My growing-up years were a very sad experience. My mother, who was the last of my father’s five wives, had four children. She died when I was six years old, and our father died when I was twelve, so my half brothers and sisters had to take care of me. This was not easy, because when I was in primary four (second grade), a strange sickness struck me, leading to paralysis on the left side of my body. In the hospital, the doctors could not help me. At home, the native doctors and herbalists could not help, either. My lot was to cry and sing to God, who I prayed would help me.
Several years later, I started worshiping with a denomination that believes that visions and dreams help connect us to God, and that we are healed by the prayers of the church’s prophets. I was healed of the paralysis—miraculously, I thought—so I remained with this church. I devoted my time to reading the Igbo Bible.
I also had to contend with another problem: My menstrual flow had virtually stopped. For several years it came only once a year. The gossip was that no man would marry me since it was not likely that I would have children. Again, doctors in the hospital and native doctors/herbalists could not heal me. After examining me, a medical director told me I would not give birth to a child. I cried as much as I could and then resigned myself to the problem.
A prophet in our church tried to heal me and asked me to pray and fast with seven packets of candles. He instructed me to go to the church once a day for seven consecutive days every month, for seven months of the year, for seven years. At church I would kneel down and light seven candles, and he would pray for me.
But after seven years I still was not healed. Nevertheless, I continued to work in that church, helping some people to pray and reading the Bible to others.
One day, a member of another branch who was visiting our church said he appreciated my dedication to church work. In our conversation I shared the story of my life. This man told me I shouldn’t fear and assured me strongly that God would heal me. He gave me hope. He said that God is the only creator and does not bring evil or sickness of any kind to anyone. Evil and sickness are not of God, good, and have no reality or power. God is divine Love, he said, and gives us only good, because His love for us all is unwavering.
I later learned that this man was reading the book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, which he got from a friend in Lagos. Science and Health had not been translated into Igbo, my native language, but this man knew English well enough to read it and share its teachings with us. During Bible study he shared deep explanations of Bible stories and what he was learning from Science and Health about God as ever-present Love. He was a spiritual thinker, good-natured and very loving. Other church members and I were drawn to his explanations and his conviction that the power of God heals. He explained that this healing is not miraculous but the effect of God’s law of Love, and that this spiritual law, not material law, governs us. Through this man’s prayers I was completely healed, and monthly menstruation returned.
Those of us in the church who were attracted to the teachings of Christian Science were excommunicated, including this man who had introduced us to Christian Science. As a result, he organized us into a group, as we were now interested in studying Christian Science. In 1998 we became a Christian Science Society.
As for me, I got married and have had five children. The oldest is now in his twenties. Since my introduction to Christian Science, I have had many other healings, and in recent years took Christian Science class instruction.
After serving as Second Reader at my Christian Science Society, I enrolled in secondary school to study English, in order to better read the Bible and Science and Health in English. Now I am listed as a Christian Science practitioner, and am helping others through prayer as I have been helped.
It is a joy to study Christian Science, which Mary Baker Eddy discovered. I am deeply grateful to her, and to God, who has been a refuge and “a very present help in trouble” (Psalms 46:1)—in illness, deprivation, mockery, and persecution.
I am so happy, so happy, to be able to give this testimony.
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