One of the benchmarks for a successful church planting movement is when native Christians express a desire to begin evangelism in villages near them. This has happened in several villages where our team was the original church planters, and yesterday I accompanied Matt to a teaching session led by Christians from the villages of Sande Te and Ajadaa. Here is the group (that is Matt sitting in the middle of the frame).
The village is called Kpangkulum, and it is a very remote village that is in the same district as Sande Te and Ajadaa. The session was led by these two men, Tchalo, from Sande Te, and Eyana, from Ajadaa. They are emerging young leaders who have a good grasp of what the Bible teaches about salvation through Jesus. Pray for these young men! One day they will be wise elders in their villages and in their churches, but in this season of their lives they are blessed with an energy and enthusiasm for spreading God's word! Matt has been involved in the process only in terms of helping out with transportation and giving some guidance when needed. For the most part, these brave young men are acting on their own faith and trust in the Lord.Teaching in Kpangkulum is at the halfway point. During this last visit, they talked with the people about Jesus' birth and baptism. There were many good questions asked, such as, "Why did Jesus have to be baptized?" and, "Why did John the Baptist have to come before Jesus?" Tchalo, Eyana and the others handled these questions very well and showed alot of maturity.
One of the biggest obstacles to any evangelism among the Kabiye is the stronghold that Satan holds over them through their traditional religion. We met just outside the chief's compound in Kpangkulum, and inside we found these two items:The first item is a fetish tree that has a prominent place in the middle of the compound. Notice the small concrete bowl that is built into the ground. This bowl receives sacrifices to spirits or ancestors.
The second item Matt and I are not totally sure about, but we think it's a fertility idol. Notice how the a hands of the wooden carved man are resting in the genital area. Holy Father, we pray that you would bring the people of Kpangkulum out of the darkness of their traditional religion and into the Light. Thank you for stirring passion for the lost in the hearts of the young men of Sande Te and Ajadaa, and I ask that you would give them strength, courage and absolute faith in Your power to change lives. We want Christ to be Lord in the lives of all Kabiye people! May it be so...