Kenyan Woman Leaves Husband, "Marries" the Holy Spirit

A 41-year-old Christian woman claims to have married the Holy Spirit after abandoning her husband of 20 years in a bizarre incident in Kenya. A mother of six, Elizabeth Nalem married the spirit on May 25 in the small town of Makutano, near Kapenguria in the western part of the country. The ceremony took place in the presence of high-ranking local officials from the Anglican Church of Kenya.



Later on, she told local bishops that her act "was the will of God," and a week after the incident, she says she has received her first assignment from God. "This is my wedding with God. He told me, take this 'net' (gown), wear it, and spread the word."

She was later spotted in the Ng'otut area, Kasei Ward in North Pokot along the Kenya-Uganda border. "I told God to raise me up like others. I represent all people, and I collect people like money to enter the kingdom of God," she said as she prepares to head for Uganda, "I am going to Amudat in Uganda. The holy spirit is driving me to Uganda."

"God has shown me signs to travel to the United States when I am done with Uganda. He told me to travel the world, but I told him I wouldn't be able and requested him to recruit other members to help me in spreading the gospel."

She also closed her hotel business in Makutano and said that no one should worry about her husband and children. "God told me that he knows what my family will have to eat. He will take care of them. God told me he will take care of them. I am now the Agape Church. I even came here and found my grandmother is sick, and I prayed for her."

A suffragan, or assistant bishop, in Kapenguria, the Most Reverend Samson Tuliapus, said that the Anglican Church disapproved of the wedding. It was conducted by the lay secretary of the synod of the Kitale Diocese, Albert Rumaita, who also purchased the wedding gown and hired cars for the procession.

Pastor Albert Rumaita, who was also a neighbor of Elizabeth Nalem, said, "I made the decision to preside over, plan and fund the wedding because the world might just be coming to an end and because I'm her neighbor."

In an interview, Tuliapus told Religion News Service, "This is a great shock to us. It has never happened before. She has embarrassed the church, and we continue to condemn it." According to him, the bride's maids of honor were four senior members of the local chapter of an Anglican women's group, the Mothers of Union.

Even after her decision, Elizabeth Nalem says she still communicates with the husband but has no plans to go back to him for now. Joshua Nalem, the abandoned husband of Elizabeth Nalem, said, "I am perturbed. I paid 22 cows and 15 goats for my wife, and right now, she is having a wedding with the Holy Spirit. This is unbelievable." He blamed his wife's ideas on her recent visit to a Full Gospel church in town and also a culmination of the marital troubles the two had been going through.

In a widely circulated Swahili video, Nalem said, "She would wake up at 3 am to pray, and when I asked her about it, she ran to a neighboring homestead, leaving me alone." 

As for the recent ceremony, he said, "There are not two marriages here. She is my wife."

West Pokot County has many Christians, though there is also a strong adherence to traditional African beliefs. The Pokot people, the predominant ethnic community in the area, believe that the world has two realms: the place where people and other creatures live below and, above, a second place where the deities live.

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