Preaching with the Bible
and magic in D.R. Congo
I would like to encourage the brethren to never be diverted from the work of sharing the message of truth.
Lembusa is a very poor woman who lives in the village of Muboko, which is the neighboring village to Kazamba, where our church is located. Most people in the village make a living from agriculture, but she had no way to grow things for sale. Because of her poverty, she did not care for herself and had the look of a mad woman who was possessed by the devil, although she really was a normal person. Lembusa had two sons, one twenty years old, who died six months ago, and one five years old.
Mario Giovani, the Italian priest of Mosango Hospital, took care of her sometimes and provided for her food and clothing. Lembusa professed to be a Catholic and believed that the church was her only salvation.
This Italian priest had a young pastoral student, Edward, working with him. The priest taught the young man many things from the Bible. Edward became involved in magic or witchcraft, and the priest had to ask him to leave.
The oldest son of Lembusa was a strong young man and worked hard to try to help his mother. Growing cassava became hard because of the drought and the rodents. The young men of the village became discouraged because of the hard times and started to revolt and do mischief. Lembusa’s son joined them.
These young men decided that they would use what money they had and invite a magician to their village. This magician was none other than the former pastoral student, Edward. He had an admirable sweetness about him. Because he was a former pastoral student, it was felt that he was trustworthy.
At each of his meetings Edward would preach from the Word of God before he would do his magic demonstration. He would foretell the future of those that came to the meeting. He appeared to heal diseases and to confiscate the fetishes of the witch doctors. It had been fifteen years since he worked for the priest. He makes much money preaching from the Bible and doing his magic. He is combining the Bible and the work of the devil to get rich. The people who listen to him attribute all of his success in healing and foretelling the future to the Lord God of Heaven.
At one meeting, Edward started his meeting with a Biblical exhortation, telling all to stop sinning and repent in order that the Lord Jesus could receive them when He comes again. He took a stick, and two men followed him with boxes of powder and went through the village singing. The stick left Edward’s hand and went into a home of a witch doctor, and the witch doctor began telling all of the things that he had done secretly, and he gave up his fetishes.
The people all trusted Edward and believed in all he did because he preached before each of his works. He compared his stick to Moses’ rod. Edward declared it was his purpose to save the people of God as Moses did the Israelites.
Lembusa believed in all that Edward did because he had been a worker for Mario Giovani, the Italian priest. She willingly let her son become a disciple of Edward and be trained by him. Six months after his training, this son was able to do some of the magic that Edward did. Edward was always present when the magic was done. After one year, Edward had trained him enough, and Lembusa’s son started on his own. The difference was that he was not using the Bible like Edward did.
Lembusa’s family was very happy because this son made much money from his magic and could help the family with their financial and material needs.
When facing the supernatural works that the world attributes to the Lord, we have to make a difference between what is of God and what is not.
This young man worked, healed and pretended to save the people as he was taught by Edward. The people paid him, and he made a good living.
One day he amazed the people by climbing into a very tall palm tree. Without holding on with his hands he danced at the top of the tree with bare feet. The people were amazed and gave him gifts of money.
The people would come to him and ask him to speak with their dead relatives to help them solve their problems.
He agreed to do this for money. He dug a tunnel in the ground and entered inside the tunnel with palm wine and cola nuts. The people heard incantations that no one could understand. Finally they heard a conversation and voices started telling them the solutions to their problems.
He did this in several villages, and the people were very pleased to hear from their dead relatives. In the village of Kingoy, things went bad for this young man. He made his tunnel and went in with his charms. Suddenly the tunnel started to fall in, and that is when he died. Those that were there watching ran away in fear.
Lembusa was told of what happened to her son. She was very sad to lose her son and her financial support. She went to the Catholic Church for help with her grief and found no help.
One day she heard that we were passing by her village. She came out of her house and asked us to pray with her. She listened carefully to how we prayed, so she could learn the proper way to pray. When she heard us end the prayer “in Jesus name,” she asked us if she could ask us some questions. “Please help me to understand because I saw nothing wrong with Edward healing people, confiscating fetishes and above all preaching out of the Bible before he did every act.” She asked, “Did not he work against the devil? I want to be enlightened that I may make the best choices while I am still living.” We prayed with her and explained to her how the devil works to confuse and trick the people by using the Bible with magic and witchcraft. We invited her to church and to study the Bible. She found a house in our village and is studying the Bible with us. She is now planning to be baptized.
“…To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” Acts 26:18.
By Celestin Kasongo. Support for the work in Democratic Republic of Congo can be sent to Mission Projects International, PO Box 59656, Renton, WA 98058.