2017: Done and Dusted


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1. OUR JOURNEY 
It is not about the newness of a year, it doesn’t excite me. It is about the timing and what we were able to do with it. It is a change of figure, a reminder that while you can put yourself on hold, you cannot put the time on hold. The time is not material, it is not something we can control but we can control how we maximize each given moment. Like it or not, the time continues to move, it doesn’t wait for us, it has no pity for laziness and it has been designed to keep moving without consideration.

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Like every other year, 2017 came with so much expectation, some had thought they chased away 2016 and all its evil with burning tires, some had thought they prayed themselves out of the mess they went into in 2016 and some felt as long as it was new year, it had some goodies for them. They failed to realize there was nothing new about the New Year; it was just a completion of the earth’s rotation round the sun but the same old world. Those who slept leaving issues unattended woke up to still see those issues; the old year didn’t disappear with it. Only number changed and nothing more. Whatever we had left undone the previous year followed us into the new year, our debtors were still our debtors, our enemies didn’t die, life didn’t change and the once upon a time new year even had to get old in a matter of days.

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Personally, I entered into 2017 with so many things in mind. I had beautiful plans of what to do with my life and how to make the best use of time. I remember I was in Dominion City praying, I had no other place to go because my choicest place of crossing over moved to Onitsha Stadium and it wasn’t comfortable for me as the information also came very late. I wasn’t just praying, I was also thinking of the things I couldn’t get in 2016 and why I couldn’t get it. I was thinking of just so many things and suddenly the Pastor announced it is New Year! People picked up their phones struggling to be the first to text their families even while shaking their heads in prayers. Phone beeps kept sounding everywhere like siren as good wishes came in their numbers and I thought “only if we truly maintain the momentum throughout the year”, it would be better. I know I received no Happy New year wish at that moment, I didn’t bother sending too because I had no airtime and couldn’t afford one. But that night, I was crying as I prayed, I was crying because I felt like I didn’t do much, I felt like the year left empty and I was determined never to let 2017 be that way. What I felt I had achieved in 2016 was what many people were praying to achieve but I knew I would have achieved much more if I made good use of my time regardless of the discomforts and attacks I was battling with.

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I left Dominion City around 2am, I was walking on the road lost in thoughts and I said to myself, this New Year will be my year of doing more. I had always weighed my annual success by how many souls I won, how many lives I impacted and if I was able to multiply my resources.

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Well, we started the year having in mind a picture of doing the extraordinary, at some points the momentum with which we started reduced. I thought I would make so much money but at the end I realized I made money anyway but did very wrong investments and unnecessary charity works. 2017 had a share of my mistakes but it happens to be my best year so far. I wouldn’t be able to write the chronicles of 2017 but I can confidently say it was the best of my years so far even though it would have been better, I sure know that.

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In 2017, I met awesome people who improved my life in various ways, I had opportunity to serve the Lord in a greater capacity and I had the opportunity to coach, teach and mentor people like I had never done before. 2017 was a bigger year for me as we started a vision God conceived in our heart a long time ago “House of Vasileia”, God also led me to a vision I was designed to be part of. I remember I was strongly searching for a Church where I would serve, it was obvious that where I was at that point in time I won’t be able to serve to the capacity God wanted me to and He orchestrated that I meet Rev. Uzor Jonathan who became my Pastor afterwards and He planted me in the vision known as WORDSPRING GOSPEL AND WORSHIP CENTER. Since then, life had taken a different shape with addition to people God kept sending my way. I remember someone asking me recently “do you really find your place in WORDSPRING?” as at the time of typing this, we are still reconciling from the trouble that question had caused because I was mad with it even though I would have just answered “yes” and save the stress. WORDSPRING was not just a choice I made, it was a place I got convinced to be part of, something that usually don’t happen to me.

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In 2017, I broke out of the fear of engaging myself in a serious relationship. In so many years, I had avoided it even though I talk a lot about it but 2017 seemed to be a testing time for me. It wasn’t easy trying to find the special person that makes up that space I had always reserved, I had become more matured and I experienced people differently. I wouldn’t say I had successfully worked it out but I am glad in 2017 I had broken that fear and had allowed my strength to be tested so that I can know what to work on and areas to improve. I can still remember meeting someone, thinking we had something together and running the next minute asking myself how I almost got myself in that mess, it was a scary experience and also a funny one whenever it plays out on my mind.

