16.09.2021 Feature Article

Religion And Disability

Religion And Disability
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I probably should have done a video to articulate on this issue very well, perhaps at an appropriate time I will but for now let me just type my thoughts.

I will describe my family as a Christian one, when I was a child, I saw my father pray fervently every day, (he still does) and my mother too. I can still recall some of my mother's prayer lines "Awurade hy3 wo ho anuoyam" (God Glorify yourself) in a Fante tone. I recall how I used to imitate my mother when I was asked to pray and how my mother will laugh about it. We were staunch Presbyterians. My mother's father was a Presbyterian Priest and my father, an active and spiritual member of the church and other spiritual based groups.

So, I grew up literally in church, those who know me in Obuasi will testify, I went through the process, children's service, Junior Youth and YPG.

I started preaching in church at a very early age, my love and passion for the things of God, morality and being right was top notch.

Prayer has been my thing for years; I do not even feel complete when I step out of the house without having to spend hours in meditation and prayers. I believe in God and in prayers.

One thing that has come to solidify in believe in the existence of God (if you like, The Universe) is my now eight years old daughter who lives with cerebral palsy.

Growing up, I was very curious about God and what role He (God) played in my life. I used to ask all the difficult questions. I could sit with pastors asking deep questions about God. I can never forget a time when my father scolded me because I asked him something God related and he didn't know how to respond. I remember he (my father) telling me, you cannot combine studying religion and spirituality with your regular academics, choose one (now I laugh anytime I remember that) I guess he was very frustrated with me.

Now I understand him, somethings are only taught you by the Universe.

This is just a background to my discussion today. As a woman with a child who has cerebral Palsy and who decides to talk about my child publicly, one of the most common questions or suggestions I get is prayer. People are very quick to refer me to one pastor or another.

I believe that most people who do this, do this from a good place. It is very common when I meet people who suggest one pastor or another who they believe is good in "miracles"

Initially, in the very early stages of my daughter's development, I was interested and gave some of those suggestions a go.

For example, when my daughter was just about a year old, we (my husband and I) visited a supposed Christian spiritual place where among other things told me what my daughter suffers is "asram" in local parlance. (is under some kind of a spell) They bathed her with some leaves and gave me what I will call concoctions to be given her.

The first time I gave my daughter that concoction was the first time we recorded a convulsion (Seizure) in her life. That spiritual Centre also gave me something and said if I kept that thing that person who did that to my daughter will die.

It was very expensive but I coughed money to pay for it, at the time, I was very bitter, I was ready to fight the battles with my strength and any resource I ever got went into fighting that battle.

At this same spiritual Centre, I was again told that all children that I give birth to will have “Asram” as long as I breastfed them. Today to the Glory of God, I have two healthy and strong children, a boy and a girl after my daughter Eyram.

I do not underestimate the power of God in healing my daughter Eyram from cerebral palsy, I know God can do it but for the last eight years of my life, I have learnt never to be desperate about any situation in my life.

For all the time that I was desperately looking for “healing” for my daughter Eyram who lives with cerebral palsy, my life got worse, her situation worsened, so called spiritualists took my hard-earned money.

I will never forget a time when a man who I have not solicited any help from, saw my daughter and immediately started prophesying…. Yes, that man said, “this thing that happened to your daughter is from your husband’s family, he said other things as well” because of my desperation, I believed him, however, I mentioned every single thing he told me to my husband.

I remember signing a fat cheque for this man because he promised to do a few things to reverse the cerebral palsy on my daughter, I gave him 10 times the amount he asked for, all I wanted was for my daughter to get healed.

This man continued to lead me on, till he told me to meet him at 3.45Am at a particular four-square junction, he was going to pray for my unborn child, I was pregnant at the time, he said he will place his hand on my stomach and say some incantations, at that, I backed off and never picked his call again.

My life turned around for the better when I accepted my daughter for who she was, this was after I have prayed over a million times about my daughter’s situation.

I remember driving and praying so hard that one man who was driving beside me and observing me, rolled down his glass and said to me with the broadest of smile “God has heard you”

One day, during my usual driving and praying spree, I heard within me, “the Solution lies within” it was after this that I went within to find purpose. God definitely has a purpose for my daughter’s life.

I tell people that of all the three children that I have, Eyram was the one I prayed and asked God for. Before her pregnancy, I use to pray and ask God for a child, I have knelt down before the altar in the North Kaneshie congregation of the Presbyterian church, alone, praying for a child and this child was Eyram.

To the Christian and religious community, do not be quick to suggest that it is because someone didn’t pray enough or because a person suffers a curse or something negative that the person have a child with disability.

You are not God and you cannot tell the mind of God, these days, there are times that I pray and even forget to pray for Eyram’s healing, I am seeking the higher things of God, that I should be a vessel of honour unto God, that God’s light should permeate me, that God should use me to touch the world in the most positive way

Who knows, perhaps my daughter Eyram is an answer to some of these prayers I offer.

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