I am often asked why we work mostly in poor rural areas instead of urban centers. My answer is – both are important, but there are real needs in rural villages that are less evident in cities. Witchcraft abounds in uneducated areas where there is no church to counter the darkness.
The dismembered body of a one year-old albino boy was recently found in the Tanzanian woods. His arms and legs had been removed as to be used in a witchcraft ritual. According to local superstition, the body parts of albinos bring good luck and are in high demand.
Yohana Bahati was literally snatched from his mother’s arms by a gang armed with machetes. His mother was badly cut in the attack and his siblings, who also suffer from albinism are under police protection.
Although the Tanzanian government has outlawed certain witchcraft practices, witchdoctors still abound, selling their charms to the gullible and organized gangs continue to commit a variety of atrocities for profit, as long as the demand it present.
This is a horrible story which we had rather not hear, but we must face the powers of darkness and defeat them. This is exactly what the men and women of Barry Wood Ministries encounter in many of the rural areas where they work.
In October, I served on the medical side of a clinic which visited four villages in Tanzania and Kenya. Better than half of the patients I saw wore some sort of amulet which a sorcerer had sold them for luck, wealth, health or love. We were literally working in the devil’s backyard.
The good news is, our witness and the Spirit of our living God was able to penetrate the darkness and as a result, we have a church foundation nearly finished in Igegu Village and two water systems under construction at the schools.
I do not want to make a false impression. Our mission team played only a small part in reaching the hearts of many. The real work is done by the local keymen who visit the villages on a regular basis and introduce the Good News of the Gospel to these lost and superstitious people.
Even the Tanzanian government has recognized what these keymen have accomplished in the areas where they have established churches. Government officials have notified our Tanzania director, Peter Silvanus that the red eyed witch killings have subsided in the villages they have reached. A major victory.
This is why it is so important to support the work of these courageous men who go where most of us would not venture, much less attempt to pull down the strongholds of the powers of darkness which have captured so many souls.
Your prayers, for sure, both encourage and empower them to go do the hard work. If you have never considered supporting one financially, please pray about becoming involved with a regular donation. E-mail or call Barry and ask how you can help. The support we give them is surprisingly small and affordable by our standards.
Tom Wright is a director of Barry Wood Ministries