- Posted June 28, 2011 by
Thousands of Ethiopians, foreigners find healing in Addis Abeba
Priest/Exorcist Girma Wondimu
By Tedla T.
Thousands of Ethiopians and some foreigners head to two Churches in Addis Abeba looking for religious healings from an Orthodox Priest/Exorcist Girma Wondimu. On Saturday and Sunday to St. Stephen Church, Meskel Square and on Tuesday and Wednesday to St. Michael Church, in Merkato, Addis Abeba. Thousands of Ethiopians and foreigners have given testimonies of healing and many have been open-mouthed by the miracles they have witnessed. Almost all types of ailments are healed through ‘Faith Healing’. This is one of the talking points in the religiously strong Addis Abeba today. The Priest regularly gives religious teachings and healing through baptismal and exorcism in the Ethiopian Orthodox Christian ways. I have had the opportunity to speak to him.
The excerpt follows,
Tell me about yourself please?
Priest/Exorcist Girma: I was born in 1951 (Ethiopian Calendar) in Bale, Ethiopia. In 1962(Eth.Calander) , I was ordained a deacon by Abune Mekarios at the St. Michael Church, in Bale Goba . I served as a deacon for 15 years in different parishes in Bale, Ethiopia. Then I completed preaching and prayer courses. Recently I was given additional trainings on prayers by religious fathers. They strengthened me. By taking the Holy Eucharist (Communion) often, I also got the spiritual gift from God that enables me identify the spirit. When teaching the Gospel to the people attending worship, I was then able to identify where the spirits were amongst worshipers. When you take the Holy Communion, you see what Jesus Christ had seen. You do what Jesus Christ did. Because He said in the Gospel of John 14:12 “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” In this world where betrayal is much, God is out of the philosophy; to quieten the material world’s wealth and wisdom, and reveal the secret; he showed/gave me the opportunity through His gift. So now I can say I have a Doctorate Degree of 35 years of investigation and research on spirits. And in all those years, I had served in Bale Goba, Zeway, Butajira (many Pentecostals and Muslims have been converted to Christianity),Meki,Jima,Teppi,Yirga Cheffe, Sidamo, Harar, Somali region, Neeus Tabia Ketema, Sudan, I have been in Addis Abeba for the past good years and will soon be heading to Wello, Haik, and others.
What did it include, prayers only or did it include healing and other services as I watched in the series of the Video CDs of the Faith Healings you have released?
Priest/Exorcist Girma : What you watched on the Video CDs is just a tip of it. Through my Service, all kinds of healing, safety and deliverance works are done. I spent all the 35 years in this Service. Out of the 35 years, I spent nine of them exiled in Sudan.
Do you have a family?
Priest/Exorcist Girma : I am married and have three children. I live with my family now.
Doing these time and space taking Faith Healing Services and being over crowded with such a large mass, Won’t this affect your private and family life?
Priest/Exorcist Girma : My private life is only for prayer. The rest would all be fulfilled by the Will of God. After my Faith Healing programs, I spend my time in prayers and taking the Holy Communion frequently, because the way to defend devil is when you have Lord inside you, so it is by taking the Holy Communion that the devil is won and you get strengthened. Because He said “I am the bread of life.’’
Can you list me the total number of healings and their types?
Priest/Exorcist Girma: They are so many . Because it is quite expensive to have the blank CDs we use for recording the films on, we only do recordings sometimes and only few of the miracles selected. Hundreds of people are healed every day. For instance in Somali region, Ethiopia, we used to heal a bunch of 20 to 40 people at a time. So it is difficult to put it in figures but you can say around a million. You can say almost half of the 80 million of our population has been affected by demons. You can say after the revolution (1974), Habessha has become devil.
There were many types of cures ;some whose tongues was inside their necks were healed , crippled, disabled, deaf and some who were in coma were also healed, scientists were also cured, infertile gave birth , Pentecostal spirits were also healed . Many Europeans and Americans have been healed here too. Some of them are in high positions in their own countries. Their demons are easy to exorcise because it is not worshiped unlike ours.
I know that most priests in the old days used to have the gift of Faith Healing. Especially those that were before the coming of modern schooling were able to heal. Then, those who have abused their religious education for their own and devil’s benefits have popped up, who are wrongly named, Debteras (evil doers).
To those of my fellows in my generation who believe in rationality and logic such cures and miracles are unacceptable, some would even laugh when told about the miracles. What is your message for these people?
