Capt Hayes is 2017 Karis awardee

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ONCE again, the Household of God Church, Oregun, Lagos is set to roll out the drums to celebrate GRACE 2017. This iconic ministry led by the stylistic Rev. Chris Okotie will be demonstrating the love of God in palpable dimensions to a select group of beneficiaries.

GRACE in this context is an acronym for ‘God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense’. Revd. Okotie and the general assembly of the church regularly become an extension of the benevolence and compassion of God in Christ around Christmas time every year. This stands aside from the regular weekly charitable giving of the ministry to members and non-members alike.

This year’s event will be the 28th in the series. Through the years, organisations like the Pacelli School for the Blind and Partially Sighted, the Sunshine Foundation, the Spinal Chord Injuries Association and the Strong Tower Mission have been regular beneficiaries of the GRACE. This year, each of these charities will get N2m each.

The special attraction at the annual event is the Karis Award. This was instituted to recognise any Nigerian who has contributed in a unique manner to national growth and development but who has not been properly recognised by the government. The Karis award this year goes to Capt. Bob Hayes, the first Nigerian pilot of the defunct Nigeria Airways.

Past awardees of the Karis award include, Mrs. Chief Margaret Ekpo, former head of state, General Muritala Mohammed, Hajia Sawaba, the designer of the national flag, Chief Akinkunmi, among others. Some of the awardees have been thereafter recognised by the government. Another peculiar characteristic of the GRACE programme is the

Christmas lights that festoon the entire street on which the church is located. This has become a tourist attraction of sorts as individuals and family groups make visits to the Household of God Street a part of their Christmas season activities.

The now popular Queen Esther Costume Pageant has also become a major segment of the GRACE programme. Ladies from the church who participate in the contest dress up in costumes from biblical times and they are judged based on the quality and beauty of their designs.

The Special Guest of Honour is Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, the Governor of Delta State. It promises to be another night of pomp, pageantry and the sharing of God’s love at the Household of God villa.

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