The great fast

Mwinikas are beginning to understand that following God means choosing to make changes in their lives.

As God’s Word changes lives at a heart level, down to the very daily practices that go back generations in honour of ancestors long gone, wise choices must be made.

The Mwinika people have had a 30-day fast for as long as most can remember. It’s seen by many as a huge social event that draws people and families together. Others are well aware that there is major spiritual significance.

As the Law of Moses was recently taught from the Bible, it became clear to many that no matter how hard we try, we can’t keep this law. We need something outside of anything we can do to redeem us from our sin.

Many became restless and began to whisper, “But if God is a jealous God and does not want us to pray to anyone but Him, what about our yearly prayer and sacrificing to our ancestors?” wrote Francois and Nadia Hattingh in a recent update.

To arrive in the teaching at this point in Scripture, right when this significant practice to appease their ancestors through prayer and sacrifice to them, could have only been orchestrated by God.

The people did not get up and leave right away after they heard this teaching. They sat in contemplative questioning, not sure what they were going to do with this new information.

The “kings” of the village came to the missionary to let him know that they are realising that it’s the Creator alone who is in control and they know they should only be praying to Him.

Francois’ response was, “That is true. Remember when we taught about our ancestor Noah? I am sure that all of our ancestors at that point prayed to God alone and believed that He is the only One worthy to be prayed to. But somewhere along the line, Satan came and deceived the Mwinika people like he did many others, so that you started to pray to your ancestors instead. Now, God came to you in your own language to teach you the truth again.”

As God continues to bring new believers into this church using His Word in the lives of the believers, He is giving the believers discernment for how to deal with these kinds of dilemmas.

“Pray for those believers who fast for a few days with non-believers in order to continue to be able to speak into their lives. Pray for discernment to know where friendship ends and disobedience starts,” Francois asks.