In following the footsteps of his Lord and master, Jesus Christ, who fed 5000 men with five loaves of bread and two fish, the General Overseer and most senior pastor, Omega Fire Ministries, Apostle Johnson Suleman has fed hundreds of migrants at the Guatemalan Border in Mexico as part of his humanitarian aid and individual contribution to making the world a better place for all. The #TouchoflovewithApostleSuleman feeding initiative which was done under his Touch Of Love Foundation that began several years ago and touching the Mexico-U.S city border in October, 2023, is one of the several interventions of the Apostle to the migrants who are currently facing severe dehumanizing conditions and dangers while trying to cross into the United States.
At a migrant shelter in a church provided by an evangelical minister, Pastor Victor Barrientos in the Mexico border town of Matamoros, Apostle Suleman not only fed the migrants himself but also prayed for God’s intervention in their situations.
Meanwhile, It is on records that Apostle Suleman is a man of God that has been feeding thousands of people for many years now in different cities. For instance, in Nigeria, it has become a routine that every week, he feeds thousands of Nigerians as well as helps many poor people in Auchi, Edo state and many other places. Papa, as he is fondly called, has been feeding his congregation every Saturday for many years now as well as providing several other assistances such as free healthcare to women and children, scholarships to the youths and financial assistance to the poor.
For instance, just last year, Apostle Suleman donated N20 million naira to the Benue State government to provide welfare and other basic needs to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the state. Also, in 2019 and 2020 when the Corona Virus caused massive hardship and other challenges on Nigerians, the man of God still came to the rescue as he donated N10 million naira each to four northern states as well as a N5 million naira donation to support the IDPs in Benue.
The General Overseer’s philanthropic gestures has endeared him in the hearts of many, including past Nigerian presidents who sent encomiums to him, including while they were still in government. For instance, the immediate past president, Muhammadu Buhari as well as former president Goodluck Jonathan had these to say of him:
While then President Buhari described him as a spiritual leader whose “influence and generosity, especially to the poor and underprivileged continues to resonate,” former president Goodluck Jonathan had described Apostle Johnson Suleman as a “worthy example of a believer in faith, doctrine and charity.” He further said of Apostle Suleman thus: “ You have distinguished yourself as a man of strong devotion who is steadfast in the task of reconciling men to Christ and offering hope to many.”
So, because of his philanthropism, Apostle Johnson Suleman won the Edo Man of the Year award at the 10th edition of the Edo Festival and Awards ceremony (EFAC) held in London, the United Kingdom (UK) last year.
Meanwhile, the migrants at the Mexico-U.S border whom he fed have become part of the new multitude that has come to benefit from the philanthropic gestures of the man of God.
Apostle Suleman not only fed them but also made a cash donation of 100, 000 Mexican Pesos to the evangelical ministry led by the Mexican pastor, Victor Barrientos who has been providing shelter and other assistance to migrant families in Mexico from his church.
While making the donations and feeding the migrants, Apostle Johnson Suleman thanked the pastor for providing aids to migrants and promised to come back in few months’ time to further assist the migrants.
He said, “Pastor Victor, God bless you. How many of you know that Pastor Victor in Matamoros is doing a great job? And I want to thank you and say God bless you. In the next few months, I am going to be here again.”
“We will be here again and we will keep supporting you for all you do for the immigrants, all you do for the people and all you do for the rejected.”
“What you are doing is what I am doing in my country, and I understand. So, congratulations and God bless you.”
While praying for the immigrants, Apostle Suleman prayed saying, “May the Lord grant your requests and open your door, give you all testimonies and show you mercy in Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Why Help Migrants:
It has become a stark reality for thousands of migrants who, following delays in processing their papers, get stuck in Mexico every year while trying to cross into U.S. The migrants are often from across the globe, including from Nigeria, Venezuela, Cuba and Haiti and from Colombia, Panama and Honduras, among many other countries. Most times, these migrants walk on foot, from the city of Tapachula, near the Guatemalan border or from the Mexican border city of Matamoros towards the U.S boarder.
According to a report by AFP, about 3000 migrants walked on foot from a Mexican city to the U.S boarder on 30th October, 2023 alone in efforts to cross into the United States.
But walking on foot is just the least of the many harrowing situations and dangers that these migrants face in Mexico daily. Apart from the humanitarian crisis such as hunger, diseases and lack of shelter, migrants also face grave conditions like kidnappings, torture, extortion, rape, other forms of abuse and very commonly, death. Consequently, the Mexican border city of Matamoros has become one of the most notorious places for many suddenly missing migrants who end up dead or trafficked for various kinds of dehumanizing reasons.
A recent report by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in a 2023 release tagged, Missing Migrants Project (MMP), said it documented about 686 deaths and disappearances of migrants on the US-Mexico border in 2022 alone, making it the deadliest land route for migrants worldwide on record.
Also, the report said while 696 migrant deaths were recorded in 2018 alone, in 2019 and 2020, 854 and 798 migrant deaths were recorded on the US-Mexico border, respectively.
Therefore, It is on this note that the popular Nigerian Apostle and great philanthropist, Apostle Johnson Suleman, brought succor to the thousands of migrants in Mexico through his Touch of Love Foundation.
Aside food and prayers, he also donated 100, 000 Mexican Pesos for the continuous assistance to migrants.
Expressing his joys over the assistance from Apostle Suleman, pastor Victor thanked the firebrand pastor, saying it is the first time ever that he was receiving financial support and food assistance from a man of God in his efforts of helping migrants.
He said, “Apostle, I am so grateful to God because God is the one that provides…Thank you so much.”
“In Matamoros, there are men that are called men of God. They only come and preach and then they leave.”
He said that Apostle Suleman not only came and preached but that he also provided food, served the food himself to the migrants and equally donated financially.
The Touch Of Love initiative of Apostle Johnson Suleman began many years ago and has helped millions of people in Nigeria and many other countries of the world. Papa, as he is fondly called, has been feeding his congregation every Saturday for many years now as well as providing several other assistances to people such as free healthcare to women and children, scholarships to the youths and financial assistance to the poor.