Skip to comments.Outsourced prayer lines confuse callers [Satire alert]
Posted on 08/18/2009 7:20:37 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
DES MOINES Last month, Lori Danes, 43, called the prayer line of a major television ministry and requested prayer for her mother's persistent ulcers. But her prayer representative, who called himself "Darren," prayed in a strong Indian accent that "all the gods would bless her mightily."
"I was stunned," Danes says. "It was like I'd called a demon prayer line." The manager of India Prayer Solutions, located in Mumbai, India, apologized for the incident and fired the employee who, he said, had not been properly trained. But dozens of similar incidents have rattled U.S. callers since major ministries began outsourcing their prayer lines to India. The ministries insist they are overwhelmed by the growing number of calls for prayer.
"There aren't enough Americans willing to sit in the prayer tower and take calls anymore," says a prayer coordinator at a major ministry which jobbed out its prayer lines last year.
But the interactions have left many callers baffled.
Rich Douglas of Orem, Utah, called a prayer line for the first time this month, requesting prayer for his wife's cancer. His prayer partner, "Stephanie," took him through a series of prayers that felt "pretty clinical," says Douglas. "I definitely didn't sense the Spirit. It sounded like she was reading from a script."
"Stephanie," whose real name is Reha Jain, is a Hindu woman who works at a call center in Mumbai and has prayed with "many satisfied prayer customers," she says. "It's like my old job at a Microsoft call center. The caller is happy if you deliver quality customer service."
Her fellow worker Rajneesh Tuwalla likewise had never heard of a single U.S. ministry, but was "sick of working at the Sprint call center," he says. "The customers always got angry about their bill."
Tuwalla landed a job at a prayer center and learned to pray "Christian prayers" by watching Kenneth Copeland.
"All the TV preachers pray good, but Copeland prays the best," says Tuwalla, who mimics Copeland's style on the phone with callers. Like many service reps, he uses an American name while on the job. In Copeland's honor, Tuwalla calls himself "Ken." MO< Tuwalla has heard the rumors that U.S. ministries may repatriate their call centers. He hopes it isn't true. At his Sprint job he would have to "run around the block and maybe pull the head off a stray chicken" to settle down every night because of the stress he felt serving demanding U.S. customers. But the prayer center job is more relaxed.
"The callers are very nice," he says. "I like my life again."
Damn, just damn!
Why don’t people just ask friends to pray for them? I don’t think God hears you better because you get some stranger on a phone to pray. Sheesh.
all the gods would bless her mightily.
I am a Christian, but I find this hilarious.
“Go to the windoooooooooow.”
What is it, that people expect from a commercial prayer line?
“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
The “pray-for-pay” of a devout Hindu in an Indian call center, maybe not-so-much.
Perhaps that is what the prayer line person believes, and to her, it was the same as what the caller wanted?
As a Sprint customer who is equally upset with Sprint service, maybe I should try that.
Anybody seen any stray chickens lately?
>> I am going to need you to get your Bible and reinstall your faith. < /thick Indian accent>
ROFL! Made my morning, that one did.
or rather, satire....
Yes - actually - I AM pinging you to a Religion Thread.
>> Anybody seen any stray chickens lately?
You can make your own, with a pair of wire cutters.
Watch out for Farmer John.
Haha awesome. I love that people think this is a serious story.
Next you are going to tell me that the Prayer Cloth I just bought from Robert Tilton was made in a Chinese sweat shop!
There are plenty of them in Key West.