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I have seen how God brings destiny helpers our way, some of them come in the form of disciples, some come in the form of elders, some come in the form of friends but when we kicked off House of Vasileia, an unusual kind of ministry that everyone has suspected to be a subtle way of starting up another denomination, God gave us people who would run with this vision. Some served their purpose and became silent, those who were meant to remain with us remained and truly it has been an opportunity to build me up.

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In 2017, I wouldn’t claim I had done so well with my clients. I served some, I disappointed some and some simply misunderstood me. However, I am glad that I was able to raise people after me from the scratch that can do graphic designs, web designs and other basic ICT jobs and I hope to brush them up in the coming year. They don’t know how much of a privilege I had found it to coach them. They paid me nothing but it made me better, it also made me realize there were people who believed in me and would take a bullet for me.

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In 2017, our online ministry didn’t fold up, it continued. To be frank, I had not known how much lives I had touched this year until recently. How many? Many! I remember sometime ago, I was discussing with some of my friends and I said to them “there is too much noise on the social media; I am considering taking a break from it by next year. I will be very offline most of the time”. I had always known my internet ministry is blessing lives, I had recorded tremendous testimonies this year and other years but at some point I was thinking maybe I had to quit the social media for a very long time. Well, God never inspired that thought. 

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I had stamped it that in 2018, I wouldn’t be spending time on the social media, I had known my decision was going to affect my internet ministry but I felt at the same time I can also win souls offline. Well, God wants me to win them from both sides. Something happened and I resolved “I am not leaving the social media, this people need me”.

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I was browsing through the internet when I bumped into an article credited to me, I also received a notification from a friend that she just came across an article that ended with #Gracefuleve but looked like my writing, when I checked, it was my article that someone else has stolen and even credited to herself. I decided to search the internet using my signature and I discovered so many people in their hundreds are reposting, sharing and copy-pasting my articles with or without credit. These people ranged from Igbos, Hausas, Yorubas and various other parts of Nigeria and beyond. I was amazed at how my signature #GracefulGeorge has been spreading at least locally. I looked at people’s comment on various articles I had written and realized how much God has used us to do on the Social Media.

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I also know how many messages I had kept receiving from people concerning what the Lord did in their lives through my articles. One told me it was my video teaching that inspired her to take a giant step, another started manifesting the gift of the Holy Spirit after reading my article on the Holy Spirit plus many more tremendous testimonies. It wasn’t an opportunity to think highly of myself, it was an opportunity to see that God can use us anywhere if we allow Him to.

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I was faced with temptations, so many of them! As a young person, you keep getting temptations that centers on what it seems your body needs most and some of them almost got me. I remember been faced with temptations of doing what wasn’t supposed just to get certain funds, I also remember being tempted by a homosexual, it was very easy to knock it off because I couldn’t imagine myself having an affair with a fellow male but I was also faced with temptations from several women including married ones, some came with extra offers and pressure. I felt it would be a betrayal of the trust of my future wife, my unborn children and even myself to engage in such a thing, sincerely speaking I didn’t overcome it in a jiffy because I was trying to take it easy but at a time I realized it was the devil playing his usual tricks. I am not telling this story to get at anyone, I had moved on and some of the persons involved regretted their actions, had sleepless nights and overcame the guilt, they are born again and as perfect as Jesus. I only recounted my experiences this year.

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2. APPRECIATION

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I lost friends, some people stopped talking to me, some started hating me, some stopped believing in me but the good news is, God brought people my way! If I should start mentioning names, it would mean writing a book but I want to write down about some people whom God had blessed me, this is exclusively the leaders and partners of House of Vasileia.

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I wish to appreciate Miracle Okoye, he saw the future of House of Vasileia years back and he believed in it. The way he got himself into it was amazing as people would wonder, is George paying them?

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Let me talk briefly about Kate Mahakwe. She is a darling in whom I am well pleased, I had met her only 2 times but it seemed as though we had known for life. She became part of House of Vasileia online, we scheduled a meeting at Port Harcourt and it was an amazing meeting. I saw in her a sweet soul, I loved her then and I still do. At our Partners and Leaders Conference (Vision for Kings), she came all the way from Port Harcourt Onitsha to be a part of it. In spite of the distance, Kate has been an encouragement.

