Resistant men in animistic village receive Jesus, after women and children lead the way


By Mark Ellis —

One of the workers among the Wala

New Covenant Missions (NCM) has been conducting an outreach to the Wala people, an unreached people group in Ghana.

Recently Erik Laursen, the executive director of NCM, visited a Wala village where there were some initial breakthroughs with the Gospel, but also signs of opposition among the animistic tribe.

A pastor affiliated with NCM named Barnabas had arranged for Erik to meet with the elders of the village.

“Barnabas already had success with many of the women and some of the youth and even recently built a small open-air concrete church with a tin roof nearby where they would worship on Sundays and have small group studies through the week,” Erik reports.

But there was one significant hurdle to overcome. “The leaders of this village and most of the men had refused to acknowledge the Gospel,” he notes. “Barnabas hoped that our presence would encourage the men of the tribe to listen to the Gospel.”

One of the elders stood and rang a cowbell for 10 minutes and people began to trickle in until about 50 people had gathered.

Many gathered under a tree

Before the meeting started the elders poured a liquid onto the dirt and prayed to their ancestors, revealing the animistic strongholds among the tribe.

“I can see that you are clearly religious and believe in life after death as you worship your ancestors,” Sydney Thomas, one of the leaders with NCM, began. “I too am religious and want to tell you about Jesus.”

Sydney and Erik took turns presenting the Gospel to the group. “I went into Romans 10:9-10, sharing with them the basic concept of what it takes to begin the journey with Jesus. Sydney elaborated with more detail about the reality of life after death without Jesus and then gave the call to accept Jesus.”

“There was no response; it was awkward,” Erik recounts. Silently, the team prayed for God to move in the hearts of the Wala.

Unfazed, Sydney gave one more invitation to receive Jesus and one man raised his hand.

Then something remarkable happened. The Holy Spirit touched the hearts of all those assembled and one after another raised their hands until everyone had received Jesus.

Men in the village pray to receive Christ

“It was a beautiful morning!” Erik recounts, as he watched them pray to receive Jesus, captured on the video below.