Our Personality for this week is Apostle Michael Oyibo Asiwe, General Overseer, Door of Faith Mission Inc. He will be marking his 70th year birthday and consecration as a bishop on the 20th of April 2019.
Apostle Asiwe, soft spoken cleric in this interview asserts that his enthusiasm and good health result from his good relationship with God, his love for his wife, and service to humanity. He shares his encounter with God and how he became a pastor.
May we meet you?
I am Apostle Michael Oyibo Asiwe, a native of Idumuesah in Ika North East Local Government Area of Delta State. I am the last child of my parents, born on the 23rd of March 1949 at Idumuesah. My parents, Mr. and Mrs. Nkeke Asiwe were great and successful farmers.
At the age of 9, I left Idumuesah for Umuaja in Ukwani Local Government Area to stay with Mr. Palmer Inneh of blessed memory, with the intention of being able to go to school.
Was that aim of furthering your education achieved?
Partially, I would say. I was admitted into Catholic School in Umutu in present day Ukwani Local Government Area where I obtained my First School Leaving Certificate (FSLC) in the year 1963.
Did you further your education after that?
I never acquired further education after that, staying with Mr. Inneh. In fact, in the year 1966, I was sent to Sapele to learn driving. Then, I was 17 years old. After a period of six months, I was asked to provide money for apprenticeship, and I was sent back to Mr. Inneh at Umuaja. Few days after, he sent me home, saying that himself and the company have done enough without benefitting anything from my service to them.
Do you in any way regret your stay with Mr. Inneh?
Not at all. I believe God knows why such fate befell me and He has a purpose for it. According to the bible, in any situation you find yourselves, give thanks to God.
What happened thereafter?
After I returned to my people, few months later, my father, Mr. Vincent Asiwe took me to Madam Faith Akpede to work as a sales manager in her beer parlour. That was in 1967. I stayed there for four years, and in 1971, I ventured into the sales of trouser materials, which I did for several years.
On the 23rd of March, 1976, I gave my life to God. Though I was the last child of my parents, I became the first to become a born again Christian.
How is it like turning a new leaf?
It was not easy, but it is profiting. When you are willing to surrender your life to God, you must let go of the old way of life. The Bible tells us that; “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, old things have passed away and all things have become new.”
There must be the temptation of going back to the old way, but if you are really determined, God will give you the grace to stand. When you fully surrender to God, you will gradually come to see the joy, peace and comfort in it. It is a wonderful experience. That is all we need to have true happiness.
Apostle Michael Oyibo Asiwe, did you immediately become a pastor after you surrendered to God in 1976?
No. I got to know Christ through a young girl who invited me to attend Scripture Union (SU) one fateful Sunday afternoon. Then, the SU was at Ohen’s residence, Morka Street. I accepted the invitation and went with a friend, late Sunday Biose who got converted before me. It was Thursday Bible Study. My bones were broken after I heard the day’s message. I was truly blessed and touched by the speaker who ministered. That was how I got converted. That was the 23rd of March 1976.
That same year, the Lord directed us the newly converts to our first Church after conversion; Church of God Mission (CGM) at Charles Burr Primary School, Agbor.
I started taking active parts in Scripture Union, I sang in crusades, revivals, camp meetings and other social events. I joined the choir at Church of God Mission led by Elder Onyebuchi and Elder Okuegbe in 1977. Later on, with the power and grace in me, I was able to raise a singing group with so many of our brethren including my wife, Hon. Stephen Eghen, Brother Peter Nwanne and other indigenes of Idumuesah community in it. We sang in marriage ceremonies and other functions.
I also engaged in morning cry and street evangelism with my brethren like Pastor Ehigiator, now with Deeper Life Bible Church and Evang. Joseph Agboifo. These two brothers were my best interpreters in the morning cry, which we doing every week.
My activities and commitment increased and I gradually became more involved and rooted in the things of God and I was a Bible teacher at the Scripture Union, I joined the Evangelism group, the C.G.M choir, Soul Winning Group, Sunday School Teaching Group and Visitation Group.
Though, involved in all these, I was not willing to become a pastor, but rather to support the work of God the best way I could. But then, in 1978, I started having similar recurring dreams. In my dreams, I would see a man putting on the vestments of a Reverend Father appearing to me, and whenever he did, people would start chasing me, then suddenly I would see myself flying. Also, I would see myself in a big compound preaching Christ and Heaven to a group of people.
