Kaboua, Province of Savé
Republic of Benin, West Africa” “The Birthplace of Voodoo”
Benin: “the birthplace of voodoo”
Cotonou in the south; event held in Savé to the north
King and elders hand over their area to the Lord after many people healed at open-air evangelistic event where witchcraft was challenged in the spirit and power of Elijah
Event hosted by Pastor Joel Biao
A local king ruled Kaboua, an area of about 60,000 inhabitants in the province of Savé five hours due north of Cotonou, the capital city of the Republic of Benin. Benin is already known as the birthplace of voodoo in the world, and Kaboua an area with a reputation of being especially saturated by the spirit of witchcraft and idolatry. Even Buddhism imported from Asia had established a foothold in Kaboua. Many who called themselves Christians would consult witch doctors to be treated for infirmities because their church or pastor could not help them.
On the first day we gave a brief introduction to The Elijah Challenge—the restoration of the spirit and power of Elijah to the Church for the fulfillment of the Great Commission during these last days. The messages were translated in the African dialect of Yoruba followed by a translation into French. At the end of the meeting we prayed and asked the Lord to demonstrate what we would be teaching them the rest of the week. Then we ministered healing-at-a-distance as Jesus did in Luke 7. Immediately afterwards about twenty-five people came to the front to testify that the Lord had healed them of some infirmity. One man testified that he literally felt the spirit of insanity come out of him, leaving him in his right mind along with a refreshingly cool sensation in his head.
Present at the initial session was a well-known witch endowed with dark powers which enabled her to perform strange supernatural feats. She had come expecting to receive her share of whatever it was that she thought we were offering.
First Training Session
The primitive dirt-floor Methodist Church was almost filled with people. We taught them to heal the sick and cast out demons as Jesus taught his disciples. At the end of the session, there was a demonstration. We had two sisters from the crowd come forward to lay hands on two women who were suffering from pain—one with chronic pain in various parts in her body; the other with arthritis in her legs. As we led the sisters in exercising their authority over the infirmities along with the laying on of their hands, both women were completely delivered from the pain and could walk and move around normally. When we asked for more people who wanted to be healed, perhaps a third of the people came to the front. To heal them we asked for believers present also to come forward to lay hands on them, filling the front of the sanctuary. Again we led the believers in ministering healing to the infirm. Many were healed and climbed up to the raised dirt area to testify of what the Lord had done for them.
Among the more memorable testimonies was that of an elderly man with such poor eyesight he could not even distinguish between a man and a woman. As he testified people were brought before him to test his eyesight. Sure enough, he was able to identify which were male and which were female. The only discrepancy was a woman wearing sunglasses incorrectly identified by the elderly gentleman because of her sunglasses normally worn by a man.
Testimony of healing
Because there were so many who wanted to be healed we did not have enough people to minister to them. We had to pull people out of their seats to come to the front to lay hands on the infirm; some of these had even arrived late and missed most of the teaching. One middle-aged woman shuffled forward, bent over in obvious pain and could not straighten up. The sister who had been conscripted to minister to her followed our instructions and laid hands on her and rebuked the infirmity. The woman was then able to stand up straight. To the delight of the people she jumped up and down exuberantly to demonstrate that she had been completely set free and healed. Because of the number of people who had been healed by the Lord, we did not have time to receive all the testimonies.
Woman with impaired eyesight can read
For the first demonstration of healing at the third session, a middle-aged woman came limping forward slowly with pain in her lower body including her back. Two sisters laid hands on her. After the first time, the limp was gone but there was still some pain in her back. After the second time the pain was completely gone and she was able to run back and forth at the front and then back to her seat. After that an elderly stroke victim with paralysis on one side shuffled forward very slowly led by a young man. After the laying on of hands by some believers he was much better, appearing to walk back and forth with a normal gait and with renewed use of his afflicted arm. See him in the center left of the photo below.
We taught the people how Jesus healed a deaf man from Mark 7:32-35 and opened a blind man’s eyes in Mark 8:22-25. To apply the teaching, we first asked for people with hearing problems to come to the front to be healed. Five men came forward, including one man who was deaf. We knew he was deaf because sitting in his seat he could not hear our instructions to come forward. People around him had to gesture to him to get up and go forward.
We called other believers to come up to heal them in Jesus’ name. As they inserted their fingers into the ears as Jesus did and commanded the ears to be opened, the Lord performed miraculous healings. The deaf man could hear us and reply as we questioned him. The other four gave testimonies as well of being touched by the Lord.
Then we called forward those with problems with their eyesight. Many more people came up. The believers also ministered to them, touching their eyes and commanding them to be opened in Jesus’ name. Although it took more time and effort than ministering to those with hearing loss, there were some powerful testimonies of the Lord’s healing grace. Among other exciting reports, one elderly man’s blind eye was opened up.
