Nobody ever thought Prophet Olusola Jesuloba would live. He died when he was six days old and his parents were about to bury him when he sneezed and came back to life. Since his grave had already been dug a life goat was buried in his place according to tradition.
One the 7th day he died again. This time around his parents were hesitant about his burial. True to their speculation he came to back to life again. There was pandemonium. It was the naming ceremony day.
“They could not hold my naming ceremony because there was a lot of anxiety about my life. There was the question of whether I would survive or not. I survived eventually.” He recalled in a chat with Church Times.
But that deliverance was temporal. He was to later battle with a life-long unknown ailment which saw him in an out of the hospital. “Doctors could not diagnose the sickness. I was in bad shape and felt great discomfort. By the time I was writing WAEC in 1982 I was coming to write the exams from the hospital. My parents were financially okay so they kept spending money on me. I visited both Lagos University Teaching Hospital and the Ife Teaching Hospital. But the sickness did not go. Doctors later advised my parents not spend money on me again that I would soon die.”
He recalled that though he gained admission to about four institutions including the University of Ilorin, his parents were not too enthusiastic about his education. That made him join the police after his secondary education. But that move turned out to be a miscalculation or so it seemed.
Incidentally, as soon as he made moves and eventually joined the police he did not fall sick again. His health became normal. Even if he was ill the tests conducted on him before he joined the force would not have shown any sign he was carrying sickness. So he settled down to work as a police officer after his training at the Police College.
But the unexpected happened. He was to guard the residence of the commissioner of Police along with three of his colleagues. He had resumed duty. But armed robbers with superior ammunition came visiting that night. They invaded the house and killed the three other policemen on guard. He was the fourth officer. He immediately took cover under one of the nine vehicles in the compound. The thieves took away two of the vehicles, one by the left and the other by the right of the one he was hiding under.
The development did not go down well with the authorities. He was arrested and put him in detention. “That was when I told the Police authority I was no longer interested in the job. Because I knew somebody in the force it was easy for me to exit. I spent about 22 days in detention and thereafter I was discharged from service.”
That was the end of his romance with the Police. But not long after he left the force, Jesuloba, formerly known as Ajayi said he began to fall sick again. “My sickness resumed and I was always in pain. At a point I was ready to die if God would not heal me. I had a kind of partial encounter with Christ. I had joined Power Pentecostal Church (Agbala Agbara Olorun kiibati) whose General Overseer is Bishop Bola Odeleke and was active in church. It got to a point I took my things and went to Ikoyi Mountain to pray. I actually wanted to die if God would not heal me. So I got there and lied flat in the hot sun close to the edge of the mountain. I cried to God that he would heal me or I fall off the mountain and die.”
As he was praying a prophet on the mountain came and said to him that there was another human being living inside of him. The prophet offered to pray for him. “The prophet just prayed a short prayer and I felt that somebody was leaving my body. I felt light and became normal again. Since that day I have not experienced the sickness again. That was the day God gave me a ministry.
He was not done with the devil. Years after he was to experience another accident which left him in coma for 48 hours. But the Lord saw him out of the condition. Today, Jesuloba who is the founder of Word of Hope Ministry has a thousand and one stories to tell about his ministry and various encounters with God.
Though he had already been a minister in church, he did not fully understand what knowing Christ was all about. “That one is in church and preaching the gospel does not mean the person had known Christ. In my case I was already a Sunday school teacher but I did not have an encounter with Christ. It was a day before my graduation from the Bible school when I listened to the message of Derek Prince on video that I fully surrendered to Jesus. The message which had been preached and recorded since 1973 came with so much power that I was able to fully comprehend what it meant to be saved. That was the turning point in my life.”
Jesuloba who celebrated 18 years of his own ministry recently said he was posted to the Ota branch of his former church in 1997. But that move did not go down well with him. “I knew my posting to Ota was motivated by envy. Because of my earlier encounter with the ministry of Bishop David Oyedepo, God had used me to grow the youth church in the headquarters. But some people felt I was getting too popular. The youth church I inherited had about 27 members. In just a few years we hit 400. So my posting to Ota really did not go down well with me. I had to go to the Redeemed Camp to pray and ask God if I should take the posting. Shortly after I got to the camp and knelt down to pray, a brother came to me and said, “the Lord is in the journey” As soon as he made that statement I asked for the nearest canteen to break my fast. It was just 9 am. I broke my fast and came back home happy. That was the shortest fast I ever had. I went to collect the letter and moved to Ota.”
In Ota, Jesuloba was to experience yet another phase in ministry. He had encounters with demonic forces but God gave him victory. He was able to complete the church building he inherited. The church grew. But his stay in the church was short-lived. By year 2000 the Lord led him to start his own ministry amidst trying circumstances.
He recalled, “Ota ministry is different from Lagos. It was a demonic place but the Lord has conquered them. The church experienced growth. But things were difficult then. I had to transfer my children to Lagos and faced the ministry alone. We met a man who had sent away 12 pastors in succession. He would sell land to them and would tell them he did not want church. I remember God gave me the permission to deal with him. I asked him to accept Jesus and he would say no way. He said he could not that he was a demon incarnate. He had a way of spreading sickness into the air and people would start coming to meet him for deliverance. There was a time he decreed that nobody should come out by 7 pm. I had encounter with him and he came to us that we should stop seven days vigil we had started. That was when the Lord inspired me to put an end to his demonic activities. He fell heal and did not survive the sickness. Each time I went to him he would ask that I pray for him and I would ask him to surrender his life to Jesus he would say no. He remained adamant until he passed on. Since he died there has been peace in the community.”
As it is, the coast is clear and the Lord is glorifying himself in the ministry of this servant of God. He told our correspondent that he has a mandate to set people free by the power of the Lord from every form of bondage and ignorance.