was Sunday afternoon, December 13 2020, we were on our way to the Adeyipo
Village which was our selected venue for our annual Love Feast, the 14th
edition since we decided, in 2007, to bring together inhabitants of the
villages where we preach the Gospel, every second Sunday of the month.
are the we? the Immanuel College Chapel Mission Team, led by our Dean. This
year the Team leader was the new Dean, The Venerable Dr Isaac Olukayode Oyeneye,
assisted by the subdean, The Very Revd Joseph Ayodele, the Chaplain, the
Venerable E.B.B. Omowaye and the Assistant Chaplain, The Venerable Dr Lanre Babalola.
Everyone was wearing a mask, including non-clergy members. The Coronavirus,
that vicious fellow, had kept us away from villages since March, and although
our volunteer resident Village Assistants had reported no mysterious illness or
death, during the period,we were not going to take any chances.
of the known Covid-19 victims in the cities, who survived, had horror stories
to tell while relations of the dead ones were emotionally wrecked. So for days
we had fortified ourselves with prayers knowing that when you go on divine
assignment God will protect you, especially if you ask him, Matt 7:7; Acts 27:
21-25. Anyway we arrived at Adeyipo some two hours after departing the church
premises at Samonda Ibadan. It was a tough journey in our convoy of 3 buses as
the last rainy season had created so many gullies on the mostly untarred roads.
arena, the expansive premises of the African Rural Library of which Dr. Adebowale
is the Proprietor, was already brimming with people, young and old, singing
carols. Although we had sent word, days in advance, that the sitting
arrangement should observe the social distancing rule, it was ignored. Why? The
villagers insisted that COVID-19 had not reached and would never come to them, that
since our last outreach in March there had been no strange illness or death.
Therefore as far as they were concerned this “Koro” thing did not exist in
this point it became quite clear to us, the Ibadan Mission Team, that we were
confronted with profound ignorance of what Coronavirus is, and its
surreptitious, dangerous and destructive tactics. So as a starting point, the
Dean, the Venerable Dr Isaac Oyeneye thanked God for preserving the people
despite the Pandemic. He said God is the protector, the healer and the
preserver of His people and He would continue to do so. He however advised the
villagers to obey the rules, established by government and the agency
responsible for checking the spreading virus, saying that it is in everyone’s
interest to do so. These include washing of hands with soap, wearing of mask and
avoiding crowds because they facilitated the spread of the virus.
the Dean’s prayers and counseling, the Team members regrouped the villagers
into children, youth and adults, to allow for the free flow of air and thus
reduce the chances of viral circulation among them.
we swung into action unparking the heavy load of gifts in our 18 seater bus,
the biggest of the three. These include 10 50kilogramme bags of rice, noodles,
soft drinks, sweets and biscuits. A whole section of the venue was devoted to
the distribution of assorted clothing donated by the congregation of Jesus
House, Baltimore, United States of America.
atmosphere was festive. The children, who together constituted more than half
the village congregation, were ecstatic, seeing that the noodles, the soft
drinks and sweets would make a difference in their diet for another day or two.
They would certainly partake in the rice along with the older ones and their
the assorted clothing? They were a reminder that Christmas was just a week or
so ahead, a time of celebrations.
programme that has a beginning must have an end. But for the 100 village
communities represented at the 2020 Love Feast it was like this particular event
must go on forever even though, unlike previous years, we did not bring Father
Christmas along, to avoid the excitement and overcrowding that coronavirus
Subdean, The Very Revd Joseph Ayodele, ended it all with the closing prayer and
Benediction at 5:30p.m.