Wizards, Witchcraft and a Church Planting Team
Assafo is a small Baoulé village located in the Ivory Coast. According to the history of that area, when the queen of the Baoulé people group died, she was buried there. During the queen’s burial ceremony Assafo played a special role. It was one of the villages that gave their sons and daughters to be sacrificed and buried under the queen.
Consequently, today the village of Assafo plays a significant role. Whenever important decisions are made in that area they have a part to play.
Assafo has the reputation of being a very advanced base for witchcraft. For many years it was impossible for even a single church to be planted there. Until recently – when a YWAM Frontier Missions team refused to give up!
Invited by a Son of the Village
The team was invited there by a “son of the village,” a man named Augustin. When they arrived, the team received a warm welcome. The villagers who would have opposed them were sure that they would fail. Others had come and gone. They knew of their desire to plant a church but didn’t pay much attention at first. No one who had gone there for that purpose before had ever succeeded.
Before moving to Assafo, the team attended a SOFM (School of Frontier Missions) in Togo, a neighboring country.
The team leader reported the following, “We used what we learned in the Frontier Mission school: how to do research and prayer walks, identifying the strongholds, etc. Every evening we went to the public places and spent time praising God, sharing our testimonies, interceding and preaching the gospel.”
A Church Begins
After two months the team was able to start a church! A piece of land was given to them to use for a place of worship. As the local people there accepted Jesus, they removed their fetishes and idols. This did not please the village elders.
Wizards and Witches
The YWAM leader there reported, “The elders of the village sent their wizard to come. revive and wake up the idols of the village. But praise God, he couldn’t succeed so he ran away. They had contributed one million CFA (about $1,700) to bring this wizard. Even Christians were asked to give, but they refused.
“After that, they sent another witch who failed also. Then they sent a third one.
“She used a different tactic to try to stop the church planting effort. Her strategy was to impede the economic activity of the church. They forbid people in the village to buy grit (small gravel used to make cement) from the believers.”
The church had been selling the grit to support the work of the church. Every morning the believers prayed together as they walked through this difficult trial.
Then those opposing them decided to “bring out their fetish.” A fetish is a charm that they believed had special powers. If they saw any man or woman outside in the morning they told them they would have to pay a penalty. This was the ongoing battle the new believers endured.
A Small Girl Offends
Later, a small girl of the church was accused of profaning the holy place where the village kept their idol. If the church refused to make the sacrifice, they said they would kill the girl. This was the message the team leaders received a few weeks ago. It was not easy to know how to respond!
The battle is to see God’s Kingdom established continues in this place. This YWAM Frontier Missions team continually encounters real spiritual and physical attack. This is not uncommon for teams as they work to see multiplying churches started in unreached areas. They need our prayers behind them.
God’s Power is Greater
The team leader says, “According to the villagers since the church was started, the idols and fetishes of the village are not working anymore.” God’s power is greater than the demons that have ruled there for centuries! May His power and goodness be demonstrated in Assafo like never before. Pray with this team that every demonic power will be destroyed and Jesus’ name lifted up among the Baoule people!
Before this team, no one had ever succeeded in establishing a church in that place. Even as far away as Abidjan, the capital city, it has become known that Christians are there now. People are curious to understand how this could have been possible! As the church begins to multiply, even more, Baoule people can be reached. The Great Commission Finish Line– Church Presence, is being crossed in this village!
The team there is quite small. They want to expand and work in other neighboring villages as well. They are requesting prayer that God would raise up more workers who are willing to work among the Baoule and other unreached people groups in West Africa. Are you interested? Contact us (see form below) for more information about opportunities to serve.