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The chinese bamboo

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The Chinese Bamboo 

The very first time I heard about the Chinese bamboo was many years ago while I was watching a film of one of my hero of all time Jackie Chan. I may not be able to place it precisely right now, but it should be one of the three “Rush Hour” films, where Jackie Chan stared along side with Chris Talker. In this particular scene these two great actors were chased by some people and they were cornered on a very tall construction site and there was no way of escape for the two. The only way out was to jump from the very tall height and hold on to the bamboo that was used as scaffolding on the construction site. Not thinking twice because of the threat of death on their lives they both jumped and hold on to the bamboo, as the two cascade down with the bamboo bending so much, Chris talker (a black African American) thought the bamboo was going to break so he was about to let go but his partner Jackie Chan said no don’t lose your grip it’s a Chinese Bamboo it is not going to break. That was the first time I heard about a Chinese Bamboo.

After the first time I heard about the Chinese Bamboo, I never bother myself to find out further what a Chinese Bamboo is until recently. I worked over night and close from office very early in the morning, I was driving home when I switched on my car radio only to hear the concluding part of an ongoing program that someone was talking about Chinese bamboo. I did not get what the gist was about Chinese Bamboo, so out of curiosity, when I got home and was about to rest the issue of the Chinese bamboo popped up in my mind again, so I got up and picked up my phone and started to surf the internet to know more about the Chinese Bamboo.

Sure when things like this happen to me I know that something very important is in it for me and am about to share with you what I discovered.

I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved

And the Lord answered me, and said, write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that reads it.

For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. (Habakkuk 2:1-5)

These few verses of Habakkuk chapter 2 tells a lot about the story of Chinese bamboo. I discovered that farmer that deals in Chinese bamboo are one of the patient farmers in the world. When a farmer planted a seed of Chinese bamboo, the farmer will have to wait for another six years for a harvest.

For the farmer to wait for six years before harvest is not the problem here, but the fact that the farmer will wait for good five years without any prove that he had planted something, yet the farmer still have to weed around the place he planted the seed, water the planted seed and even have to fertilize the seed without having any prove that he planted something.

When a Chinese bamboo is planted, it will not spout to the surface at all until after five years. It takes a special inner strength to go through this process; this is faith as stated in Hebrew 11:1 now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, for these farmers to wait for five years without any prove and still not give up is a special grace.

Twenty one years ago in the ancient city of Ibadan in Oyo state (international gospel center, Ojo) there was a land mark gathering of eagles (drama ministers). After the first gathering, all drama ministers were advised to go back home and look at how drama ministers can come together under one umbrella and form one front as we work towards the total depopulation of the kingdom of darkness through the instrumentality of Christian drama.

Towards the end of the same year 1996, there was another gathering of Christian drama ministers in the same massive hall of international gospel centre Ibadan, Oyo state, were different Christian drama ministers associations relinquished their allegiances to form a common front ANCEDRAM. Finally, we have the coming together of the generals; the devil is in trouble, the end has come to the works of the devil and all his agents. I was residing in Ilorin, Kwara State then and as teenager I came with my superiors like Evangelist Mike Shola Agboola, Evangelist Ken Kunle Rotimi (the president of Shalom Evangelical Drama Ministry, SHEDRAM of Glory Chapel international Church then) and many others under the then Kwara State Association of Christian Drama Minister. We all came back home with a new name, a brand new association, we came home with new vigor, enthusiasm, strength, faith, joy and readiness to utterly destroy the kingdom of darkness, we were ready to take the land for the Lord.

I remember with fond memories of the outreach to Sabaja Isin village, it was a great exploit for the lord. I recall that after the outreach there was no vehicle to convened us from the village back to the state capital Ilorin, and we have to travel the distance between Sabaja Isin and Oke onigbin on foot!, carrying the power generating set and the loud speakers on our head, taking turns to carry it with so much joy in the Lord, I recollect how late Bro Remi Oloninisi took his turn to carry the power generating set and Bro Niyi saying things like “orun mi dun ke” (my neck sounded ke), when he tries to carry the power generating set. I also recollect how Bro Moses warned brethren earlier in the day before the journey from Sabaja isin to Oke onigbin that we should eat very well for the journey is far, not knowing he was prophesying about the vehicle that will not be available. It was all joy and the momentum was high, hoping that in no time there will be few or no more unbelievers on street.

