InterviewReligion

Working For God Has Been Wonderful- Prophetess Elizabeth Olakanse

  she is a young lady in the lord’s vineyard happily married, vivacious, hospitable effervescent, she has been called to the ministry of God, where people of her age will be skeptical to dabble into, she also was hesitant ab initio, but the lord made her realize that she is destined to be servant of the lord, where she has been holding forth to the glory of God even though there are challenges which is surmountable with God. The View Magazine Editorial crew led by Moses Oyejola was with the prophetess and her spouse in their residence for an interview on various issues bordering on spiritual and physical, please read on.

Can we meet you?

My name is Evangelist Olakanse Yemisi Elizabeth

Can we know a little bit of your background?

I am from Ogun state, Abeokuta, Ifo local government, my dad is from Ogun state and my mum is from Osun state, Ifo local government, but I was born in Lagos, I schooled in Lagos and have my all my life in Lagos, by I travel home occasionally

What were you doing before you ventured into the ministry?

I was a teacher, I have had passion for teaching ever since I left secondary school so I went for NCE, I did my BSc afterwards, I was preparing for my degree when I started hearing messages that I should join the ministry although I wasn’t born in C & S, but I decided to wait until I got personal call from God, but until I got it, I kept teaching, I have gone to many churches, R.C.C.G, C.A.C and more, after  I decided to stop going to any church, I was doing my own personal service at home, there are many times that the spirit of God will take over me while praying and my husband told me that the spirit of lord will take me places, the last school I worked before i joined the ministry had many problems whilst  there the owner couldn’t pay the staffs for about a year but I didn’t leave the school, she was the one that introduced me to the C&S fold, she invited me for a program in her church, during the program, the spirit of the Lord took over me and the prophetess in the church gave me a message saying that the lord said the early the better so I replied that I will have to hear it myself, because I was confused since I wasn’t born into C&S, there is one of our fathers In the lord,he stays in Ikorodu, he also gave us a message saying, that God said that I am not meant to do any other job than Gods work and that if we didn’t adhere, God will attack my husband’s business, I started praying after the school where I was working folded up for what to do next, me and my husband ordered some goods to sale in our supermarket, and all the foods started to decay in the warehouse without expiring, I started to wonder what I should do, and my husband always told me that I should obey the lord and go into the ministry, so I went into fasting for confirmation and before I ended the fasting I had the dream, where I saw myself in the church of prophet Yaya at Ikorodu, in the dream the lord spoke through me to two people in the church, when I woke up I called him and he confirmed that the two people I saw in my dream where in his church and that what the lord told me in the dream was exactly what was wrong with them, I was shocked, the lord also told me in the dream to go into the work of lord, so the prophet advised me to go to the C&S church that I had gone to before and serve under the prophetess, I told the prophetess and she prayed to the Lord and confirmed from the lord, so I started to learn under her, I was resuming there every morning and was helping with anything concerning the church, I was under her for almost 6 years without salary, the lord promised me that he would tell me when the time is right for me to establish my own church, I thank God for the prophetess I served under, I learnt so much from her, I realized that the perception of the C&S church is quite different from the reality, in the Gospel of Matthew God said seek ye first the kingdom of God, which was what I was doing and I didn’t lack when I was serving, God made my husband prosper in his business, in year 2018, the ministry I was serving under, the prophetess decided to move further for the work of God, so the lord told me it was time to move away and start my own ministry, I and my husband were staying at Oke-Afa at that time, I was doing the work of the lord at our home, praying for people and doing God’s work, the lord has warned me however not to look towards the monetary aspect and I obeyed, then armed robbers started to attack our home, they came three times within a short period of months, so we moved here around Ikotun, it was God’s plan all along, for us to relocate, after relocating God told me to start a church, and He gave us directives to a land which we eventually used, when we got there, the owners of the land told me they had sold it but they would return the money of the original buyers, because they liked me, they sold the land to us even though we didn’t have the complete money, and then we started to look for the money, support started to come for different angles.

Since you have started in the ministry how has it been so far?

