Report of a stunning, miraculous event in Nigeria, on 2 December 2001
In the morning of November 30th 2001, Daniel Ekechukwu, pastor of the a pentecostal church, drove his 20-year-old Mercedes 230 back to his home. Traveling down a steep road, the brakes of the Mercedes failed. Daniel could do nothing. Gathering speed the vehicle hurtled downhill unstoppable. Its career, and Daniel’s, ended as it smashed into a stone pillar.
Without a seat belt Daniel was catapulted violently forward. His head hit the windscreen and the steering wheel and knob punched into his body. Daniel’s friend Kingsley Iruka, shocked though not badly hurt, turned to Daniel, hoping all was well. But the sight appalled him. Blood was pouring from Daniel’s nose from a head injury, and then he began vomiting blood from an heavy internal hemorrhage. A rescueteam arrived soon and gave the first medical attention. Marvelously Daniel held up until he was placed in the local hospital’s intensive care, or the Nigerian best equivalent of it. His wife, Nneka was sent for. She found Daniel still alive but only just. He hung on to life to ask her to have him taken to his family doctor’s hospital in Owerri – a very serious mistake.
It meant anything but a smooth ride of one and a half hours. Within minutes of being lifted into the ambulance Daniel felt himself dying. He tried to whisper his last words and instructions to Nneka. He begged her specifically to see to it that the work of their church would continue. He also tried to inform her about one or two church situations she ought to be aware of, but his speech slurred, became incoherent and stopped as he drifted into unconsciousness. The ambulance driver pushed on however, at full speed, warning sirens blaring. Reaching the Owerri Regional Hospital they ran in shouting “Emergency! Emergency.” Daniel’s doctor, however, was not on duty. Instead a member of the medical staff took charge and checked Daniel’s now limp form. However, with a sad face he could only inform the wife and others that Daniel was already dead.
Nneka, the wife of Daniël, was shocked. But a Bible verse had been ringing in her mind from Hebrews 11, “Women received their dead raised to life again.” An irrational conviction seized her: She would see Daniel alive and well again.
In what follows now Nneka was the key figure. The bibletext, firmly in Nneka’s thoughts, made it impossible for her to accept the plain evidence that Daniel had gone and give permission for him to be buried. Being very agitated she asked for another doctor. They went to dr. Jossy Anuebunisa at the St. Eunice Clinic. Seeing Nneka’s determination this doctor checked again. He could only confirm that death had taken place. The time registered was 11.30 p.m. of the day of the car accident.
The doctor then wrote out his report on the injuries and the cause of the death and asked if they wished to have Daniel laid in the clinic’s mortuary, which they declined. Instead they moved the body to Daniel’s father in the village near Owerri and from there to the Ikeduru General Hospital Mortuary, not far away. The resident mortician, Mr. Barlington R. Manu, also carried out the normal checks and by then it was after midnight, one o’clock Saturday morning. The mortuary having no cold storage facilities, the mortician administered the usual chemical substances and prepared the body for embalming on the following morning. With a staff member he laid the body out on a mortuary slab between two other dead people. Everyone then retired for the night.
Then came the first signs of something strange. The mortician was awakened by what he called ‘church singing’ coming from the direction of the mortuary. He got up and went to see what was going on but the singing stopped. He was puzzled for he found nobody near the building. He went back to bed. Then once more came the clear sound of music and clapping. Quite sure now it was from the mortuary itself he got up, went in and looked around. Again the singing had stopped. Nobody was there but the dead. Very disturbed he went back. Soon for the third time the music burst forth. This was real. It frightened him. Almost in panic he drove into the nearby village and roused Daniel’s father. His son’s body must be removed from the building, he insisted. It was creating some kind of strange phenomena. The father merely assured the mortician that “ It is because he is a man of God”. At that the dead son was left where he was, in the mortuary, overnight till morning and all day Saturday. The mortuary attendants heard no more choir music the rest of the day.
Meanwhile Daniel’s wife convinced her husband would live again, wanted his body taken to the church in Onitsha where Reinhard Bonnke was to speak at a dedication ceremony of the Grace of God Ministries. Daniel’s father, however, was a Mormon believer and declared he would decide. He said he would go and “hit him with the Bible seven times,” and if Daniel did not rise, then Nneka should accept the fact that he was not going to rise from the dead, and that should end the matter. He did go and struck the corpse as he said seven times, with no result whatever.
