Tuesday- July 6th, 2010
I just returned to the home base from the spiritual center- quite a unique experience it was. My expectations were pretty much the same as what I actually saw there today.
After driving down a bumpy dirt road for about 15 minutes, we finally arrived at the spiritual center. It was a medium sized hut made out of bamboo and leaves. A woman in a long green and yellow outfit with three big red crosses on her clothes greeted us once we arrived. She said that she was the leader of the church- she was a catholic for quite some time and then she said that she had some sort of a calling to talk to spirits and heal people, so she opened this church about 20 years ago. She was extremely friendly and showed us around the small church and surroundings for a few minutes, and throughout the service she helped translate from Ewe to English for us. She did not tell us her name, so I will just call her the leader lady.
The three other interns and I had a seat behind a table that contained a large cross, a lit candle, flowers, and a small bucket of water. The leader lady said that the water is blessed by two men in white robes. They fast for three days and bless the water. Then, that water is used to heal the sick- they dip a leaf in the water and shake it over the sick- supposed be some sort of a blessing for them. Anyways, the service started with about 8 people singing and dancing. There were different outfits for different titles of people. The leader lady said that the leader of the church, she, wears green and yellow. Her assistants wear white and green, the head leader wears all yellow, the leader's assistant wears white and red, and so on and so forth. They have such an organized system for each person's title.
Once the opening singing and dancing came to an end, which was probably a good 30 minutes, the head healer started to read from the bible in Ewe for about an hour- I started to fall asleep. This was when I asked the leader lady a few questions. I asked her about the church and what faith they actually are. She said that they are from all different churches- they come together once a week on Tuesdays to hold a healing session for anyone in the community. I then asked her the ways that they heal there. She told me that their main source of healing is from prayer, but they also administer herbal medicines in the form of drinks and bathing liquids. Like the witch doctor yesterday, here they have some people drink the herbal medicine and also rub the liquid on their skin to get rid of the evil spirits. However, here at the church, they rely heavily on prayer- they believe that people get sick because spirits make them sick, so they use prayer to get rid of the sicknesses.
There were about 15 people sitting in front of us waiting to be healed. Before they were able to get healed, the head healer took us back to an outside little prayer room- basically a small hut with a rug on top of rocks, a lit candle and a wooden cross. He said a few words in Ewe- I think some type of prayer, and then told our intern group a mini future reading. He said that we should all be careful because we are white volunteers in this country- and that a lot of people are jealous of us as Americans. He also mentioned terrorists envying America- he said that is why they flew into the world trade center. Then, he said that I should be careful on my way home to America this weekend because people envy me because I am a white American and he said to be careful because some want to do harm to us. Even though I did not believe what he was saying, it was just somewhat amusing to see him try so hard and saying halleluiah and praise Jesus every other word. The whole time in the church today reminded me of those infomercials on T.V. that are of thousands of people in a stadium going crazy praying for Jesus, dancing around and yelling halleluiah- it was just quite an experience to see it here.
After getting our fortune told, or somewhat told, we headed back into the church and sat down. One by one, he called up the people that have been waiting to see him to get healed. The first woman came up and stood in front of the head healer guy. He placed his hand on her head and started to shout some sort of prayer. She finally tried to walk, but was limp and shaky- just like on the T.V. infomercials where they shake and fall to the ground for some reason. She finally returned to her seat and the next person came up to be healed.
It sure was interesting to watch, but I highly doubt praying is going to heal cancer and other diseases/illnesses. I do respect their beliefs and everything, but it's just not scientifically proven to work. As a science major, it is hard for me to believe something if it is not proven. All in all, that's what they think works for treatment, so I must respect their beliefs. It sure was an interesting day, and I am glad I had the chance to experience a spiritual way of healing.