Standing against witchcraft
Namibia suffers a great deal from disputes that divide families. Karen believes God has called her to do something to challenge this situation.
Karen sees that the central problem is that alongside going to church, many people still believe in witchcraft. She finds it hard to understand why, if you know the power of God, you would still go to the local witchdoctor.
After receiving Dignity’s Foundations course, she was impressed by the stories of how prayer can make fundamental changes - for instance, in Idi Amin’s Uganda. She felt challenged by this and believes that if she could find just five Christians who would fast and pray, something could change in her village. She has identified the issues that dark forces cause in that community and has a growing passion to establish Life Groups, which would bring light into the situation and change lives.
At the moment, people waste their money on witchcraft. Karen hopes that rather than paying a witchdoctor to resolve disputes they can begin to depend on God.
The fees for these witchdoctors can be as high as NA$18,000 (£775), which leads to people selling their belongings or cattle, their main source of income, to pay a witchdoctor to come and solve their problem. Those concerned may be people who go to church, may even be church leaders, but they spend their money in this way. And what happens? The witchdoctor comes in, says that a relative has put a curse on them, and the blame that follows leads to a rift in the family.
God would have brought peace into the situation. However, instead of working together, families waste time and resources trusting in witchcraft, and part of the family in the dispute ends up going elsewhere to find land to build on, which leaves the villages they live in depleted.
It’s not as if the families don’t have any money – they must have, because they are paying the witchdoctor - but instead of staying within the family, the money goes to him. People in the area fall into this pattern again and again, trapping them in poverty and superstition, which is a serious problem for them and for the community.
Having been praying for her village, Karen has now helped to plant two Life Groups. She is also trying to make contacts in a village 15 kilometers away to get something going there, too.
Karen hopes that the situation will change once people know the truth about Jesus and realise that witchdoctors have no power in these disputes and are exploiting both the accusers and the accused. She is thankful for the two existing Life Groups and her prayer is that more may be established.