Rainmaking

By Rev. Fr. Eva Chuma Nnamene

In last week's edition, we treated the process of rainfalls which is itself a natural phenomenon. On the other hand, rainmaking is not natural. It is manmade. Rainmaking is artificially causing precipitation to occur to condense the clouds, and thus, cause rainfalls. People across continents have at different times tried to make rain. In the 1930s the United States of America faced some drought at their Midwestern area.

This made some of their technicians to use aircrafts to produce rain. According to Michael Brooks, "the idea was simple: seed the heavy clouds with tiny particles of silver iodide whose electrical charge would pull together the cloud's water droplets. Once enough droplets had gathered together, their weight would make them fall from the sky as rain". Making rain is as simple as that. However, it is pertinent to mention that people use different methods to make rain. Some people use leaves to make rain. Some other people use incantations. Some others use prayers.

While some other people just cry under the rain. In Ekwulumili, Anambra State, rainmakers use stone especially mkpume onu to make rain. In Nsukka area, some rainmakers claim to have inherited the art of rainmaking from their ancestors. In fact, one rainmaker says they use a certain type of plate with some quantity of sand, little water, and cola nut which they would put at a strategic place, and at a given time in the morning; and on such day there would rain. From our inquiries, we discovered that there are some people who make and stop rains.

But there are those who do just one. They are either rainmakers or they are rain stoppers. In stopping rains, one of our informants, says "if I come to a social function, and I find out that some rainmakers are trying to cause havoc for the person holding the function, I would be moved to stop the rain. Once I am moved to stop the rain, I will go out. If the rain drops on my head, and I have a bottle of Star Beer, and I spit it out from my mouth, and make some incantations, the rain must surely stop". Some rain stoppers, say if they weep under the rain, the rain stops. There are those who say they keep chanting incantations, and the rain would stop.

There are also those who continue praying once the rain begins, and before you know it, it would stop. There are those who keep praying before their scheduled events, and on their eventful day, there would be no rains. There are people who book Masses and say other Catholic approved prayers, and then, during their event, there would be no rains.

Unfortunately, those who do not use clearly approved means may not say if they do rituals or diabolical things. It becomes delicate for the Christian to believe them, and approach them for their services. In our reflections on rainmaking and rain stopping, we find out that two things mar them, and make them appear unchristian: the first, is the fact that in Igbo land, people attach so much idol worshipping to rainmaking.

To make or to stop rain, one would not need to be ritualistic or to be diabolic as to challenge one's Christian faith expressions. Anything that precipitates the clouds would certainly make the rain; and anything that disperses the clouds would certainly stop the rain. The second is that people have little or no faith. A vast majority of our Christians are looking for signs and wonders.

Many would want to know things that would happen tomorrow. Many of our Christians carry the pagan mentality of our forefathers to Christianity. And thus, they would want to go to oju ese, igba afa, ndi igwe, and so on before they hold their functions for instance. Very few are ready to make the leap of faith and follow the Lord - come rain, come sunshine.

By the way, isn't the gentleman's definition of faith to believe in what one does not know completely? The good news is that science and technology are making things clearer for us today. Through the meteorological study of weather, we may be able to, scientifically, ascertain in one to two weeks or more, the weather conditions of our locality.

One can get that through the news channels. One can get that through some of the software on your smartphone. There, on your smartphone, you will see the chances for rainfall in percentages. The higher the percentage, the more chances of rainfall. Therefore, one can fix events on days that have low chances of rainfalls. Moreover, one can make an act of faith in the Lord, and with prayers, dispel the clouds, and scatter the rains.

Many people have testimonies of how God helped them with good weather during their events just for their prayers. The bottom-line, however, is that we should build faith in God rather than seek to know the future. Remember, Jesus said "blessed are those who have not seen, and yet, have believed" (John 20: 29).

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