A Deceiver’s End

first_img“Jesus’ shed blood should cover you.” It was the voice of Apostle Edward Somah, his face tense, teeth held together, his two hands clutched the holy writ in a room with other members who continued to shout for joy during a revival to deliver a woman who had been under the control of powers beyond human control.“This is the day the Lord has made,” Apostle Somah shouted, his body shaking violently. It had been two hours now since the deliverance began.Apostle Somah moved back and forth, his teeth held together, his voice booming and echoing in the distance.“Lord, this woman is under the influence of the enemy,” he said, his hands trembling, the entire edifice shaking to its foundation. “We cannot allow the devil the chance to win.”“Amen! Lord may you show your power,” the almost thirty five members of both sexes, chosen for the occasion, responded in a chorus. “This is our time, and this is your time.”The four-room shack turned into a meeting place of the Holy Redeemer’s Church sat at the crossroad of Sopoh and Union Streets, outside Monrovia.Elizabeth Woyee, being delivered by the church, had sowed seeds in Apostle Somah, and was practically broke. The promised deliverance out of her predicament never happened and this deliverance seemed to be the end of her trust in those claiming to be messengers of God.Apostle Somah had insisted that heaven’s work was slow but sure. Having been under a curse for the last eight years, Elizabeth Woyee had become the joke of women she had disagreed with on flimsy issues. Her presence at Apostle Somah’s church was the last to allow some men of God to take her for a ride. Her husband of ten years had left her and she was at the end of her wits. The gospel song, ‘Lord, give me a new day,’ was her best companion.Behind her back, she was referred to as ‘a witch,’ and some had been brave enough to point fingers at her. She had had to live with the humiliation, and it had forced her to weep on many occasions. In a community where everyone seemed to know each other, Madam Woyee could not remedy her suffering.A day before she began her ordeal under the authority of Apostle Somah, the twenty seven-year-old apostle who seemed to have more problems than what the woman was facing, had asked her, “You must confess and sow seeds in the Lord.”The apostle had tasted extensive travel in several West African countries and had been successful with material things, that he claimed came from God. After six years of self-imposed economic exile, he decided to return home to live with the garb of God.While in Ghana, he was blessed with overflowing abundance of human beings interested in the work of God. The difficulty in life created conditions in which the Almighty was looked upon for help in every endeavor, while the devil was blamed for all misdeeds, unintentional and deliberate ones, of course.With fasting and prayers, Apostle Somah had been able to lead many of the sick back to health; those who claimed to have been possessed by demons had been cured, and on several occasions, when jesters had protested against his miracles, he had quoted from the bible the portion that suggested that those who believed would even move mountains.Many had made testimonies, to confirm the apostle’s abiding faith in the Lord.It was Ghana that his fame as a man of God and a miracle maker gained considerable ground, and his church grew with the damned coming in their numbers to be saved from the impending doom that they saw awaiting them in the hereafter. But he had had some misfortunes that resulted in the losses and even deaths of several women who had entrusted their future into his hands.Now that he was back in the land of his birth, and now that he had come across many of the damned, Apostle Somah felt sorry for them. At crusades where he was besieged by those whose lives had been torn apart by witches and personal enemies, Apostle Somah had stood up for them and had gained considerable material success, for many had sowed seeds with personal but useful items. His belief is that there is joy in the house of the Lord.Many had wondered what Jesus or God would do with a personal computer, a television or a mobile phone, but his servant, Apostle Somah had said that the Lord’s servant should not be deprived of the necessities of life, because sowing seeds in the Lord’s vineyard was tantamount to taking care of the Lord, and would often quote: “I was hungry, and you looked after me, I was sick and you cured me,” which went well with his audience.Now, as Apostle Somah looked down over Elizabeth Woyee, tears dripping onto his chest, his mind on that wonderful scene when the Lord Jesus wept upon hearing of the death of his friend Lazarus, his dear friend and child of God.“I am a sinner,” Elizabeth Woyee told the man of God. The apostle then lifted his head and looked into the heavens, as if for some spiritual support, when the woman added, “It’s been hard on me.”“I know,” the apostle said, “but I am seeing a revelation about some dark moments in your life and about a woman that I think is your sister.”“My sister,” she said, and she began to cry, “I am guilty for causing her death.”“The Lord is aware of your deeds,” the apostle said, “it is true you have said you killed your sister and now you are bearing the burden.”“Yes,” she said, her head bowed in shame, tears filling her eyes, “I have not found life easy. There are more problems daily.”“I know,” the apostle said, “now the Lord can heal you.” After her confession, the chance was open for her salvation from the abyss.She was thereafter accepted by the church and the next day Apostle Somah began the process of invoking his Lord to free her from the curse, and what the apostle said was hanging overhead. The apostle, supported by his church members, began to invoke God’s mercy upon her. The woman collapsed and shook involuntarily. One moment her body would lift from the floor and dangled in mid air, and the next moment, it would move towards the members, who were singing and praising the Lord. “Ebalalalalalllllalalalalalalalala,” Apostle Somah chanted repeatedly, beads of perspiration formed on his brow. “Ebalalalalalalalallalalalalalalallalalal.”“Amen,” the members cried in unison.“I command you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,” the apostle shouted, as if to someone before him, “to release this woman and let the Lord’s will be done.” But as the man of God ordered the spirit to leave the woman’s body, she would respond in a man’s voice. The apostle would then spring a sizeable amount of holy water on her, and the trembling would suddenly cease.This went on for two hours, and it was evident that the apostle would continue the battle till victory was won, or he would accept defeat. The Holy Redeemer’s Church had lately won the hearts of people in the area as a representative of the true God, and Apostle Somah had been credited for casting out demons, spells and other ailments that had baffled medical science.Now he must fight to deliver this woman under the devil’s control. The success of the deliverance would make Apostle Somah. But believing in the works that had been entrusted into his hands, Apostle Somah knew his personality, wrapped up in calmness and faith, would only survive after he had subdued the enemy.Though it had been two hours since the prayers began, there were signs that the Lord was answering his request, and the devil or the enemy in the woman’s life was being defeated.After a continuous back and forth movement, incantations and repeated instructions of, “Holy Ghost fire” and “I beseech thee…I beseech thee,” the woman at last lay calm, and her breathing began to soar higher and higher to the delight of all present.Apostle Somah said, in a mild prayer, “Lord, for eight years this soul has been under the control of the devil. Now is the day you have made to let the devil know that you’re the king of the world.”“Amen,” the congregation said in chorus, “Our Lord is able.”Then a woman raised a popular song of the church, her voice shrill and picking up power, echoed the popular hymn:“He didn’t have to do it, but he did…” and the rest of the congregation responded. The drums beat and hands clapped for thanksgiving.There was a shout from a woman above the echoes of the others and the apostle, who had momentarily moved away from the patient, rushed to her assistance, reciting some verses from the holy writ. The bible was still clutched in his right hand, and a rosary of a cross, which had hung around his neck, now dangled on his left hand.His face registered what could be described as pain, but it was evidently clear that he was communing with forces beyond the power of men. And he was almost beside the woman when he began to recite, “Owawawawawa….”It was then that a scuffle at the entrance to the church was noticed, and three men, possibly plain clothed police officers, entered the building. After some difficulties, they got the apostle’s attention and sought an audience with him. Apostle Somah, after approaching the Lord in prayers, raised the popular song, “Papa Lord da you ooo…” before informing the congregation the tragedy that had befallen him before the three men took him away in handcuffs.In was reported in local newspapers the next day that a notorious self-styled man of God had been nabbed by police officers in Monrovia. The arrested man of God, the news said, was wanted in several West African countries for the deaths of several women. He was also accused of making away with several thousands of dollars.The name of the alleged man of God was Apostle Edward Somah.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Marred Opening For Sochi Olympics

first_imgSOCHI, Russia – Music, dance and plenty of Russian bravado unleashed the ultimate achievement of Vladimir Putin’s Russia on Feb. 7 – a Winter Olympics to showcase the best athletes on ice and snow that the world has to offer.The opening ceremony on the edge of the Black Sea and subsequent games are Russia’s chance to tell its story of post-Soviet resurrection to the world, and dispel the anger, fear and suspicion that has marred the buildup to these most expensive Olympics ever.Just after the sun set over the Caucasus Mountains and along the seashore just outside Fisht Stadium in the wet-paint-fresh Olympic Park, Russian TV star Yana Churikova shouted to a crowd still taking their seats: “Welcome to the center of the universe!”For the next two weeks, it certainly is for the 