‘Miracles’ at Gym
SEVERAL BARBADIANS last night claimed miracle cures for a range of problems including HIV/AIDS, cancer, tumours, heart ailments, poor vision, diabetes and even a speech impediment.
The cures were reported towards the end of a healing and prayer session by controversial American evangelist Benny Hinn at the Gymnasium of the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex.
Hinn was participating in a service organised by the National Alliance of Churches & Christian Organisations of Barbados (NACCO) which started around 3 p.m. and lasted more than seven hours.
Many of the people claiming miracles were women of all ages, but some men spoke of the healing power of God during the standing-room-only gathering.
In a session where Hinn’s trademark “powerful healing touch” repeatedly floored people, one of the most striking claims of cure came from a young woman who said that as the evangelist prayed, she felt “electricity” go through her body and knew she was healed of HIV.
Several people spoke of a cessation of pain or arthritis which had troubled them for years.
One girl who said her arm had been broken told Hinn she no longer felt pain. A man with “an enlarged prostate” also spoke of relief.
There were also claims to “diabetes” being healed, vision improving and in the case of a young man, the ability to put words together for the first time.
Hinn, who spoke at length after arriving at the Gymnasium around 5 p.m. in a dark blue suit trimmed with gold buttons, also talked about another miracle – a financial one.
There was prayer for “no more losses” and that “everything the Devil took from us will be returned doubled”.
The evangelist told Barbadians: “The time has come when you will no longer live from pay cheque to pay cheque.”
But Hinn warned the congregation: “You cannot buy a miracle; only a fool believes that.”
He asked the gathering that was unofficially estimated at over 3 000 to contribute anywhere from $100 to $1 000 to help the alliance cover its expenses.
More than 200 people indicated a commitment to make donations, although it was unclear what each would contribute.
With the gathering that included a number of people in wheelchairs or walking with the aid of a cane, Hinn prayed that each contributor would experience a financial miracle from God, starting a week after the prayer.
Highlights of the service included selections by a mixed choir of more than 100; robust singing, dancing and cheering by the congregation; a joint prayer session by pastors Lucille Baird and Gail Price; rendition of the National Anthem by Paula Hinn; and the outstanding singing and keyboard work of Hinn’s entourage.
Hinn also spoke of a number of people who had been cured under his ministry in various countries, including North American Indians in Spanish Ontario.
He spoke too about his divorce and remarrying, telling Barbadians not to seek divorce because “it’s very expensive” and painful.
He talked too about his heavy indebtedness in earlier years and the people who helped him financially.