It has been wonderful, because the lord has made it very easy, I would just say thank you to God, there have been many difficulties, but God has been faithful, the first place was the place we wanted to use, the devil wanted to use some people to oppose the ministry, after a while these people became our friends, I am kind of person that believes that challenges is a part of life, when we got to the land that we leased for the church last year, someone came and she said she had some health issues, one day in church God ministered to her, that she shouldn’t look for solutions outside the church, but she didn’t listen, one day, I was at home and that great feeling came that something bad was happening, I went to church asked of her, I was told that she was unwell, at night, I was told that she had died, i was shocked, after she died, her brothers came up with trouble in attempt to disrupt our first harvest, I was worried because I really liked her, but God took control of the whole situation and we did the harvest successfully and they came and we reconciled

At the beginning of the interview, you mentioned that people have different perceptions about white garment churches, what is your take on that, as someone that God has called into the fold?

The C&S church is a wonderful church, the founder, St Moses Orimolade, although I was not there when he was called by God, through what we have read and heard about him, Baba never used any fetish thing he only prayed with the anointing oil ,water and healing takes place, sometimes even without oil and water, you know when you are far away it is easy to make assumptions that are wrong, although we have people doing the wrong things in C&S, that is not the nature of the church, right now the unification and all other bodies, like mama Esther Ajayi are trying to change the face of C&S, they are trying to fish out all those doing fetish things, we believe in the lord Jesus Christ, prayer and the spirit of the lord, the word of the lord is the most important, when I initially joined C&S that was my notion too, but when I got into the fold I discovered that it is another thing entirely, when I told my mum, she was opposing it, because she thought they were fetish, but now my mum worships with C & S, although there are other churches that does things because of several reasons but that is not the way the entire body of the C&S fold. The lord said in Matthew 16 :18, I will build my church and gates of hell shall not prevail over it. Some churches might misbehave but when the times comes, the lord will deal with them

Since you have had the conviction of going into the ministry your husband has been supportive, how have you been managing the family and the ministry together?

I bless God for the kind of husband he gave me he has been supportive from the start, he has been attending Celestial church, before we got married and that is why he encouraged me to obey God’s call, he has been a great support, we have both been in the ministry, managing the house and the work of God has not been easy I have some people who support me like my mum, anytime that I want to go to the mountain, they help to take care of the children, they make things much easier, God has been taking care of us so far, we don’t regret doing his work

Within the C&S fold they are different division, how has it been, how does all the divisions work together as one, now the leaders of the church are trying to make a unification, what effort has been put in place to make sure that the unification happens?

The separation has been existing for a while, the unification is making some efforts to make C&S one body, but as you know, Rome was not built in a day, the efforts are being made, I think it is going to take a lot of process and time, but our church is already under the unification, the other bodies are also large bodies, and these other bodies have different heads, we humans are different, what you see as red someone else may see as black, during general conference and prayers and all that we all come together, so I believe with time and process, if it pleases the lord, all the heads will come together, since we all have the same vision of working for Christ that Is the main thing, the church is meant to do the will of God to bring people into the kingdom of God, the head of the unification has been doing a lot of work

Nowadays any tom, dick and harry can just come up and say he has vision to establish a church, how do we distinguish the charlatans, how do we separate the shaft from the weeds?

The work of the ministry is not something one should dabble into without God’s calling, although they are some who do so, because of money or fame or any other reason but the work of the ministry is more than that, even the lord said that “let the weed and the shaft grow together, when the time comes, we will remove the weed form the shaft” the lord doesn’t even have problem with them establishing churches, but when the time comes, the anointing will speak, whoever has a call has anointing over his or her head and the lord will back anyone he calls, when it comes to a time, when challenges comes, the anointing will separate the ones called by God, ever since we started this church the majority of the tithe has been given out, we give the money out, when people come to pray sometimes I give money, when God calls you, you have that passion to save people, to make people feel good in the presence of God, to meet people need, most people are facing one challenge or the other, so we always endeavor to give out of the church purse, our secretary is here, he can attest to it, that is what we have been doing, the work of the ministry takes sacrifice, the like of Baba Adeboye has sacrificed a lot, a lot of sacrifice is needed in God’s work, but when you see those people who establish churches for their own gain you will notice it, the bible said by their fruit you shall know them, the work of the ministry means to minister to people in every aspect of life spiritually, financially and so on

There is an organization called OAIC, Organization of Aladura, many white garment churches belong to these organization, do you know about them?

 No, I am not, I am only familiar with the unification body and we go to their programs every first and last Wednesday of the month.

Based on everything you have said, you didn’t really fancy the ministerial work at the beginning but you now enjoy what you are doing, where do you see yourself in five years?

