by Kolapo Olapoju
Founder of Synagogue Church of all Nations (SCOAN), Prophet T.B. Joshua is under the eye of the storm and public opinion seems to be swaying against him.
Ever since the afternoon of Friday, 12 September, when an hotel building within the premises of his church came crumbling down, Joshua and his church have remained under the radar.
There’s a current disaffection from the South Africans, who lost 84 of their citizens in the building collapse, amd there are accusations coming from several angles, insinuating that he used the dead victims as human sacrifice, claims which have plunged his name and reputation is into murky waters.
There’s also the tape published by journalist, Nicholas Ibekwe, where Joshua was heard gifting reporters N750,000 and telling them what to write, More recently, his methods, teachings and doctrine has come under question, with many coming forward to allege that Joshua’s miracles are fake and staged.
Below are a five seperate accounts of such cases:
Michael French, the Cameroonian suffering from Diabetes.
Michael French, a 45 years old Cameroonian suffering from acute Diabetes traveled from Cameroon for more than 13 hours by road, while constantly stooling and urinating throughout the journey. He arrived in Lagos late at night, and was compelled to pass the night at the park.
When he got to the church very early the next morning, he was hopeful and full of excitement, believing he’d get his miracle. After the Sunday school service, Joshua mounted the podium and began praying for sick people.
French says, “I prayed so hard to be the first to receive the healing. I wanted to tell the world what God has done for me through the prophet. But l didn’t get to give my testimony that day. l didn’t receive any sign of healing. So many people came out to give testimonies of their healing and I envied them, but I prayed and hoped that my own healing would come, perhaps on the second day.”
“As usual, l was there early alongside my sister the following day. We had carried everything we had saved for this trip. We believed so much that God would settle us that second day. We went there the second day and it was the same thing, a few others received their healing, but l still didn’t get any. By the third day, I became worried because I was running out of money.”
“I called Cameroun for money to be sent, but l didn’t received any alert. We were still spending money on accommodation, feeding and by then, our faith which was aflame when we entered into Nigeria began to die fast just as our pockets were draining fast.”
“It got to a point when all we had was our transport fare back to Cameroun; we approached the church, but they couldn’t help to sustain our stay. We were so sad and left Lagos utterly disappointed. I prayed to God for help to survive the long journey back to Cameroun so that I can manage my health just like l was advised by the doctor in the first place. I came to Nigeria because l was told l would be healed; l would say that l spent the worst one week of my life in Nigeria and l didn’t receive what l came for.”
Awele, the 37-year-old breast cancer patient
Awele, a 37-year-old mother based in Lagos, had breast cancer. After series of tests, she was told that her breasts would have to be cut off or she would die in eight months. This took her to Synagogue, in search of a miracle.
“On visiting Prophet Joshua’s church I was directed to see any of the four Wise-men. (Saturday Vanguard last week wrote about the ‘four wise-men’ ). After discussing my case with the Wise men, I observed there were three other similar cases involving two men and one other woman. We were all kept in a room. Few days after, we were not attended to and I insisted on seeing the prophet himself. But after three days, instead of the prophet, it was one of the wise-men that visited us and nothing was done.”
“About the fourth day of our stay in the church, we noticed that one of us died, we screamed for help, and when the members came, all they did was to take away the lifeless body of the man; we didn’t know what happened to him again. Not even a single word of prayer was said in our presence for the guy. The man didn’t return to the room, but his luggage was still there. Two days later, they visited the room again to check on us as they usually did that period. We asked after the man’s whereabouts and we were told that he had been healed and had left.”
“I sensed a lie because the man’s luggage was still with us and the man was taken away lifeless. So, if he was healed, he would have returned to pick his luggage and would have given testimony of the miracle. But we never saw him again. All this while, we were feeding ourselves while waiting to be touched by the servants of the Lord.”
“Again, after a few days, one of us who complained of feeling very bad the previous night died the following morning. We shouted for help, like we had done in the previous case. The church members came to see what the problem was and took the lifeless body of this man away. They didn’t return to tell us what had happened to the man, just like they did in the last case. But l knew that the man had died, as his body was very cold. I felt that the story would be like the previous one, so, I waited for their next visit. When they visited again, I asked the whereabouts of the man they took away. They said that the man had gone home because he had been healed.”
“So, l asked the impossible question. “Why didn’t they come back for their belongings when they got healed?” Perhaps they didn’t believe that we would ever remember to ask because they were not prepared hence they were caught off-balance. They claimed the church had made provision for them to go home with new clothes, so, they did not need their old luggage.
“There, l made up my mind to leave the Synagogue as soon as possible because there appeared not to be hope. I felt they were only waiting for us to die so that they could do away with our bodies. To me, I was convinced that the so- called miracle thing going on there is a big fraud. I have decided to live my life as though it was the last because surely my end is near as I was told by my doctors. I don’t understand why some pastors claim to heal people when they can’t heal anybody.”
Awele went back to the hospital for the breast surgery. She did not live to witness the collapse of Pastor TB Joshua’s hostel building two weeks ago. She died at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital shortly after the surgery.”
The man in search of financial empowerment
Another unidentified man tell his story as thus: “It all started when I came to Lagos in search of financial empowerment. I was advised to go to Synagogue Church and that the man of God there empowers people financially. One month later, I came in contact with the prophet. I was told to drink the green water and go home.”
