Ihave been a Roman Catholic since birth. It is what I was given as abirthright, when I was baptized Elizabeth. With other children, wewere raised singing liturgical hymns and taught how to readresponsorial psalms, first and second reading. I joined my catechismclasses and taught about the three deities of God God the Father,the Son and the Holy Spirit. Also, how to pray the basic Catholicprayers, like Our Father, Hail Mary, Apostle Creed, Glory be to theFather and Saints prayers, which never miss in our Sunday Mass or anyother Mass. That is how I thought the world worshipped. When I becameof age, I realized that there are numerous religions in the world andsome believed in God, while others did not. Being curious about them,I wanted to get out there and experience how they worshiped and theprinciples they hold dear.
Ihave heard about miracles and not from the Bible, but in the worldtoday and I wanted to see them with my own eyes. So I took my laptopand searched miracles, I found many YouTube clips about people beinghealed, testimonies, and prophecies. Is this real? I wondered. It wasnot what I am used to. I convinced my parents to give me some cash sothat I could travel and experience firsthand encounter of worship inSynagogue Church of All Nations, Lagos Nigeria.
Onmy arrival, I saw an immense structure of tents with several sittingsections as I proceeded to the main structure, I could feel a coldbreeze and the place was serene and colorful. The choir had its placeand there was a large space for the altar. After a while, we weresettled and for two hours, from 10:00 AM, we praised and worshippedas we were led by the choir. Obviously, this time was sufficient toend my Sunday service, but it seemed that the service was not evenhalf way. Then there was a break of one hour, during this time,people were invited to share their testimonies. Marvelous testimonieswere given about the fulfillment of prophecies and miracles as aresult people rejoiced and praised God even more.
“Isthis even possible,” was the thought that roamed my mind. Perhaps Iget a miracle of my own and I would believe. After this sessionended, we stood up and started singing. Then, the Prophet of God,T.B. Joshua came and started ministering. The message was “listeningto the voice of the Lord.” The preacher taught that, to pray well,you have to be in spirit, for true worshippers of God, worship Him intruth and spirit.
Afterthe preaching, we started worshipping while the Prophet was praying.What I saw, made me want to run, only that I could not. I wasterrified as I saw people jumping, uttering in animal voices theushers came and separated them from the rest of the congregation.Prayers were offered to them and were released from their anguish.Then, the prophet walked to the congregation and started prophesyingto people. All that was a new experience, no one tells prophesies inour church and we do not do demonic deliverance.
Afterthe service, I tried to find out how some of the congregation feltand the responses I got were positive. “My life changed since Istarted coming here, the worship is always lively and everything iswow, you too can become part of it” one member joyously responded.I wondered what a Roman Catholic member from my church would sayabout all this. I was confused, this was above what have seen orheard and all I could do is wonder.
Eliade,M. (1996). Patternsin comparative religion.U of Nebraska Press.
Mooney, C.,& Chandhok, L. (2015). Comparativereligion: Investigate the world through religious tradition.White River Junction, VT: Nomad Press.