After 6 weeks in Mayana I thought I had seen it all – I mean I am now a pro in making fire, I caught 3 fish, learned a little Rukangali, heared about people passing away on a daily basis, never eat lunch, acustomed to reality in Mayana, became an excellent trapper, got used to cold showers, made my peace with different costumes and believes and adjusted to African time. But tonight yet the strangest thing of all was about to happen.
I had just enjoyed my beans and rice and was looking forward to Germany’s first match of the Euro 2016 – well getting texts if there would be any goals, but still.
All in a sudden there was yelling and screaming during a rather quiet and peaceful evening. My first thought was that someone was being beaten up and I got up to go and interfere because it just sounded horrible. Following the noise I ran into Gehard and I thought he was the one being hurt because it sounded like he was crying. When I approached him I noticed that he was in tears but from laughing. I asked him what was going on and he explained that they were praying for a sick person. And then I could here a “in the name of Jesus” over all that screaming. I don’t know why but curiosity drew me closer to the scene.
When I got closer, in the light of fire I could see a person rolling around on the ground making strange noises and people standing around shouting things like “devil hear me, she is a woman of God” or “leave her in the name of Jesus”. I was in shock! There was an exorcism taking place!
I just froze! I was shaking unable to move while all the kids who came to watch thought it was hilarious. I really didn’t know what to do. I was paralysed and just couldn’t believe what I was witnessing. There was no way I could have prepared myself for this. I was pretty scared because I could not really tell if this could turn into a dangerous situation or if it was just harmless. I decided to keep a distance but still I was wondering what would happen next. Therefore I stayed and joined the crowed.
“You must leave. You are a destroyer! A killer! In the name of Jesus! Get out! Get out! Get out! I command you evil spirit get out! You will never find place in her again!” This was accompanied by squeaking, grunting and snorting from the woman on the ground. The more strange noises she made the more they were sure the evil spirit was about to leave her. No one touched her as if they were afraid to catch the evil spirit, too. There was just a tight circle formed around her by those performing the exorcism.
I was told that the woman had been sick and eventually had consulted a witch doctor where she caught the evil spirit who was now troubling her. Apparently this had happend before and people had been praying for her and therefore helped her in the past. But now the evil spirit was back and so her relatives brought her over to get that spirit out of her for good.
“Devil I tell you, leave this woman. She is a woman of God! Leave her now! In the name of Jesus!” And all in a sudden the woman got up, ran a round like a chicken with its head cut off. She returned to the original spot and dropped back to the ground. “Yes leave her devil, leave her now! In the name of Jesus you will never find place in her again!” Then the woman was released and ran off into the night. Apparently the evil spirit was distracted by all the shouting and screaming and therefore was not able to follow her. As sudden as the exorcism started it came to an end and everyone left or returned to their fire engaging in conversations like nothing happend.
I am still not sure what had been really going on. Was she mentally ill? Having a seizure? On drugs? Crazy? Just an act? Or had actually a bad spell been placed on her? Whatever it was, I hope the whole procedure was a successful one and there is no need to repeat it any time soon.
Well, from now on I am keeping my mouth shut about church, the Bible, Jesus or anything else possibly making me the anti-Christ. Otherwise I might be the next one they want to cast the devil out of. When Klaus later asked me if I went to church in the morning I made arrangements right away to go to church with him next Sunday.
Just to be safe!