Twenty one years after, the Chinese bamboo is yet to sprout despite all the earlier hopes and promises.

In 1998, I came to Lagos where I quickly joined the brethren, it was during the tenure of our reliable chairman; Ambassador Johnson Adeyoyin (Kamaja), the former national secretary and former national president, the fire of drama outreach was so much.

Before I joined my church Bible Believers’ Church Ministries drama group (the bezalel), I joined the state Drama Unit, a coming together of Christian drama generals from different drama ministries to present drama ministrations that gave devastating blows to the kingdom of darkness. There was a serious bonding among these God's generals that we accomplished even the impossibilities. I remember days when these God's generals will give up their most priced possessions for the work of the kingdom, I also recall travelling all the way from Kano to Lagos just because I don't want to miss the D Unit (as I fondly call the drama unit of Lagos ANCEDRAM) meetings and I returned to Kano the next day immediately after the meeting which was all night. What about my wonderful Sis Wunmi (then Jokotoye now Olaitan the best treasurer ever), Pastor Diran Ajayi, Sis Toyin (then ifemade Now Adigun, small stature but with a faith bigger than a mountain), Bro Taiwo Afolabi (powerful man of GODRAM), Pastor Mike Popoola, Sister Enitan Archer, Sis Kenny Emla (my own blood sister), Bro Conrad Decker, Bro Vincent, Bro Layiwola Ipadeola (one time Lagos state Chairman), Sis Deborah Ogunmisi (now Ipadeola), Bro Toyin, Bro Jerry Oye Ayinla, Mummy and Baba Okon Cletus, Sis Cecilia, Sis Taiwo Joseph, later on Sis Ireti Igbekele (now Afolahan), Bro Biodun Adekeye, Bro Bayo and Bro Sola (both of Kosofe Baptist Church) this is but to mention very few of these wonderful generals of Christ. I remember Drama Ministrations like The Vision is Dying, The Masters Plan, Towards the Mark of the High Calling, The X-ray and so many others.

There were days we have to travel on bus, motorcycle, canoe, on foot all in one day at night before we could reach venue of ministrations and we did all these with so much Joy. There were days that we went to drama night of some ministries and we minister before some other ministries and every other ministries refuse to minister because it like we have preached all the messages and nothing more to do and almost spoiling the day for the host ministry. There was a day when we were about to start our ministration that a snake came into church and almost destroyed the day, we almost let go of the ministration but our God took control. I must not fail to mention days we embark on projects that are practically bigger than us like “In His Presence” where we first presented “Towards The Mark Of The High Calling” or when we put together the “Masters Plan” at Metro Cinema at Onipanu, it was clear to us that we don’t have the money to execute such programs even when brethren have giving all they have, but we trusted our God and He never disappointed us not even for once. There were days we were sent out of our meeting place in the middle of the night but God kept us, there were days police arrested us and we slept in police cell, His love kept us, there were times our family members were harassed and arrested by the police even locked up in kiri kiri prison because of some costume we kept at home and police found it and called us criminals but we enjoyed all these for the love of Christ. With so much passion we went through all these with believe, that soon very soon there will be no unbelievers again around us.

Twenty years after, the Chinese bamboo is yet to sprout despite all the earlier hopes and promises.

Drama ministers all around the country within their own area are working and laboring in the vine yards with their own challenges, and years later it's like we are not seeing the reward of our labour, is it time to give up this fight? Is it time to look elsewhere, is God not on our side again?, how can we keep doing all these and nothing is working, even the word of God said it is proper for a labourer to have a reward for his labour, what happened to the promise that one will chase one thousand and two will chase ten thousand, is the Bible no longer true? Sincerely, drama ministers, are we on the right part? This was not what our fathers told us when ANCEDRAM started; this was not the promise when we came into the ministry.

