Monday, June 20, 2016

I'd Rather Deal With the Witchdoctors

When we would see the local witchdoctor in a dress, walking and talking like a girl we knew it was not the man we knew him to be but his demon, which is a female.  We came to know when to expect the man to be possessed by a demon and therefore dress and act like a female.  Living in Guinea Bissau we became very used to the demon possessed, a man yelling and punching into the air, people dressing in very interesting clothing and wearing weird things on their heads all to appease the witchdoctor who told them if they did this or that they would get this or that. That was our life.  Our children came to understand it and became little prayer warriors for the people we were serving, we all did. We all would pray earnestly for Silvano who would often come to our house seeking refuge from the many demons that followed him around giving him no peace.  We learned to pray as we passed different witchdoctors houses for God to stop whatever was going on within those walls, or sticks as it may be.  We learned the culture and came to understand why it was that way and to know that they desperately needed Christ.

A man dressed for a tribal dance.
We understood in Guinea Bissau people are raised to believe that Satan is more powerful.  Children are brought up to go to a witchdoctor, taught to put food out for their dead ancestors so that they may come and eat, or to pour out wine on the sacred tree and to attend ceremonies. Illiteracy is dominate in Guinea Bissau, therefore few in the church can read the Bible. Churches are scarce, while witchdoctors are many.  In our village of around 500, we were told there is about one witchdoctor's house for every five houses, compared to two churches in Catel.  We could understand why the culture was the way it is.

While we were in Guinea Bissau, our children had an idea of life in America.  They believed children were super nice, never bullying or saying bad words.  They had this mind picture of America being beautiful in all ways.  The other day our girls went on a bike ride.  While they were out they passed some girls that were also out and and waved to them. Those girls responded by saying rude comments to our girls and finishing it with calling them punks.  Our girls couldn't understand it.  Why would these teenage girls speak that way. While we were sad for our girls, we were glad for them to see that no place and no one is perfect.

Coming back to America, we have been in major culture shock with the drastic change in culture in just three years. We made the mistake of going to Walmart after dark the other night.  I am still baffled that no one we were staying with told us it was a bad idea, but none the less, we went.  We were so surprised by the people roaming Walmart at night, we could hardly focus on what we needed, but we got it quickly and got out. I really wanted to post a picture for you of people at Walmart, but it was quite difficult to find an appropriate one.  So, visit people of walmart, if you dare, to get a better understanding of what we mean...although I don't know that it truly is necessary.

The deeper thing that bothers us is why is America like this? There are churches everywhere, practically on every street corner in some places.  People are literate, the Bible is freely available, churches are open every week, and the number of christians in America is great.  The truth of the matter is Satan has his hand in the world.  America is not immune to Satan, contrary to what our children believed.  We need to be together praying. The same way we became prayer warriors in Guinea Bissau praying against Satan's work, we need to do the same here.  While we may rather deal with the witchdoctors, God is equipping us to deal with whatever we may encounter here in America.  We are ready to serve Him in a different capacity, and to glorify Him in all our words and actions.