I believe the lord is taking me places and I now his covenant will come to pass in my life, so this church wouldhave other branches home and abroad I love to deal with youths especially, I love to show them the light of God, we need to quickly introduce Jesus to the youths of nowadays, so I keep praying for that grace, I like speaking about the love of God to any youth I meet, I believe by his grace in the future the church will have branches and we will appoint ministers to oversee them, once more I know the lord is taking me places and I am not in a hurry

The nation is facing a lot of challenges and it behooves on those who are called to provide support in term of prayers, what efforts are you making in your own capacity?

In our church, we always pray for the country in services we always set some few minutes to pray for the churches last Sunday, we prayed for our Christian brothers in Afghanistan and in the North, the holy spirit told us to increase the volume of our prayer, especially for the country and missionaries all over the world, who are facing hardships, also that is why I said because the nation is facing so many challenges we try in our little way to touch the life of people, not to put burden  on them, I have that compassion, I don’t like to bother people, I always think about  people, how can we help these people, because the frustration in this country is too much so it’s not right for us men and women of God to add more burden to the people around, we always try our best to help people as best as we can I always like when people give willingly not grudgingly, even the bible said, that giving grudgingly has no reward from God.

It is very rare for an Educated lady like yourself to choose to be a prophetess in C&S, others might prefer to be a pastor in Pentecostal churches, because most church leaders in C&S are not as educated as you are, what is your take about this?

(laughs) well, whatever we have is for the usage of the Lord, the Bible said in Romans 1 vs 28, that he takes the wisdom of men and makes it look foolish, so I thank God for my calling, it’s a privilege, to be called and be used by the almighty, sometimes people are surprised when they come looking for iya adura and they see me, they would be expecting an old woman, someone even asked me, why are you not in Pentecostal, I replied, no that this is where the lord has called me , if I don’t obey his calling, I might not function well in Pentecostal, we are not wiser than God, the lord already knows before i knew, even in the church I was before , they told me that God had told them that someone is coming like you.

There are Socio/Political problems against women as head of churches, and there are some politics that happen in and out of the church that affects churches, some governmental restrictions too against the church, how has it affected you personally?

About women being heads of churches, when Apostle Paul said woman should not speak in the church, different intellectuals wrote the bible, God has spoken through a lot of different people, even animals, when Paul made that statement, at the time, the exposure at that time was very different form now, then women were not given enough chance to be involved in things, so Paul wrote that from different perspective, the bible itself made me understand that in the beginning God created Man and Woman, he created them equally, and he gave them dominion, go and have dominion, it didn’t say that only man should have dominion, the bible also said that the woman should submit to the man when it comes to marriage and the bible said that to them that believe he gave power to become the sons of God, sons of God means men and women, if God himself puts his spirit over a woman, who is an ordinary man to challenge that, it pleases God to do that, and he moves in different dimensions., there are many women that God has been using like mummy Esther Ajayi, Joyce Meyer, there are many of them like that and they are functioning well.

About politics in the church, they are some of the challenges the church face especially large churches, but in our church we just started, and we are just about to celebrate our two-year anniversary, so for large churches withthis problems need wisdom, especially theirleaders, the Bible said in all our gathering we need wisdom, because one people cannot control the affairs of a church you always need people, you need the spirit of God to discern , among the people of the church you willalways have a Judas, so as a leader of the church, you just overlook them just as Jesus overlooked Judas, because he knew he was digging his own grave, although he was warning Judas occasionally, there is always a punishment for such kind of behavior.

There are some women that are head of a church or in the position that you are and they are not submissive to their husbands, how has it been in that aspect?

