Traveling crusader brings healing messages

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 8, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; A crusade has ended at Abundant Life Church, but the work of Charles Ndifon has only just begun.

The Nigerian-born Ndifon has returned to Natchez for the third year, a stop in a schedule that takes the young crusader around the globe with his preaching, teaching and healing.

&uot;When I came to Natchez the first time, I saw so many miracles,&uot; he said, adding that he emphasizes in his work around the world that Jesus came for everyone and that the good news he brings as a pastor is open to anyone, not just Christians.

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&uot;I cross different religious backgrounds and different denominations,&uot; said Ndifon, who was a teenage engineering student in Nigeria when he realized God was calling him to preach.

That was 16 years ago, and he not only continues the work but has a stronger commitment than ever before.

As a youngster, he was sincere in his beliefs in Jesus Christ and Christianity, Ndifon said. &uot;But no one ever told me I had to go personally to Jesus.&uot;

That personal meeting with Jesus took place after a young minister helped to open his heart. &uot;In 1987, I was being commissioned into the ministry. I was so hungry for Jesus. I wanted him to minifest himself to me, and he appeared to me just as he appeared to Paul,&uot; Ndifon said.

&uot;That changed my life. I knew then I was not serving a dead Jesus. He told me, ‘Just preach the gospel, and if the people believe you there will be no devil strong enough to keep them from healing.’ &uot;

Indeed, Ndifon has built a worldwide reputation for healing, he said. But he is quick to point out that he is not a miracle worker.

&uot;It is not me. It is Jesus. The Bible is the power of miracles, and I’ve proven it all over the world. It’s never failed us in any country we’ve been to.&uot;

Ndifon said he is an instrument of God. &uot;God uses anyone who will yield to him. That’s what the Bible says. And I began to realize that if he meant ‘anyone,’ that includes me.&uot;

Recently, Ndifon returned to his native country to preach for the first time in many years. &uot;I saw my mother for the first time in five years. I never have had such a welcome as I had in Nigeria,&uot; he said.

Ndifon came to Natchez after meeting John and Vicki Collard, husband and wife and pastors of Abundant Life Church in Natchez.

They met through a mutual friend living in Long Beach who heard Ndifon preach in Maine a few years ago.

From the time they met several years ago, the Collards and Ndifon and his crusade have been close colleagues.

&uot;John and Vicki have even traveled with me. They mean so much to me as friends,&uot; Ndifon said.

The traveling minister has preached to throngs in England, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and many other countries of the world. His notebook is filled with news stories about the healing messages and how they have been received among the crowds who have come to hear him.

The word he receives from family and friends in Nigeria since his successful crusade there a few weeks ago is that all of the country is talking about the miracles that took place during his visit there.

God lives in him, the young pastor said. &uot;I ask the Lord, ‘Why me?’ and he says, ‘Because you trust me and take me at my word.’ And I want to trust him. I trust him like a child would trust him.&uot;

Ndifon moves on to Colorado today. His tour will continue with the same energy as he always gives to the message. But he is certain in the future he will return once again to Natchez. &uot;We come not for the church but for the people,&uot; he said. &uot;We’ll be back. Natchez is in our heart.&uot;