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Opinions of Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Columnist: Kusi–Appiah, Daniel

The miracle loving people of Africa

Miracles have become an African Christian obsession. I believe in miracles, but I don’t believe miracles always and solely occur on their own without a human input. Why? , because I believe YOU! are the MIRACLE.

If our forefathers were brought back to life to this century, they would marvel at the present day technology we take for granted: such as air and sea travel, the internet, giant strides in medical science, the ordinary motor vehicle and others.

Man has no wings to fly like a bird, but as a result of his invention of the aeroplane, he can now fly faster and longer than a bird; crossing the vast oceans and continents of the globe. Man has no fins to swim and dive like a fish, but through his invention of the ship and submarine he can cross vast oceans; below and above water.

The above MIRACULOUS scientific strides were born out of human brainwork in tandem with positive thinking. This draws us back to my initial statement and opinion that “YOU! are the MIRACLE”.

It is rather unfortunate that a worrying number of people on the continent of Africa have become comfortable sitting back; expecting miracles or good results to happen out of thing air.

Two years ago, I was invited to an African church (name withheld): for a morning service. From the church’s name, I knew instantly it was a superficial miracle obsessed church: missing or avoiding practical ways of helping its congregation to achieve desired results. Nevertheless I still honoured the invitation just to update myself with the new level of deception and gullibility within some churches.

During the service, members who wanted breakthroughs in their lives were called by the head pastor to the fore of the congregation to be prayed for, to receive miracles. Among them was a 25 year old lady whom I sympathised with as she needed a miracle to enable eliminate pains in her lower back. This lady was very overweight and looking lethargic. However, instead of the pastor to give her sound practical advise such as loosing weight through exercising and backing it with prayer, he rather asked her to buy a litre of the church’s so called “blessed oil” for £150, and to pour a drop of it on each meal she had in order to receive her breakthrough. And guess what? , all the called up members bought the £150 “blessed oil” in the hope of warding off their various predicaments. I wondered why the congregation could not at worst brainstorm to see through the obvious deception.

I am slowly but surely believing that many Africans are hiding laziness under the veil of miracle expectation or should I say Christianity. To always bank your hopes on miracles is a symptom of laziness.

Furthermore, some churches think they can talk miracles into happening without making use of brain and physical power. Six hours of just “Bible bashing” on a Sunday; into the ears of church members is not needed for people and communities to be positively transformed. Do they really know the value of time? As one Ghanaian business man puts it: “Ghanaians talk too much. If you want ideas, go to Ghana, take down notes and go back to your country to implement them. In five years, go back to Ghana and you would still find them talking.” Well, he referred to Ghana, but the problem is synonymous to the entire Africa.

This mentality is adversely affecting the continents development hence brings me to the belief that Africa’s fundamental problem is psychosocial. Africa has the largest share of the worlds resources yet poor; because it lacks the drive to organise and galvanise itself to harness its natural resources.

As a result it has developed a donor – centric attitude whereby it expects non – Africans to work “developmental MIRACLES” on the continent. Some Africans feel they can never be successful in Africa until they get that “MIRACLE visa” to enable them leave the continent. Some Africans believe they would always be helpless without that “MIRACLE financial remittance” from their fellow Africans slaving away in the Diaspora.

I am a Christian and strongly believe that our mental faculties and physiology were given to us by God to utilise and derive the MIRACLES we yearn for. With the proliferation of African Pentecostal churches, it can very tempting for unsuspecting Christians to equate that to real benefit for Africans in the continent as well as the Diaspora, however this is somehow turning to be counter – productive.

Most limitations in life are self – imposed. We must make things happen, not watch things happen. If you try, you can, Because YOU! are the MIRACLE.

By: Daniel Kusi–Appiah