Setting Idols Ablaze
Two months ago, I started a story provided by former missionary kid Anne Lucas, who grew up in Nigeria. The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering provided funds to buy a motorcycle. Her father and a pastor used that motorcycle, named “Miss Lottie,” to travel to a remote village to share the gospel. In the process, a pagan priestess confronted Anne’s father, asking, “What took you so long?” Here’s how Anne concludes the story.
The priestess grabbed Daddy by the arm and pulled him with her toward a little thatched-roof hut. He had to bend over to enter the tiny doorway. As he did, Daddy was overwhelmed with the stench of dead animals and rotten food. There were hundreds of idols made from all kinds of materials stacked everywhere. The food and animals were used as sacrifices to those idols.
The priestess said in an angry voice, “You see these gods? They do nothing but sit here. We pray. We beg. We plead. We sacrifice what we have. They don’t love us. They don’t care for us. You tell us about a God of love who has existed since the beginning of time. What took you so long to come tell us this wonderful news?”
Once again, the priestess grabbed Daddy’s arm and pulled him through the doorway outside. She grabbed a piece of burning wood from the fire just outside the door. Daddy was truly not sure what she had in mind. With the wood, she set the idol house on fire. Then she said, “Sit and tell me about this God and His Son, Jesus.”
The priestess became a follower of Jesus and an avid learner. Others in that village became believers that very day.
A few months later, Daddy and the pastor returned to the village on the motorcycle named “Miss Lottie.” The people came out laughing and happily invited Daddy and the pastor into their homes. The entire village had become believers. They influenced neighboring villagers to follow Christ.
Think of the circumstances nearly seven decades ago. Southern Baptists surpassed their Lottie Moon Christmas Offering goal. A missionary in the bush of northern Nigeria was able to get a small motorcycle that took him and a Nigerian pastor far into the jungle. An influential villager heard about Jesus for the first time.
An idol house was destroyed. A village began to follow Christ. Surrounding villages became followers of Christ. Praise God!
May our passion be Your mission to redeem and restore humanity through hope in Christ. We want to see Your glory reflected in the lives of every nation, tribe, people, and language.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
Sandy Wisdom-Martin serves as the executive director/treasurer for national WMU.