MERCY the aspect of God’s love that causes Him to help the miserable, just as grace is the aspect of His love that moves Him to forgive the guilty. Those who are miserable may be so either because of breaking God’s law or because of circumstances beyond their control. God shows compassion toward those who have broken His law (Dan. 9:9; 1 Tim. 1:13, 16), although such mercy is selective, demonstrating that it is not deserved (Rom. 9:14- 18). God’s mercy on the miserable extends beyond punishment that is withheld (Eph. 2:4-6). Withheld punishment keeps us from hell, but it does not get us into heaven. God’s mercy is greater than this. God also shows mercy by actively helping those who are miserable due to circumstances beyond their control. We see this aspect of mercy especially in the life of our Lord Jesus. He Healed blind men (Matt. 9:27-31; 20:29-34) and lepers (Luke 17:11-19). These acts of healing grew out of his attitude of compassion and mercy. Finally, because God is merciful. He expects His children to be merciful (Matt.5:7; James 1:27).
“Jesus, you carried me out of my mess and into your mercy. Jesus, you carried me out of my prison and out of my chains, out of my burdens and into your mercy. You carried me out of my worry and out of my pain, out of my fears and into your mercy. Lord you brought me out of my past and out of my shame, out of my mourning and into your mercy. I’ve got stains that nothing I try can get out. My God, I’m free because you carried me out of it and into your mercy. Right now I feel little. My Jesus is bigger than anything I could ever do, his love and his mercy are so much more extravagant than the shame that I could bring on myself and sit in. He erased it with his life so I no longer have to sit in it. His grace drowns it all out.” “Have you ever found yourself in a mess because you prematurely ask God for a blessing? Sometimes we allow the enemy to manipulate our emotions and move ahead of the plan of God for our lives. God will still extend His mercy and compassion toward us, even in the midst of our disobedience” (Mtzionashville). “Despite all of my mess, He loves me. His mercy endures. I don’t do all that I should. Forgive me Lord for my sins. I repent. Grace and mercy, thank you. This song is my testimony. Hallelujah” (Jesslookn). “Here I get to see God’s power, His majesty, His grace, His mercy, and His love. It is here that my mess makes sense. It is here that I have a glimpse of the picture” (Triple Braided, my story).
On Sunday 12th February, 2012 at First Love Assembly, Rumukwuta, Port Harcourt and at Aladumo Miracle Hall, Aba Road, Port Harcourt were gathered from all work of life a cream of who is who in the society especially from the Christian Community in Rivers State to dedicate baby Isaac Iko Abasi Dein Essien and thanksgiving of twenty five years in Ministry of Rev. (Dr.) Mercy Essien (JP). Among those who honoured the occasion with their highly esteemed presence were: Apostle & Pastor (Mrs.) David Zilly Aggrey, the Guest Speaker and CAN Chairman/PFN Chairman in Rivers State, Bishop & Pastor (Mrs.) W. T. Iwo, Pastor & Pastor(Mrs.) Simeon Afolabi, Bishop Dakar, Pastor Bethel Oritsebineno, Rev. Dr. Abiye Princewill, General Barnabas, Rev. & Pastor (Mrs.) Benson Barogu, Rev. Dr. Friday Ajah, Amb. Mrs. Mercy A. Gani, Rev. & Mrs. Charles Emem, Dr. Lewis Akpogena, Rev. Dr. Ingor Ogan, and many other ministers of God. Also present were Guest artists Chioma Jesus, Asu Ekiye, Ayo Adebayo Haywhy (Publisher of Haywhy plus magazine), Master of ceremony Slow ice(Imoh Ibong) and Joy Success Danison. Special Ministration: Loloia Ogan, Boma Nganni, Tonye Josiah, Victor Peterson, etc.
The occasion that was lavish and well attended, was a celebration of the beauty of God’s Mercy and it demonstrates how God can turn our mess into mercy. At the occasion the book written by Dr. Mercy Essien (JP) was officially launched. The book entitled: “My Mess, His Mercy” is a timely and educative journal to enlighten people on how the journey to God’s rest can be …. My Mess, His Mercy “captures aloneness as a crippling feeling, but God’s close up and counsel never stops following the one He calls,” Dr. Ingor Favour Ogan who wrote the foreword asserts. Here is excerpt from the book in the Author’s own testimony of how God turned her mess into mercy. “Oftentimes in our earthly sojourn, we make mistakes and take decisions based on our perverted sense of judgment: For the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth (Genesis 8: vs.21). Consequently, we sacrifice the ultimate purpose of God for our lives in pursuit of vanity; or as Apostle Paul puts it in the book of Romans 7 verses 18 19: “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good I will to do, I do not do: but the evil I will not to do, that I practice”.
“The flesh is continually at war with the spirit for the control of man. But thank God for the Lord and Saviors, Jesus Christ through whom we have obtained grace and mercy to appear before God in righteousness. My life is no different from that of Apostle Paul and indeed other heroes of the bible. I suffered and still suffer some of the infirmities and the imperfections of their lives. At some point everything seemed messed up and hopeless; but by His grace, God in his infinite mercy has turned my mess into the message which you are about to read today. It is my earnest expectation that anyone who encounters this book will find the mercy of God and the much needed grace to wait for the fulfillment of God’s promise:“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” (Habakkuk 2vs.3). It doesn’t matter how many times you have missed it or how long it has tarried, wait patiently for it. God is bound to make all things beautiful, but it will only be in his own appointed time. My prayer is that the Spirit behind this book will take you to God’s appointed time. Amen”
My Childhood: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11). “I was born on the 29th June 1967 in to the family of Elder & Elder (Mrs.) Atadupaovie. My parents were devoted Christian with the Baptist and later moved to Christian Pentecostal Mission. We were ten in number and I am the sixth child from my parents. I was born a twin, but at a very tender age, I lost my twin brother mysteriously. I got born again early in life and all thanks goes to my parents who never relented until I finally surrendered my life to the Lord Jesus at the age of seventeen. My childhood was that of a tom-boy! I was like a man, very rough and kind of stubborn! But glory to God who took me over, who knew what I would have turned out to be without Christ. As I grew up to adult age, I had many funny and bad experiences. I went on many rough roads. I took many foolish decision and steps, struggled with many things. However, my story and experience is different today, because of my decision to stay with Jesus!
