At first glance, Pastor and Mrs Idah Peterside, look as any normal perfect couple would; loving and full of life! At least that was my perception, when in 2013, I came across their outreach satellite Channel known as ATV, an arm of the ministry popular referred to as Christ Ambassadors Church, in South Africa. His fiery messages and aggression to the kingdom of darkness attracted me to his channel. His loving wife had her place of honour by the left side of the minister’s stand. She went about her normal duties on the pulpit either praying or preaching to the congregation. The members fondly referred to their pastor’s wife as Mma Emi. Behind the smiles and gentleness of Mrs Emi Idah Peterside was lurking an evil wind of disability waiting to strike. By the middle of 2014, the paralyzing evil arrow had shown its ugly head and Pastor Idah’s wife had become completely blind and incapacitate. After a prolong absence from the minister’s corner, her subsequent return brought with it helping hands to the pulpit.
Pastor Idah Peterside, a former Nigerian footballer, turned pastor had his own fair share of marriage crisis before finally settling down with Emi, his beloved wife. Born and raised in a Christian home, where his father was a pastor with the Assemblies of God Church, Idah was an odd ball! He was always caught doing the opposite of what others did and that landed him in more trouble than ever with his father. His rebellion to order pitched him against his pastoral father. He narrated an incident in his teens, when he went gambling and falsely believed his winning streaks were just around the corner! Well, the end of it was that he was stripped of his clothing, left only with his boxers. It was the timely intervention of his elder brother that saved him from walking the street in his boxers.
Despite the fact that Idah was the son of a ministering Pastor with a congregation, he kept away from Church for eleven years to find his own identity. He found it in football as a top class goal keeper with a local football club, before God elevated him to the Nigerian National Football Team, the Super Eagles. According to Pastor Idah Peterside, he found Jesus Christ again after the separation from his father, through one Pastor Afolabi of Christ Apostolic Church in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. It is the man he regards as his spiritual father in the Lord. After a stint as presenter with South African’s based cable channel Super Sports and Public Relations officer with the Nigerian Super Eagles, Idah Peterside saw a vision that told him it was time to quit and save souls. According to him, there was this large warehouse with people trapped inside and no escape route for them. He was there, but didn’t know how to free them! A voice told him to command whatever he desired to see happen to the people. As he spoke, the doors of the warehouse opened and many who were held captive were freed.
He had achieved fame and fortune in football, before venturing into the business of preaching the gospel. His first marriage ended in disaster as his estranged wife took off with one of his house guest. It took him a long period of recovery before venturing into another marriage. The marriage with Emi was without child before the disabling affliction showed up! Unlike Apostle Paul, who was himself afflicted with a torn in the flesh that refused to go after several intercession. Pastor Peterside’s affliction is on his dear wife, which is a real test of his faith and commitment to the service of Almighty God. Though he carries a measure of anointing as given to him by the Holy Spirit, it is not enough to bring succor to his wife. Speaking on the issue, he said, some pastors told him to minister healing deliverance on his wife; things he has already done with no success. Some go as far as sending him anointing oil or water to administer to his wife – as if his anointing is stale!
It is amazing how Pastor Idah Peterside has adjusted and accepted his fate in marriage and humbled himself. He is often criticized as being proud and arrogant; many often refer to his criticism of Prophet TB Joshua in February 2015, despite his visit to the SCOAN and arraignment on their prayerline before starting his ministry. However, the ministry of Pastor Peterside, has grown and he has become more matured in his attitude to the things of God. His singular dedication to managing his wife’s disability and running a two thousand plus church with numerous worshippers on satellite is worth commending. Our prayer is that others should learn from the marriage of Pastor Idah for their own restoration to the glory of Almighty God. We should also pray for the restoration of the sight of Mrs Emi Peterside, especially for those lonely moments when she needs to be comforted. As we pray for others, our prayers will not escape the answers of God.
Phillips Eteng – Evangelist.