I know what this picture looks like. Just a guy standing on a big rock. NBD.
But the guy on this rock is actually a HUGE deal. Colossal. Monumental. BIG. FAT. DEAL.
This is Fawa. He is one of the believers in our village. He’s a young married man with a beautiful baby girl who just started toddling around.
His father (now deceased) was an influential witch doctor. When Fawa was a young boy his father told him to never go near this rock, but if he absolutely had to, then he should walk around it slowly with his bow and arrow drawn because the evil spirits inside it will come out and try to eat him.
My husband was on a hike with Fawa and some other believers when Fawa stopped to show them the rock, and told them the strict instructions his father passed down to him . He grinned as he explained the story and then explained to them all how he now knows that was his father’s teachings were wrong. That rock is just a rock. Created by God and called good. Ready to cry out their praise to Him if commanded, and there are no malevolent spirits coming out of it to attack him.
But then he did something that amazed everyone there (and everyone who heard the story later). He said, “Hey, I’m going to go across the river and I’m going to stand on top of the rock. You take my picture so that everyone can see that I’m not afraid. I want everyone to know that I follow Jesus’ trail and not the old way of thinking.”
He then maneuvered through the rapid river, littered with sharp stones, climbed up on this big rock, and flashed that huge grin as his picture was taken.
|John Michael and Fawa in front of the rock|
I love this story. This testimony of God’s truth piercing through generations of entrenched lies from Satan. But I especially love what it means for Fawa’s daughter- this little girl…
|Fawa’s wife and baby daughter|
This little girl will have a Father who doesn’t teach her to be afraid of rocks or waterfalls or birds or any other evil spirits living in the mundane objects in her world. She won’t learn to make sacrifices of valuable pigs to spirits who won’t help, and she won’t learn the magic words that need to be spoken in order to make all aspects of her life favorable. And above all she won’t learn that when she loses a loved one, the only way to answer the pain and grief in her heart is to call for the deaths of some other woman or child rumored to be possessed by an evil spirit.
She will grow up with the glow from a flashlight illuminating God’s word as her father reads to his entire household. She will be taught to read and write so she can one day read that Word for herself. She will know that when someone gets sick or hurt she can call out to the God who hears and saves. And she will know that when she loses someone close to her they will either be with their Creator or they won’t, but that death is the result of sin and the fall and innocent women and children are not responsible.
She may or may not follow Jesus herself. But she will have a choice. She will hear the Good News… something that her grandfather didn’t get to hear… and hopefully, prayerfully, each generation that comes after her from this time forward will get to hear as well.