The Climax: Open-air Evangelistic Healing Meeting
Several hundred people were drawn to this open-air evening event held in a Kaboua neighborhood. They faced a wide platform built entirely of concrete or stone blocks laid down under plastic sheeting. The amplified music of African praise from the singers brought curious onlookers flocking to the meeting. As soon as I stood up to preach, I fired a shot across the bow of the stronghold of witchcraft, challenging the witchdoctors to heal the sick who were present at the event. None have dared to pick up the gantlet to accept the Elijah-like challenge whenever we do this on our campaigns in Africa.
I announced that there is only one true God who created the heavens and the earth and that He had sent us to proclaim His kingdom. He would be performing miraculous healings far greater than the power of witchcraft could do. Witchcraft is a sin, I said, that brings the consequence of eternal punishment in hell. When they see the miraculous healings, I told them that they should repent of their sins and witchcraft and believe on Jesus Christ—the One who died on the cross to bear their sins. His authority to destroy disease, the consequence of sin, would be the proof of His authority to destroy sin itself and grant eternal life.
Proclaiming the superior power of God over witchcraft
Then we prayed to the God of Heaven in the name of Jesus Christ, asking Him to display His power to the people. Then together with the trained believers I rebuked the diseases and demons in Jesus’ powerful name as the people with infirmities in the crowd laid hands on themselves. Many people were instantly healed and they came streaming up onto the stone platform to testify of what the Lord had done for them. The God of Elijah had heard our prayer and sent “fire” from heaven. Since most of the testimonies were not translated into English, I could not understand them. But the God of Elijah had performed dramatic miracles.
Above & below: many climb up to the platform to testify of their healing from the Lord Jesus Christ
Immediately after the testimonies I called for people to repent of their sin and their witchcraft. Perhaps two hundred people came forward quickly and filled the area in front of the platform to repent and receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. We taught them about following, obeying, and serving the Lord Jesus for the rest of their lives and prayed with them.
Then we began the next phase of the ministry in which those who had not yet been healed came forward to receive the individual laying on of hands by the trained believers. In this way many more people were healed by the Lord and climbed up to the platform to give the glory to God. That evening the Kingdom of God in Benin advanced forcefully and God was greatly glorified.
The king of Kaboua hands his territory over to the Lord Jesus Christ
The next morning at our fourth and final teaching session in the Methodist Church we had surprise visitors—five town leaders sent by the king of Kaboua. They assembled at the front of the sanctuary with a message of gratitude. The king had been out-of-town and did not attend the open-air evangelistic meeting the previous evening. But after he heard what had happened at the event, he and his officials came to a momentous decision. They handed the area over to the Lord Jesus Christ to reign!
Now the way is opened for the Church to complete the Great Commission in Kaboua:
• They have been properly equipped to preach the gospel and heal the sick as Jesus commanded His disciples, and
• the local governing authorities have invited the Lord Jesus Christ to establish His Kingdom over the area.
Now the Church here has two important mandates: one from Heaven as well as one from the earthly authorities.
At the open-air evangelistic meeting on the following evening, Pastor Joshua Odeyemi from Nigeria preached. According to Event Coordinator Pastor Joel Biao, “when he finished preaching, he prayed in general and invited those who were sick to come up. Then he asked us who followed your teaching [who were trained under The Elijah Challenge] to minister healing to them. There were so many people who came up that we left the place at midnight past. Many of them were healed.”
Kaboua Host Pastor Joel Biao (left)
Evangelist Emmanuel (right), The Elijah Challenge Coordinator for Africa, joined us from Nigeria
Report from Host Pastor Joel Biao a year later in December 2008
“I must tell you that the news I have been receiving from Kaboua and Coutonou is really worthy of praising the Lord for those who received Jesus, among whom my younger sister Dorcas who got both healed from a severe sickness and also saved. The church of Kaboua is going really farther in evangelism through the method of Elijah Challenge healing. I would have sent photos to you but they lack a digital camera.
Dorcas my sister has become a very bold woman giving testimony of the love of Jesus to mankind. Many of those who were saved are doing well in the local church.”
Evangelist Emmanuel’s Report on the Training/Open-air Evangelistic Meeting
“Kabuoa is a strong and powerful village in Benin republic, a country close to Nigeria, the country itself is one of the poorest country in Africa loaded with sickness and diseases of all sorts, in fact % of the citizens have one sickness or the other, as you enter the country one of the things that will draw your attention are pharmaceutical chemists. You can find them in almost all the streets, some are up to three in a street. Most of the citizens of the country are Buddhist only few are Christians, while some of the church members also go to worship in Buddhist temple.
Kaboua is a very strong witchcraft village, where they tied the destiny of the villagers in a coven and afflict the villagers with all sorts of afflictions; you can literally see it immediately you enter the village.
