Dear Friends and Family,
A young Nyaturu mother walked in to my office with her little 12 day old baby girl who was sick. Immediately I noticed a vertical black line that had been drawn down her forehead. I asked the mother what it was for, and she told me “macho ya watu”, which literally means ‘people’s eyes’, and culturally was meant to prevent the ‘evil eye’ from cursing her baby. This concept of the ‘evil eye’ is actually found in many different cultures around the world in different variations, but the basic premise is needing some kind of charm or incantation to prevent a ‘jealous look’ from someone else which leads to a curse on the new child. In some cultures I’ve read you can’t even compliment the child because this would jinx them. Oh the depths of fear and bondage that so many are lost in!
In America, a recent popular holiday called Halloween has just past, which has many aspects to it that glorify death and evil and curses. We play make-believe in America with witches, gargoyles, zombies, vampires, werewolves, etc., etc. We make them sexy and cool, we make them the hero’s and heroines, we blur the lines.
Friends, this young Nyaturu mother IS NOT playing make-believe. Listen to me, in the heart of the Dark Continent (and many other places in the world, including America) demons are REAL, Jinns are REAL, witch doctors and curses are REAL. There is a spiritual battle raging on around us. I’ve treated demon-possessed patients in the health center in Magambua. If you belong to Jesus Christ, you’ve drawn the line and have proclaimed that you belong to the Kingdom, to the Light, to the Sovereign God who has wrought victory at the Cross. This is not make-believe. In the Dark Continent the darkness is giving way to a shining Light! Jesus has built and is building His church in Africa, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it. Jesus is shining through the darkness, and millions of Africans are worshiping the true God without fear, the true God who loves them and gave His life for them.
I looked this young Nyaturu mother in the eye, and told her that because I follow Jesus, when I look at her baby, I wish blessings and health on her baby, not curses. She smiled back at me, almost in a relieved way.
Thank you so much for praying for the eye surgery clinic and for the evangelistic outreach in Gumbu! We’ve heard through the grapevine that 16 people came forward in Gumbu to accept Christ as Savior, praise the Lord! Please pray for the evangelist in Gumbu, Jackson Nyambi, as the follow up for these new believers will fall on his shoulders. Pray for the small church in Gumbu, that they would have hearts for discipling these new believers and coming alongside them.
The eye surgery clinic two weeks ago went very well. Dr. Savage and two nurses from Mvumi Hospital came and screened 70 some patients, did 26 cataract surgeries, and 6 minor surgeries. A small group of the cataract patients were previously blind from it, including a gentlemen from among the Alagwa people group about three and a half hours from us. Pastor Mussa, who has been on a recently finished TIMO team among the Alagwa, came with the patient and his son for the surgery in Magambua. He was all smiles when he could jump in to the car without help because he could see again!
We’ve enjoyed having Corinna, a TIMO missionary from the islands, who is spending her ‘month out’, visiting Margaret and our team in Magambua from mid-October to mid-November.
Family-wise we are doing well, Rachel is starting to read (and is excited about it! and so are we!), Melissa’s mom is taking all her new adjustments to Florida in good stride, leaning on the Everlasting Arms!. Josh and Drew seem to be thriving at RVA. We’ll send out some more family pics in a few weeks.
Please pray for an upcoming visit from reps from the diocese who will be doing some training in the local churches on finances, and pray for a health committee meeting we’ll be having on the 23rd of this month.
Praise God for the way He opens our eyes to see the Light, and how He brings us out of the darkness!
1- Marked for eye surgery
2- Dr. Savage performing cataract surgery in Magambua
3- The Alagwa patient post surgery
4- Dr. Savage examining a patient
5- Pastor Mussa with the Alagwa patient and his son the day after surgery 6- One of the nurses from Mvumi giving post-op instructions and medicine