By Betsy Langford, program manager of food security programs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Malende Angondra, 18, was the firstborn son of Pastor Yengatu—the leader of the church near our base in Faradje. The boy disappeared after being on the river in late January. People in the village believed that he was taken by a “ngilima,” a round creature with eight arms that wraps itself around its victim while sucking out its life.
The families in the area would gather around the river to look, but no one dared to enter the water to search for the body. Before long, a member of the pastor’s extended family called for a water medium to help locate it.
He arrived with the tools of his trade—an egg and some charcoal placed in a calabash gourd. He floated them in the water over a certain area to indicate where the body could be found.
Men prodded the water with long poles. They searched all Sunday with no result. On Monday morning, the Samaritan’s Purse staff gathered for morning devotions. They prayed the body would be found, so there could be peace for the pastor and his family.
Afterward, a small group went down to the river. The calabash had been removed at the request of the pastor, but there was still someone prodding the water with a pole.
Our staff sang and prayed with the group congregated at the river. They prayed against the “magical” fetishes of the medium, claiming Christ’s power over the spiritual forces of evil and for the release of the body so the family could hold a proper burial.
About 10 minutes after returning to the base, a boy came running to announce that the body had come up only a few minutes after the group from Samaritan’s Purse had left. Praise the Lord!
The following day, the pastor came to our morning devotions and said that on Monday some men came to his house to explain their methods to locate the body in the river. He told them that he did not want them to try, that he had chosen to accept it if God’s will was to keep the body hidden. The men decided that they were going to go to the river anyway and try to find the body. As they were walking there, a boy intercepted them to announce that the body had been released from the water.
We praise God for the miracle we witnessed that day and for all those who experienced the power of prayer. Pray that this testimony of God’s power will spread throughout the village, and that many will come to trust in God rather than the power of fetishes.
Please pray for Pastor Yengatu, who lost his firstborn—the boy he had planned would take care of his family in years to come. Also pray for the village of Faradje and the Samaritan’s Purse staff as they continue to proclaim the risen Christ. When the enemy suffers a great defeat, he works harder to gain back followers.