The Lord Added to Their Number

53 villagers enter the Kingdom through hearing Bible stories


The Vili of southern Congo are among the more than two-thirds of the world’s oral learners, preferring to learn through means other than reading. They have had no access to God’s Word in their language—until recently. 

Last summer, Pastor Willy, an Alliance Congo national church member, and Davy, a story crafter serving on our translation team, left Pointe Noire, in southwestern Congo, on a “storying” trip to Vili communities in the region. They packed their MegaVoice player, a solar-powered digital audio device on which were recorded several Bible stories in Vili.

Warm Greetings

“We went from village to village, preaching the good news like Jesus did,” Davy later reported. “The people greeted us with open arms.”

When the men reached the village of Youbi, they met the village chief and shared the Creation story (see Gen. 1). “When I was in school, they told us that man was created in the image of a monkey,” the chief said after listening to the story.

“Today I understood that man was created in God’s image; this is a God I never knew—what must I do to know Him better?” He was the first person on the trip to receive Christ.

The next day the two men met a mother and her children eating breakfast in their courtyard. The men sensed God wanted them to share the story of the Fall (see Gen. 3). After playing the story, Davy asked response questions in Vili.

“What can we do to have Jesus in our lives?” the mother, Mama* Aline, asked. Willy led all three in prayer to accept Jesus as their Savior.

“I’ve never heard the Word of God in Vili,” Mama Aline exclaimed. “We’ve never heard anything like this!”

Tell the Spirits to Leave

Later that day, Willy and Davy visited the home of a well-known witch doctor in the area.

Davy was inspired to play the story of the Fall for the older man, who was nursing an infected leg sore. “Now I understand that this is the origin of all I have suffered,” he said when the story ended. “What can I do now?”

The men told the witch doctor he needed to receive Jesus into his life, but he first had to confess to God the wicked things he’d done. The man began confessing, continuing for quite a while before finally saying, “Amen.” He then prayed to receive Christ.

Waving his hand, the new believer then exclaimed: “Just as you said, I am now a child of God. Tell these spirits to leave this house—I don’t want them here anymore!” So Willy prayed for Jesus to sweep the house clean of the spirits.

“My heart is at peace now; thank you, Papa!” the old man said. “You must come back!” Willy then gave him their food money—3,000 francs (about $5)—enough to treat the wound at the local clinic.

God Has Won Youbi

After returning to the village of Youbi that evening, Willy told Davy, “The Lord has told me that we have already won this village. He showed me that the giant has fallen; if there are sorcerers in Youbi, they are already defeated.”

As the two continued their work in the village the next day, they met a group of young people who called to them: “We need to hear what you’re telling people.” After listening to the Creation story, one of the youth exclaimed, “I never knew that God created like that!”

Everyone in the group prayed to accept Jesus.

The next day, Willy and Davy visited a series of smaller villages east of Youbi. In one community they met De Jacques, standing in front of his home. After explaining to him that they were sharing stories in Vili, he replied, “That’s great! Wait here.”

He returned with chairs and called his wife, Solange, to join them. At the end of the presentation, Papa De Jacques and Solange prayed to receive Jesus.

During their conversation, Willy heard a voice crying from inside the family home that grew louder and more insistent. “Servants of God—come and save me!” Solange explained that it was her mother, Pauline, who was quite ill and unable to walk.

Suddenly, Mama Pauline appeared in the doorway, crawling on all fours. “See, I told you!” she said to her daughter. “I dreamed I saw a taxi stop in front of our land and two men dressed in white got out. As soon as I heard these two men say the name of Jesus, I knew they were the men God was sending.”

After Willy and Davy finished praying with the couple, they went in to see Mama Pauline. “The Lord showed me that you servants of God would come to this village today—that you would pray for me and I would be healed and saved. I am very sick; I can’t even walk.”

“Mama, we will give you what we have,” Willy said. “We have the name of Jesus Christ. Do you accept Jesus in your heart as Savior and Lord?”

“Yes,” she replied, “I want to accept Him now.”

“In the name of Jesus, be healed—get up, Mama!” Willy commanded. She stood up.

“Walk!” he said. She began to walk, smiling broadly through her tears. “Now if I die, I don’t have to worry where I will go.”

53 New Believers

After the two men returned to Pointe Noire, Davy reported, “Today we have brothers and sisters who are at peace in the five villages we visited and the potential for a new church in each community!”

Willy told us that when he previously had shared the gospel, maybe 3 out of 100 people had become Jesus followers. “This is the first time I’ve evangelized doing storytelling—the first time I’ve shared the gospel with 100 and saw 53 of them pray to receive Christ!”

*In Africa, it is a sign of respect to refer to an older man or woman as “Papa” or “Mama.”  

4 responses to The Lord Added to Their Number

  1. Awesome message sharing how few words were needed to share Jesus,thank you again bringing the word to everyone,Praises to Jesus??❤️️❤️️❤️️

  2. Praise God! He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above anything we could ever think of.

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