African ministry finds success in new evangelistic approach in Ghana

By August 27, 2007

(MNN) — Every Child Ministries' workers say the key to presenting the Gospel in
idol shrines is to go back many times. For years,
their teams have been developing relationships with priests and devotees of
idol shrines as a part of their project to liberate shrine slaves called

ECM's Lorella Rouster says traditional idol worshipers have a
hard time fully accepting the Gospel. "Many of them understood and
mentally accepted many of the basic facts of the Gospel. But the thing that
surprised all of them and that none of them had ever heard of before, was that
God's law forbade the worship of these spirits." 

On a recent trip to Ghana, Rouster was able to work
with some of ECM's Ghanaian workers presenting the Gospel to priests and
priestesses presiding over shrines of African Traditional Religion, and
devotees of the shrines. These are shrines are built around an idol,
representing a spirit that traditional worshipers call the "lesser gods." 

ECM spent time going over the Ten Commandments and explaining
what God meant by 'No other gods' and 'no idols.' Rouster describes an irony during one of their conversations. "We presented the
Gospel in the courtyard of a shrine that had beautiful murals of Bible
scenes painted on the outside walls, along with scenes of African
divination. On the front of the shrine
was a beautiful picture of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments and then
breaking the Ten Commandments. Right
beside that was a picture of African divination, which is forbidden several times
in the Law of Moses. Underneath the
picture of the Ten Commandments, a real-life diviner sat
doing his thing, and a priest offered chickens in sacrifice to the spirits of
the shrine." 

The team chatted with the shrine owners who were there
watching this scene. When the team asked what the Ten Commandments taught, no
one at the shrine seemed to know.  They
knew they were a good thing, but they were not aware of the content. They were shocked to learn that they were
violating the Ten Commandments right underneath a picture of it.

The team felt it was important to point this out, because
people have to understand that they are sinners who cannot save themselves
before they can come to Christ. Rouster
says there's a long road ahead. "We ask people to pray that God's spirit
will draw people to Himself and help people to fully commit themselves to Him,
and also that we'll be guided by God's spirit in our future efforts and
be able to explain the Gospel in ways that they can understand."

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