This morning in our chapel in Kikongo an elderly church member shared this story from his youth to show the importance of prayer and faith in God. I hope you find it as encouraging as I did.
Once when I was young I had to take my older brother to the hospital. He was very sick and the doctors could not help him. After some time, my brother said, "Take me back to the village so I can die." So we left the hospital and walked back to our village.
Once we arrived there the family gathered at our home to be with my brother. Some of my younger brothers had gone to the witch doctor to see if he could heal my brother. The witch doctor told them that my brother was going to die because he had walked through the cemetery. Now he was going to die and his spirit would stay with the others in the cemetery. The only way that he could be saved was to take someone else to the cemetery in his place. Then the brother would be healed.
I soon discovered that my brothers had found a substitute and made a deal with the witch doctor. They had given him a goat and a cloth and he agreed to take ME to the cemetery that night at midnight. There he would do his magic and I would go to the spirit world and my brother would live!
When I heard this I wasn't sure what to do. I wanted to help my brother, but I didn't want to die either. When I asked my older brother about it, he said, "Whatever you do, don't go to the cemetery with the witch doctor!"I left the group and went down to river to be alone and pray.
I prayed and asked God for help. I told Him if he wanted to take my brother to be with him, that was his business. But, I didn't feel right about going with the witch doctor to the cemetery. I asked him to give me strength to stand up to the witch doctor and my family.
I went back up to the village and went to sleep in the room with my brother. The next morning I woke up and found the village chief and the witch doctor waiting for me outside. They were angry because I did not go with the witch doctor to the cemetery the previous night. Everyone gathered round me and they were going to tie me up. I bowed my head and prayed again. I asked God to give me strength.
Then I fought off my brothers. I picked up a stick and threw it at the witch doctor. He ran away down the road. I untied the goat that my brothers had promised to the witch doctor and chased it away too. When everyone saw my courage they ran away too! After that no one tried to make me go to the cemetery with the witch doctor.
The next day I discovered that my brothers had done this because they were jealous of me. They felt that since I had a paying job that I should be helping them more. I explained to them that I had been sending each of them money every month. What more could they want? In the end they all accused each other. Each one blamed someone else. No one wanted to take the blame for wanting my death. In their jealousy they hoped to take this opportunity to have me killed.
I praise God because when I was weak and prayed, he gave me strength. We should all learn to trust God and pray when we have problems. Amen
We were all very encouraged to hear the testimony of this old saint. He stood up for his faith in a way that is still very difficult in this culture. Even today, in many places in Congo, people still turn to the witch doctors and magic when they need help. Many Christians still struggle with the fear of the problems that witch doctors and magic could cause in their lives. It is difficult for them to believe that God will protect them from evil.
This man's long and happy life is a great testimony of how God answers prayer and protects His people. It's a lesson that we all need to hear from time to time.
This ministry is only possible because you care for us here. Your giving to the World Mission Offering helps us share the knowledge of Jesus Christ so that no one will perish because she/he does not have the knowledge. Thank you for your faithfulness.
In His service,
Mike and Jill Lowery