We started with 70 teams of 3 brothers each in January 1997. They had to be equipped with the Holy Wine, Holy Water, Holy Handkerchiefs, Blessing certificates as well as bicycles, bush lanterns and megaphones to enable them to cover remote villages effectively. We developed a lecture on rural hygiene and AIDS as a foundation for presenting the Blessing. Because poor hygiene and AIDS kill thousands of poor Nigerians, the Blessing is presented as a powerful antidote to both.
How to feed team members, how to accommodate them and how to transport them were some of the difficulties that had to be overcome, particularly in the rural areas. In some states, local people were initially suspicious and as a result, several team members were arrested. However, all of our members in the country were focused on giving pre-Blessings, doing conditions such as 120 bows every morning and making strong prayer conditions to protect the work of the Blessing teams. Al of our movement's resources were used exclusively for the Blessing providence. To make limited funds stretch as far as possible, we continually tried to whittle down the costs. From an initial cost of $1.50 to $2.00 12 months ago, we gradually reduced the cost to 10 cents per coupe, and it is now less than one cent per couple. This means that each donation of $1,000 now makes it possible to bless more than 100,000 couples.
Eventually, our members became well known for their blessings and the villagers looked forward to their visits. In one incident, several village chiefs argued with each other over who should receive the blessing team first. Also a number of local government officials leant the team members their cars and even government personnel so the teams could move faster from village to village and be introduced to the local chief by a familiar government official.
A key factor in the success of the teams was the cooperation with local ministers and newly blessed members who began to give the Blessing themselves. Inthat way one member sometimes had 10, 20 or even 30 new members on his team doing blessings each day. Periodically, the teams met for training in giving the blessing and for verification that team members were following the correct procedure.
But by far the most important factor was the mobilization of the spiritual world. Intense prayer, challenging conditions and harsh living conditions helped make team members and their surrounding spiritual world very desperate. Visions, dreams and miracles were commonplace as thousands were led to the blessing by spiritual guidance. It is clearly a time of the outpouring of God's spirit on the earth.
As a result of this intense spiritual activity, fully a third or more
of monogamous couples in Nigeria have been blessed. Our goal in the next
blessing is to bless the rest of the couples. That must include the Moslem
northern states which, until now, have not been as receptive as the Christian
southern states. But it is simply a matter of time and the intense and desperate
work of brothers and sisters and of heaven.
(You can contact Michael Kiely at FFWPU, PO Box 1615, Spring Valley, NY 10977)