RCCG General Overseer, Pastor E. A Adeboye has revealed the story behind the Redemption Camp describing how God helped him and his team to overcome myriad of challenges on the Camp Ground.
How God Revealed Redemption Camp: We used to hold our Convention in a small building, and when it was full we were contented about the attendance. Later, we had to enlarge the place but by 1982 it was so full some people had to go home because there was nowhere for them to stay.
Attendance then was something in the neighborhood of about 3000 people, and that was full.
We needed a place, so we looked around the whole of Lagos, but didn’t find a suitable location. Then I called the group of pastors together; we sat down together, and prayed for 7 days with fasting, drinking only water in the evenings. During one of the sessions, God spoke and said, “I have prepared a camp ground for you and now that you have asked for it I will show you where it is. And within a couple of months, work began at the Redemption Camp.
When God chose the site of Redemption Camp: When the almighty God said to me that the current location of the Redemption Camp was where it should be, it was a jungle and headquarters of highway robbers, who were tormenting people on the expressway. We were offered four and half acres of land in this jungle filled with snakes of different species, but God insisted on the site.
People said to me then that we were crazy because it was far from Lagos; it was in the midst of a God-forsaken jungle; and there was no electricity or water supply anywhere near. But I allowed the one who knows tomorrow to order my steps.
Building the First Big Auditorium: Many years ago while we were building the first big auditorium at the Redemption Camp, we needed a lot of wood. We paid the government agency in charge of sawmills in Edo State, Nigeria, to have wood supplied to us. A few weeks before our convention, the agency decided to shut down all saw-mills in the state.
While pacing up and down asking God what to do, the Lord asked me what I knew about the kingdom of God. To me, this question was irrelevant and I wanted to say so, but I cautioned myself and began to say what I knew about His kingdom.
I said, “You must be born again to enter into the kingdom of God.’’
Then I said, “The kingdom of God is not meat or drink, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.” He agreed.
This continued until I exhausted all I could remember on the subject matter. Eventually, I said, “Since the days of John the Baptist, the kingdom of God suffereth violence, and the violent taketh it by force.”
Then He replied, “That is where we are going. Do you want your wood? Give me a violent offering.’’
That was on a Saturday. On Sunday, I shared this with members of the church and we gave a violent offering.
On Monday, the governor of Edo State dissolved the Governing Board of the agency and reconstituted another one which immediately reopened all the saw mills. On Tuesday, someone who had no money to give brought his trailer for us to use for as long as we wanted. On Wednesday, another person came to give us a bag of nails. Several other people also brought materials for the building. Within two weeks, the auditorium was ready all because I received an instruction from the Lord.
The instruction that will lead to a full recovery of your business shall be given to you this season. When you seek God’s face and He tells you what to do, don’t argue with Him; go ahead and obey Him and you will recover your losses. It is your recovery period this season!
The Burning Tree: In the early days of our stay at the Redemption Camp, some funny things happened. I was going for a prayer walk one night when Isawfireontopofatreewith the leaves burning; but the lower part was not burning.
What kind of strange thing is this, I wondered.
But the following morning, there was no sign of fire on that tree; the leaves were as green as ever. So, I told the people who are with me about the strange occurrence. They said that they had seen it but didn’t know how to tell me. They added that they even heard voices in the tree.
Then I said, “The tree goes today, we are going to cut it down.”
I called the young men among us and marched to the tree with cutlasses. Before they landed two or three cuts, some villagers had gathered.
They warned us, “If you cut down this tree, by tomorrow morning it will spring back up and those of you who cut it will die.”
I said, “No way; the tree must go down.”
I encouraged my boys go ahead. So we set to work and cut down the tree. It never sprung back up. They had said we were going to die but we are still here. The leader of the group is now an elder in the church.
The Birds’ Invasion: When we began to build the Redemption Camp in those early years, there were some trees that provided shade which I instructed the workers to preserve. Soon, some little birds came in their hundreds and thousands to perch on these trees. Whenever they descended on them, there would be no leaves left on the trees the following day. They were also very noisy. I often wondered if they
were demonic birds.
Some church members who had guns would fire shots at them but they refused to go away. Although some were hit by the bullets and dropped dead, the rest stayed on. At some point, it appeared that the more they were killed, the more they multiplied. The situation became unbearable. I therefore called on God to help us one morning. That evening, several eagles came and began to eat them up. Within hours, there was not a single one of them left.
God has not stopped using birds! If he needs to send birds to meet your needs, He will do so; but you need to show Him that you can serve Him with all He has given to you. How faithfully have you served God? To what extent can you risk your life and all He has given to you for His service?