Handfuls Of Purpose, Inc.
"And let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose..." Ruth 2:16
Above, Pastor Guy is baptizing Chief Dorothy in the outdoor baptistry in Gbeto. The chief's son is assisting. The Voodoo witchdoctor is in attendance in hopes that the chief will not go through with his baptism. As soon as Pastor Guy brought the chief up out of the water, the witchdoctor hung his head and started walking toward his house. He had lost his most faithful follower to the power of the gospel. **See the chief's salvation story below**
Notice, in our slide show above, that there came a time when I no longer did the baptizing. The national pastors, who were trained in our Bible institute, assumed that responsibility. PTL!
The Voodoo Chief Saved
The first village church the Lord led us to start was in the village of Gbeto in Benin. Debbie, Pastor Michel, and I went to the village chief to inform him of our intentions and to secure his support by “formally” obtaining his permission. Legally, we did not need his permission as we have greater liberty to preach the gospel in Benin than we do in the US. Culturally, by asking his permission and support we show that we respect his position and the people of his village. When I told him of our desire to start a church and asked for his permission and support he responded, “How can I refuse your request? For generations, our ancestors have handed down a story concerning your visit. They told us that one day a white man will come to our village with a message of the One True God…listen to what he tells you.” That day I told him the story of the one true God. He did not get saved that day, but he listened.
Although never attending church, the chief allowed his wives and children to attend. One by one his family members accepted Jesus as Savior. Over the years I sat down in the chief’s hut many times; each time I gave him the gospel, and each time I asked him if he would receive Christ “today.” Though he was always kind and respectful he would always come short of giving his life to the Lord. A few years passed by and once again I was in his home witnessing to him. He said to me that day; “About one fourth of my family have become Christians and one day I’ll become a Christian.” A few years later he said to me; “About half of my family have become Christians and one day I’ll become a Christian, too.”
We were preparing to leave Benin on a lengthy furlough. By this time the aged chief was in his 80’s or 90’s; no one knew for sure. Again, I invited him to accept Jesus as Savior. He replied, “About three fourths of my family have become Christians and one day I’ll become a Christian...you’ll see!” With urgency, I responded; “Chief, you’re not getting any younger, you need to become a Christian today…the Bible says, “Behold, now is the day of salvation.” Sadly, he did not respond in the affirmative.
A few weeks after returning to Benin from furlough I was teaching an advanced Bible course for pastors. During the course, I informed pastor Guy that Debbie and I were going to the village today to talk to the chief. Guy returned to the village to tell the chief of our planned visit, and we followed shortly thereafter.
Once again, we were welcomed in the small familiar hut, only this time there were about twenty adult family members of the chief present as well. I presented the gospel and this time, in front of all those family members, Chief Dorothy Gbeto bowed his head and received the Lord as his personal Savior. Halleluiah! Over the next few years, until he went to heaven, the man who previously never went to church with his family now never missed church. He would often go to pastor Guy after the sermon and say, “That’s the truth…you’re preaching the truth.” For over ten years many of you prayed for Chief Dorothy’s salvation. God answers prayer!
Note of interest:
Prior to his salvation, Chief Dorothy was one of the main leaders of the voodoo worshipers in that strong voodoo village of Gbeto. His house was used regularly for demonic seances and the chief made a lot of money as a result. After he was saved, he immediately ceased all activities in the voodoo religion and opened his home up for Prayer meetings.