Priest/Exorcist Girma: These people are of four types: those that have totally denied God and are possessed by demon, second are relatives of the devil (witches, shamans, evil eyes and son ), third those affected by the spirit of philosophy (these is the modern Satan, say as in the case of Marxist and similar laws), fourth are those who succeed the place of devil by having a behaviour of discriminating, hate, and love of riches . The last or the fifth group are Christians. The four believe in materials. They believe in philosophies and when they see miracles they happen to be scared or at other times continue with their denials.
Such services of “Faith Healing’’ in our Church are increasing. I have seen many cases in Addis Abeba in places like Piassa, Ferensayee and so on. Some were proved wrong. How do you see that?
Priest/Exorcist Girma: Gifts of God's generosity are different. As long as one can heal, opposes the devil, and the rules and regulations of the Church are respected, I wouldn’t have anything against it. I believe the gift is only from God.
Did you have bad experiences?
Priest/Exorcist Girma: I was labelled by some laity as a non Christian and was even unable to find a place to sleep for some time. Some had also said that I don’t eat food at all. When I said that my time to break my fast has reached, an elderly lady whose children have been healed once said to me “do you also eat?” I also heard that some people accused me of being a magician, using a Sudanese witchcraft. Those who have been doing this were the types of people I sectioned into four above . One of the saddening things is that priests that knew me very well also failed to testify about me due to jealousy and bad intentions. Some with a rank of Pope, whom I had known in person, had also sent out a rumour, stating that I had a Sudanese witchcraft to do all these healings and this, had stereotyped many worshipers. This shows that the spirits of jealousy and badness that were in there during Genesis had not yet left the Church. There were also intimidations, breaking of my water pipe, protests and so on. But this is all improving now. Worshipers have known the truth now.
They say treasury gifts can spoil …do u take gifts?
Priest/Exorcist Girma: For all these services, nobody pays. It is all free. And there is no precondition to be healed all human beings of all religions, race or identity are allowed to come for healing. They get all the services for free.
So how do you live? Any source of income?
Priest/Exorcist Girma: From the sale of the Video CDs. The CDs show some of the live recorded miraculous ‘Faith Healing’ programs and preaching.
Do you have message for Ethiopians? We Ethiopians are suffering and agonized both in Ethiopia or while in exile. Our problems seem to be endless. Though we were one of the grandest, now we are the helpless.
Priest/Exorcist Girma : Very good. We are in this alarming image for one thing because our ‘Ethiopianess’ has gone out of us. Secondly, our religious direction has been contaminated by the communist thinking. Thirdly, a cursing spirit has entered us and our leaders have built the generation repeating the ‘Destroy it!’’ slogan. There was this culture that promoted the destruction of our past history, the Church, the monuments, and the heroes who protected the country. I am not a politician but I think a child that grew up with those slogans of ‘destroy it’ couldn’t be able to have love for the Country and values and respect for a religion. So we are harvesting a generation that grew up with the ‘destroy it’ slogan/word. That is why whatever we work and our fruits are destroyed, we are exiled and there is destruction there too, here we are and it is destroyed too, it is all destruction. Why? Because what we sow was curse, so we reap curse too. Ethical morality has been broken by Marxist thinking too. Sixty thousand Ethiopians in the times of the Revolution were always marching on Sundays saying “destroy it”, they used to eat meat on Wednesday and Friday that was a time where there was extreme exaltation and indulgence .When their slogan was made a reality by God, it is destruction again. The other thing is that , “going 40 years forward and 40 years backward’’ has become one of the natures of the Ethiopian history.
What is the solution?
Priest/Exorcist Girma : We have to return backward meaning to prayers, ethical education, the religious martyrdom of our fathers, firmness in belief, ceasing lying, and fearing God. Ethiopians have to begin a life of sainthood/sanctification. Sanctified people won’t starve, go to war, migrate, because God is the worrier under the protection of Angeles, they will be victorious. We aren’t sanctified. So all of us have to be blessed. If all are blessed, they will always win.
People of the world had attempted to change the world with materials but material is only reducing human beings. We see the technologies, satellites, internet, and mobiles advancing…although it is good and useful; it is also passing its limit. Leaders have been very wrong. Politicians have extremely lost their direction. So unless we return to the One who shows us directions, we will be in complete darkness. If we return to God, what we Ethiopians have is enough to the world. We are not either with the West or with ourselves; we have become losers.
In short, I would like to say to Ethiopians from the youth to elders to stop being lured with little things for the sake of filling their belly and be firm on their faith.