Islam and witchcraft are not widespread in Burundi, but some native church-planters in the East African country work in areas of poverty where both currents flow against them.
A 19-year-old man in one area had engaged in occultic practices for years, with sorcerers sending him to church services to carry out spiritual attacks – casting secret spells or invoking demons as he disrupted worship, a local ministry leader said.
“Once he came to our church to attack as usual, but he was caught by the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word during our evening service,” the leader said. “He never went back to the dark world. He became a member of our church and is following a discipleship course in order to be baptized.”
The leader learned that the young man had been born in a rural area to destitute parents who could not afford to send him to school. An aunt who practiced a blend of Islam and witchcraft had offered to take him to a city to live with her on the false premise that she would educate him. Actually she sought to initiate him into the occult; she dedicated him to serve Satan, the leader said.
“He served the devil in the dark world for more than five years,” he said. “He would be sent into churches to carry out attacks with demons.”
Power of Love
Such a fate is just one example of how a life can veer into disaster in a country where 80 percent of the population live in poverty, and a similar portion are illiterate.
The leader of another ministry said witchcraft, prostitution and alcoholism are prevalent in a province where four local missionaries were sent last year. Visiting villagers and offering to pray for them, the workers established three churches, he said.
In the same province the previous year, local missionaries had brought aid to people left hungry, homeless and sick from flooding and mudslides that killed many others, he said.
“Christian Aid Mission intervened and gave us funds for food and clothes for these people,” the ministry leader said. “We thank God that in these areas we have now 750 new believers. Pray for them, because in these areas they need many Bibles.”
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SOURCE: Christian Aid Mission