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After we moved from our old round house in the jungle to our beautiful new site high in the mountains, we wanted to start building our house as soon as possible so we could get out of my dad’s office (where we lived through the house-building months)! To do this, we needed to cut a lot of wood from the jungle trees. There is a man from a village about two hours away by foot who had a little bit of experience with a chainsaw, and he offered to cut wood for the building of our house.
Before the cutting began, he and his young apprentice wood cutter told us that they would have to spill the blood of a chicken on the chainsaw and then rub it over the blade before they could cut any wood. They explained that it would prevent anything bad from happening to them as they worked. They thought that the spirits had to be appeased in order to keep them safe. These men had not come to believe what the Bible teaches, and they still held on to their animistic beliefs and relied on the spirits to assist them. They were definitely not trusting in God.
We had already been teaching many of the tribal people about God’s Word and truth that would contradict this type of thinking, but this man was from another village and had not heard the teaching.
So, my dad talked with our helpers as an apologist using God’s Word to reason with them that the blood of the chicken wouldn’t change their risk of getting hurt. God is in control of all circumstances, and it is He whom we trust in, not the blood of chickens or chants to spirits. They listened to my dad and went along with this and didn’t spill any chicken blood. However, several weeks into cutting wood for our new house, the wood cutter sliced his thigh with the chainsaw. The incision was about seven inches long and went deep into his muscle. You can see how easily this type of animistic thinking can thrive and continue as events like this take place.
There may be things like this accident that happen in our lives as well, things that make us question or doubt the truth of God’s Word. That’s why it’s so important for us to know why we believe what we believe. It’s important for us to ground ourselves in God’s Word so we aren’t tossed by winds of doctrines.
Well, my dad thought the wound was too deep and did not want to try to sew him up. Plus if my dad did help him and he ended up dying, a war could start. So my dad decided that it was enough of an emergency to call in the helicopter to medevac him to a town about an hour’s flight away. My dad and one of my dad’s tribal friends (who is a believer) took the woodcutter to a hospital in town where his wound was sewn up. A few days later they flew back home to our village. Everyone was relieved to see the woodcutter get out of the aircraft with a smile on his face. He eventually healed up fine and is still around today. Unfortunately, he has not been interested in God’s Word, but continues to rely on the evil spirits.
My dad has taught the tribal people that Satan is the deceiver. He and all of the spirits were created by God to be His servants, but they rebelled against God, so God cast them out of heaven. One day He will punish them in the lake of fire. But for now, Satan hates God and he hates man, who is created in the image of God. Satan and his evil spirits want to destroy mankind and so they use what limited power they have to get people to trust in them (and thus not trust in God). I think this is what happened in this case. The spirits have lied to the people so that they feel the need to sacrifice pigs or chickens to them so that they don't get hurt. And then if the people don’t do the right sacrifice and get hurt, it only reinforces their confidence in the power of the spirits and encourages them to worship them.
Thankfully, for those who have put their faith in God, He has shown them over and over again that He is the most powerful protector and always works everything together for good to those who are His children!
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