A village pastor prayed, “Lord, I want to visit the witch. I want you to change him and I want the power of God to go with me.” And so he did. And so He did. The witch said, “Why are you here?” The pastor said, “Because God loves you and because I love you.” “You are the first pastor to visit me” Then the witch acknowledged that he lived full of fear because he had used his powers to kill and hurt so many people around him. The pastor offered the witch a Bible (provided by us in the form of a solar powered MP3 player with the Bible in French and Swahili). The witch wanted to keep it, but the pastor said that it was only his to use for awhile. Then it would be shared with someone else. (Sharing is the African way.) One week later, the pastor returned. He explained that the Bible is the Word of God. He also explained that whoever is not in Christ is in the darkness. The witch knew the darkness well. Finally, he explained that we are here to do good and not evil. The witch was convinced. He is being baptized on Sunday. This change amazed many people in the community for the witch had been performing his work for quite some time right in the middle of many churches. And that was not the only story John told today! John is the Anglican Vicar who oversees many pastors in villages south of Bukavu. He is one faithful man. We have entrusted about 200 Bibles to him on prior trips. He distributes them to faithful pastors — as you can see from the story above. On this trip, we gave him 350 Bibles. He has a plan for one Bible to be shared with three families. Each family will listen to the Bible for two days and will meet on the seventh day to discuss what they heard. If you are counting, and I always am, that is 8,400 people listening to 350 Bibles. I cannot wait to bring more on the next trip! He also has a plan for pastors to oversee these families so that their questions can be answered. That’s all for now.
For the team,
P.S. Stories about witches are difficult for many of us in America to understand and believe. Regardless of whether we believe it, the witch in the story and the people in the village believe it. And the power of the Word of God and the work of the Holy Spirit have changed the course of many lives by working in the life of this witch. I have thought a lot about stories like this one. If you want to discuss my thoughts (and more importantly the scriptures), just reply to this email.