We were rightly informed that, there is a mountain in that village where some dangerous animals dwell and nobody dares go to kill them because the mountain is a mysterious one. They have a priestess who also attended one of our seminar meetings, who we are told that during their feast called (ORU) will be presented with a live goat, she will cut a part of the goat skin and put her mouth on the goat and suck the blood of the goat, until the goat died, and then lift the goat with her mouth, after been empowered by the blood of the goat.
On the first day of the programme we did not hold the seminar, Brother William preached the gospel and ministered to the sick from distance, about fifteen people came out to testify of their instantaneous healing, a man who has been suffering from back and waist pain for fifteen years testified of his healing, a lady who has a bad eyesight could see perfectly, people with some years of pains on their legs, neck, ankles, were healed, a man who was mad testified that when Brother William was praying he felt something living his head, two days later I met his family members who told me that after that meeting he was behaving normal. A deaf and dumb boy was brought to me to be healed, I ministered to him and God opened his mouth and ears, and he heard and spoke. When the people saw it, they went home and brought two deaf and dumb children to Brother William who ministered to them and both of them were healed, and they repeated every word perfectly even long sentences, one of the children a little girl, we were told by her mother that she always cried because she could not reply when her friends spoke to her, but thank God she could hear and speak with precision.
The villagers were happy throughout the seminars and open-air evangelistic meeting; you could hear the shout of joy and clapping with excitement because God came down in the midst of his children doing the supernatural, bringing healing to his people.
The second day we had the seminar, after the teaching, Brother William asked if it is easy to heal the sick, the people responded yes, can you heal the sick, said Brother William, they responded yes, Brother William called all the sick people to come out, in fact almost the whole congregation came out, because the news of the previous morning reached out to the whole village and they came to receive their healing. Brother William requested the believers to come out and heal them; we have just few people to minister to them because most of the people were sick. So each person ministered healing to as many as possible, the result was incredible, as people rushed out to testify of their healing, many were perfectly healed while some were partially healed, but when William ministered to those that were partially healed, some of them became perfectly healed.
The third day was the greatest of all apart from the open-air evangelistic meeting, after the teaching Brother William called for the deaf and dumb to come out for healing, we had about twelve of them who came out, and he called for partial deaf people to come out, we had about three of them who came out. Brother William requested for the believers to come out and heal them, beloved they came out full of faith, power and confidence, they ministered to the sick and every one of the deaf and dumb were healed. We tested them and the miracles were perfect. The whole crowd were shouting and clapping while some were weeping seeing the power of God in operation.
William called out for the blind and people with deficient eyesight, they also came out. The believers ministered to them, we had people who were totally blind regained their sight while those with partial blindness also saw clearly. A woman who could not read a Bible without eyeglasses could read without eyeglasses. A man with very poor vision who could not differentiate between a man and a woman was able to differentiate them accurately. People who could not see from a distance were able to see more than they could imagine; it was incredible.
Brother William called for people with leg problems, like cripples, paralytics, stroke victims and people with pains on their legs. They came out and he requested for the believers to minister to them. Many who were unable to walk perfectly began to walk and demonstrated before the crowd. People with pains for years testified that the pain had gone, which they demonstrated. Brother William also called for people with any kinds of sickness and disease in their body. The believers ministered to them; it was incredible as people testified of their healing, people with long time pains in their head, throat, stomach, spinal cord, blood pressure, typhoid fever and all kinds were healed. Some of them went to their doctor to confirm. I followed up the healing for the purpose of accurate reporting. I don’t want to write what is not, every testimony here is proven.
I have been to some fruitful evangelistic healing meetings led by well-known international evangelists. But this Kaboua meeting is extraordinary because it is believers healing the sick, it was as if God poured out the healing power in the atmosphere, just minister and you will see healing instantly.
On Thursday we had the healing open-air evangelistic meeting in the evening with mighty crowd, it is like the whole village and other neighboring villages came together, Brother William preached the gospel and ministered to the sick from a distance. Many people came up to testify, from deafness, partial blindness, various kinds of pains from different people. Iin fact there were many people on the platform at the front—the platform is very big made of stone or concrete blocks in an open strategic field in the village. Brother William called for people who wanted to give their life to Christ. The crowd came out because they could see Christ working in and among men.
After the salvation prayer, Brother William called for the believers to do another section of healing. It was glorious as you could see another large number of people coming out to testify. Brother William did not bother for interpretation into English because of time. But they all testified, joy was truly in the camp.
The king of the community was not in town during the meetings, but he was told of the great things that Christ was doing in his domain. He sent five representative (elders) to show appreciation to God and also to his servant Brother William He finally handed over the community (KABUOA)—the land of witches and wizards—to Jesus to be the Lord of the community. You can imagine that when Jesus becomes the Lord of a community, good things will start happening.
These are just few of the great healings the Lord God did among his people.
We give God the glory for the great things He his doing through The Elijah Challenge worldwide.”