Monday, July 26, 2010

‘Majek’s travails will be over once he accepts Christ’ Pastor Kris Usifo

Pastor Kris Osifo was formerly known as Amos Mcroy Jegg and he used to belong to a reggae group known as Ja' Stix. The group was made up of him, Majek Fashek, Black 'O Rice and George Orwells and they were on top of the game in the 1980s.
He is now a minister of God and has a young ministry called Seed of Abraham International. In this chat with Notes and Tones, he talked about his call, the ministry, his relationship with Majek, his 22 year old marriage and a music gospel show tagged New Songs, which is coming up on Saturday, March 6, 2010…

When did you become a pastor and what were you doing before then?
I became a pastor in 2007. I have been a music producer, sound engineer and song-writer.
Which people have you worked with?
I have worked with Majek Fashek, Evi Edna, Orits Williki, Ras Kimono, The Mandators, late Sonny Okosuns, Onyeka Onwenu, Christy Essien-Igbokwe and several others.
Are there more recent names?
Yes. There are people like Righteousman, Buchi and several other young gospel artists that their jobs are yet to be released.
Do you still produce?
How are you combining it with your ministry?
It is not a problem. It is about getting your priorities right and putting them in the right perspective. The work of God is not a 24-hour thing per se. In the ministry, there is time for everything and there is also time for other activities.
When you were actively and entirely into music, what were your musical achievements?
I had an album that was released on Tabansi label called Cool and Deadly. After that I travelled to the U.S to stay for sometime. It was there that I studied Sound Engineering and Production. When I came back, I started working in studios. Right now, I am a partner at Studio Plus in Ogba, Lagos.
Are you still working on anything musical at the moment?
Right now, I have just finished working on an album entitled, Jehovah's Mercy. It is a gospel album and the video for the title track of the album has started airing. It was directed by Righteousman.
When did your conversion occur?
I started from the church. I and Majek Fashek started music in the church. But along the line, we backslid and started pursuing things of the world. Along the line, we also started having setbacks, until one decided to heed the call or become another Jonah.
What is your relationship with Majek Fashek?
Till tomorrow, we are brothers.
What do you think about his travails?
Like I said, at some point, we fell off track, but to God be the glory, I was able to retrace my steps to where I rightfully belong. Majek, for some reasons best known to him, thinks he is on the right track. One funny thing about salvation is that it's not a group thing. It's one's willingness that leads to salvation.
As powerful as Christ is, he is not going to kidnap anybody into being saved and that's why he said that He's at the door of one's heart knocking and if anyone opens, that He will come in. If my brother, Majek, is willing to accept Christ, his travails will be over.
But have you tried talking him into it?
Yes. I have, severally and that's why I said just now that he believes he is on the right track. I have tried severally, but he's yet to be broken. Until one is broken and has a contrite heart, God cannot come in.
When did the call to become a minister of God come?
In 2005. But the call has always been there. It is just that one has always tried to be stubborn like Jonah. I have been virtually trying to bargain with God and do things my own way but it doesn't work that way, because that is not the will of God for your life.
From 2005 when the call came to 2007 when you became a minister, what were you doing?
There were still some messages from men of God telling me about my calling, but I had stubbornly refused, waiting to hear directly from God and not from man. And it was until I had that direct personal encounter with God in 2007 that I heeded.
How did that happen?
It was in a trance and the Lord appeared to me and told me point blank: “Not until you accept to carry the cross, there's nothing you will do that will make any headway.” It was around May 13 and 14, 2007. I remember because my birthday is May 16, and we were in the mood of preparation when it happened.
So, what now happened on your birthday?
After that encounter, most of the 'groovy' things we had planned for my birthday had to be cancelled. The parties, drinking sessions and elaborate celebrations changed to a thanksgiving ceremony sort of.
Where is your congregation?
Right now, I have a young ministry at Egbeda. We are about 30 to 32 people and it is known as the Seed of Abraham International. Also, we are putting a gospel event together and it is tagged, Sing A New Song. It is coming up on Saturday, March 6, 2010 at the Women's Development Centre, Ogba. Featuring at the events are Buchi, Righteousman, Orits WiIliki, Eben, Feladay and so many other gospel artists.
As a young minister of God, what are some of the challenges you are facing?
The major challenge I face as a young minister of God is that several of the older ministers of God are not preaching the core message of the gospel, which is “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and its righteousness.” Basically, what you hear in churches these days are messages of prosperity. You hardly hear that message of holiness and living the rightful way of God. It is a major challenge in the Christendom. So, when you want to come with such core message, they challenge you.
How are you coping with the transition from a wild musical life to the subdued and disciplined life of a minister?
David was a man used to wild living, but when the anointing came upon him, he became subdued and was able to manage it. Several men of God also came from a wild background. There is no place in the Bible where God used a weakling. Living the wild life, so to say, is part of garnering that experience for you to be able to shepherd the flock properly. You would have that experience behind you when you want to talk to people, especially the young ones. When you see them going astray, you will be able to say I have done this before and there is no gain in it; it's a wide road that leads to destruction and you will able to have antidotes of experiences to tell them and teach them with.
When you got the call of God, why didn't you join an already established ministry?
The new ministry was part of the revelation. In that encounter, the name of the ministry was also revealed to me and there is no way I can go and join an already established ministry and claim that this is the name I was given.
But you could have gone to get training?
I have undergone training. I have registered in courses both home and abroad and I grew up in the church.
Do you still perform as a musician?
Yes. I still maintain a band.
Tell us about your family?
I am a married man with four kids. One is in the university. The only girl is in the secondary school and the younger ones are in primary school.
Tell us about your wife?
Her name is Philomena Osifo and she is from Enugu State. We have been married for 22 years.
What are the things that have kept the union together?
First, we are friends; we are soul mates. It is not a perfect union, but we have this unwritten accord that when the other is angry, no matter who is at fault, there should be no confrontation. When I'm boiling, she stays off until I cool down, and the same thing applies to me. That is what has kept the union so far.
You married her while you were still in the world, what does she think of your conversion?
I married while I was in the 'world.' I was the music director of the church while she was a choir member. To her, my calling is a welcome development and she is fine with it.

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