By Mark Ellis
In his fetish shrine – filled with inanimate objects of worship – he served as mediator between the living and the dead. Many feared him in the village, until God’s Word brought transformational change.
“Nicolas was the head of his village and owned all the renowned fetishes of the region, which each have an idol attached to them,” says Pastor Ebo*, who is affiliated with Faith Comes by Hearing (FCBH). “He was known to be one of the most wicked animists of the region.”
In West Africa, fetish priests perform rituals in these shrines to gain favor from their gods. Their rituals are sometimes performed with money, alcohol, animals, and in some locales, human sex slaves.
“If a person didn’t respond properly to the fetish priest’s request, they were asked to kill their own family members in order to provide the blood required to feed the idols. Because of that, Nicolas was highly feared,” Pastor Ebo says.
Yet Pastor Ebo felt led to reach out to the dreaded priest. “Despite my concerns, God told me to talk to him about Christ. I visited his son and he took me to see Nicolas who was suffering from an abscess in his right armpit.” Apparently, Nicolas couldn’t find relief for his malady from his many idols.
Pastor Ebo took his “Proclaimer” to the visit, a digital device dedicated to playing God’s Word in their language. “I introduced myself and told him that God sent me to talk with him,” he reports.
“I quickly started playing the Proclaimer,” which he had set to play in the first Epistle of John.
What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we beheld and our hands handled, concerning the Word of Life — and the life was manifested, and we have seen and bear witness and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was from the Father and was manifested to us…
After playing God’s Word for a few minutes, Pastor Ebo shut off his Proclaimer, and he began to share his hope in Jesus Christ.
Suddenly there was a dramatic change in the wicked priest’s countenance. Nicolas became silent, held his chin, and started sobbing.
Pastor Ebo’s eyes widened as the priest shared about his life, confessing all the bad things he had been doing. “I abused women for power, killed people to feed my fetishes with their blood because you cannot pass a day without doing so.”
The power of the Word and the Spirit brought a spirit of repentance upon one of the most unlikely people. “I seized that open door and told him about Christ, the free gift of God who died for all human beings. I told him that Jesus is the Savior for all, emphasizing that Jesus died for him,” Pastor Ebo recounts.
Remarkably, this widely feared fetish priest decided to give his life completely to Jesus Christ.
“A few months later, Nicolas asked me to come back to see him. He was very ill and he pleaded with me,
‘Please, plant a church in this village!’
It proved to be his last wish. “He died the next day,” Pastor Ebo sadly reports.
Yet his changed life and untimely death led to a harvest for many. “A Faith Comes By Hearing Bible listening group still meets in his house with the JESUS film being used to plant the church he requested before he passed away,” Pastor Ebo reports.
Truly, truly I say to you, unless a kernel of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
In a village where one man robbed many of life, a fountain of new life has emerged.
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Faith Comes By Hearing is committed to reaching the nations with the Word of God in audio, offering the Bible in a format that will connect with the world’s 50% illiterate population.