How can we pray for you?” I asked the lay evangelist as he finished his report of how the work was progressing on the Otammari Project. While they could see God blessing their work, the enemy of souls was putting up stiff resistance and challenging the evangelists on many fronts.
There are two full-time lay evangelists and a part-time translator on the Otammari Project. They work with Uli and Toussaint Baur-Kouato in ministering to the Otammari people who live on the border of Benin and Togo. Every Monday the evangelists meet with Uli at her home and take turns leading out and helping one another build leadership experience. They study the Bible and discuss the challenges they encounter from week to week. This encourages them as they learn from the Scriptures and share ideas. These meetings also give them opportunities to practice training church members and answering challenges. Uli has found that this system works well. The evangelists need all the support they can get as they face persecution, often from unconverted family members. Sometimes demonic spells target them and their wives and children with sickness. People place satanic objects in their homes and yards to invite evil spirits to harm them. And they face unrelenting family pressure to put their children through traditional rite-of-passage ceremonies steeped in the occult.
When individuals or families show an interest in Christianity, evil spells are cast on them to discourage them from following their convictions.
Other protestant churches also oppose the evangelists in an attempt to prevent loss of membership. Local politicians oppose Christians because they believe that their powers come from their traditional spiritual leaders. Praise God, He sustains His church, and it is still standing.
During our visit, we shared a Bible story and verses of encouragement. We also had a special prayer for the evangelists and their families. Praise God, they continue to work bravely and trust God with the results.
Please pray for God’s continual protection for His church in Benin and for more workers. The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.