- ‘ Cases of rape rise to 84% in Nigeria’
- Dana air crash update: 23 aircrash victims’ families yet to receive compensation
- Mimiko inaugurates new Mother & Child hospital today
- N4.56b pension scam: Female accused hospitalised,trial stalled
- Construction workers hail FG’s decision on Lagos-Ibadan expressway
- Senate adjourns plenary for 1 week, dissolves to Appropriation committee.
- Blackout looms as Egbin power plant breaks down
- FMBN, NEXIM, BOA, IB lose N47bn in 6 months - CBN
- FirstBank wins Nigerian Bank of the Year award
- PDP tackles ACN over Tukur’s comments
- Electricity workers threaten strike over Wamakko
- ‘NDIC prosecuted 55 directors, staff of micro finance banks in 2011’
- Judgment in Oni’s appeal stalled, re-fixed for Jan 8
- Slain banker: Deceased had only 3 wounds -Accused’s father
- Appointments: S/West not marginalised —FCC
Rev. (Mrs) Feyisara Kevin-Israel, a trained bilingual secretary, is a missionary and President of Women of Vision International. In this interview with Modupe George, she speaks on how she left full-time practice as a secretary for missionary work, her mandate to train and empower women and other issues. Excerpts:
Did you ever have the premonition of working in the vineyard when you were young?
I have always been passionate about anything that has to do with God, right from the time I was young. I became a Sunday school teacher at a very tender age in the children department of my church. Whenever the children were not cooperating, I would be called upon to sing songs of praise for them and by the time I began to sing, they would all pay attention. I never thought I would be a preacher of the gospel, but I was ordained a Sunday school teacher immediately I passed out of primary six. One thing I also discovered about myself when I was growing up was that I'm always thrown into whatever I have to do. Call it strength or weakness on my part that is one thing I carried into the kingdom business.
Does that mean you resigned as secretary to give yourself fully into the missionary work?
I did not resign willfully from my last job. I was in the office one day and I heard a voice speak clearly to me, “you are losing this job and you are not going to get another one. At the United States Information Service (USIS) then, in spite of the certificate you had, experience really mattered to the management. The company wanted someone who was exposed and could carry out administrative work in the secretariat aspect effectively. I had all these qualities and they wanted to transfer me to Kaduna, but I told them that I would not be able to go, because my children were still very young and I couldn't leave them. But I was convinced of what I had heard. So, I was planning to withdraw my service.
When actually did you receive the call to be a missionary?
Before I got married in 1983, God had showed me the kind of man I was going to get married to, even before I met him. I knew what He was going to do. He was a pharmacy technician, working at University College Hospital. Not long after I got married to him, he was called into full time mission work and I promised to do everything to make him comfortable. But precisely in 1992, a call came that I had to fully give myself into the mission work too, and apart from what I was already doing with my husband, God said there was another assignment for me.
He said to me, go and stir up the grace that I have put in the women so that they can ignite the fire of God in the church, and when I said church, I am not talking about the building or denomination; I'm talking about the body of Christ.
What are the challenges of working together in the same field with your husband?
As we work together in the same field, we also work in different fields. However, when we work together sometimes, what I see may not be what he's seeing. I could feel, let's do what we have to do now, but my husband is not a 'now-now' person. He would want to take his time to think, dot all 'i's and cross all 't's, but for me, whatever we have to do, l believe it should be done now. So that has been the challenge.
So, how do you strike a balance?
God is really helping us. If we are not striking a balance, we would not have been able to work together and there would have been no results.
How has your background affected what you are doing today?
My background has really helped me. My parents were committed to the Anglican Communion and till my father died, he was a patron of the choir, and was also in-charge of the morning prayers. He would get to the church before anyone and open the scriptures. He did not expose us to negativity. He would show us what it was to have a good father at home. He didn't want us to wander on the streets and would show us every reason why he kept us indoors and he would always want to be a part of whatever we were doing. For instance, in my house, every Sunday was a party day. Our friends would come around to visit us. While the music was on, we would dance and he would spray us money. Also, prayers were very regular in our house. When I was made a Sunday school teacher, my father would encourage me and say; 'nothing is impossible.' Even when he had no money to send me to a higher institution, he once told me, “I believe in you.
I know you can reach the great heights that you desire. I know you can do it”, and these words kept me going.
Talking about 'Woman of Vision', what prompted you to bring women together?
Sometime in 1998, I discovered that I was passionate about prayers, and in the course of praying, God spoke to me and showed me different kinds of revelations about women. After some moments of waiting, God gave an instruction. He said, “Go and gather the women” and He gave me specific assignments.
(cuts in)…what are the assignments?
