Thursday, August 10, 2006
Which Doctor? Or Witch Doctor?
In the Los Lotes barrio of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, people have had two types of doctor to visit. One is a medical doctor who also is a pastor—Dr. Hamer (at left). The others are witch doctors, who deal as much in spiritual matters as physical ones.
So when someone has a problem, he must decide “which doctor?” A witch doctor, or the other guy? At least until last month.
About a year ago Pastor Hamer started praying for the Los Lotes barrio. It was a spiritually dark area, for there were 12 witch doctors there.
Hamer began to prayer walk the area. One time he invited some of his pastor buddies from other areas to prayer “drive” the area late at night in a big truck. The truck’s wheels started spinning for no apparent reason (no sand or mud or water and certainly no ice!) right in front of the home of one of the witch doctors. As the truck stalled, his buddies bailed out, and most wouldn’t come back.
Six months ago Hamer decided to send the witch doctors a letter. In it he boldly proclaimed that they had three choices—
1. Trust Christ and renounce their wicked ways
2. Leave the barrio
Yes, you read that right—repent, relocate or retire (permanently).
Soon thereafter two of the witch doctors got very sick and ended up in the hospital at the same time. Surprisingly, they asked Hamer to come visit them. He faithfully shared the gospel with them. One trusted Christ. The other refused, and he died before morning.
Needless to say, this caused quite a stir in the black magic business in Los Lotes. Several witch doctors moved out. When Pastor Gary Willett and his daughters Sarah and Abi arrived at the beginning of their e3 Mission Trip, only 3 were left. At that point, however, no one on the team knew anything about this.
One day an older man came hobbling up to the church, which also is Hamer’s home (at left). He was in pain, and had come to visit Dr. Hamer, knowing that he also was a pastor. He could hardly move as he hobbled in with this cane (on ground in picture). Hamer introduced him to Gary, who shared the gospel with him. After he prayed to receive Christ, Hamer shared that he was one of the witch doctors! One down, two to go.
Later in the week Gary had the chance to lead German and his wife Sinthia to the Lord. He is 73 years old . . . and has been practicing witchcraft for over 50 years! Two down, one to go.
The last work day of our campaign Gary and Hamer met a man coming out of a building as they were walking. Hamer excitedly told Gary “that’s the last one!” They stopped and shared the love of Christ with him, but he did not make a decision. Please pray that God will bring to pass what Hamer has been saying since the team first arrived: soon there will be none.
We are hosting a leadership “train the trainer” conference in Ethiopia Aug 26 to Sept 1. The goal is to train 400 trainers from 35 denominations how to train others how to plant churches (using our First Steps curriculum) and do evangelism (with the EvangeCube). Please pray that God would use this training to greatly expand His kingdom there.
Eagle Scout Project.
Our 15 year old son, Philip, is working on his service project for his Boy Scout Eagle rank. He decided to collect eye glasses and then do an eye clinic on one of our church planting campaigns to Bolivia.
If you have old prescription glasses you want to donate, or new or used reading glasses, please let him know.
Also let us know if you’d like to go with us to Bolivia over Thanksgiving to distribute these glasses as we plant new churches. It would be a great way for your family show your thankfulness to our loving Lord by showing His love to the poor of Bolivia.