view of both the City of Galilee domiciled in Israel on the one hand, and the country of Syria, from Gedara in Jordan.
A special service was conducted at the old Church site near the boundary between Israel and Jordan, presided over by Archbishop Jonathan Arhawarien, the leader of group 5 of 40 pilgrims.
At the Gadarean holy church site, pilgrims prayed targeted prayers for Nigeria, Delta State, Governor Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa and his family, members of the state executive council, the judiciary, legislature and for Deltans. The main Church building is no more but the pillars erected over one thousand years ago are still intact.
From Gedara through River Jabbok (Jacob River), Delta pilgrims got to the ancient city of Tall Mar Elias which is associated with Prophet Elijah. It is believed that this place was formerly known as Tishbi, the home of Elijah, a native of Gilias in Transjordan (2 Kings 17:1). This is the place where Prophet Elijah, performed a remarkable miracle by calling down fire to consume his enemies.
At the ancient Catholic Church in Tall Mar Elias, a candle light service was conducted by a Catholic priest. Pilgrims prayed on Candles and placed them on the altar till the last flame goes out.
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