Invitation to Dekpo


Report: November 15, 1998


    The last two weeks have been full of surprises; spiritual surprises. 

    We were about half way to the Sunday afternoon meeting at Dandjihoue (don-JEE-hwey), when a group of men stopped us.  They said, “we have seen you going down this road for several months.  What are you doing?”

    “We are discussing the word of God with people in Danjihoue.”

    “Can you come here and teach us?”

    The man who asked us these questions was not wearing a shirt.  There were dozens of long scars on his shoulders and chest.  Several of the scars were new.  The bright pink tissue was quite a contrast to the rest of his skin.  There were half a dozen others in the group with similar scars.  We have come to learn that these cuts are self-inflicted when the god called Koku (kaw-KEW) possesses these men.  The men are members of this very aggressive coven.

    “Yes, we can come next Monday.”

    So began the evangelistic meetings in Dekpo (DECK-po).  For the past two weeks we have had good meetings.  We have had detractors at each meeting.  From the perimeter of the circle they yell, “if this is about leaving the gods, we will not.”  Others have told us that this village has been antagonistic to others who bring change.  Our first two lessons concerned God’s victory over the prophets of Baal (they cut their chests, too) and Jesus’ healing of the demon possessed man at Gerasenes.   There are thirty or so people who encouraged us to return.  Pray for this village.


    “A child died here the day before yesterday,” the old man told us when we arrived for an evangelistic meeting at Djikpame (jeek-PA-may).  “It might be hard to have a meeting today.” 

    The Christians from Koyohoue (ko-YO-hwey), who were with us, suggested that we stay for a while to see if some people show up.  I asked the old man, “Can we go and pray with the family whose child died?”

    “They are not at home.” 

    This sounded strange to me, because we have been told that families stay inside their houses for many days after the death of an immediate family member.  People began to come.  There were about thirty present by the time that I began to tell them about God creating the earth and man’s sin.  It took me about forty minutes to tell the story. 

When I sat down I thought the meeting was about finished.   Then, Alfonse, the newest member of the Koyohoue congregation stood up.  “God wants to deliver us from the bondage of our sins just like he delivered His people from Egypt.”  For twenty minutes, he went on to teach about God’s desire to save sinful men.  No human even suggested that Alfonse do this.  Praise the Lord!  Once again, He has gifted one of His children to share His message with the Aja people.  This is not the first time for us to witness God gifting an evangelist among the Aja.  It will not be the last.  It is His promise (Ephesians 4:1-6).

    After Alfonse finished, we prayed. 

Then, I asked the group, “Can someone lead us to the house where the child died.  We would like to pray for the family.”  Right away, the entire group took us to the house.  It was dark.  We could hardly see the expressions on the faces of the mother and grandmother as we asked them if we could ask God to help them during their suffering.  Before they could really give us an answer, the father arrived on a motorcycle.  I recognized him immediately.  While visiting us at home several weeks ago, he had told us that he was a priest of one of the god’s of the Aja people.  I wondered how he would react to our offer to pray to God.   

“Yes, we accept your prayers,” he said.  So we did just that.  Please pray that these people will accept Almighty God’s invitation for them to become His children and priests.