Chowning Report May 15, 2000


            April 30th was on of those special days in the Aja church that we will never forget.  God poured out His blessings.

            It all began at ten o'clock in the morning.  Close to three hundred Christians from a cluster of nine congregations gathered for worship at Numovihoue (NU-mow-vee-hwey) .  Several of the congregations hired pickup trucks to take them to the meeting.  Others rode bicycles or motorbikes.  Most of them walked.   The Spirit gave them joyous voices to sing more than fifty songs.  We were almost carried up into the heavens when they sang, "Let me fly like a bird."  The entire worship lasted more than three hours.

            Three lessons were presented.  Yasenth, a schoolteacher and leader in the Badjame congregation, exhorted the believers to remain pure and holy.  Randy Vaughn told the story of David and Goliath. 

            The rains are late this year.  Many people are worried.  In my lesson, I reminded them that Almighty God is in control of everything, including the rain.  I told them what had happened earlier in the week in our town, Aplahoue:


One morning, two weak Christians from the Koyohoue (ko-YO-hwey) congregation came to our house and told us that many people from their area had brought three "eshijatowo" (rain leaders) to the police station and the crowd intended to call the sorcerer, Devi, to burn them.  "I would like to go talk to the people," I told them.  So we walked a hundred yards to the police station.  There were close to two hundred people outside the station.  The police chief gave me permission to talk to the crowd.  I told them, "The rain leaders have neither the power to make it rain nor the authority to make it stop." 

Some in the crowd said, "Richard, the rain leaders themselves told us they are preventing it from raining because we did not give them money last year.  We told them that we would burn them if it did not rain by yesterday.  They still say they are stopping it from raining."

"These rain leaders are nothing but merchants selling you a product that they do not have.  Only God controls the rain and He does not sell it.  We must continue to ask Him to bring the rain."

The discussion went on for a half hour or so.  Several people reiterated that they intended to burn the rain leaders.  "Lets not make God angrier with us.  You have already dishonored Him by asking these men to make it rain, instead of asking God.  If you burn them God will be angry because you killed them.  Let's pray."  I knelt down and asked God to show his power to these people by making it rain.  After I prayed, someone asked, "When will it rain?  This afternoon? Tomorrow?"

I said, "Don't look at me as a rain leader.  I asked God to send the rain.  He will do it when He pleases.  I do not have the power to make it rain."

I went home and the crowd soon went back home.  The next day, and the following day it rained.  We praised the Lord.


I told the three hundred Christians gathered at Numovihoue that it should embarrass us that two of our brothers were among the crowd who wanted to burn the rain leaders for preventing it from raining.  We worship the only One who has authority over all things in the heavens and on the earth.  They all agreed with shouts of "amen." 

After the meeting the Numovihoue brethren fed us all.  Then some of us drove to the river ten kilometers away.  There was barely enough water, but thirty-four people were baptized.  Among them were twenty-four people from the Agbanate (BAH-nah-tey) preaching point and some from, Egahoue (eh-GAH-hwey) a preaching point of the Badjame (BA-jaw-may) Christians.  Two new congregations were born.  As we walked back toward the cars, a middle aged man and four of his teenaged children met us.  "You left us behind.  We walked all the way here.  You must baptize us, too."  So we returned to the river. 

While we drove back to Numovihoue, a hard rain began to fall.  "This is God's blessing on this day," one of the new Christians said.  It was indeed a great blessing.

That evening we heard that Murphy and Christians from Avedjin (AH-vey-jeen) baptized eleven people from the preaching point at Ainahoue (aye-NAW-hwey).

What a great day.  Three new congregations were begun and fifty souls born again.  Join us in praising the Lord.

Since mid-January, six new congregations have been planted and 195 people have been born again.  There are now twenty-two congregations.


Prayer Requests:

·        The six new congregations need God's strength and guidance to begin to mature in Him.  Ask the Lord to give them special attention.

·        Pray for rain.  The rains are late this year.  Some crops have already died.  Others are wilting.

·        Pray that Heather and David Hicks will become pregnant or find a child to adopt.