CWN.org -- Some of the stories from members of a ministry working in Central Africa could have come straight from the biblical book of Acts.
Great Lakes Outreach isays it is a network of people of faith who are reaching out to meet the spiritual and physical needs of the last, the lost and the least in Burundi, Central Africa.
Joel News International spoke with Simon Guillebaud and Adri Roos. They say that in Muyinga, a prostitute called Victoria was kidnapped by cannibal witchdoctors who took a bite out of her thigh, but found she 'tasted bitter', and so they didn't eat her. Instead they cursed her and she became dumb.
Joel News says that for three weeks Victoria hadn't said a word, when the evangelists from Great Lakes Outreach arrived. She'd gone to the local administrator to press charges, and he challenged the team: "If you want us to listen to you about your Jesus, then do something for this girl."
"The evangelists promptly gathered around her, prayed in Jesus' name, and Victoria began speaking again! The whole community was blown away by this obvious demonstration of God's power. The administrator offered them land to build a church, and two months on there is a church of a hundred members meeting there," Joel News says in its report.
At Mukabira, a powerful witchdoctor was converted, Joel News says.
"On the spot he became an evangelist, and invited the team to join him in addressing six other witchdoctors. Those six duly gave their lives to Christ. They brought out all their charms, idols and spells, and had a public burning session, at which point the local craftsmen who had made the idols were in uproar," Joel News reported.
The Joel News report continues: "They complained: 'How dare these people come from outside and introduce strange ideas which take away our business?' They complained to the local authorities. Three of the team members were arrested and beaten, and held overnight."
The report adds: "In the morning, when it was established that they'd done nothing wrong, they were released. As they sat outside the police station still talking to several policemen, a tornado flared up. It is generally believed in Burundi that a tornado is actually an angry python underground sent by witchdoctors. The policemen fled as the tornado approached, but the three believers stood their ground, at which point the tornado split in two, went around them, and demolished two houses on either side of them."
The policemen then reportedly returned totally awestruck, asking: "Who are you people? What is your secret?" They replied: "The One who is in us is greater than the one who is in the world." As a result, more people were converted.
In another incident in Bubanza reported by Joel News, Vincent was steeped in witchcraft. He had made a pact with Satan, and for twenty years hadn't been able to wear clothing, as it felt like pins were pricking him when it contacted his skin. He hadn't cut his hair in that time either, and looked completely deranged.
Joel News says: "The whole area around Bubanza submitted to his spiritual leadership and lived in fear of him. He refused to listen to the team's first attempt to tell him about Jesus, but they persisted and returned. He was delivered, and when he burned all his charms, the community was so astonished that on the spot twenty other people gave their lives to Christ."