Eric asked the students to write a short paper describing common sins in their culture/tribe, and how to address these sins. There were some great papers – very eye-opening. I am sharing what one young man wrote, with his permission. This brother has a small amount of land (about 1/8 acre) on which to grow food. Otherwise he has no income. He lives in a very small house with a very leaky roof – when it rains, there is no dry place. He must bicycle to class every day and it takes from 50 minutes to an hour, rain or shine. He wrote the following:
In my tribe of Banyole in Butaleja district most people believe in the spirit gods. Each clan in Bunyole has a spirit God which they worship, and there are more than 300 clans. Every year beginning from August until December they go to serve the spirits. That is when the harvest finishes, and most people have harvested the crops from the gardens. So each clan prepares to serve the ancestor spirits. During this time there is beating of drums in the whole of Bunyole.
People take food, drinks, hens, goats, to slaughter blood for their demons or spirits.
There is a god of the rain, god of mountains, god of marriage. People dance during that period of time. There are men who put on animal skins – those are the ones who present before the spirit gods all the problems of the clan – [the problems of the] people who submit to their requirements. Each clan has one man who puts on animal skin and this man is called Omutusa. Until that person dies the clan cannot have another omutusa. This man is chosen by the spirits/demons. This person doesn’t do any work. The clan will provide for him everything because he speaks with the spirits. They offer to him food, hens, milk, etc. during the harvest time. This fellow has the power to command anything either to curse or bring barrenness [even] to the young boys and girls and he is the most feared person, for he speaks to the demons.
In Uganda my tribe has the first place to cursing. Every one in Uganda fears my tribe because of curses. They can curse a tree and it drys - they claim to have this power. They curse crops not to grow well until they come to Omutusa [and get him] to say something then crops will grow well and produce.
There is a demon chief of the spirits called Dumaghale. There is also a rain maker called Omugimba. This fellow is believed to give rain or dry sunshine.
When I come across these persons [I] ask them questions to know for sure if their spirits can save them from death and the wrath of God, or if they can find peace eternal. Maybe they can have assurance of eternal life by consulting their demons?
Then I can tell them about the true God and his Son Jesus Christ who can save them all from the bondage of sin and death. I can tell them what is written in the law – the 1st of the 10 commandments – and how we were weak to keep that law so God sent His Son who perfectly kept it for us.
There is life in Jesus Christ.
There is grace in Jesus Christ.
There is now no condemnation in Jesus Christ.
This is the one whom we must worship – the creator of the heaven and earth and all that is in it. Who has the power over death and to give life – the one whom every knee shall bow down and worship – even their [evil] spirits are subject to Him! He is the judge of nations under the sun!
And if they believe this good news, then I can pray with everyone for his salvation in Jesus name Amen!
Please pray for the Banyole tribe and for this student as he prepares to minister among his people.