(BY NGOZI ADIGHIBE)
How has it been planning this year’s DIVCCON?
We thank God for this year’s DIVCCON. It has been so tasking, but we thank God for His faithfulness. As you may know this is the 9th edition of DIVCCON, as the conference started in the year 2011. Every year, we have a theme and so far, we have had a series of themes that have been orchestrated by the Holy Spirit and inspired based on the happenings around us as a nation, as a people and as a Church. So, immediately the theme for this year was chosen, we swung into action.
We opened the website on the 1st of June and registration commenced. At the initial stage, registration was a bit slow that we became worried about the turnout of delegates this year, but along the line people started registering little by little and as at September, only about 4000 persons had registered. This was still worrisome, but gradually more persons registered and by early November, the number of delegates rose up to more than 7000 and more are still registering and can still register till the end of the conference.
The DIVCCON chairman instructed that the portal should remain open even throughout the conference. But, the challenge we have with this decision to stay open is that it will be difficult for us to collate the materials, because it will be difficult to know the number of delegates to prepare for and also, we would have to keep refreshing the portal to see the new registrations and keep printing new tags. As a result of this, I have had to stay as late 11pm at the office going through each of the Dioceses every day to ensure that the tags of those just registering are printed and sorted out daily. This is a challenge, because if the portal had been closed, we would print out the tags once and for all.
So, we would like to use this medium to encourage the delegates to register on time if they know they would be attending the conference, so that we can have enough time to collate the materials and ensure that they are ready before the Conference period. Nevertheless, the materials were ready for collection from the 5th of November and we thank God that 2019 DIVCCON is going to be a unique one, a special one with a difference, because God is going to move in the midst of His people.
We thank God for what He is using our leaders to do, especially the Primate of all Nigeria, who is the visioner and convener of this conference. He has never relented in his efforts, because he believes it is an opportunity to reach out to the people, both locally and internationally. This year, we have also invited an international figure to come and speak at the conference and people will be coming from within and outside Nigeria to come and witness this year’s conference.
Also, I must confess that the coordinator, the Most Rev. Tunde Adeleye is indeed a man of God, who puts his whole efforts towards ensuring that DIVCCON every year is a successful programme. So, all hands are on deck towards ensuring that this year’s conference will be better than the former ones and it will be so in Jesus name, Amen.
What is your impression about the theme for this year’s DIVCCON?
If you recall, last year’s theme was “I will restore”; because it was a time when Nigeria was preparing for its general elections and Christians believed and were praying that God would hear our prayers and give us leaders who would bring about a restoration in the country. And now after the elections, where the desires of the people were not met, especially with the increase in unemployment, insecurity, political unrest, poverty and hunger in the land, there is need to cry out to God who is our help. Because, in spite of all the challenges we face as a country and a people, God has remained faithful and has kept us going.
So, when selecting this year’s theme, we had to pray and God gave a direction and led the committee to select this theme, “O God our Help in Ages Past”. Therefore the theme is saying that the God who has been our God in times of hardship and been our God in times of surplus, will still be our God tomorrow and forever. He had been our help when things were okay and He will also be our help even now that things are difficult; He will continue to be our help.
In addition, at such a time when we as a Church are about to experience a new transition in the leadership of the Church of Nigeria, we are saying that God who has been with the Church till now will see us through and keep us thriving. He was faithful and did wonders all through the ten-year tenure of Primate Nicholas Okoh and He will remain faithful even through the ten-year tenure of the Primate-elect, Archbishop Henry Ndukuba. God will never forsake His own for He is ever faithful and so, we believe that He is our hope for years to come.