By JFK Mensah
JFK is the area director for Pioneers North-West Africa.
Mission Fields and Unreached Peoples
Here are a few glimpses into the mission field of unreached people groups from the 2010 South African Lausanne Congress and elsewhere:
Brazil, 20 years ago
Millions would go down to the beach, and visited the lakes to invoke the spirit of the waters. They were syncretized with the Virgin Mary.
The consequences in the lives of the people who practiced low-spiritism were serious demonization, oppression at all levels, broken families, divorce, death, sickness, and bankruptcy.
Many people were aware of where witchcraft came from, and some of them were surprised when they noted that witchcraft was powerless upon true believers in Christ.
There are 330 million gods in India. African Traditional Religion believes in the reality of numerous deities, gods, spirits, ancestor-worship, reincarnation to the extent that the traditional African lives daily in a world influenced by spirits.
Amsalu Tadese Galeta announces in his doctoral dissertation that, ‘Demonization is found throughout Ethiopia, among many, if not most, of its peoples.’ About 60% of Benin (West Africa) follows the voodoo cult. It is the main ‘religion’ of Haiti.
Japanese gods and deities are innumerable. What about animism in Thailand, Indonesia and South East Asian islands? Have you googled the animists of Papua New Guinea?
Over 80 million Chinese practice a variety of qi-gong. The most well-known kind to the world outside China is “falungong.” From Luke’s ten year experience in qigong, he divided the practice of qigong into three stages.
The first stage is physical exercise through a method of breaking so as to move the “air” (qi) into the interior parts of the body for health reasons. The second state is when one desires to have supernatural power, such as the ability to heal illness or extra-sensory perception. That supernatural ability, according to Luke, comes from demonic spirits.
The third stage is when one becomes so bound to various demonic spirits that he becomes totally enslaved by these spirits. During this last stage, one can even experience one’s spirit leaving one’s body to hover around. From his experience, and from the perspective of his faith in Christ, identified the “supernatural capabilities” that he experienced as of demonic source, and advises all Christians to stay away from qi-gong beyond the first stage. In fact, it is even better not to get started.
Spiritual warfare means the believer in Christ taking authority and battling with the lusts of sinful flesh, the world and Satan in the pursuit of Christlikeness at the personal level and the fight to free others from the enemy’s dominion.
It is the church of God battling the systems of the world to enforce the purposes of God; it is the forces of God overthrowing the ancient dragon and his allies to enthrone Christ the head of all principality and power.
This is our counsel: Do not send anyone to win souls, make disciples, and plant churches among the unreached unless you have given him/her some basic training in spiritual warfare.
Evil spirits influence our lives, our families, churches and cities; they resist us in territorial strongholds on the mission field and the converts from among the unreached people have demonic issues to be dealt with. Do you have an answer for the tribal people?