Pastor Eurico* is the indigenous leader of a church in East Timor, where he bravely faced the local sorcerer.
In rural villages, animist beliefs are deeply rooted and some are very absurd. When there was a landslide on one of the mountains, the local sorcerer said this was a bad omen, indicating that a community leader would die in three days. This included Pastor Eurico.
When the heard this rumour, he sent someone to tell the sorcerer that no one would die during these three days, because he would pray and rebuke every spirit of death. Three days passed and no one died. The sorcerer, discredited, left the village.
This same pastor faced another animistic belief in the village. The stream behind the church has clear water and is very pleasant for bathing. In a creek cavity, among the stones, there was a tuna, which was regarded by all as the sacred owner of the stream. Although tuna meat is prized and expensive, no one dared to eat the fish.
The pastor, after telling the villagers that fish are God’s blessings for our nutrition, caught the tuna and ate it. Everyone was horrified, expecting the river to dry up and the pastor to get sick or even die. When nothing happened, the people finally realised that they had been believing in a lie.
These stories are important because they show that animistic beliefs are gradually being broken and discredited, enabling people to begin to listen to the Gospel.
Please pray that everywhere our National Pioneers go, they are able to raise up strong and faithful Christian leaders, like Pastor Eurico.