In Iramba Parish in Musoma Diocese, Tanzania every Sunday afternoon one Small
Christian Community (SCC) was accustomed to visit the sick people in the nearby
health center that had a 24-four bed capacity. One particular Sunday I
accompanied the Christians of Nyabosongo SCC (four men, seven women, and five or
six young people). After greeting the patients in each ward the "Prayer Leader"
led the prayers for the sick. Then each SCC member laid hands on the sick
people one at a time. The lay leader sprinkled holy water and gave a final
blessing. What was particularly moving was to watch the primary school children
as they moved from bed to bed in total silence laying hands on elderly people,
mothers with their newborn babies and young people alike. I felt this community
witness was a powerful communication of God’s loving mercy and concern. I felt
God’s healing power acting through the Nyabosongo SCC members as a group. I
felt the SCC members to be a fifth gospel. What was particularly powerful to me
in that Iramba Health Center was the community ministry of healing and the
laying on of hands. I felt deeply that Jesus Christ the "Healer" was present in
and through the SCC’s loving concern.