“When I got home, I started experiencing some strange things at home. I didn’t know what they were until I slept off. I saw the man in my dream and in a way, I was initiated and I started seeing strange things. I couldn’t explain everything I saw but I knew I was initiated. Then, I left everything, family and came to the church.
I lived in the church for more than one year but there was nothing like empowerment. I was working as a cleaner.”
“One year after, I was told to leave the church environment, that my services were no longer needed. I did not know what was wrong. I left and went back to my family. It was when I got home that my father told me how they had been into intercessory prayers for my restoration, that I was initiated and lost my mind.”
The boy with the swollen penis
There is also the case of the woman with a son who had a swollen penis. Out of desperation, she relocated to Ikotun, and even got an apartment in the area, with the intention of getting to see Prophet T.B Joshua, but alas, her efforts were in vain, as her son eventually died.
“A friend told me about prophet T.B Joshua in 2010 when my late son had swollen penis. He suffered for two years before I went to T.B Joshua. I took my son there and after a while, I was given a card to see the prophet. I was among several other people who were having problems. In the deliverance and miracle section, the ailments were categorised into different parts, so, you were expected to go to your deliverance section.”
“It was very tough before we could see the man. And because of the state of my son, we had to rent an apartment in the area so that we could keep close contact.
At about the time, there were about100 people waiting to see the prophet, yet we could not see the prophet after three months. I was helpless but I held on and believed that once I saw the man, everything would be fine. Everyday, my son was groaning in pains and we were not financially buoyant. So, we wanted to see the man at all cost so that my son would be healed.”
“One the day, my son was asked to come for the deliverance, we came as early as 5am. I was anxiously waiting for the man, but he didn’t show up until 4pm. He was accompanied by his press crew and other people in his ministry. Ï saw the man, he saw my son, but he didn’t lay hands on my son. Ï called on him desperately but he ignored me and my son. Someone close to him said to me: it seems the prophet wasn’t directed to heal my son. I was perplexed and asked why. But he later told me to come the next month. Perhaps, God will direct him to heal my son. I was disappointed and went back home.”
“The next month, I went back to the church but to my surprise, I was asked to start the process of seeing the prophet all over again. I was devastated, I did not know what to do. At that time, my son’s condition had deteriorated. He shrunk and paled. I cried for help but nobody heard me. A man told me to go and buy the anointing water and give my son. I bought the anointing water and gave it to him but nothing happened. Instead of my son to be healed, he was getting worse by the day.”
“At that time, there was nobody to help me. I tried all I could to get to the man, all to no avail. Then, I went back home and started praying to God to save my son. Unfortunately, the boy died after two weeks. Since, then, I have decided not to go back to that man’s church because there’s nothing called miracle there. What you see are all stage-managed miracles.”
Mrs Ruth, the woman with the mountain experience
“I was invited by my sister in-law in the year 2011 to Synagogue church for healing and deliverance when I was having some problems which I would not like to tell you. So, when I got to the church, I was told that mothers whose children were below six years were not allowed to sit in the main church auditorium with their children. Their reason was that since the program was always a live-broadcast, they would not like children to distract the camera men. They keep mothers and their kids at a separate place. If your kid is above six, they will register him/her to Children Sunday School. So, that very day, I went with my little daughter to the church. When we got to the church after observing all the protocols, we were kept with other mothers. So, suddenly, one of the wise men came to us and said that the man of God wanted to see all the nursing mothers and therefore, he ordered that all of us should be brought into the main church auditorium. When we came in, we were told to kneel at the alter for a prayer session.”
“While the prayer was going on, I fell under the power of anointing. After the prayer session, they came to all of us that fell during the prayer session and said that we would be going to the mountain for deliverance. We were all booked for the mountain, when I told my sister in-law who invited me for the program, she congratulated me for being lucky saying that as far as I was scheduled to go to the mountain, all my problems had been solved. On that day, we assembled at the church premises where the bus came to take us to the mountain located in Agodo, Ikotun, area of Lagos state. The rule while going to the mountain was that, “you do not talk to each other when you get to the mountain.”
“The mountain is a riverside area just like a very long street. There were so many animals in the river. There were huts constructed with planks where people that came for deliverance at the mountain including the man of God stay. I asked them why did they choose this kind of place as the mountain, they said that was the place the man of God first stepped his foot when he was fasting to build the Church. Right there, we were asked to pick a red piece of paper which was passed round to others present. On the piece of paper, some quotations from the Holy Bible were written on it and you will be asked to pick your choice for prayer. You will also be asked to buy the Holy water which goes for N5,000 and pray with it and it ends there. I did not get any deliverance, neither was there any miraculous changes on the issues that took me there.”
Mrs Ruth also talked on the experience of her brother, a pastor based in Norway.
“My brother who is a Redeemed Pastor, based in Norway with his family, has his two children, his son and daughter, deaf and dumb right from birth. The man being ignorant of the procedures for seeing the man of God, flew into the country with his family with the hope of seeing the man of God for a miracle, but he was told he could not see the man of God since he did not get any reply to his mails.”
“So, they were asked to go back and keep sending mails until they get a reply. The man went back and kept sending mails to see the man of God. When they eventually got the nod to come, they did not go with the kids.The wife was scheduled to go to the mountain as well, but after going through all these processes of mountain and anointed water, the children still remained the same, nothing changed in any of them.”