. . . If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed (John 8:36).
The Vili people of the Republic of the Congo previously had no access to God’s Word in their language. Jay and Beverly Bellamy, an Alliance worker couple, formed a team devoted to translating and recording Bible stories for the Vili in their language.
Members of the Bellamy’s “storying” team have shared these recordings with the Vili in 11 of their villages across southern Congo. As a result, more than 200 adults—and as many of their children and youth—have come to Christ this past year.
As they are discipled in God’s Word, the new believers are being freed from traditional spiritist practices.
Power over Demons
Recently, a Vili girl wearing an eggplant around her neck greeted our storying team when they arrived in her village.
The child’s mother had placed it there because her daughter had been ill. Davy, the orality team leader, explained to the Bellamys that this is a customary practice among the Vili to protect themselves against evil spirits.
Davy prayed with the little girl. “And I reminded the family of the stories we’d told of Jesus showing His power over the demons—He is our true protection,” he reported.
“Thank you, I understand,” the little girl’s mother responded. “Please take it off quickly!”
Paul, an Alliance international worker in West Africa, recently shared that a woman stood up during the testimony portion of a Sunday morning church service, confessing she had purchased a talisman (a good-luck charm) from a street vendor.
“Almost everyone in this country wears a talisman to ward off evil spirits,” he reported. “However, they are often a source of spiritual oppression.”
The woman explained that after wearing the talisman for a few days, she realized what she was doing was wrong. She repented and threw it away, recognizing her need for Jesus only.
After giving her testimony, the woman was invited to the front of the church, where congregational members extended forgiveness to her. They then proceeded to intercede for her in Jesus’ name, commanding any spirits associated with the talisman to leave. They also prayed against curses and spiritual attacks from the person who made the talisman.
“This woman not only received freedom from the spiritual bondage of a cultural practice; she also experienced the love and spiritual care of her church,” Paul observed.
After interceding for the woman, he said the congregation spent another hour and a half praying for healing for one another and for the nation.
Read “Like Wildfire,” which details how a new believer in a creative-access country has found peace in place of participating in rampant gossip, a destructive community practice.