While prayer centres are known to be places where the faithful go to seek the face of God, there are those with mischievous characters who go there for ulterior motives. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be funny rules such as “don’t share a cell with a member of the opposite sex” at these centers. Here are ten types of characters you are likely to find at prayer and fasting centres.
1. The thief
He knows how the faithful can be reckless as they perceive the prayer centers to be holy grounds where nobody can think of stealing another person’s items. After enrolling at the center, his mission starts and he waits for everybody to go to the prayer session and looks out for unattended items such as the expensive phone left at the charging stations, and elopes with it. You will be surprised to find your phone missing after the prayer session.
2. The asylum seeker
He has nowhere to go after his rental house was closed over two months’ arrears. For him, this is a perfect place to seek asylum as he can always negotiate and pay daily remittances and enjoy the almost free amenities which include a place to sleep, take a shower, access free hot water, and even enjoy free meals from well-wishers. As others are going on with what brought them there, that is prayers, you will see him basking in the sun or even enjoying afro-cinema in the TV hall. He will tell you he is fasting for 40 days yet in the real sense, he hasn’t fasted even a single day.
3. The adulterer
Many prayer centers prohibit sharing of a cell or dormitories between members of the opposite sex for a reason. There are those who use prayer and fasting sessions as an excuse to pursue their sexual endeavors with people who are not their legitimate partners. It could even be that fisi pastor or church elder who organizes such events to “feast” on their kondoo whose husband thinks that the wife has gone mlimani to pray for the family. He will be found munching the forbidden fruit right in the prayer cell with his prayer partner.
4. Lives on bread alone
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For this character, fasting is not in her vocabulary as she is from a community that doesn’t believe that sane people should stay without eating in the name of prayer. She understands there is no food in prayer centers so she carries enough packages in her travelling bag. This ensures she doesn’t miss a single meal, including breakfast, lunch, and supper during her time at the center. However, she makes sure nobody sees her eating as has to hide when taking the meals.
5. The genuine member
Of course, there is this specific member who came for genuine prayer and fasting sessions as she seeks God to solve her woes. She came to pray and fast for seven days and she follows the routine religiously. She is also keen not to break any of the rules at the center including spending too much time at a payer cell or failing to attend mandatory morning and evening prayer services.
6. Runaway bride
For her, the home environment has been toxic and since she is no longer unable to tolerate it, a prayer centre is a perfect place for her to relax her mind. While there, she is not keen on prayers but reflects on whether she really wants to continue with her marriage or pack and go. She also considers the absence from home to be a punishment for her husband while she’s away.
7. Team fisi
He has searched for love partners in different places including social media to no avail. He now wants to experiment at the prayer centres where he hears that a lot of women desperate for husbands go to pray for their life partners.
8. Wanted criminal
He goes to the prayer center disguised as an innocent faith who is seeking spiritual intervention and registers for a 21-day prayer and fasting session. Unknown to many including those with spiritual eyes at the centre, he is a notorious criminal hiding from law enforcers.
9. The leisure/Curiosity Seeker
This one travelled all the way from Nairobi to Katoloni in Machakos County just to fulfill his curiosity about how the place looked like or what really happens there. As such, he is always walking in and outside the center, surveying neighborhoods and asking lots of questions about the terrain or how the center was put up.
10. The complete idler
She lives near the prayer centre and since he recently completed school and has nothing to do at home, you will always find her in the centre hall, watching TV programmes. She also does not miss all three services a day, just to enjoy the praise and worship sessions.