If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, now may Israel say; If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, when men rose up against us: then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us: Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul. Blessed be the LORD, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth. Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped. Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 124:1-8.). Today, all my mess has turned into good because of his mercy! And I can safely say I am a product of God’s mercy and favour.
The Call into Ministry: “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations”. Jeremiah1:5 “There were series of events that took place after I finally surrendered my life to the Lord Jesus. Among these was when the Lord came to me and said ‘My daughter, I want you to do my work’ Though, it took me sometime to realize the magnitude of what that statement meant, but that was the beginning of my ministry journey. However, I started serving in church in the choir and I never in my wildest imagination thought, that God could call someone like me to do His work. Those words that the Lord said to me about 25 years ago now have turned my life around for good. They have opened many doors for me. They have led me into many relationships. It has drawn me closer to the Lord and to people who I might never have been able to meet in my life-time had I not obeyed the call. From the many testimonies that my ministry has witnessed, I know indeed that the Lord has called me. Many lives have been changed, many have hope today and most importantly many have come to the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The Ministry Journey: “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day”. Proverbs 4:18. “After the call, the Lord sent a man of God to me, who was with Greater Evangelism Church then by the name Pastor Whitehead, who told me that I will need to go to a Bible School. That is how I found myself in All Nations for Christ Bible Institute in Benin City, a Bible School under the Church of God Mission then under the leadership of Archbishop Benson Idahosa”. “Study to show thyself approval unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15. It was one year of intensive study and training. Immediately after my training, at the age of 18, I was ordained as a pastor in the Church of God Mission and the church sent me back to Port Harcourt as an attaché pastor to work with the Head Pastor of the Church, in no. 108 Egede street, Mile 1 Diobu. The pastor there then was Reverend Bethel Oritsebineno. That was where my ministry journey began. From then, it was one event of ministry to the other. During my stay in Egede Street, I worked in the welfare and prison ministry of the church. I witnessed several postings from different pastors during my stay in Church of God Mission, Egede. Reverend Bethel was later transferred and Bishop Iwo became my new pastor. I was once posted to the Town Branch of the Church where I worked with Reverend Tuesday Emmanuel. After a while, I was sent back to Egede Street and by 1991 I resigned as a pastor from the church. My resignation came to allow me to further take my ministry to another level. It was that same period that Apostle Zilly Aggrey was to start Royal House of Grace. I was part of the pioneering members of the church that began right from his seating room.”
“I stayed with Apostle Zilly for some time before it became clear to me that I needed to move on. I was with Bishop Suobite for a while until Victory Favoured Ministries started about 11 years ago. However, I will like to mention that my relationships with the Church of God Mission, Bishop Iwo, Royal House of Grace and Bishop Suobite remained in-tact. I remain a daughter in these great ministries till date. From the day I stepped out to answer His call upon my life I have had opportunity to serve at various levels and capacities under different Christian groups and bodies. Among them is Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, where I was opportune to serve as the Financial Secretary for over 5 years under the leadership of Apostle Eugene Ogu. I am a member of International Christian Chambers, ICC, a member of Zion Ministry Chaplaincy International, Rivers State command. I am also a member of other credible Christian Associations within and outside Nigeria.”
“Moreover, I have been privileged to be recognized and given different awards including an award of Justice of Peace (JP) by the Rivers State Government in 2010, and I am recognized as an Ambassador of Peace. I got the award for Excellence from the Christian Women Fellowship International in 2006, in 2008, I got the African Leader Gold Merit award, in 2009, and Great African Patriotic Achiever gave me a Merit Award. Gethsemane Defense Church International award was given to me in 2003. Hephzibah Unique Dimension Award for a Women of High Standard Excellence was given to me also in 2008. I have been recognized by African Update International Magazine. A Doctorate Award was given to me and my dear husband by African College of Christian Education and Seminary (an Affiliate of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaira. Nigeria). I was also awarded an Ambassador of Peace by the United Nations Polac in 2010. Moreover, many events have taken place in my life over the years and have also brought about many changes. Today, I am a member of First Love Assembly under the leadership of Pastor and Pastor (Mrs.) Simeon Afolabi.”
Victory Favoured Ministries: “God moved me to start a fellowship which is now known as Victory Favoured Ministries (Incorporated) which have witnessed many changes over the years. The Ministry sits on her own property today and is growing by the day. The Ministry started in my sitting room with about 17 people in attendance. My intention to start Victory Favoured Ministry is to have a based ground where the people I reach out to through my prison Ministry and other outreaches can have a place where they are properly followed up. Moreover, Victory Favoured Ministry is an interdenominational Fellowship and it is patterned and function more like Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship (FGBMF). Presently, our fellowship day holds on Wednesday where we regularly feature different great Ministers of the Gospel who come to minister the word to the congregation. The Fellowship Administrator happens to be my darling husband, Dr. Innocent Essien who also happened to be one of the co-founder of the Ministry. Pastor IB is my Assistant both in the fellowship and the prison work. Evangelist (Mrs.) Hannel is one of the founding members of the Fellowship.”
Dr. Lewis Akpogena