It is very wrong if a woman is called and she is not submissive, a woman has to be submissive to her husband whether you have a calling or not, a woman has to be submissive in marriage, if a woman is not submissive she can’t even handle a church, anywhere the lord has ordained a woman as the head, if she is not submissive, she will not stay long in that position, attitude and character is very important in the ministry, I pray God gives me more character, apart from anointing, your attitude brings people closer to God, when I first tell people about this ministry, they look at me as small and I don’t mind, there are some that we give them things and they still portray negative attitude.  Last year anniversary, some people who are supposed to support disappointed us and I keep telling people you cannot ridicule the work of the lord, if you don’t put your money God will bring those that will do it, it is a privilege to be called to do things for the lord, after the last anniversary some were shocked, they were surprised because they didn’t know that we have the capability to do it, but the lord surprised us, this year most of them came back and they were supporting without us asking, after they misbehaved, I didn’t send anybody away, I didn’t give anybody negative attitude,  so our attitude matters in Everything, and in the ministry especially, people try to annoy you, some view ministers of God as hungry people, but I just overlook and still do what the lords commands, some people will offend you and you will not feel like praying for them and the lord will hold it against you as a minister of God, anointing should not be used to destroy the lives of people, but to make them better, the calling is all about love, if a woman is being arrogant to her husbands because she is called, God will be angry, the bible says humble yourself in the presence of the almighty,anyone who doesn’t humble himself the lord will not lift up, pride goes before a fall whoever is proud will fall in the long run and the fall will be loud because people will always want proud people to fall. Me and my husband are friends we married each other as friends and we arestill friends, that friendship has made our marriage rosy, if my husband offends me and I tell him, he apologizes, and vice versa.

Was it love at first sight?

It was friendship at first then love came(laughs)

What is the essence of harvest?

 The church does harvest and anniversaries, one; to thank God for a year journey, each year, to thank God for how far he has brought the church the Bible said it is not power or might but by the spirit, the work of the ministry is very complicated,  it is the spirit of the lord that is giving us the grace, we cannot give  money, but that harvest day is to appreciate what God has been doing in our lives, members of the church come and thank God for whatever they have, during the harvest people come to enjoy then grace of the lord, harvest is a time, when you reap after sowing, though the lord has been blessing us but that day God comes down mightily to bless us and people will appreciate God, because David has always appreciated God, after he won a battle he killed a lot of animals to thank God and when we human being appreciate God he comes down mightily and blesses us more, he opens a portal for us and takes the ministry to a greater dimension, Harvests and anniversary is not peculiar to white garment churches alone, but the way we do it in white garment churches is much more elaborate, harvest is just like thanksgiving day

There are some churches that have healing schools where they teach people how to pray, go in trance, perform miracles and other things, what do you have to say in that respect, should someone be called before going into ministry or can people just go to the school and established a church after graduation?

From the little knowledge I have, sometimes I observed the calling of Babalola and Orimolade, those men were not educated, but the spirit of the lord used them mightily and the anointing drags people to them and in their ministry men were following, even Jesus didn’t go to the school of deliverance, it is the spirit of the lord that will work through the minister not school of anything, if people go to a bible school because they want to acquire some more knowledge it is not bad, but deliverance school, different people just behave anyhow because they want to deceive  people and people also want to be deceived, the bible said the world is full of darkness, and people love darkness more than light, I don’t give room for indiscipline and mayhem, you have to be trained and guided by the spirit if you want to start delivering messages, because some people have destroyed so many lives through messages, some churches set school of healing and deliverance, basically they teach them word of God and prayer, anything more than that is not right.

What are your expectations for the upcoming harvest and what should people expect?

I expect people to come and celebrate with us first, then in our harvest there is a time when we do bazaar, you just have fun in the presence of God and gain spiritually, there are spiritual incentive that people take home and we are doing revival from Friday on the day of the harvest we are expecting people to come in have fun and worship God

Finally, what is your advice to the nation and the youths since you said you like ministering to them?

(laughs) my advice to the country, I will first plead with the leaders that they should rule the country with compassion and the fear of God and they should meet the needs of the less-privileged and those Nigerians that are in need right now, because that is what the lord himself supports, as a leader, during your tenure you should relieve people of their pain, the bible has asked us to pray for our leaders, because the lord has put them there whether Good or bad, the only thing we can do is to pray for them, I keep praying for Nigeria that God should take control, and for the youths, I will say be patient and be ready to serve, if you don’t serve, honor will not come, every youths should not be lazy, this time is your prime, you should be hardworking, go to school or learn a trade, pursue your dream, talent and don’t giveup, keep pushing and you will get there.

For the minsters of God, I will advise the ministers of God not to let their shepherd down, becausethe work of the ministry is so challenging, the minsters of God are like lights that people don’t take important but when people need them, they run to them, they should not look at people’s character, even the lord Jesus was crucified after all he did for the people. We should love people as Jesus loved us as people’s spiritual fathers and mothers? Love is powerful, that love from Godin our heart should touch the life of people around us.

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