The Bishop of the Diocese of Nnewi (Anglican Communion), Rt. Rev. Ndubuisi Obi, last Sunday, at the Chapel of Hope, Medium Security Custodial Centre (MSCC), Nnewi, worshipped with over 20 prison inmates, where he confirmed them at a service.
In his sermon, the Bishop, who took his text from Acts 8:12-25, encouraged the worshippers to give their lives to Christ, which is the only means of receiving God’s gift, especially the Holy Spirit.
Noting that it is fundamental to receive Jesus Christ as the Lord and Saviour, Obi enumerated the works and benefits of the Holy Spirit and admonished believers to crave it. He said the Holy Spirit is important in the believer’s life, as without it, many things could not be right.
He said: “The Holy Spirit comes to the life of believers to stabilise and produce godly character (Acts 19:1ff). There is a big question mark, if the Holy Spirit is not in the life of someone who claims to be a believer. We need to come to the level, where we can invite the Holy Spirit into our lives to give us new sense of living. When we are determined to turn a new leaf, then, we can ask the Holy Spirit to come into our lives.
“The Holy Spirit helps believers to pray and intercedes for one another (Romans 8:26). If you are a believer and an inmate, you can still pray to God for others’ needs. You may be an inmate today, but you may be better than some who are not inmates. There are some people that are not in prison, but they lack security. You are better than them. Pray for such people…
“The Holy Spirit’s presence helps believers to discern God’s Will in their lives (John 16:13). The Holy Spirit will enable you to understand God’s Will for your life and you will be able to walk into your future.”
According to him, the Holy Spirit dwells permanently in a believer’s life and can stay there forever in the New Testament, unlike in the times of the Old Testament.
For those who think they can buy the Holy Spirit with money or academic credentials, Obi said only salvation in Christ could open the door for the Holy Spirit to come into people’s lives. He said: “The greatest decision one can make in this world is to surrender one’s heart to Christ, become born again and receive the Holy Spirit.”He enjoined them to give their lives to Christ, serve Him diligently and look unto God with patience while waiting for Christ’s glorious return.
In his welcome address presented by the MSCC’s officer in-charge, Assistant Controller of Corrections (ACC), Uche Uche Agwu, said the Bishop had played a prominent role in Nnewi Custodial Centre. He said since inception of the Centre in 2014, the Diocese of Nnewi (Anglican Communion) had supported it, both spiritually and materially.
He said: “The contributions of the Diocese of Nnewi (Anglican Communion) have been very commendable. The Diocese has always come with both cooked and uncooked food for the inmates. The sound word of God and prayers of the Bishop have been very soul-enriching and effective. The spiritual food given to the inmates has gone a long way in softening their hearts and making them feel remorseful, thereby making reformation and rehabilitation to thrive easily.”
He applauded the Bishop’s desire to build a Chapel inside the Centre, where the inmates will comfortably worship God, even as he commended Anglican Chaplain to Prisons and Hospitals’ effort, Rev. Kenechukwu Momah.
Agwu praised God for the survival and challenges of COVID-19, as well as #EndSARS protests and economic recession. He noted that MSCC had been adhering to the precautionary measures outlined by NCDC in the fight against COVID-19.
The Assistant Controller of Corrections, however, enumerated few challenges facing the centre, such as cell congestion and lack of workshop/vocational skill training centre for the inmates.
After confirmation, one of the inmates, who read the welcome address on behalf of others, appreciated Bishop’s prayers, love and care. Saying that the Bishop’s visit always brings comfort, peace and joy to them, he expressed other inmates’ joy at the Bishop’s visit.
He said: “… The regular visit of the Anglican Diocese of Nnewi has brought comfort to us, and we really appreciate the brand new 3900 SUMEC FIRMAN Generator donated to the Custodial Centre by St. Thomas Anglican Church, Otolo, Nnewi.”
Obi promised to begin the project at the Chapel site, as soon as he is through with what he’s doing presently. He also promised to delegate some Diocese legal officers to look into the bail terms and conditions, and see how they could be met for eligible inmates to receive such conditions. He presented bags of rice, beans, biscuit, malt, as well as soft drinks and promised to give cooked food to the inmates on Christmas Day and New Year.