He has lived with hypertension for the past five years, but Harrison cannot dare to consult traditional doctors and herbalists to get healed.
Harrison has, instead, engaged various prophets and apostles in prayers that are solely aimed at securing him divine intervention.
But as it has turned out, none of the self-acclaimed prophets and apostles has succeeded in persuading the Almighty God to heal him.
Harrison—a native of Thyolo who stays in Blantyre—grew up in the rural areas and knows about the existence of traditional doctors and herbalists who have the capacity to turnaround one’s life even where medical doctors had given up the fight.
“But being a devout born again Pentecostal Christian, I cannot consult traditional doctors and herbalists. I would rather die,” insists Harrison.
The high blood pressure (BP) patient reveals that a prophet at their makeshift church often warns them that consulting traditional physicians and/or herbalists shows one is doubting the strength and greatness of God.
But hundreds of kilometres from Blantyre, 30-year-old woman Zimba praises God for answering her prayer through a herbalist.
Zimba lived with her husband for four years, but could not conceive.
This raised fears among the husband’s relatives, that their kin had married a barren woman.
But acting on the belief that ‘God helps only those who are ready to take a step to redeem themselves’, she sought the intervention of herbalists.
“And it never took long before I got an answer to my prayer. Today, I am a mother of six children,” boasts Zimba.
She believes millions of innocent people are suffering across the globe because of the ‘wrong notion that God’s time is the best’ with which they justify their inactivity when calamity strikes.
But if God is indeed great and the almighty, why does He turn away from the cries of His people such as Harrison?
Or could Zimba be right that God responds to those who are ready to take a step to help themselves?
Would it not be proof enough that God is a failure if His people start finding their answers [to their problems] from herbalist.
One Blantyre-based herbalist, Mavuto Kapyepye, does not believe that God would be angry with His people using herbs cure ailments.
Kapyepye, who is also managing director of Muhinje Farm, which specialises in farming, processing, packaging and distributing of herbal products in Malawi and across the borders, challenges that those using herbs have the backing of the Bible.
He says from Genesis to Revelation, the Holy Book is awash with verses that support the use of herbs to heal various ailments.
Some of the verses include Genesis 9: 3, which says: “Every moving thing that lives shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things”.
On the other hand, Isaiah 38: 21 says: “For Isaiah had said, ‘Prepare a poultice of figs and apply it to the boil, and he will recover’.”
Revelation 22: 2 is the last verse he cites for this discussion. The verse reads: “In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bore 12 manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”
Kapyepye argues that this is enough proof that one of the purposes for which God created trees was to be used in healing the sick.
“But this doesn’t mean God is powerless. He is only challenging us to be innovative and make good use of everything He gave unto us, including herbs,” he says.
Kapyepye, however, points out that God doesn’t condone people to consult traditional doctors and prophets who use spirits of the dead and/or astrologers (people with special powers to predict someone’s future).