Deputy Minister-designate for Education Gifty Twum-Ampofo

The vetting of Deputy Ministers-designate by the Appointments Committee of Parliament on Thursday, June 10, took a comical and intriguing turn when Gifty Twum-Ampofo revealed that praying in tongues is her hobby.

The Deputy Minister-designate for Education informed the Committee she enjoys glossolalia, popularly known as speaking in tongues during her leisure.

“Hobbies are usually the things we do in our leisure times. And we enjoy doing them. I pray in tongues in my leisure time, so that becomes a hobby,” she said.

Her statement stroke Chairman Joseph Osei Owusu who then proceeded to ask the nominee if she practised tongues speaking or was inspired by the presence of the Holy Spirit.

“You mean, the tongues are not supernaturally generated. You practice it and you pray in it as a hobby?” he quizzed.

Ms Twum Ampofo in response did not emphatically state whether she practiced speaking in tongues or was influenced by the Holy Spirit. However, she explained the different stages a tongue-speaking Christian goes through.

According to her, one starts speaking in tongues for a while until by the help of the Holy Spirt, is directed on what to say to God Almighty.

“Praying in tongues is like growth. As you start growing, you pray in known tongues before the Holy Spirit switches you there but as you grow in the spirit, anytime you feel like praying, you may not know where the problems are and why the Holy Spirit wants you to pray. So you open your mouth and the tongues flow,” she explained.

Taking an opposing view, MP for Odododiodoo, Nii Lantey Vanderpuye stated that speaking in tongues cannot be described as a hobby since it is part of the obligations of a Christian.

He cited the Bible verse 1 Thessalonians 5:17 that says “pray without ceasing.”

“As a Christian myself, I don’t see praying in tongues as a hobby. You have to really conscientize me on why you can classify that religious dictate in the Bible. Pray without ceasing, pray incessantly, these are the things we are told to do in order to strengthen ourselves in the Holy Spirit, so why should it be a hobby,” he disagreed.

Re-affirming her position that speaking in tongues is her hobby, Ms Twum Ampofo told Mr Vanderpuye her growth in the Christian faith warrants her decision, however, is uncertain the Odododiodoo MP’s lack of growth is the reason for his assertion.

“I said Christianity is the way of life and it is growth. Maybe, you have not grown to the level that you take that as a hobby but for me, it is a hobby. I said Christianity is a way of life, I didn’t say prayer is a way of life,” she concluded.