Nneka, being a Christian, considered a Mormon would not understand. His performance meant nothing except to put her off. She would not give up. She pestered her father-in-law with: "Daniel must be taken to the church and meeting where evangelist Bonnke will be ministering, God will raise him there because of the anointing."
Realizing that if he refused this favor, she would remember all her life he had denied her request on behalf of her husband. Eventually he relented. On the next day, Sunday, December 2, they went to take the body from the mortuary. But the mortician was worried about their intentions. To hide the fact that a body was being taken away as it was, with a one and half hours drive to Onitsha, as a pretext he dressed the body as for the funeral, placed it in a coffin and shut the lid. They took Daniel in his coffin and set off.
Arriving at the Onitsha church compound, the State security officer and the ushers saw them entering with a coffin and ordered them to turn round and leave immediately. Nneka however was determined. She pleaded and persisted not only for the coffin to be allowed in the church compound but brought into the church itself. The coffin was opened by the security and they examined the coffin and the body, they saw that it was not a terrorist trick to plant a bomb. Finding only a pallid corpse he allowed them to proceed. However the idea of bringing a coffin or a dead body into a crowded church brought consternation and upheaval. Finally the Head Bishop’s son Pastor Paul Jr. sought his father’s permission to get the body into the building, but it would have to be only into the children’s department. The children were ushered into the lower hall, and the corpse brought in the upper room and laid out on a table. The Bishop’s son, Paul, and another pastor on the church staff, Bathcomery Nkwando, attended to this and found rigor mortis had stiffened the limbs.
Two other staff pastors, Lawrence Onyeka and Luke Ibekwe joined them to guard the body. Meanwhile Reinhard Bonnke knew nothing of this and was preaching and praying upstairs in the main auditorium. After a while the pastors noticed a slight twitching of the stomach of the corpse. Then the corpse drew a breath, and presently irregular breathing took place in “short bursts” as they reported. Encouraged, the pastors threw themselves into powerful petitionary prayer, stripped the body of the mortuary gloves, socks and shirt and began massage from head to foot, Daniel being as said “as stiff as an iron rod.” They asked for fans to be brought in to give Daniel more air to breathe. As this news broke out in the sanctuary above it created hysterical pandemonium. Then, said Pastor Lawrence, at 5:15 on the Sunday afternoon, nearly two days after death had taken place, Daniel opened his eyes, sat up and leaned on Pastor Lawrence.
People began crowding into the hall to see this resurrection man. Pastor Lawrence was worried Daniel would not have enough oxygen, so he lifted and carried him into the church sanctuary. Daniel spoke for the first time“Water. Water.” They gave him sips and then warm tea. To give him a clear space they seated him on a chair on the platform, where hundreds of people saw him slowly recovering. However, he progressed, and within only hours, during the evening, he had full consciousness and coherence. He became a wonder, and crowds besieged his home, so he was taken away to a secret location for two days of physical re-strengthening. The once-dead man not was not only raised from death, but all his wounds were also healed without the slightest trace. Medical doctors were shocked as they met the risen Daniël, alive and well!
Reinhard Bonnke meanwhile had left the immediate scene to board a planned plane flight. Any doubts? Here are some hard facts that won’t go away. For two days Daniel did not breathe, his heart had stopped beating. It was in a hot climate, not suspended animation in an ice chamber. He had been injected with a harsh chemical to keep back mortification. As a corpse he was carted around for hours, pulled about, and lay in an airless narrow coffin for hours. He should have had severe brain damage, but he is alive now without any ill effects.
This is no unsupported claim of bringing someone to life privately, as in a house. Here was a public event, an open demonstration of revival from death. If anyone has to be named, it is Nneka. Her incurable faith alone prevented Daniel’s burial; simply to bring him where she was convinced God could bring him back to life. She regarded Reinhard Bonnke as a man of God and that in the atmosphere of faith where he ministered this miracle was possible. The faith of Nneka dictated the whole event and her faith was honored. By whom? Who honored her faith? If not God, who else?
Report by Robert Murphree and George Canty. Edited by Pastor T. J. de Ruiter; published on this site with permission of CFaN
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