Jay and Beverly Bellamy

Prayer Letter/Ministry Update

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Our Alliance of Story Carriers (APH) team planned a visit in December to make a year-end report about the state of the story groups in each village. This was not God’s plan, however. The group arrived in a downpour, and it rained for two days.

In the few moments between rain storms—which are very loud on metal roofs—it was all the team could do to meet with the Youbi group and secure food for meals. Davy had to return to Pointe-Noire because he was not feeling well. Finally, on Thursday, knowing they were expected, Firmin and Willy forced their way to Sintou-Nkola through the high wet grass along the muddy road.
On arriving, they met with Honoré and his wife again. The couple appreciated that Firmin had insisted on coming, but they had bad news.

“Since you were here, we have been visited by a man from Youbi,” said Honoré. “He tells us that you are magicians and not to be trusted. Some of the villagers are beginning to blame you for their misfortune. He said you caused the death of his father-in-law, who died when you took him to Pointe-Noire.”

When Firmin heard the name of this visitor, he understood. The man had led a cult in Youbi which opposed the stories back in 2016. The group had tried to ban the APH team but had been overruled by the new believers, and their “church” eventually closed.

His elderly father-in-law, one of the first Vili to be baptized, developed a blood pressure problem. The team helped the believers raise the money to get him care. As he lay dying in the hospital, the team gathered around him and told him they were praying for his healing.

But he said, “It’s alright. I can see the way, and it has opened for me.” He passed into the presence of the Lord with a smile on his face.

Meanwhile, back in Youbi, his son-in-law had stolen planks of wood for his house that the new believers had gathered to build their church. On discovering the theft, the believers decided not to press charges.

Firmin told Honoré the story and asked, “Who do you think is the magician with the dangerous words? We are only bringing God’s words. Every story we tell comes from Him. They may be powerful, but they will only do you good.”

Firmin also gave Honoré the names and numbers of the Youbi believers, including the village chief, and told him to ask them to verify the story.

Honore turned to his wife and said, “See! I told you not to believe that guy.” Then he asked Firmin and Willy to return very soon and tell the whole village the truth. “They are all fleeing the village,” he said. “They are terrified. Another man died in the field the week after you were here. They’re afraid.”

The January Trip

Firmin and Willy decided to go back the first weekend in January so that they could meet with a story group leader in Youbi and together confront the man who was lying about APH. They called to tell Honoré that they’d be in Sintou-Nkola on Sunday.

It was not raining when Firmin and Willy set out for Youbi, but it started soon after they arrived and did not let up all day. They wanted to take the group leader to confront the troublemaker and then go with him to meet with the group from Sintou-Nkola. But the Youbi leader had to be away, because his older brother had died, and the family needed him.

Firmin and Willy went to confront the man themselves, bringing a camera along to record the conversation. They told him what they had heard and asked him why he was telling these lies.
At first, he tried to deny that he had said any of these things, but they told him that there were details about his father-in-law that only he could have known. “You need to be very careful,” Willy said. “We are only carrying God’s Word. If you are opposing that, you are opposing Him. We wouldn’t want to be in your shoes.”

“I’ll go tell them the truth,” the man replied. “and I will stop lying.”
“You don’t need to go tell them anything, in fact we’d prefer you didn’t,” said Firmin. “But we will play this video for them so that they know the truth. And if you continue to tell lies, we will ask the village chief to come visit you. He may want to talk about some wood that went missing.”

On Sunday, it took a long time to arrive in Sintou-Nkola. The roads were worse than ever. Caked with mud, Firmin and Willy pushed their motorcycle in at about 11 a.m.

Honoré greeted them. “We thought you weren’t coming! We had everyone gathered, but when you didn’t show up, many of them left to go to the fields since the rain has let up.”

“We told you we were coming. It’s 11 a.m. on Sunday morning and your village people are in the fields?” Firmin asked. They showed Honoré the video they had taken, and he was very happy to see it.

“Sit down here, I’ll go see who I can round up,” he said.

About an hour later, 14 men as well as a number of children gathered to hear the Creation story. They were fascinated to hear the story in their own language, and a lively discussion ensued.
Someone asked, “Why did God create man last? Is he less important?” Traditionally, man is an after-thought in the Vili worldview.

Firmin responded with questions about the story until they concluded for themselves that God had created man after He had prepared a place for man to live. Far from being an after-thought, God had planned for him. “Is there anyone here, who wants to become a child of God?” Firmin asked.
All 14 responded together, “Well, of course, that’s what we’re here for!”

Willy explained to the gospel to them, and all fourteen prayed, along with several of the children. Including Honoré and his wife, there are now 16 adult believers in Sintou-Nkola.

“Will you come and build a church here?” they asked.
“But you are the Church,” Firmin said. “When you gather together to study God’s story and pray, He is here with you. You can choose a place to meet, but you are the true temple of God.”
He proceeded to instruct them how to retell the story each time they meet and to ask the questions. “You will hear new things from God each time, because He will be here with you,” he said. “If you need to, you can go and visit the believers in Youbi or Km4, who are now your brothers and sisters. We will be back soon, and we’ll teach you another story. We’ll also see how well you remember this story and if you’ve told it to anyone else.”

“We’ll be here. We’re going to tell this story to everyone in the village,” they said.

In Him,

Jay and Beverly Bellamy

Prayer Requests/Answers to Prayer

Pray for wisdom, health and financial resources for our story bearers, Davy and Firmin and Willy. They make regular village trips to train others to tell stories. They also are very active in our story-crafting team. They have experienced an increase in physical illnesses for themselves and their families. Pray that God will heal and protect them.

Pray for wisdom as we train “Story Bearers” to tell stories at our Orality center. Pray for their continued commitment to this ministry.

Please pray for the Lord to supply for all of our workers' children, who need to pay for their schooling.

Congo

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Updated: February 03, 2019

Children's Names
BJ
Daniel
Lauren
Status
Field Assignment
Country of Service
Congo
Address
B P 4797
Pointe Noire,
REP OF CONGO

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