A night like no other at The Experience 11
Just like its debut 10 years ago, The Experience 11, Africa’s biggest concert showpiece, lived up to its promise of a spellbound 10 hours of uninterrupted adventure in praise, prayers and worship.
No fewer than 700,000 worshippers, including Nigeria’s former military Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd.), Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and his wife, Dolapo, publisher of The Guardian Newspaper, Lady Maiden Alex-Ibru, former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Femi Pedro, prominent religious leaders across the globe, business moguls, politicians and notable Nigerians, gathered at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), Lagos, on Friday night, to once again, experience the 11th edition of The Experience, a yearly musical concert organised by House on the Rock Church, shepherded by Pastor Paul Adefarasin.
This year’s event tagged: ‘Revealing Jesus’ attracted, as usual, powerful and prominent gospel singers across the globe. They included the American singers, Don Moen, Donnie McClurkin; Travis Greene, Smorkey Norful, Cece Winas as well as Eno Michael, Samson, Frank Ugochukwu Edwards, Onos, the Midnight Crew, Chioma Jesus, Segun Obe, Tim Godfrey, Tope Alabi, among others.
The night was amazingly electrifying and simply phenomenal. Performances after performances left the audience captivated right from commencement at 7p.m. until 5a.m. when Tope Alabi gave a fitting finale to The Experience 11. The evening started with a colourful ministration by the House on the Rock choir and progressed into soul stirring performances from Onos, Eno Micheal, Sammie Okposo, Frank Edwards and Segun Obe.
The grandfather of worship like he is most often called, Don Moen, left no one behind in the journey to rendering deep heartfelt worship at heaven’s gate, particularly his duet with Frank Edwards in Igbo language. He has participated in all-but-one editions since inception. The thunderous ministrations from Midnight Crew, Gabriel Ezenachi and Tim Godfrey left the crowd screaming for more.
As the evening glided to a climax, Cece Winans, Smorkey Norful, and Donnie McClurkin showed what it meant to praise God in one accord. Travis Greene who was visiting Nigeria for the first time, felt interestingly at home on the Experience stage. He shared testimonies and led the worshippers in a bout of pure and undiluted worship.
The convener, Pastor Paul Adefarasin, was unrepentant in his resolve to preach the gospel of Christ. His love for a better Nigeria could be felt from the various sessions of prayers that were raised for the nation by many respected men of God in attendance.
According to him, ‘every Christian ought to be multidimensional, with political, economic, social and spiritual influence. Christians should get involved in governance. Our nation deserves, not the worst leading the rest, but the best, serving the rest.”
The worshippers did not only came to enjoy the lyrics of the gospel singers, but were also determined to pour out their minds in prayers to God for solutions to the national, corporate and individual problems, particularly solutions to the nation’s political, social and economic challenges.
These worshippers believe that the enormous problems bedeviling Nigeria could only be solved spiritually, especially “in a situation where our political leaders appear to have lost the means to taking the nation out of the woods.”
As a matter fact, the major request, which burdened the minds of many worshippers at the event, was the present economic recession and the rate at which poverty is fast growing.
One of the beautiful aspects of the programme was the well-coordinated traffic and the organised security that forestalled any security challenges. According to a participant, “it was baffling that in such a crowded event with many high profile dignitaries, there was less security breach.”