[The following is a brief report from Sean Reece, who along others in his team, is a missionary with Heartcry Missionary Society among the Lozi tribe in Africa. The daily reality of relating to the people and the evil among them is always a cause for prayer and the great need of God's grace. Please pray this week for this. - MT]
From Sean Reece
"I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. . .
The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. . .
The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore."
-- Psalm 121
Dear family and friends,
In my last update, I listed 8 strikes against us in our dealings with the Lozi Royal Council (Kuta). I did not know about the ninth - the moon. The moon? Yes, the moon. When we arrived for our scheduled appointment at the Kuta on Friday, we found the court empty. The guard informed us that meeting on that day was "taboo," because of the moon phase. The moon had appeared for the first time this month on Thursday night. To meet on the day after the moon first appears is to risk terrible disaster. So, our sixth trip to the Kuta was a total waste of time, effort, and money, at least from a human perspective. But God has his own mysterious plan.
In addition to the moon, I'll add a tenth element now opposing us in the land issue. Our regional chief is now being openly negative toward us. As this Kuta process drags on, and his "help" is proving to be totally useless, we are not showering him with the gifts and money that he expects. He realizes that he has nothing more to gain from us and, therefore, has little motive to continue "helping" us. If his opposition becomes stronger, it could be very damaging to us. As opposition mounts on every side, the Lord's deliverance will be that much more glorious.
In addition to the "moon thing," we received another sobering glimpse into the superstition that enslaves the Lozi people. On the way to the Kuta, we had to pick up our chief at the local witchdoctor's village. We parked near his "place of business" as we waited for the chief to cross the river. Inside a nearby hut, we could hear a sorcerer and his client chanting, summoning the spirit of a relative who recently died. That relative was then asked to reveal who was responsible for their death. Once the guilty party is revealed, the client will then purchase either protective or retaliatory witchcraft, or both. This is the never-ending, ugly cycle of fear, suspicion, and revenge in the village.
Please join us in praying that Jesus Christ, Lord of heaven and earth, will deliver the Lozi from slavery to fear - fear of witchcraft, evil spirits, and phases of the moon. And please pray for us as tomorrow we attempt our seventh visit to the Kuta.
Hoping in Christ,