God’s Revelation Vs. Voodoo

November 20 2015

An OMS Haiti missionary had finished evangelizing several families living on a remote hillside in Haiti, where there are few roads in the area. As the missionary and his guide walked down the footpath, suddenly the guide stopped and looked back up the trail. He pointed out a small piece of paper under a rock and explained to the missionary that the paper was a witchdoctor’s curse.

The missionary asked his guide, “Why would a witch doctor put a curse here?” The guide responded, “This kind of thing happens all the time. We call it health-trade or wealth-trade. This is probably what happened: “Some unfortunate person was sick (or poor or fearful, etc.), probably because of a curse. So, she or he probably gave a witchdoctor a chicken and asked for healing. First, the witchdoctor killed and ate the chicken. Next, he scribbled some lines on that scrap of paper and promised that the chicken-giver’s illness would be traded for the health of an unfortunate passerby. It’s a reasonable trade for us.”

The missionary asked, “Is it possible that someone gave the witch doctor a chicken to put a blessing on the path so that travelers on that path would be well, wealthy, and happy?”

Stunned, the guide looked at the missionary as if he had lost his mind. He thought for a long moment and then burst out laughing, “No! That’s impossible. Why would anyone give the witchdoctor a chicken to do something nice for a stranger, perhaps even an enemy? In the best case, it would be like trading a perfectly delicious chicken for nothing. In the worst case, it could cause your death because of strengthening your enemy. The chicken-giver would still be sick and have one less chicken.” The guide then asked, with a slight hint of condescension, “Does that seem reasonable to a missionary?”

In contrast, God revealed his glorious paths of righteousness and life, which are found through his Son Jesus. God revealed his life-giving way through his holy apostles and prophets. We diligently search the Bible for those messages. One way to discover those treasures is through a set of skills, sometimes known as Inductive Bible Study. The contrast is stark. On one side are the writers of the Bible. On the other are voodoo witch doctors who scratch random scribbles. On both sides, there are contrasting methods, purposes and outcomes. We choose life.

Training through One Mission Society’s Theological Education helps equip pastors and other church leaders to minister in truth situations like this and many others. Rev. Leopoldo Oyola, director of the OMS-related seminary in Guayaquil, Ecuador, received his training at the OMS-related seminary in Colombia. It was there that he learned about inductive Bible study from OMS missionaries. Leopoldo was so transformed by this way of valuing and applying the Bible, that when he returned to Ecuador, he immediately implemented IBS in his church. He has now trained many in his congregation, and they, in turn, are now teaching others, including students at his seminary.

Tags: haiti, voodoo, witch doctor, inductive bible study, theological education,

​God’s Revelation Vs. Voodoo

November 20 2015

An OMS Haiti missionary had finished evangelizing several families living on a remote hillside in Haiti, where there are few roads in the area. As the missionary and his guide walked down the footpath, suddenly the guide stopped and looked back up the trail. He pointed out a small piece of paper under a rock and explained to the missionary that the paper was a witchdoctor’s curse.

The missionary asked his guide, “Why would a witch doctor put a curse here?” The guide responded, “This kind of thing happens all the time. We call it health-trade or wealth-trade. This is probably what happened: “Some unfortunate person was sick (or poor or fearful, etc.), probably because of a curse. So, she or he probably gave a witchdoctor a chicken and asked for healing. First, the witchdoctor killed and ate the chicken. Next, he scribbled some lines on that scrap of paper and promised that the chicken-giver’s illness would be traded for the health of an unfortunate passerby. It’s a reasonable trade for us.”

The missionary asked, “Is it possible that someone gave the witch doctor a chicken to put a blessing on the path so that travelers on that path would be well, wealthy, and happy?”

Stunned, the guide looked at the missionary as if he had lost his mind. He thought for a long moment and then burst out laughing, “No! That’s impossible. Why would anyone give the witchdoctor a chicken to do something nice for a stranger, perhaps even an enemy? In the best case, it would be like trading a perfectly delicious chicken for nothing. In the worst case, it could cause your death because of strengthening your enemy. The chicken-giver would still be sick and have one less chicken.” The guide then asked, with a slight hint of condescension, “Does that seem reasonable to a missionary?”

In contrast, God revealed his glorious paths of righteousness and life, which are found through his Son Jesus. God revealed his life-giving way through his holy apostles and prophets. We diligently search the Bible for those messages. One way to discover those treasures is through a set of skills, sometimes known as Inductive Bible Study. The contrast is stark. On one side are the writers of the Bible. On the other are voodoo witch doctors who scratch random scribbles. On both sides, there are contrasting methods, purposes and outcomes. We choose life.

Training through One Mission Society’s Theological Education helps equip pastors and other church leaders to minister in truth situations like this and many others. Rev. Leopoldo Oyola, director of the OMS-related seminary in Guayaquil, Ecuador, received his training at the OMS-related seminary in Colombia. It was there that he learned about inductive Bible study from OMS missionaries. Leopoldo was so transformed by this way of valuing and applying the Bible, that when he returned to Ecuador, he immediately implemented IBS in his church. He has now trained many in his congregation, and they, in turn, are now teaching others, including students at his seminary.

Tags: haiti, voodoo, witch doctor, inductive bible study, theological education,

​“I can’t accept Christ today”

June 11 2015

By Kate Michel, Marketing & Communications Director, Radio 4VEH/Resounding Hope

It’s true that Haiti is a “religious” country—Catholicism and Voodoo are its official religions. Any time spent on the streets reveals shop names like The Good Shepherd for the local hardware store; art painted on the taptaps and the local buses that serve as shared taxis claim the Lord’s protection. Yet conversations again and again reveal the truth—that so many people in Haiti have never heard or understood the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus, of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.

One elderly woman’s comments just broke my heart. I was with a short-term mission team from Findlay Evangelical Free Church in Findlay, Ohio. They had focused their Christmas giving on Resounding Hope solar radios, and we were in Haiti with the 4VEH team to share the Gospel and give out solar radios: so the folks at Findlay could be part of their giving in action. We worked alongside Pastor Deusma in a village of about 600 people not far from Cap-Haitien—Radio 4VEH has been working with Pastor Deusma for a few years, reinforcing the witness of the tiny church he has planted there by providing villagers with solar radios to speak hope and help every day through Radio 4VEH broadcasting and the audio Bible in the language they understand best, Haitian Creole.

We stopped in the yard of one family home to speak to an elderly lady who was shelling peas. Though others in her village have come to Christ, and the tiny church is growing and nurturing those new in the faith, this lady’s response to the Gospel message was clear. And it’s one that I’ve heard so often, as she, like so many, think that they need to fix themselves, sort out their problems, pay back a debt they owe to the witch doctor or do something to be counted “good enough” for Jesus. “I can’t accept Jesus today. I have a bad back and can’t walk to church.”

It broke my heart. If only she knew who Jesus really is.


Please pray:

  • For this lady—that she will hear and understand God’s grace, and will come to know Jesus as her Savior.
  • For Pastor Deusma and the church in this village: for their own faith and courage as they follow Jesus and for their witness for Christ to those around them.
  • For the message of the Gospel of grace as it goes out across the airwaves on Radio 4VEH. Please pray that the Good News will be shared in clear and compelling ways through music, drama, preaching, advice, prayer and conversation. Pray for those listening, that God will prepare their hearts to receive him and encourage those who know him.

Tags: haiti, voodoo, witch doctor, good news, shelling peas,