The village leaders and their families encircled the clearing between Kodzo’s huts, watching as he chipped away at the hard clay earth with his spade.
He dug until his spade hit a small round pot—the fetish he had paid the witch doctor to create. As he pulled it from the ground, all eyes watched to see what the fetish would do.
Like most Togolese living in the bush, Kodzo had buried the fetish when his family constructed their two thatched-roof mud huts. With the little money he had, Kodzo hired the witch doctor to fill a small pot with items believed to have power to protect the family, trusting it to ward off evil spirits.
Living miles from the river, Kodzo’s family struggled to survive. His children had no clothing, and his wife began cutting firewood on the property across the dirt road. When the landowner, pastor and ABWE Live Global partner Joseph Akakpo, visited in 2021 and saw Kodzo’s family, he invited Kodzo’s wife to use the land and hired Kodzo to farm maize and yams.
“My heart turned to them,” Joseph said.
Three churches in Lomé donated clothing, and Joseph returned to the village to ask the chief for permission to call the people together to distribute the gift. Joseph shared the gospel, and later raised money with Live Global to build a well and small church building. Since coming to faith in Jesus in 1983 through ABWE missionaries who shared the gospel and discipled him, Joseph has been active in ministry.
As the cinderblocks and bamboo came together, God was building Kodzo’s faith. Kodzo placed his faith in Christ, eager to bring others in the village to the church.
But the fetish still lay buried. After church one Sunday, Kodzo led the village families to the clearing between his huts. Unearthing the fetish, he handed it to Joseph. Joseph removed the contents, explaining: “Kodzo has a new life in Christ. This fetish pot means nothing to him now.”
Kodzo took the pot in his hands, raised it in the air, and smashed it to the hard earth in front of him. Everyone stared at the motionless pieces on the ground. Joseph and two other Togolese pastors gathered tinder to burn the fragments. As the powerless fetish turned to ash, the believers began to sing in their tribal language, “I have decided to follow Jesus.”
That afternoon, the chief invited the Togolese pastors to follow the trail to the nearby village to teach the Bible. Joseph has continued to minister in the village, building a church and witnessing the victory of God’s power.