A Christian Science nurse from Ghana
Reprinted from the January 2009 issue of The Christian Science Journal.
The day I walked into a Christian Science Reading Room for the first time, I had no idea what a wonderful spiritual journey lay ahead. Five years before, I had come to London from Ghana (West Africa) to become a medical nurse. But for three months before I had come into the Reading Room, I had been very ill. A severe reaction to the medicine I was taking for a urinary infection resulted in liver damage and severe weight loss. The doctor finally told me that nothing else could be done medically. He discharged me from the hospital, asking that I come back every two weeks for blood tests.
During that time, my husband saw an advertisement for a Christian Science Reading Room that stated “Christian Science Heals.” I found the Reading Room and said to the librarian, “You people heal. Can you help me?” This wonderful librarian gave me Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures and a copy of The Christian Science Journal to look for a practitioner. She also gave me a Christian Science Sentinel, which I read on the bus ride home. By the time I got home, I had already had a healing of painful boils on my ankles and legs.
The librarian had invited me to the Wednesday testimony meeting. At that time, it was unusual for people of color to go into any British church, and if they did they usually faced an unfriendly reception. Besides that, due to my physical condition, I wasn’t a pleasant picture to see. But everyone lovingly welcomed me. I felt such a great sense of love at that service. I went home and read the whole chapter “Prayer” in Science and Health. What I read greatly relieved me from the fear that my ill health was punishment for something I had done wrong. I went to bed, and for the first time in a long time I slept peacefully through the night.
I held dear in my heart the idea of becoming a Christian Science nurse.
The following day I went to see a practitioner. She prayed for me and told me to go home and lead a normal life. Two weeks later, I went to the hospital for a blood test and was told that I was well and didn’t need to come anymore. This healing took place in 1976, and I have had no recurrence of this condition since.
At that time, I wanted to serve the Christian Science movement in any way I could. I joined a branch Church of Christ, Scientist, and The Mother Church, and I took Christian Science primary class instruction. I also learned about Christian Science nursing and held dear in my heart the idea of becoming a Christian Science nurse.
I left medical nursing as a career, but I took a job in nursing recruitment to support my three young children. Mary Baker Eddy wrote in Science and Health, “Emerge gently from matter into Spirit.” I guess you could say I emerged gently, as it took almost 20 years before I seriously pursued Christian Science nursing.
I have witnessed many healings, including tumors dissolved and aggressive wounds healed.
My first step into Christian Science nursing was a short course on Christian Science home nursing. During the course we discussed in detail the Christian Science Nurse By-Law in the Church Manual (p. 49). After this, I went on private-duty cases with nurses who advertised in the Journal. They served as my mentors. In another three years, I also began to advertise in the Journal. I was the London Visiting Nurse for five years before moving back to Ghana to look after my very senior mother and to offer my services as a Christian Science nurse to those in my own country.
In Africa, Christian Science nursing is in its infancy. We do not have Christian Science nursing facilities as in Europe and America. Families still look after their own, so I do not receive many requests for my services as a nurse. I spend part of the year working at a Christian Science nursing facility near London. I’m very active in my branch church in Ghana, and I continue to pray to know how Christian Science nursing can be supportive for Christian Scientists in my country.
As a Christian Science nurse, I have witnessed many healings, including tumors dissolved and aggressive wounds healed. I pray to see every patient as the perfect “image of God,” as the Bible says. I continually remind myself that I can only see what God sees. In this way, I am obeying the commandment not to bear false witness against my neighbor. All nursing is an art, but the spiritual dimension of Christian Science nursing is awesome.
Imelda Ammah now lives in Tema, Ghana.
Science and Health:
King James Bible: