First, a quick accident update
It’s been a while, three weeks exactly, since our last update, and the last you heard I was in a motorcycle accident and mostly couch-bound. It took a good while for me to get vertical again, but I am finally completely recovered other than a little soreness in the scarred areas. Thank you all so much for praying for my recovery! I thought that I may have had some permanent nerve damage in my foot, but it looks like if there is anything permanent, it will be very minimal.
Progress in Déouté
A couple weeks ago after doing another Discovery Bible Study (DBS) with Francis, Tchéo and I walked around Déouté handing out some moringa documents to those who are in the project group, but we also took the opportunity to talk with one of the members (whom we call “the school teacher,” because his name is so hard to pronounce and remember!) about starting a Bible study at his house. He was very excited about it and even said, “I know that you’re doing that with Francis, and I was wondering when you would ask me.”
So this Wednesday we started out at Francis’ house, where Andrew, Tchéo, and I facilitated the fourth DBS lesson, which went very well. It seems that Francis is beginning to understand some key foundational truths about who God is and how He interacts with man. After meeting with Francis we walked over to the school teacher’s house to begin the first lesson with him and his family.
When we had previously talked with the teacher, he had mentioned that he would gather his whole household together for the study, which could be upwards of 10-20 people because of all the extended family members living there. When we sat down to begin the study, however, his mother came over to greet us, but acted somewhat cold towards us (which is unusual for her) and then left. Then when the younger women were called over, they just continued working, mostly ignoring us. So we went ahead and did the study anyway with just the teacher and the young kids of the household.
Later on we found out why this happened. It turns out that the teacher’s mother is a priestess of the Atingali religion and is also in charge of all the fetish ceremonies for the whole family. As such, she is not very happy that her son is pursuing something other than their family’s traditions. She has quite a strong influence over the women of the house, which is why they did not participate.
Still later we discovered that the whole village of Déouté has very deep roots in Atingali, which is something I’ll have to go into more detail about at a later time. We were told that many people that we have come in contact with practice sorcery, and that just across the street from where we are working lives the most powerful sorcerer in the whole Lamba region. In fact, we believe that his son is one of the people in our moringa group. Learning all of these things made it clear to Andrew and me why we had experienced some obvious spiritual attack in our lives and families during the few days leading up to our first study at the teacher’s house.
So, as you can see, there are many spiritual forces which oppose the gospel of Christ, but we are confident that God’s word and his Spirit are sufficient to tear down strongholds, to bind any spiritual enemy, and to liberate people from religious bondage. We are praying, and ask you to pray as well, that God will break through in real freedom, peace, and truth to this village. We pray that people will see and want the hope, grace, and liberty that is found in the gospel of Jesus and in his kingdom!