I read God is not Deaf by Moshood Balogun and had a bit of a laugh to myself because a similar thing happened to me a few years ago. My parents have a house in Accra which has the head office of a well-known Christian denomination behind it. Every morning at 5am you hear loud prayers travelling through the house – the house might as well have been built in the church! It drives my parents and myself insane whenever we have to stay there. The house is 20 metres from the t-junction off the main road main road. At the t-junction there used to be a corner store and about 6 years ago when I went to Ghana I realised that a church had been erected where the corner shop was and the shop moved opposite my house. I would could basically open the gate of my house and walking 4 metres ahead and I was at the shop. I was so annoyed. More like vexed! The church shouldn’t have been approved. It was too close to the main road, narrowed our street which was not even big to begin with and didn’t too close to the residential homes. Besides the corner shop, the church split onto residential properties. I remember thinking to myself, if this was Australia there is no way they would have let the church go up. It would have sparked protests and what not.
Now we had the church behind the house disturbing the peace at 5am and the church on the corner continuing the trend at odd hours of the day as well. It was like they were in competition with each other. Who could be the loudest on any given day! Don’t get me wrong, I am not against church. My faith is very important to me and church life is a big part of that. But just imagine your house once being surrounded by other private residences all nice and peaceful and then all of a sudden the house across the street is turned into a church, the house behind you turned into a church as well without your knowledge. And you know Africans, we are not quiet people! Think of all the All-night prayers, prayer and fasting sessions, Sunday church, choir practice, weekly prayer meeting maybe even bi-weekly etc. My friend, you won’t be sleeping even if you are a heavy sleeper!! As the protagonist Esinam puts it, ‘God is not Deaf’.
One day a guy from the new church came to the house to chit-chat because he knew people who lived in the house and heard that I had come to visit. He invited me to his church and I told him no thanks. He asked me ‘Why? Am I not a Christian?’. I told him in the nicest way possible that I am a Christian however I won’t be attending his church because 1. it’s a public disturbance and 2. the position of the church is impractical and unsafe for it’s surroundings. If lived on the street, I would have protested about it and made sure they didn’t build it. He was offended. We went around in circles he thought the devil has taken over my mind. My friend then told me to keep my mouth shut other wise he might go and tell the congregation and by tomorrow we might have people at the gate praying for the devil to come out of me because of what I said. That put me on alert because I could picture it happening! Thank God it didn’t!