3,000 athletes who will compete in 98 events, more people and contests than ever at the Winter Games.American snowboarder Shaun White is certain to wow crowds in the Krasnaya Polyana resort halfpipe. On the ice, Canadian hockey players Sidney Crosby and Jonathan Toews will try to add another gold medal to their collection of Stanley Cups. In the rink, American’s Ashley Wagner and Gracie Gold will try to dethrone South Korean marvel and defending goal medalist Yuna Kim.But every athlete who makes it to Sochi is honored with the title Olympian, and a satellite image of the earth was projected on the floor of Fisht Stadium as they entered during the parade of nations, the map shifting so the athletes emerged from their own country. The athletes from the Cayman Islands even arrived in shorts!After Greece, traditionally first as the birthplace nation of Olympic competition, the teams marching into the stadium in Russian alphabetical order, putting the U.S. between Slovenia and Tajkistan.The ceremony was crafted as a celebration of Russia and is presenting Putin’s version: a country with a rich and complex history emerging confidently from a rocky two decades and now capable of putting on a major international sports event.And it didn’t take long for that classic Russian pride in their nation to come shining through.As Churikova rallied the crowd to scream “louder than ever,” she told the 40,000 fans in their cool blue seats their keepsakes from the night would last 1,000 years. When explaining the show would be hosted in English, French and Russian, she joked that it didn’t matter, because in Sochi, everyone “speaks every language in the world.”The official ceremony opened with the Russian alphabet projected on the stadium floor, as a young girl told the story of her country’s heroes and their globally renowned achievements: composer Tchaikovsky; artists Kandinsky, Chagall and Malevich; writers Tolstoy, Pushkin and Chekhov; Mendeleev and his periodic table; the first spaceship Sputnik and Russia’s space stations.There was a glitch, too, as the lighting of the five Olympic Rings overshadowed the singing of the Russian national anthem. Five stars on cables drifted together above the stadium, and four of them turned into Olympic rings – but the fifth never unfurled and they all failed to erupt into white flames as planned, marring what’s traditionally a key moment in the ceremony.In a nod to Russia’s long history, the anthem was sung by the 600-year-old Sretensky Monastery Choir, a symbol of an increasing rapprochement between the state and the Russian Orthodox Church. The monastery is led by Tikhon Shevkunov, who is known to be Putin’s confessor and one of the nation’s most influential clergymen.Not on the set list: Putin’s repression of dissent, fears of terrorism and inconsistent security measures at the Olympics, which will take place just a few hundred miles (kilometers) away from the sites of an insurgency and routine militant violence. Also looked over: the tensions with the United States over neighboring Ukraine, NSA leaker Edward Snowden and Syria.And the unpaid migrant workers who helped build up the Sochi site from scratch, the disregard for local residents, the environmental abuse during construction, the pressure on activists, and the huge amounts of Sochi construction money that disappeared to corruption.The show cleared its first chance to focus on one of those issues without so much as a wink, as Russian singers Tatu performed Not Gonna Get Us – steering clear of the very real anger over a Russian law banning gay “propaganda” aimed at minors that is being used to discriminate against gays.The women in Tatu put on a lesbian act that is largely seen as an attention-getting gimmick, but on this night, they merely held hands, stopping short of the groping and kissing of their past performances. At MTV awards in 2003, the duo performed with dozens of young women dressed in tight-fitting schoolgirl uniforms that they stripped off in the end.This time, their lead-in act was the Red Army Choir MVD signing Daft Punk’s Grammy-winning Get Lucky.While some world leaders stayed away, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was in Sochi and made a video speech just before the start of the opening ceremony’s main show. Ban has spoken out about the anti-gay law, but did not refer to it at the opening ceremony.Asked whether Putin might arrive at the ceremony from the air, like stunt actors playing James Bond and Queen Elizabeth II did at in London, the ceremony’s director, Konstantin Ernst, said, “It’s hardly worth hoping for that.”Indeed, Putin only waived from his booth alongside IOC President Thomas Bach at the ceremony’s opening.The Winter Games ceremony is generally a more low-key event than the summer opener. Ernst said organizers tried to keep it from dragging out too long, since most viewers only care to watch their own team and its key rivals.But who will carry the Olympic torch to light the cauldron for the games, after the flame’s unprecedented journey to the North Pole, the cosmos, Europe’s highest mountain peak and beyond?“It’s the biggest secret ever,” Ernst said, with a smile.(Angela Charlton)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more