Monday, October 1, 2012

Confessions of a Prayer Warrior

Protection from Sorcery!

Today’s blog is a true story written by Paul Daniels, a friend of mine. Paul teaches French at the Christian school where my son attends and is one of my son’s teachers this year. This story comes out of Paul’s years as a missionary to Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) Paul writes:

            When we finally did head north, each of us stayed with Jula families for three days. I stayed with Moussa and his wife who manage a small grocery. Amanda Bryan stayed with his cousin Sarata, a teacher. Thanks to them, we experienced Jula life first-hand as they went about the family businesses of making pottery, blacksmithing and trading in the market.

            One day Sarata took us to visit her friend Faché, a “charleton”. A quack?  Since he was a family friend, I thought perhaps “charleton” had a different meaning in Africa. I asked what he did and he showed us some shells. Oh he makes jewelry. I thought.

            Faché invited us into his hut and threw the shells on the ground. Great!  An African game! He only spoke Jula so Sarata translated into French and then I translated into English for Amanda. He looked at the shells and said Haji (another cousin) would go to college and Amanda’s first child would be a girl. Then it dawned on me, Whoa!  He’s telling our fortunes! These shells aren’t jewelry but charms for casting spells!

            I started praying for Faché. I asked God to make it abundantly clear that I belonged to no one but Him and Him alone. No piddly evil spirit was going to have power over me! 

            Sarata’s prediction was she would marry some day. Duh? He’s as vague as horoscopes! This guy is so fake! Or so I thought.

            Then Faché came to me and threw down his shells. Nothing but a blank look on his face. He threw the shells down a second time. Again, nothing. He repeated this several more times. Then he asked Sarata “Does this guy work with pastors?” All she knew was I was a teacher who had brought some students to learn African life. She did not know I was a missionary.  I told her yes that my brother was a pastor and I helped out at my home church.  That was all. No fortune for me! Faché was unable to tell my fortune. God made it clear I belonged to Him! 

            After this, I asked Faché how he could do this since he was Muslim and the Koran says there is only one God, Allah. He explained that Allah is distant, unapproachable and therefore unconcerned with our daily problems while the spirits are here with us and want to be involved in daily life! It gave me the chance to explain that Jesus taught that God wants to be involved in our daily lives and I could pray directly to God through Jesus. Later that day, Haji and I (who speaks French) talked even more about the need to trust God in caring for us and not “magic charms” and sorcery.   


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