On the 16th of May, 1982, after a serious committee meeting with elders and ministers at night, at Church of God Mission, I had a dream where I saw Pastor Kumuyi appear to me and told me that he had prayed for me, and that I should also pray for myself. He also prayed for me in that dream and asked me to see him off, which I did. But half way, he disappeared.
Less than a week after, Brother Gabriel Keonyegwaehi appeared to me in my dream and called me by my name, telling me he knew that I was looking for water and asked me to follow him. He took me to a big tree with a tap and opened the tap. Then he said to me, “This is where you will be getting your water whenever you are thirsty.” Then he asked me to close the tap, which I did and it exploded. Water started gushing out through every part of the tree. He repeated what he earlier told me that I would be getting my water from there and disappeared.
Also in my dreams, God showed me all I needed to know about my calling and about the ministry.
So, you left Church of God Mission to fulfill this mandate?
Yes. The calling came repeatedly and the mission was clear. It was to start up a church, Door of Faith Mission. My greatest joy is that I did not quarrel with anyone before leaving Church of God Mission.
Apostle Michael Oyibo Asiwe, when exactly was Door of Faith founded?
Door of Faith Mission was founded in 1986.
Are there other positions, certificates and awards you have acquired over the years?
I attended All Nation Bible College, Benin City in 1986, Full House School of Mission, an Extension of New Covenant Theological Seminary in the United States of America (USA) in 1996, Delta Bible Training Centre Living Word Mission Nigeria in 1999 and New Dimension Seminaries Int’l in 2012.
I was Chairman, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Boji Boji, Owa Unit for 8years. I am also Chairman, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Ika North East. I am State Adviser to God’s Ambassadors Ministries Network and State Adviser to Christian Community Platform.
Tell us Apostle Asiwe,about your wife and how she has assisted you in all of these?
My lovely wife is Kate from Ogboi’s family in Idumuesah. We have been married for 45 years now and are blessed with children and grandchildren.
She has been a very supportive wife. She understands me so well and appreciates my calling. I involve her in all I do, and her contributions have been so great.
Being in marriage for 45 years even with the high rate of divorce everywhere, what’s the secret?
The secret of a successful marriage is nothing but establishing good and cordial relationship with God. The couple also should love and respect each other. The husband should be faithful to his wife and the wife should be submissive to her husband. When these are lacking in marriage, there is bound to be challenges that may lead to divorce.
They should be sincere to each other and acknowledge the presence of God in their marriage. It is also advisable that the would-be couple should attain a certain stage of maturity before plunging into marriage. Maturity will make them to be able to tolerate certain things and have mutual understanding of each other instead of involving a third party in their matrimonial affairs.
What has kept you strong and agile, even at the age of 70?
Interesting, a happy marriage and the fear of God have been keeping me at peace and healthy. Clean and settled mind works far better than medication. I feel great and healthy at 70.
What is your philosophy of life?
Life is simple. It is what you take it to be. As you make your bed, so you lie on it. So, put God first in everything you do, and be your brother’s keeper. When you do these, life becomes smooth and pleasant for you.
Your perception about life is uncommon?
Yes. This is because I tap from the very source of wisdom, which is God Himself. I also have spiritual fathers whose steps I appreciate and follow.
Apostle Asiwe, who are these spiritual fathers?
Late Bishop Benson Idahosa, Bishop Kingsley Enakirerhi who will be one of the officiating ministers in my forthcoming birthday and consecration as a bishop and many others. These people have done a lot to touch lives spiritually and otherwise, and you will richly be blessed by God.
In what ways have you replicated your mentors’ benevolence in Ika land?
I have contributed to the growth and development of Ika land through the gospel. I have trained so many men of God who are pastors, bishops, reverends, and General Overseas of Churches across the nation. I also engage some pastors in my branches, including those I employ to assist them, and they are all well taken care of. I have by this helped in reducing the rate of unemployment in the society and in winning souls for the kingdom of God.
When is your birthday and consecration?
The event comes up on 20th April, 2019.
What is your general advice to Christians?
Christians should be committed to the work of God. Matthew 6: 33 states; “seek ye first the kingdom of God and every other thing shall be added unto you.”
Congratulations Apostle Michael Oyibo Asiwe, on your 70th birthday and consecration as a Bishop, and thank you for your time.