Prologue: My name is Chaka Arauna, a 300-level student of the Kwame Nkrumah University… It was Sunday morning…
I woke up with that feeling that cannot be described as pleasant. I refuse to describe it as unpleasant either. It was Sunday morning, and the bother was where to worship! It had been a long time I worshipped in church. I mean, I knew when praise-worship, as it is fondly referred to, began, and Jeez, I knew it was going to end in five minutes. Intercession would take over, and you had better not fall so hard under the anointing because you’d have to be right up in five minutes. Alright then, time it was to go round and say ‘hi’ to the fellow brethren whom you’d not seen in a long while, or whom otherwise, you’d not been able to approach (if you know what I mean!). The choir would minister next, and we had to applaud at the end, even at times they hurt our tympanic membrane….
I lay in my bed and weighed my options. Finally, I decided on what church to attend. It was a very populous church, full of intense vibration. As I made my way to my seat, led by a sweet-smiling usher, I couldn’t help but wonder at the large turnout. If this many people made it to church every Sunday, who then were the miscreants in the society, the corruptible leaders, the irresponsible fathers, the nagging mothers, the unruly children???
Ministration after ministration went on, and the atmosphere was quite worship-friendly. Suddenly, a hushed silence fell upon us, and for a moment, I was reminded of Pentecost. With strained necks and prancing eyes, news went round, ‘’G.O is around’’.
‘’Oh my gawd’’, I heard someone exclaim behind me. Even I could almost grab at the excitement. The General Overseer would be ministering today. What an honour to have him fellowship with us, leaving his own parish.
As he mounted the pulpit to begin his message, out flew pens and papers. Even the ushers distributed stationery. As he spoke, people rapidly took down notes enthusiastically, like he was going to give an exam afterwards!
Every now and then, he ranted off Hebrew and Greek translations. He took the origin of words, and my, dealt with them.
My mind wandered, unconsciously (did you just say ‘twas the devil?), and I was alone in my thinking room. I wondered if truly understanding the bible was a skill to be learnt, and if it was as hard as they made it seem. Then, how about those in rural areas with little or no education, the bible being, perhaps, the only book in their possession. Does God not speak to them, or do they hold on to just ‘scraps’ of the Word?
I was jolted back by resounding laughter. It’s alright, their hero cracked a joke.
Forty five minutes later, Daddy G.O. announced, “In a few minutes, I will show you how to hear the voice of God.”
“Jeez!” I silently lamented, “What have you been showing us since?” On and on and on went the message, evoking the expected response. The congregation was held in rapt attention. No one dared misbehave. As the preacher concluded his message and led his flock into a short prayer session, I peeked round and beheld a heart-wrenched people crying out their hearts to God, rededicating their lives and making new resolutions. A little stunned by the display, I peeked some more in another direction, before meeting the disapproving eyes of a man that seemed to rebuke,’’You ain’t praying…You a demon?’’. So with utter tenacity, my eyelids snapped shut.
At the close of service, members trooped out obviously charged up… (and you got it)… ‘blessed’. I made my way back to my room in school, unsure of my feelings. There was a longing in me, an emptiness, a hunger. I hoped the Sunday would not just waltz by. My mind was filled with blank spaces, and I prayed to heaven God would fill them.
As I fell back into the comfort of my bed, trying to have some quiet moment with God, at least before my ‘news-in-detail’ roommates arrived, Yvonne and Shuwane, next door neighbours began their debate as to which church service was endued with greater power and anointing, each trying to convince the other that she had missed not attending her own service.
With heart still open, trying not to miss the word from God for that Sunday, I endured three different evangelism teams (bearing in mind the times I’ve had to evangelize too, and not wanting it to be accounted to me that I was a discouragement), and altogether I was invited for eleven ‘special’ programmes that week alone! Yeah, I counted. It was with such sweet relief that I bade the third evangelists farewell, and a blessed week ahead.
Just before I finally drifted off to sleep that night, I was reminded by the Spirit of God that there are many doctrines, many denominations, but ONE SPIRIT, ONE GOD.