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His faith overcomes fear of evil spirits in Zambia

LUSAKA, Zambia (BP)–“Evil spirits killed your children,” the witch doctor told a distraught Hastings Chipango. “But bring me 80,000 Kwancha and I’ll protect your family and you can have more children.”
Children are a precious commodity in Zambia, so when two out of his three offspring died, Chipango was convinced he hadn’t done enough to save them.
But 80,000 Kwancha is a lot of money in Zambia. Needing something to help him think, Chipango found his usual solace in a bottle.
Then God took pity on Chipango through a local Baptist leader who saw him stumbling down the street.
Noticing Chipango’s despair, the church leader handed him a tract. The next day he visited Chipango’s hut.
“Hastings was a drunk and all-around bad guy,” said Zambian missionary Daren Davis. “So when he was saved that day, his wife, Mary, a believer, finally saw her prayers answered.”
Chipango’s first step in his new faith was deciding not to pay the witch doctor, instead putting his trust in God.
Davis said the Chipangos, who now have three children again, so firmly trust that God has their family in his hands that they no longer practice the many rituals used to keep evil spirits away from children.
Their relatives, however, continually warn them that their children are going to get sick and die because they are not protected from the evil spirits. Wearing charms and giving herbal baths and drinks is a strong part of the culture and — to many Zambians — the only way to be safe from evil spirits.
Adding to their families’ concern, the Chipangos are preparing to become Zambia’s first home missionaries.
Davis asks for prayer that the Chipangos’ testimony will spread to others held captive by the fear of evil spirits, and for their health as they set out to be missionaries. He also requests prayer for the seed of the gospel planted with the witch doctor.
The fear of evil spirits that keeps Zambians in spiritual bondage is a formidable obstacle to the gospel. But Hastings Chipango will tell you God’s power is more than equal to the task.

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  • Heidi Soderstrom