There is a white man in the house! Those words echoed throughout the building as I walked into the church and sat on the front row. The small township church was crammed full of people. It was standing room only.
The music was so loud the water bottle in my left hand vibrated. I have always been amazed at the volume of singing in African churches. The people sang and danced with all of their energy. Wow, what a moment of worship!
I stood and opened the Bible and you could see the smiles on the faces of the people. They loved the Word. Each key point provoked a response from people in the crowd. My focus was on the young boy Daniel and his maturity living in a pagan land for his whole life.
I found myself in a different village every day this week. I saw some very poor areas and had a chance to see everyday life as it is happening. You could see the inquisitive looks on people’s faces when they noticed a white man was coming to their community. One man said to me it must be glamorous to live in America. I told him he had watched too much television and chuckled.
On Tuesday I walked into a Kentucky Fried Chicken (in a larger community) with Ronas to eat lunch. We had spent over three hours in classroom during the day and it sort of felt familiar to visit an old KFC.
When we walked into the door I noticed the long que (line) with a Sangoma (diviner) at the cash register. He was dressed in traditional beads and a wrap around cloth so common in African culture. The red, white and black colors made him unmistakable. No one seemed to speak with him and he walked alone. When he neared me he noticed someone who had questions for him. He stood behind me and talked for a short minute. When he finished I stepped slightly to the side and we bumped into each other. I wanted to see if he would look at me. He was a very small man in stature. He was shorter than Cathy and when he looked at me his eyes became big. You could see fear on his face. He raised his hand as if to say he was sorry and quickly went on this way. He did not speak. Could it be that he saw the Holy Spirit in me?
Some people had warned me not to look in the eyes of a Sangoma. That warning came from Christians. He is supposedly in contact with the ancestral spirits. Illnesses are thought to be caused by unhappy ancestors, if they are not respected or acknowledged sufficiently.
When I told the story to Cathy she just smiled and said, greater is He who is in you than the one in him.
If you want to find a traditional healer in the urban city areas, you need look no further than the classifieds in the newspapers, street billboards or the flyer left on your car windscreen. They correct bad luck, sexual problems, bewitching people, misunderstandings and HIV just to name a few.
It is amazing how Satan has a hold on the people of Africa. Please pray for them that their eyes will be opened to Jesus.
Four decade veteran of youth ministry in churches, Youth For Christ and now is the Founder and Executive Director of Deeper Still Missions. Danny and his wife Cathy spend most of their time mentoring missionaries in Africa, Europe, Central America and North America. Future opportunities include South America and the Asia Pacific area.