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Ifunanya Atuchukwu has been an amazing woman, I remember she left Port Harcourt as soon as she graduated just to be part of what we were doing, her committed wowed me. Ifunanya has been committed not just to House of Vasileia but to my personal life. God brought Ifunanya to me, it was obvious. I also appreciate her friendship; I remember attending an event in Lagos with her, leaving all she was doing to follow me touched my heart.

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Miracle Chime started believing in what God was doing with me right before she met me, I remember the day she entered YAC office to greet me and since then she has never thought of leaving me, Miracle Chime has been a blessing to me personally. No matter how I rebuke her, Miracle would always stick to me and I had loved her for that virtue.

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Esther Nnaji came after we had Queens Hangout, I loved her at first sight and I loved her more when she showed me what she was doing, from that day till date, Esther is someone I know isn’t giving up anytime. I love her sincerity and her questions. Sometimes, she would ask questions and others might even laugh at her but her questions always force me to study more so that I can meet up with her taste for knowledge. 

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Izzylight Emmanuel is a comic saxophonist who came around me this year, I had met him so many times in the past but I never knew there would be something holding us together in the future but he believed in me and gave me an opportunity to serve him as a coach, it have always been a blessed moment with him. Izzy is a very humble fellow whose humility can even annoy an onlooker.

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Ndubuisi Orji came at a time he was needed, I didn’t call him, God just brought him to me and in him I saw a young man who had given up on the world and religion and gave in entirely to Jesus, I saw in him a man ready for more and I see myself committing something bigger for him in due time. Ndubuisi is a brother I love dearly for his selfless commitment and zeal. 

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Nzube Obianwo has followed me right from 2013 as I served in the YAC ministry, I have always seen her in my future and she has been there always regardless of all odds. At the commencement of our meetings, Nzube had been an encouragement; although she is a very busy person she has shown what it means to be a part of something.

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I appreciate the role Wisdom Oruche had played in my life; she has made quality contributions spiritually, materially and emotionally. I remember the day we met, the problems we solved together and the things she had helped me do, this year I made quality friends and if Wisdom isn’t counted, other can’t be counted. The best word to describe it is “she is an answered prayer”. At times when it seemed I am standing alone it is always her that remains standing with me. I am a hard nut to crack, a very difficult person to be with but she endures the most of me out of everyone I had met because she happens to be the closest person around.

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Owoh Chinny is a goal getter, from the day she joined in the vision she has been very supportive. In fact, she has been the most supportive member of House of Vasileia from the day she joined. Regardless of her schedules and distance, she would always want to be part of what we are doing. She was the major reason why we started online fellowships and when I count my blessings, I name her as one. 

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I also appreciate numerous others including Chidimma Nwofor, a woman who doesn’t joke with me. Right from YAC, Chidimma has been committed to my personal life and answers me anytime I need her. Infinity Linus who I first met through the social media and she became part of what we are doing, she is a strong woman who at times would call me to seek my opinion in serious issues, she won my heart with her sincerity. If I should start mentioning the names of everyone in HOV, it would be a very long list and if it was possible I would have done that. Everyone God has brought to House of Vasiliea has been a blessing to me and the body in General.

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I also wish to appreciate all the friends and partners of House of Vasileia including, Ogechi Faith who has been there all the time, Dara A’Darah who believes in what we are doing, Uzoigwe Nwamaka who has been a support to me since last year, Pastor Victor Daniels a friend and brother, Princess Ejezie whose didn’t say no when we called, Pastor Don Success who I loved at first sight, Pastor Elochukwu Udegbunam a man I so much believe in, Pastor Patricks Favour, a man of God with a golden heart, a father and a leader so many young people looks up to and the numerous others I might not be able to mention.

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2017 was a test run of what 2018 is and the great thing is that we have seen 2018; we have finished 2018 and 2018 is a success. I have one thing that has been boiling in my heart as the year kept drawing to a close and it was “Souls, Souls and more Souls”. In 2018 we are burdened with more responsibilities, to engage in pragmatic soul winning and to take the gospel to the nook and crannies of the street. This is not just my desire; it is God’s heart beat. I am no longer comfortable with getting ourselves locked up in a building, enjoying ourselves and overlooking the need to spread Jesus into every corner. 2018 is our year of FOCUS, REACH OUT & BUILDING.

You are marked for greatness.

-George O.N-

House of Vasileia

#GracefulGeorge

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