The gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ recently stirred up an attack from the kingdom of darkness in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
A ‘mystic’ woman, a Prophetess of the ‘Cherubim and Seraphim Eternal Sacred Order’, lives in front of our church (Christ’s Reformed Church), with a fence between us as the boundary.
Her ‘church’ burns candles and incense to angels, and its adherents wear white clothes and walk about in bare feet.
Before we started our church, many people consulted this woman for the purpose of divination, and to obtain magic potions to promote their business, marriage, health, fertility etc.
Initially, the woman reckoned that we posed no threat. But she has since been strenuously opposing our preaching, praying and location.
In a manner reminiscent of Acts 16 and 19, she has complained of losing her spiritual sensitivity — and thus her customers, her trade and her livelihood.
She first tried distracting people in the church compound with noise, but to no avail. She stood outside the front of the church, singing, clapping and dancing with her son and daughter.
She complained bitterly to many people and abused me, the church, our members and our methods.
Then neighbours informed me that early one morning, with her son and daughter present, she began digging at the front of our church looking for a supposed juju against her.
We reported this intrusion to the community leader, who handled the case. The woman was warned not to come onto our property, nor to curse, accuse or rail at the church during its services.
For two weeks there was peace. However, one Friday night she approached the front of the church, dancing and clapping around the spot where she suspected a juju to be.
I reminded her of the community ruler’s injunction. She pointed a knife at me. Some of our church members came and took the knife from her. They also collected a machete and iron rod from her son and daughter.
The next day she went to the police and told many lies about us. She gave them money to persuade them to detain me.
After the morning service on the Sunday, I went with some church officers to the police station, where a policeman repeated her lies to me and asked me to make a statement. He began to prepare the paperwork for my detention.
We protested at this, as did a woman police inspector also on duty. I was required to put up bail of N300,000 (£2,000) to the police.
Two days later, both parties in this dispute appeared before the police. They took us to the scene of the incident — the front of our church. I explained the matter to the police’s satisfaction. The prophetess was told that she is an evil woman.
Knowing that she had failed to stir up the police, she resorted to paying some local youths to beat up a boy in our congregation after the next Bible study. When I went to help the boy, they threatened me.
We have reported this latest incident to the police and community leader.
All this has not prevented God’s blessing on our work. Last Sunday nearly 90 believers took the Lord’s Supper together, while 200 attended the service.
The Word of God is powerful and it will surely pull down the spiritual strongholds of local deities. But we have experienced a little of what Paul and Silas suffered at Philippi.
Please pray to God for our safety and that the cause of the gospel here might not be hindered.