To the Chinese bamboo story, the farmer planted the seed and for five years he did not give up despite the fact that there were no sign that he was doing anything, he refuse to give up, he never fail to weed around the place the seeds were planted years back, he never fail to apply fertilizer and he never fail to water the seed, he kept working it, he kept the faith in what he was doing and in the fifth year for the very first time the seed sprouted. The farmer started seeing the sign that it seems this thing is working.

The miracle of six weeks then happened. The seed that was planted for five years and nothing was happening started growing and in six weeks, it grew as tall as ninety (90) feet. First year nothing happened, second year nothing happened, third year nothing happened, and fourth year nothing happened, not until the fifty year and in six weeks it grew 90 feet tall.

The Lord said write down the vision so that whoever reads it can run with it, not all Israelites that left Egypt made it to the promise land, the journey took about forty years and for one reason or the other a lot of them did not made it to the promise land but you know what the vision about the promise land, how the Israelites will live in it, how the land will be shared has been written down for all to see, everyone know what rightfully belongs to who, even Caleb at some point said this mountain has been allocated to me forty years ago when I was just forty five years old, I may be old now but my hands are still strong as forty years ago to chase out who ever is occupying the land now.

Whether we like it or not, if we keep dreaming and embarking on projects either circular or in the vineyard, a day is coming that we will have to leave some mission half way through, and the survivors of such missions now depends on if we actually write it down properly or not.

We may be working now and it seems we are not getting the reward expected, the Lord said don’t give up, for the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. Brethren we may not be seeing the ANCEDRAM we want to see in Lagos twenty years after we have been working it, don’t give up! keep working it!, like the Chinese bamboo farmer keep watering it, keep weeding around it, don’t stop applying the fertilizer, it may look as if the vision is not sprouting now, but by the time it will, it will grow like a Chinese bamboo will grow 90 foots in six weeks.

When the Israelites marched against the walls of Jericho the first day and nothing happened they never gave up, they continued the second day, the third day till the last day and on the last day they went round it the first time, the second, the third time, they did not give up they did not say to one another that this vision is impossible, they did not say these instructions are stupid, why will someone say we should march round a wall as big as this so that we can pull it down, but they stick to the instruction that was written down, they ran with it, they keep to the instruction. What is it that you are going through and it is like you are not making progress even with the clear cut and specific instruction that the Lord gave to you, please don’t give up on God because am very sure he will not give up on you, He is able to do all that He promised, stick to His plan, He owns the heaven and the earth, He knows all things. When the result will come, it will be like the six weeks of the Chinese bamboo.

Do you want a lasting testimony? A testimony that is strong and powerful, the Chinese bamboo in its first five years was taking root and forming it system to be strong, it was so strong that it can bear the weight of both Jackie Chan and Chris Talker without breaking, don’t forget that for five years, it was forming without anybody not even the farmer that planted it seeing it. You want an Isaac's testimony, or you want a testimony in the class of Samuel, you want the John the Baptist kind of testimony, it takes process, it takes time, it does not just happened over-night, you have to write down the vision and follow through every one of the instructions.

For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

Generals in the vineyard of the Lord in ANCEDRAM, it is not time to rest or lay down the tools, it is actually the time for us to roll up our sleeves and set for more works, it does not matter what you have done in the past, now is the time to work more, we may not see the result physically now but just like the Chinese bamboo is taking proper root strong enough to support the height it will gain in six weeks of surface growth. If this vision did not take proper root when the storms come, it may not be able to stand it, ANCEDRAM is actually taking proper root in preparation for the flight ahead.

God bless you and congratulations to all members of ANCEDRAM Lagos State as we celebrate twenty years of the association in Lagos and the thirteen State congress. LONG LIVE LAGOS STATE, LONG LIVE ANCEDRAM.

ANCEDRAM!!! Drama Army! 

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Posted by Olumuyiwa Adeyeye

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