It was American author, Dan Pearce, who said, “People love to say, ‘I love that person even though…’ But let’s be honest. Genuine love is never followed with the words ‘even though”. The word ‘even though’ depicts the existence of reservation even as we try everything possible to mask it.
In the face of political and socio-economic differences in multi ethnic and religious entities like Nigeria, only a pretender will submit that we truly love ourselves without reservations. Some schools of thought suggest that we do lack genuine love and have merely been tolerating ourselves.
All over the world, it has been different stories of humanitarian crises. And according to the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, about 68.5 million children, women and men are currently displaced by spiraling crises around the world. The Agency equally posited that every 2 seconds someone was uprooted and forced to flee due to violence, conflict or persecution around the world.
In recent times, Africa with our country Nigeria has been plagued by all manner of humanitarian crises. Now entering its ninth year, the crisis in North-East Nigeria has created vulnerabilities and humanitarian concerns, since the first Boko Haram insurgency in 2009. While scaled-up and fast response by aid groups and the Government helped avert the threat of famine in 2017, food insecurity and malnutrition remain high owing to the depredation of the conflict. An estimated 7.7 million people are in acute need of protection and assistance. The conflict in the Lake Chad Basin has displaced around 2.2 million people; 1.6 million in Nigeria’s NorthEast alone. Hundreds of thousands of Nigerians have fled to neighbouring Chad, Cameroon and Niger. Sexual violence, including rape, is a defining characteristic of the ongoing conflict, with 6 out of 10 women in the northeast having experienced one or more forms of gender-based violence (GBV).
It is believed that if we tried to provide some forms of care no matter how infinitesimal, that the effects of these crises on Africans would have been very minimal. The question is: Do we genuinely love our fellow Africans especially children, women and men affected by these crises? Or are we now immune to their feelings and welfare because of the frequency of outbreak of crisis? Crisis can erupt in the East, West, North or South, just anywhere in the world regardless of race, tribe or tongue.
The international humanitarian system has made significant progress towards greater coherence in response coordination, learning from past responses to large-scale disasters.
But Prophet T.B. Joshua believes that genuine love is the only tonic needed to achieve greater change in Nigeria and around the world.
The General Overseer of the Synagogue Church of All Nations said that genuine love certainly does not discriminate against background, class or ethnicity. And if just as low as 30% of Nigerians show genuine love and concern, that unimaginable change can and will be experienced not only in solving humanitarian crises but in other areas of our national life.
In the words of Prophet T.B. Joshua, “Looking the other way when your brother is in need is equal to rejecting God Himself”. He said that when we see our contribution to others no matter how infinitesimal as an assignment from God, that is when our contribution can solve problems. Some weeks ago in one of his sermons, he explained that nobody prays for earthquakes, typhoons, fire outbreaks, insurgency or flooding and they can come without warning causing irreplaceable loss of lives, extreme damage to infrastructure and displacement of communities. He posited that the effects of the aforementioned can be cushioned by our showing genuine love to those affected by providing essential relief in the areas needed most, including healthcare, shelter and foodstuff.
In line with his summation on the extension of genuine love, Prophet T.B. Joshua and the Emmanuel TV team of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, have at different times in various locations across the globe provided succour to people who were affected by natural disasters, flooding, fire outbreaks and most recently victims of insurgency.
Across Africa, Prophet T.B. Joshua and the Emmanuel TV team have over time reached out to all sectors of the society, including prisons and correctional facilities. In the prisons, they have donated different materials in order to maintain hygienic and safe environment thereby assisting in the prisons’ mission of rehabilitation and reformation. Relentless in the mission of spreading genuine love, they have visited hospitals across the continent with messages of hope to patients and provided them with materials, equipment and even ambulances to aid movement in emergency situations.
Our findings showed that Prophet T.B. Joshua and his team have equally contributed to the maintenance of law and order in different countries. They have assisted in the provision of brand new operational vehicles, motorcycles, helmets, reflective jackets and other security gadgets to the local police.
Inspired and driven by genuine love, the Prophet with his team of evangelists, pastors, lawyers, teachers, engineers, doctors, nurses, entrepreneurs and others has continued to sacrifice time, effort, finances, knowledge and everything they can muster in their mission of love.
In the North Eastern part of Nigeria, there are thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) seeking refuge as they flee from the violence that has engulfed much of that part of the country, largely due to the activities of Boko Haram. With their homes reduced to rubbles, their workplaces deserted and their relatives among the casualties of the crises, young and old alike from conflict zones are gathered in IDP camps. They never planned for such as most escaped with only the clothes on their backs. They needed to be shown genuine love in the form of medical attention, foodstuff, proper shelter and messages of hope. Government alone cannot effectively provide all these but our little efforts can go a long way to ameliorate their plight.
Seeing the plight of these innocent victims, T.B. Joshua and the Emmanuel TV team did not look the other way. They have at different times demonstrated genuine love in their visits to the affected areas; they have donated food items, clothes, and drugs and equally provided money for clinics to address the rampant sicknesses in the camps which were major concerns. In their bid to bring comfort to those affected by insurgency and civil unrest, the Emmanuel TV team travels to far Northern states of Nigeria including Borno, Jos, Adamawa, Kaduna, Abuja, Yobe and other places. T.B. Joshua personally leads the team in loading the trailers with thousands of relief materials in readiness for the humanitarian mission and they reach out to underprivileged communities hardest hit by the harsh conditions of lack and loss.
We can submit that wherever you find Prophet T.B. Joshua and his Emmanuel TV team, there is a need being met, a problem being solved, a skill being developed, a family being reconciled and a life being transformed.
It has been an unprecedented and a revolutionary story of genuine love that overcomes obstacles, transforms communities and rewrites histories. It goes to show that genuine love truly has a language that transcends all languages, distances and barriers and our nation can indeed witness the desired change if we imbibe the spirit of love as being demonstrated by the Prophet and his team. Let’s begin to see our lives as solutions to people in need.
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