First, to gather the women to intercede for men of God. If you will agree with me, a lot of things are happening in churches today and servants of God have become targets of the enemy. Their homes and ministries are attacked and they die miserably or get frustrated doing the work of God. So, they need people that would stand in the gap for them. In
Ezekiel Chapter 14, verses 4-5, the Bible says, “Oh Israel, your prophets are like foxes in the desert. You have not gone up into the gaps to stand in battle on the day of the Lord....” So God told me: 'arise and stand in the gap.
Second, the Lord said: “Make these people come alive in power. Ignite God's resources in them so that there would be restoration of God's glory in the church.” When healing is no longer the children's bread in the church, we are not there yet. Revelations, prophecies, healing and deliverance should be the order of the day in the church because this is what would cause unbelievers to come to the church and learn more about God, but all these things are missing.
And so, God wants to reinstate women, like Deborah, to arise again and begin to do great exploits for Him and develop the total women, and that is what takes us into the rural areas, where He told us, “train their hands to work and their spirits to war”. So, when we gather them together, we train and empower them.
Have you been able to achieve this purpose?
God has really been helping us, both within and outside Nigeria. Here in Nigeria, we have mission fields where we gather, train and empower women. We were at a village called 'Onipe' in 2010, where we prayed to liberate it from siege and after which we did medical outreach for the villagers and gave them clothes.
Right now, we are building a cassava processing centre in the village.
Also, we've been to places like Sakete, Ikpinle and Idyoko all in Benin Republic.
In May 17-19, we had a conference where we taught them the word of God and they were impacted and many of the women were baptised in the Holy Ghost.
Also, we spoke to them about their homes; how to keep their homes and enlightened on them what they could do with crops like cassava through some practicals. At Ikpinle presently, we have a vocational centre were we have sewing and knitting machines. We would have been able to do more there, but for lack of funds, because the place is open and the people are always willing. And for the up-coming conference, people are coming from all these places to Nigeria.
How do you generate funds?
It's just been God. Members of Women of Vision and my friends who believe in the vision give their time and money and whatever I'm given during my ministrations goes into in the work. We do not really have a consistent support for the work.
What is your take on the general belief that women don't really have a place in the church?
It is lack of understanding and misinterpretation of the scriptures. There is nothing God does, either before or now, without women. From Genesis to Revelation, God makes it clear that He has something in mind He has designed women to do; to support, build and pull down and that is what God has been doing consistently. Judges Chapter 5 says: until Deborah arose, life ceases in all the villages. God saw in Deborah all he wanted to use to bring restoration to the land. If those who believe this saying are not reading the scriptures in isolation, they would realise that there had earlier been a problem in the Corinthian church where Paul said women should remain silent in the church. This is a church where we had a lot of people talking, so in an attempt to bring sanity and the wayward and unruly women under their men, Paul ordered that the women should remain silent in the church. When women are missing in the church, nothing goes on well. The major supporters of Jesus' ministry were women, even Paul, the Apostle.
Currently, most families have failed, what are the Women of Vision doing to restore the family to its original state?
In every programme that we organise, we give a central place to the home. We counsel the women on character, attitude and intercession, because the enemy is bent on causing division in the home.
What are you doing to inculcate morals in children?
We believe so much in praying this into the family, because a lot of things have gone wrong with the foundation. A leader that is not disciplined cannot train others. We should live exemplary lives so that our children can emulate us. Most times, the way a child lives life is determined by what he\she learns from his\her parents; that is just to tell you that most problems begin from the home, and until there is restoration of the family, the children cannot be put right.
Can you tell us a bit about your husband?
My husband is Reverend Adeniyi Kevin-Israel. He is a full-time missionary, especially to the FrancoPhone countries. He is a man with a deep sense of commitment to God and he is involved in the training of up-coming leaders.
How did you meet him and what attracted you to him?
We met in a Deeper Life church. Despite the fact that I love his person and physique, those were not what really got me attracted to him. God had spoken to me before he came.
What is the best you have received so far from him?
It is the privilege of expression. He has given me all the support that I need to be who God has called me to be.
Your children also…
The three of them are doing well to the glory of God.
What can you say about your up-coming conference?
It's the eight conference, and we are bringing people from Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Benin Republic and Nigeria. This year's theme is: Experiencing the Holy Spirit. People go through a lot working for God because they are not carrying Him along. We say a lot about the Holy Spirit, but our focus is on experiencing Him. The meeting is going to be power-packed. God has promised to release fresh grace and his people would have fresh experiences.
Is it only for women?
It is supposed to be for women, but over the years, we have men coming and they have been enjoying the meetings.