Having served in Togo in the past, I was taken by surprise to see how animistic/fetish worship is still very common and popular even 15 years later.
Agbeko and I went to meet 2 visually impaired people in Mission Tové area to invite them to the Village of Light. One is a little girl and the other a young man. On the dirt road on the way to our destination, we saw village idols placed to protect the different families or villages.
Yao is a young man that went blind over a year ago at 16 years of age. He has been living shut up in a room in isolation due to his blindness. We weren’t sure why, but wondered if it was a shameful thing for the family that he became blind. We tried to encourage him that God loves him and does have a plan for him in spite of his blindness. It was evident that he is depressed. Our comments brought tears to his mother’s eyes. We pray the family will send him to the Village of Light, so he could continue in school through learning Braille and be trained in the micro enterprise workshop. Most of all, we want him to find hope in Jesus.
We had to wait a bit to meet a 7 year old girl, Mina, visually impaired since birth. My heart broke to find out that her uncle is a protector of a fetish or an idol, meaning he serves an evil spirit present in the idol. I noticed things in their courtyard that represent the spirits they worship.Blood sacrifices had recently been poured on these mounds or pots. How sad to see the practice of idol worship still active in Togo.
Women bowed to the man in a white wrap skirt, others took off their sandals in his presence. Others danced, drummed and sang to the fetish or came for a consultation. Another man was practicing divination. He was talking to something (maybe the evil spirit presence in the room) as he threw his divining tools in the air to see how they fell.
Mina is a beautiful little girl and said she wanted to come to our school. Her father and fetish worshiping uncle didn’t refuse when we told them she will learn about Jesus and the Bible. Our prayer is that Mina will come as school starts up this week and that she will trust Jesus as her Savior and be a light to her family living in Satan’s darkness.
We heard about these 2 young people through a former student of the Village of Light named Divine. Divine came to the VOL to be trained in micro enterprise around the year 2000. It was at the VOL that he received Christ as Savior and was helped to become independent, even in his blindness. He carries the burden for others like him in his own village.
Story shared by Jane Schmitz