From Darkness Into Light

While in Matipwili, we began outreach to several unreached villages. The purpose was to get a better understanding of these villages, what were their needs, and if there may have been just one believer or a person of peace that we could meet as we begin to reach these communities over the coming year.
As we dropped off a team in the first village of Gongo, and then the second team in Mkange, I traveled with Vincent and Ashley into the last village of Manda Mazingara. Manda is a very dark village of close to 12,000 people. This village is much darker than even Matipwili when we first entered. Driving into the village, we saw a man walking, who later reveals his name to be Stamili. The Holy Spirit led me to ask Vincent to stop the car so that we could speak with this man. Walking up to the car, he stopped and interacted with Vincent, and ended up getting into the vehicle with us. We noticed on his finger three rings, which we knew could represent that he was a witchdoctor. He showed us around the community, took us to areas of need, and even offered to sell us a farm. By the end of our time, he ended up coming back to Matipwili with us.
Once in Matipwili, we brought him up to the church, shared with him some water from the well, and began to share the truth of Jesus with him. During our conversation with him, he began to say…”You have found me out”. He let us know that he was a witchdoctor and dealt with demons and that since he had met us, Stamili said that his head had become fuzzy and that he could not process everything that we had been speaking to him about. He asked that he be allowed to go home and process all that had been shared and the truth found in Jesus.
The very next day as the youth were going to look for the Masaai chief, Peter, Stamili called Vincent. He was very frantic in his speech asking things like what we had done to him. He had told us that his mind was still fuzzy and that he usually serves at least two people a day as a witchdoctor, and that none had come to see him. He also mentioned that his phone would not work except to call us. He asked if we would drive to meet him to share more of Jesus. So, we got into the truck and drove to meet him between Mkange and Manda. We spoke with him for close to three hours sharing again the truth of Jesus and encouraged him to walk away from the evil he does. We asked him to remove his rings. He said that he wasn’t ready to do this. He explained that one ring was for protection, one was for a female horned goddess, and the final one for a god of the sea. We asked if we could pray for him and ask that God would push past these evil spirits and reveal to him the truth. He allowed us to do this, and then he went back to his village.
The very next day, Stamili called Vincent again. The conversation was the same with no customers, his phone not working. But then he also added that when he laid down to sleep, he had dreams all night. Finally, at 4 am he said that he was done and that he would not go back to sleep. We asked him what his dream was about, and he shared this with us. “I had dreams that my house was surrounded by soldiers and that the commander was demanding to speak with him” In his fear, he did not want to speak with the commander, but would wake up only to repeat the dream when he fell asleep. We encouraged him to speak with the commander that night and that we would pray for him.
On the next day, as we were heading to the airport to fly home, we got a call again from Stamili. The same story as before but that last night the number of soldiers had increased and that the commander who identified himself as Jesus, was more demanding to speak with him. This time, though willing to speak with him, he said that there was something else there, another presence that would not allow him to speak with the commander. He said to Vincent that he was “undone”. Vincent asked him to come to stay with him in Dar es Salaam so that they could remove his rings, cast out the demons and pray to God.
Though the enemy made the journey very difficult, to a point where Stamili almost turned around, he made it to Vincent's house. Once he arrived, Vincent noticed that one of the rings, the one for protection was not on his finger. Vincent asked where it was. He said it was in his pocket. He said that it was supposed to be a ring of protection, but that it did not protect him from the presence of Jesus, so it is useless. After speaking more about the truth found in Jesus, Stamili removed the rings, and they prayed that the Lord would remove the demons that had taken him over so that he may speak to Jesus. He asked to stay the night in Dar, but not at Vincent’s. He said put me up to stay at a hostel so that I know when I see the commander, that it wasn’t something you did to me at your home. He assured Vincent that he would come by in the morning.
Monday morning, July 15, 2019, Stamili came to Vincent and accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. He is going back into Manda to get his wife and children to come back and live with Vincent and his family to be discipled. After a time, they will enter back into Manda Mazingara, not as agents of the enemy but as the light of Jesus Christ, to begin to pierce the darkness.

All Glory to God

Steve Wood