AFRICANGLOBE – The media was early this year awash with stories of how United Family International Church leader Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa prayed for the enlargement of a Namibian man’s manhood.
Now the UFIC leader is reportedly claiming that he will pray to God seeking powers to raise the dead.
For Prophet Makandiwa, it is the power of prayer that can raise the dead, enlarge manhood including miracles that are performed by the prophets.
Most of these prophets believe in direct prayers with people flocking to their churches seeking divine intervention. This, however, cuts a stark contrast to beliefs of some white-garmented apostolic sects that use other paraphernalia such as stones and holy water as their “instruments” for prayer.
At their shrines, people are healed using stones and water that is referred to as “muteuro”. Many people believe in the ability of the holy water and other paraphernalia to heal the sick, bring fortune and send away evil spirits.
A recent visit to an apostolic sect at the quarry area near Murehwa Centre revealed how people have a high regard for these “holy” stones and water given by prophets.
The number of cars parked at the place was in itself an indicator of how people are in search of those anointed stones or muteuro.
The process to get to the young prophet at his shrine was hectic with this reporter instructed to remove his shoes and walk slowly towards the elders. As we moved towards the crown of the shrine, the young prophet carried on his business giving advice (tsanangudzo) to those who sought his powers.
Members of the family that was getting advice attentively followed the gestures of Prophet Jeremiah Mashonganyika. We waited for our turn. Unfortunately word came to his attention that I was no ordinary patient but a journalist and hell broke loose.
Immediately he instructed the elders to take me away from the shrine saying he did not attend to “newspapers” at the shrine.
I retraced my steps to where other congregants were singing but with an opportunity to observe what was taking place in the healing sessions while interviewing the congregants and those who had come to seek the prophet’s help.
Phainos Kabwe, a congregant waiting in the queue for his turn, said they received anointing on several occasions and would not hesitate to seek divine help through the prophet. He said he was instructed by his doctor to have his legs amputated as he was suffering from an ailment that had damaged his blood vessels.
“I could not walk and I thought that was the end until someone told me to come here for assistance,” said Kabwe.
Pointing to his legs, Kabwe said he was slowly getting healed of the problem.
“I was given muteuro and these stones which I use and now I am able to walk and stand properly,” he added.
Another of the prophet’s patients Mavis Musandiri said her stomach was swollen and people thought she was pregnant yet she had not slept with a man in her life.
“I got confused with the persecution I was getting from the society because people thought I was pregnant while some were saying I had triplets in my stomach but with the help of the holy waters and stones, the problem disappeared,” she said.
It took a lot of waiting and an emissary before prophet Jeremiah agreed to talk to me. Prophet Jeremiah said his powers are from God and he just uses the stones as tools to hold his prayers.
“Just like anyone else, if you want to pray you seek the assistance of the pastor and due to the busy schedule we have people can be assisted with those tools,” Mashonganyika said.
The use of paraphernalia in seeking anointing has sparked debate among Christians in the country with some people saying Jesus never used any instrument in healing people. Only last year, there was so much noise after two prophets Uebert Angel and Emmanuel Makandiwa auctioned their shirts at USD$25 000 each while a tie was sold for USD$5 000.
Makandiwa was quoted then saying: “I know my brother and his taste for style and classy things, but tonight, some of you will go home as proud owners of some of that stuff.”
“If, for instance, you buy this pair of socks, you will be blessed with the anointing of speed and overtaking.”
They argued that the people who bought the shirts would get more blessings in their business because these clothes were anointed, something that was denied by some men of God. Zaoga Forward in Faith Pastor Mathias Mutandwa said they believed in praying without using any instrument.
“It depends on how you take it but the truth is Jesus used no stones to heal people and he just prayed and people got healed,” said Pastor Mutandwa.
Apostolic Faith Mission Pastor Gibson Chikondora said people should not waste their time thinking that they could use stones or water for healing but to pray to God.
“As long as people are praying to God there is no problem because at one point Jesus used mud to heal a blind person but I think it is up to people to decide what they think is helpful to them,” Pastor Chikondora said.
Recently there was stampede over TB Joshua’s holy water that was being sold here in Zimbabwe.
People, however, questioned why the waters were being sold at high prices.
Some couples have separated including reports of a Hwange couple that separated with the wife believing in the holy waters while the husband believed in anointed stones from their sect.
These events have confused congregants on which path to follow as some are flocking to those who do not use instruments of prayer and dry prayer.
Believers who go to “kumasowe”, as some of the apostolic sects are referred to, said they inherited the doctrine of the church to use stones and holy water as instruments of prayers. Every Christian has leeway to choose what they believe and what they don’t believe.
Though church-goers might agree that there is only one God, the way church doctrines differ brings in confusion. These doctrine sometimes clash, leaving more questions than answers to Christians and in most cases they are left in a dilemma to choose the right church.
Miracles in all churches are being done, evil is also being done, leaving a lot to be desired in these churches.
The gospel of prosperity is the order of the day in these churches and people are being raped in trying to look for holy waters and holy stones.
The question remains “direct prayers or muteuro, which is the way to go?”
By: Tawanda Marwizi
Rabboni Ministries Pastor Lesego Daniel At Work