Luis Fernando Arango, a Colombian friend, sent me the following question for Eli:
“I enjoyed your adventure in Haiti and have a question for Eli: Do you pray for the kind of bone trauma Steven had as a way to cure it?
“I ask that question since deep in the Colombian countryside (farms far away from big cities) it is usual to pray to heal many kind of injuries and illnesses.
“When I was a young man I remember an experience where one of my brothers fell from a horse and his hand got twisted badly. The workers at the farm told me to take him to the director of the only school in the region. She was a very kind old lady that took my brother’s hand, rubbed it softly and begin to say a few words just whispering.
“My brother was O.K. next day, so I went back to her, asking what kind of medicine She had applied to him. She explained me (after I insisted many times), that She had said a very old pray and that people who use it correctly must have a strong faith to accomplish that kind of cure. I never forgot that experience, and want to know if people in Haiti uses similar medicine.”
I spoke to Eli about this. He’s a very devout Seventh Day Adventist. Though he believes that the power to heal comes from God, he does not include pray as a specific part of his work. He added that others who use the same basic techniques do either pray, or make crosses on the part of the body they’re treating, or do both.