Blessed Pope Paul IV in his apostolic exhortation ‘Evangelization in the Modern World’ states “Evangelization is a task and a mission which the vast and profound changes of present day society make all the more urgent…”
The emergence of the Daily Strength Devotional as a call for the New Evangelization was first prophesied by Bro Imagwezogie of blessed memory in 1994 to me pioneer editor and initiator of Daily Strength Devotional: Bro. Jude Chika.
There was further confirmation from Mrs. Kurume an Anglican neighbor and Rev. Fr. Edmund Emakpor. The fulfilment of this vision was not without trials tribulations as prophesied by Bro. Imagwezogie. These almost shook my faith, but Grace brought me thus far and led me through them all. In the spirit of the declaration made by St. John Paul II ‘Mission of the Redeemer’ that ‘come to commit all the Church’s energies to a new evangelization’; the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of Warri Diocese accepted the call and vision, hence The Daily Strength Devotional was bom, a devotional, Catholic in Content and Character.
The birth and growth…
In 2011 the Catholic Bishop of Warri Diocese; Most Rev. Dr. John Afareha, represented by his then Secretary Rev. Fr. Nicholas Djebah joined in the launching of the first edition (October – December 2011). At this stage only five thousand copies were produced. As we progressed, in May 2012, our Lord Bishop graciously endorsed an Imprimatur for the devotional.
The Nature and Content…
As Catholics, we in the Daily Strength Devotional Team are very conscious of the sensitive nature of the faith we profess, we are certain and comfortable with our beliefs and doctrines and it is in the realization of these that we endeavour to produce and publish this devotional which bears a Catholic colouration with the able assistance of our Spiritual Consultants. Amongs whom are; Very. Rev. Mon. Dr. Joachim Aghware, Very” Rev. Fr. Dr. Anthony Mario Ozele, Very Rev. Fr. Dr. John-Mark Ikeke, Rev. Fr. Dr. Desmond Mbidoaka, Rev. Fr. Barr. Edumund Emakpor, Rev. Fr. Philip Ejopharuphen, Rev. Fr. Nicholas Djebah, Rev. Fr. Benedict Ukutegbe, Rev. Fr. James Urien, Rev. Fr. Eugene Usifor, Rev. Fr. Alfred Agbonlaghor, Rev. Fr. Christopher Ogaga, Rev. Fr. Agumandu Charles, Rev. Fr. Francis Afangida.
It is heart-warming to observe here that many non-Catholics are ardent users of the Daily Strength Devotional. It is a resources that has imbued the new methods and new forms of expression that are needed to convey to the people of today the perennial truth of Jesus Christ to meet the needs of people today and the expectations of present-day society, so that the faith will be consciously and personally lived with the assistance of the Holy Spirit.
Today, Daily Strength devotional is distributed to almost all Catholic Dioceses in Nigeria and Ghana, its growth has been rapid in South Africa, Botswana. The United Kingdom, United States of America, Italy, Canada, Cameroun and Gabon. With an annual production of about 400,000 copies.
It is gratifying to note that users from all over the world can easily access our devotional via our various digital outlets; including but not limited to our website www.dailvstrengthdevotional.org, our social media outlets (Facebook: www.facebook.com/mydailystrength, Twitter: @daily_str_dev. Google+: +Dailystrengthdevotional). Our Daily e-Mails, our Mobile App and our ebooks. These outlets have been so promising and have given us better opportunity to reach and discuss with our users all over the world.
Daily Strength Devotional engages in various activities, prominent amongst them are
- Prayer Campaign
The Daily Strength Devotional Prayer Campaign is a programme designed to commit all members of the Daily Strength Family to organized prayer sessions held at stipulated times with particular prayer points (usually announced through our various channels). Each member is expected to join in this prayer from his/her location, hence creating a spiritual Prayer Network all over the globe. Every member is encouraged to be a part of this.
- Charity Fund
Daily Strength is not a money making venture, in the business sense. This is why our price remains at N200.00 despite the volume and production cost. The Daily Strength Devotional Charity Fund is designed to encourage all members of the Daily Strength Family to answer the call to show Love even to the least of the brethren. Donations are raised from individuals, some committed to paying stipulated amounts monthly, quarterly or annually. These donations primarily aid funding of free distribution of Daily Strength Devotional to the less privileged and sometimes make it available online free of charge.
We are however, thankful to our Financial Partners all over the world who have been very supportive. Without them it would really have been very difficult to continue.
iii. Outreach Programmes
The Daily Strength Devotional Outreach programmes are organized events usually aimed at spreading the Goodnews of salvation and redemption all over the world. We hold at least one outreach programme every quarter in different locations. Mid-year, a 5-day-fasting and prayer programme is held concluded with the Mid-Year Cross-over; a programme aimed at retracing our steps as the year comes midway. At the end of the year we also gather as a family to hold the End of Year Thanksgiving Conference; in thanksgiving to God for leading us through the year. Testimonies of the mighty deeds of God have always been manifested at these outreaches. Primary Features of these programmes are: Holy Mass, Exhortations, Ministrations, Eucharistic Adoration, Praise Worship and Testimonies.
- 21-Days-Fasting & Prayer
At the beginning of every year, the Daily Strength Family all over the world join in fasting and prayer for 21 days, this prepares everyone for a spiritual journey through the year, It has always been a comforting idea to start each year, handing over every second, minute, days, weeks and months to God, via this fasting and prayer programme. We rejoice that God has been very faithful as numerous testimonies are harvested at the end of each fasting period. At the end of the 21 days a round off programme is presently held both in Lagos and Warri. For this year 2016, we are completely thankful to His Lordship Most Rev. Dr. J. O. Afareha the Bishop of Warri and His Grace Most Rev. Dr. A. A. Martin, Archbishop of Lagos, our dear host Monsignor Bernard Okodua (Parish Priest, St. Anthony’s Catholic Church Gbaja), Our Spiritual Director Very Rev Fr. Mario Ozele for their encouragement, cooperation and support at various levels.
Our mission is purely evangelization (soul winning). This explains why we mount Evangelical Outreach programmes in diocese other than our home diocese. It is our considered opinion that we cannot shy away from this commission. It is hence our mission, with the help of the Holy Spirit to draw Christians to the Truth of the Treasure hidden in the Word of God, and prevent others from poisoning the very gullible ones to fall out.
Our Vision is to spread the Goodnews across the globe daily. Psalm 3:3 “He is our shelter, our glory and the lifter up of our heads”. It is our vision to be available with the Word and the saving gospel of the Lord to every Christian home all over the world. In doing this, we are conscious to stress succinctly in all our reflections, that man must desire to please the Lord all the days of his life. (See 2 Chronicles 7:14. Isaiah 1:18-20)
Beloved, Daily Strength exposes our Spiritual weaknesses, convicts us of them, calls us to repentance encourages and strengthens us, it also empowers us to live a spirit-filled, fruitful and victorious Christian life. Therefore, make it your daily companion. Always get your copy and obtain some for others. Be part of the Daily Strength Family which we are gradually growing all over the world. I wish you a spirit filled Prayer Conference this year as Christ has given us an assurance of Divine Destiny and preservation, this will be our portion in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Thanks and may God bless you.