Uriay believers are studying the book of Acts four days a week and those who come faithfully are growing spiritually. But the number attending has been erratic, depending on disputes and other distractions on any given day.
In a recent lesson from Acts, Elias taught about the angel waking Peter in prison and leading him past the prison guards and on to freedom.
“Why did God help Peter escape but allow Stephen to be stoned and James to be beheaded?” Elias asked. And after some thought on it Elias explained that Peter’s work wasn’t finished yet. God had more work to do through Peter so he helped him escape a certain death sentence.
“It was pretty cool to watch them grasping this – and the relief it brought to them,” wrote Lisa Kappeler. “They live in fear of sorcery and evil spirits. … You could almost see the weight lift off their shoulders.”
Later, Lisa was speaking with a group of women and asked them if they should fear Trowi, the local witchdoctor whom they all fear. Could he kill them?
Imi was very quick to say that if her work is not finished here no one can kill her.
“God is the only one with power. Trowi is nothing. He’s just a man and has no power. We should only lift up God’s name. He is the all-powerful One. Trowi is just a man and he too will die. He only speaks lies. We shouldn’t be worshipping him. No! God is above everything. He has all the power. We should only be worshipping Him.”
Imi is so certain of this truth, so convinced that God is bigger than Satan, evil spirits or the local witch doctor. This is a huge among the Uriay people.
“I continue to marvel at what God is doing in this little skinny lady’s heart,” Lisa wrote. “At the same time, we see many others drifting in and out of the teaching and wonder what the latest distraction is that keeps them away.”
Lately, a lot of marriage arrangements have had the attention of the people, with much discussion and many heated arguments taking place.
The Uriay people have an exchange policy regarding marriage – a boy has to exchange a sister for his bride. He marries the girl and his sister marries his bride’s brother (or occasionally cousin, dad or uncle).
“Marriage arrangements get quite sticky and make for very ugly meetings at times,” Lisa wrote. “These things get so complicated and tempers flare quicker over marriage exchanges than anything else (except perhaps money).”
Please pray that these distractions will be minimized and that the people will have a hunger for God’s Word.