Sunday, October 14, 2012

Witchcraft in Tanzania: CNN Report

Click here to view an article/video by CNN 
concerning witchcraft in Tanzania. 

Over the years we have tried to express the spiritual environment that we face as we bring the Gospel message into villages steeped in witchcraft. We have tried to describe and explain the nature of the witchcraft practiced in Tanzanian villages.  We found this CNN "Inside Africa" report to be fair and accurate. There is one part in the report where an actual witchdoctor is interviewed, and  she performs a ceremony of spirit cleansing on camera. Listen to her as she talks about the spirits that control her. Satanism and witchcraft are real, and we fight real demons as we seek to bring the light of the Gospel into villages where Satan has held these people in bondage for hundreds of years.

By Errol Barnett, CNN
October 8, 2012 -- Updated 1655 GMT (0055 HKT)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Casting out demons

Today we heard a commotion just beyond our backyard fence. After listening for a moment we could recognize the all too familiar words of "TOKA, TOKA, KATIKA JINA LA YESU, TOKA!" In English this means "out, out, in the name of Jesus come out!" 

Casting out demons is a huge practice in Tanzania. I'm not saying there isn't demon possession and obsession, especially in a  animistic society like Tanzania. However, it is often screamed over and over again, only to be done the following week because it didn't work.

As we heard the lady crying out and the man shouting toka, Bill decided to take Pastor Pelegrino with him to see what was going on. They found a woman tied up and flailing in the dirt. The man casting out the demon was shouting loudly, with sweat dripping down his forehead. This went on for some time when he finally gave up. 

That is when Bill stepped into the kibanda (little open hut) with his Bible. As soon as he began sharing from the Word of God the woman stopped wailing and flailing in the dirt. They untied her and she sat up in her right mind. She was able to listen and answer questions. Bill proceeded to share the gospel with her. She didn't get saved, but she definitely heard the Truth!

Afterward Bill pulled the man aside who had been trying to cast out the demon. He told him, "Brother, you have no power in yourself to cast out a demon. It is the Word of God that has power! You just saw for yourself the power the Word has."

Now we can't say if this woman really and truly is possessed by a demon. However, we do know that God uses His Word and we'll continue to wield the powerful Sword of the Spirit as we fight against our enemy!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Singing in the rain...

Thank you for everyone who has been praying for rain.  The Lord has poured down His blessings - literally! Today while out on our morning walk Bill and I got caught in a downpour. However, rather than taking cover we chose to walk through the rain and spend some time thanking the Lord for answering our prayers and the prayers of many of you. 

Please continue to pray in the weeks ahead that the Lord would continue to rain down showers of blessings on East Africa. Good rains will help the crops to produce the much needed food. It will help those in the village to have food for the coming months. They will also be able to sell some of it and have money to pay for medical needs that might arise due to illnesses such a malaria. (Another child was recently buried in one of the villages where we have a church. He died because his parents didn't have the money to buy malaria medicine.) It will also bring down prices of food for those who live in the city. 

So as we count our blessing of rain, what blessings is our Heavenly Father raining down upon you? We'd love to hear about them in the comments so we can rejoice with you!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Salvation and a charm bracelet

Witnessing in Tanzania is nothing like in America. When we arrive at someone's hut we are offered the best seat available - usually a roughly made wooden chair. We sit outside and neighbors begin to gather. Yesterday was no exception. As Pastor Musa and I opened God's Word to share the Good News of the Gospel about 15 people gathered around to listen. One man in particular was especially attentive. About an hour later this young man said he wanted to receive Christ as his Savior.  

The next thing that happened has never happened to me personally. This young man, without us even talking about it, pulled off his charm (arm bracelet) and threw it down. He said now he didn't need a charm to ward off evil spirits anymore. Shall we say it again...

Please pray for Simoni to grow in his faith.