Kenya Times Report: Maitreya, Akatsa & Bonnke
About 6,000 worshippers at Muslim Village, Kawangware, Nairobi, (Kenya) believe they saw Jesus Christ, in broad daylight last week.
© Kenya Times. First published in the Kenya Times, 22 June 1988.

NAIROBI (Kenya Times) It may be hard to believe, but nothing will move them, because "Jesus" addressed them and assured them of a come-back, very soon.

The scene was at the Church of Bethlehem, where Mary Sinaida Akatsa conducts miracle prayers, praying for the sick, the blind, cripples, mad people, the barren and others facing all sorts of personal problems. On Saturday 4 June 1988 a big, bright star was sighted above the skies by worshippers. It was unusually brighter than ordinary stars. The time was 1 p.m.

But on Saturday 11 June it was different. Worshipers were busy singing Mungu ni Mwema, a popular Swahili hymn, when Mary Akatsa interjected. She announced that God had spoken to her and told her to "await a miracle because a very important guest would be coming to give her a very vital message." People 'braced themselves for the unknown' while others stared blankly at her, their mouths agape with awe and bewilderment.

Five minutes later, she asked those who were singing and dancing to stop as the long-awaited message had arrived. "Jesus! Jesus! Jesus of Nazareth!" went the loud whispers from the crowd as they raised up their hands in submission and divine welcome.

The tall figure of a barefooted, white-robed and bearded man appeared from nowhere and stood in the middle of the crowd. He was walking slowly towards the new church building away from the tent. Mary walked with him, side by side.

She tried to explain that 20 cripples had managed to walk again a few minutes ago because of the day's blessings. But nobody, except perhaps a few, heard this. They were busy talking to "The Lord". I looked at my watch. It was 4.15 pm. Her voice was drowned by cries and loud moans of "Jesus! Jesu. Yeeesu! You have come. Welcome Jeesus! Wash our sins. Help us Jeesus!" For many, it was the last prayer. It appeared to them the "Son of Man" had at last fulfilled His promise of coming back to earth. They knelt down in emotional prayers in a frantic effort to save their souls at the 11th hour. A man lying near to me urinated in his trousers. But I stared back at the stranger in the meeting without blinking. Strange, sporadic light wafted on top of his turbaned head, his feet and his entire body.

The scene and mood of the worshipers reminded one of the Old Testament times of the Tower of Babel when languages became "confused" (Genesis Chapter 11). Everyone was murmuring something. Others were flat on the ground weeping uncontrollably in praise and worship, in total submission to the occasion. Mama Akatsa appealed for calm. But it was difficult. The "Holy Spirit" had descended. Yes, the vice and crime-infested slums of Kawangware had been transformed into 'a holy ground'. The man whispered something to Akatsa for about two minutes. She later informed the crowd that the strange man would address them.

In clear Swahili, which had no traces of accent, the strange man announced that the people of Kenya were blessed, especially those who had gathered at the venue that afternoon. He said Mary had an important mission to unify people of all races and tribes under the umbrella of God through Jesus.

"I implore you kindly to steadfastly hold on to your faith as the world will be no more. We are nearing the time for the reign of heaven. But before that I shall come back and bring a bucketful of blessings for all of you. Please respect Mary as she is a true representative of 'The Most High' ", the man said and reminded the crowd to live to the teachings of the Bible.

As the strange man was about to leave, two women left their seats and surged forward to where the man and Mary stood. They advanced towards him on their knees, tears streaming down their cheeks. "Shetani Rhihswaah!" the man told the two, and down to the ground they went with a thud, as the ancient Hebrew curse word sent echoes everywhere. The word was used 2,000 years ago to rebuke demons and evil spirits.

It took the crowd nearly 20 minutes to recover after the man left the meeting in a car belonging to a Mr. Gurnam Singh, who offered to give him a lift. But it will probably take Mr. Singh his lifetime to recover from the shock he got two minutes later. On reaching the bus terminus for KBS Route No 56, the man informed Mr. Singh to stop the car as he wanted to alight and head for heaven. On getting out, he did not ascend. He walked a few paces beside the road and simply vanished into thin air. Several people who witnessed this were astonished by his mysterious disappearance.

A few minutes later, a worried Mr. Singh came back panting like a cross-channel swimmer accompanied by a group of people from the bus stage, and narrated the strange development. Mary assured the meeting that "Jesus" had gone to heaven.

What baffled many was that Mary, while addressing the crowd in the presence of the strange man, had said the light drizzle being experienced then was to signify the presence of "Jesus". She had also announced that there would be a heavy downpour later to signify that "Jesus" was back in his "Heavenly Throne". And, as sure as hell, the rains came. There were floods all over town that evening that caught people unawares. Later, many were reluctant to leave the religious venue an had to be convinced to do so.

Back at Uhuru Park, Rev. Bonnke was promising thousands of worshippers and millions of listeners during a live TV and radio transmission that God had, on Thursday, informed him that they would experience the presence of Jesus and great miracles on Saturday. Jesus did indeed come to Nairobi but in a different venue.

There is always a 'resident' photographer at Mary Akatsa's meetings. He takes snapshots of various episodes and later sells them to worshipers at Shs10 each. In the past, when bright stars appeared in broad daylight above Kawangware, there were only clouds and the blue sky in the photos he had taken.

But this time, the photographer, known as Francis Kaburu, managed to take about six snapshots of the strange man, successfully. It is alleged that this may have been a hoax, after all. Already, reports have it that the person cited was a "Jinn" or a mysterious spirit, hence his mysterious disappearance.

But Mary Akatsa discounts this contention: "This was Our Lord. He promised in the Bible to come back in different forms ... In any event he was born of a woman and lived on earth", she said later. And the thousands who witnessed the episode concur with her entirely.

Mr Tofias Onyango, a Nairobi lawyer, is currently busy writing a book on Mary Akatsa's miracles. He was within the church compound when "Jesus" came but inside a room 100 yards away from where the action was, preparing his manuscript. "So far, the only thing I have been able to witness is a bright star during daylight", he says, and laments that he missed the "big miracle".

© Kenya Times. First published in the Kenya Times, 22 June 1988.