Friday, January 14, 2011

Luyema & Borkeza

The Scripture says in 2 Corinthian 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

A recent CRCA church plant in northern Liberia is in a little town called Luyema. Brother Philip is our evangelist who visits this town. He is diligently teaching the word of God and demonstrating God’s love through his life style. He has seen the power of The Truth that sets people free. The current response to what God is doing there could easily be pulled straight from the Book of Acts. In those days a young slave girl was stopped from making money for her owners through predicting the future and fortune telling when Paul cast an evil spirit from her. Because of that the owners of the slave girl “seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities” (Acts 16:16-21).

On the second Sunday in December of 2010, Dennis visited with this new church for worship. He was greeted happily by many (about 78 adults in attendance) of the new believers in Christ. Dennis tells of the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit in this new congregation. With all the excitement of changed lives, there were also some who were angry, including the town chief and his elders. After the worship service, the chief wanted to bring his complaint about the church. Dennis met with him to hear what he had to say. He explained that there was a man named Flomo Zayzay in the village that had always been getting drunk and creating disturbances in the community. The protocol for handling his misbehavior was to fine him. Since he rarely had the cash, the leaders would fine him for his possessions instead, one time even confiscating the tin sheets he was given by a relief organization to roof his house. Other times he would work on the chief and elders farms as a payment for his debts. After Brother Philip came to Luyema and this notorious troublemaker gave his life to Christ Jesus, he became a new creation in Christ and his mischief in the town stopped. Dennis was a bit puzzled…asking, “So aren’t you happy that this man is no longer causing you trouble by doing evil in the town?” To which, the elder replied that he wasn’t happy because he was losing money from the fines that Mr. Zayzay’s conduct brought to him in the past. May God continue to change the means of income in this place and transform the precious people there with His glorious Gospel!

While the Kingdom of God is advancing, Satan continues to attack. Many of you have been praying for Pastor Samson Jones and our brothers and sisters in Borkeza; thank you! Pastor Samson, his wife Alice, and their small daughter, Rebecca Weedor, were able to join us for a great time of encouragement during our annual conference. While at the conference, Samson got news from Borkeza that the town elders decided to take a strong and more official stand against his “rebellion”. (For those who aren’t aware, a few months back Pastor Samson respectfully refused to pay a “tax” that was placed on all Borkeza residents to fund the visit of a “witch doctor” to the town.) The day after Samson returned from the conference, they made proclamation through the masked devil that anyone who talked to Samson and his family, sold goods to them, or bought goods from them would be fined. Samson and his family are suffering to buy what they need and his family business (a small drug store) is now providing next to nothing for the family to live on. However, amazingly, God continues to provide and attendance at their daily Bible studies continues to increase! Samson remains hopeful, trusting in God, and rejoicing over how God is using this struggle to bring others into the church to hear God’s Word. Dennis just returned from Lofa; while in Borkeza he was able to meet with the chiefs to schedule a more formal meeting to take place in a few weeks between our church leadership and the town elders. Please pray for this upcoming meeting and pray for the Jones’ family and for the trial before them; ask for encouragement, strength, wisdom, love, and spiritual fruit!  

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