Introduction / History
Do you know that the country of Vietnam is home to about 150 different tribes and ethnic groups, each one having their own customs and language? Some of these tribes live in extremely remote areas in the mountainous central and northern parts of the country. Some tribes have embraced Christianity, but most remain completely cut off from the Gospel.
One such tribe is the Churu (pronounced "Ju-Ru") people, who number about 15,000 people. They live in foreboding mountains along Vietnam's border with Cambodia. For countless centuries the Churu people have lived in spiritual bondage under the power of local shamans, or witch-doctors. A number of years ago we were told the following testimony by a Vietnamese evangelist. The following events were witnessed by many people....
"To reach the Churu people we walked for several days. Many wild animals and leeches inhabit this part of Vietnam. Each time we crossed a river or stream our legs and arms were covered with leeches. After many struggles we finally reached a Churu village.
A number of tribes in the mountains of Vietnam received the Gospel before missionaries were expelled in 1975, but the Churu inhabit such a remote area that missionaries were never able to reach them. Few outsiders had ever visited them, and they remained a completely unreached people group.
Within minutes of arriving in the village a large crowd gathered around us to hear what we had to say. Most Churu people were naked, even though it gets very cold in the mountains. They do not choose to go naked. They are simply so poor they cannot afford to buy or make even a simple cloth.
The witch-doctors among the Churu possess a lot of demonic power. All the villagers live in fear of them. If a witch-doctor places a curse on someone who is not a Christian, that person is sure to die. The people are also kept in poverty because of the evil men. Whenever someone is sick they must consult the witch-doctor, who demands the sacrifice of valuable livestock as offerings to the evil spirits, and as payment for his services.
We started sharing stories of Jesus with the Churu people, as the witch-doctor emerged from his hut and began to listen. We told the people Jesus could set them free from sin and
bondage if they put their trust in Him, and that they did not need to remain under the control of demonic spirits. The witch-doctor began to stir the people up against us and we could see that a major spiritual confrontation was looming. We told the villagers not to be afraid because Jesus is the Living God and that all power and authority in heaven and on earth belongs to Him!
We told them how our God once proved He is the true and Living God by causing fire to fall from heaven on Elijah's sacrifice, while the Baal "witch-doctors" stood by powerless.
The main symbol of the witch-doctor's authority was a huge wild pig's tooth which he wore on a chain around his neck. The tooth had been handed down from generation to generation, and whoever possessed it had the right to lead the community and to mediate between the people and the spirit world.
The witch-doctor stepped forward, with a furious look on his face. He took the chain with the pig's tooth from around his neck and angrily shouted, "If your God can make this tooth catch on fire then we will believe in Him, but if it does not catch on fire we will kill all of you right here!"
As you can imagine we prayed very fervently and cried out to the Lord! Hundreds of Churu tribesmen gathered around and watched intently to see what would happen.
After praying for some time, suddenly the pig's tooth burst into flames by itself! The whole village saw it and were amazed. Many believed the message, and dedicated their lives to Jesus Christ.
Today we have a church of more than 300 Churu people. We constantly teach God's Word to them through stories because they are very simple people who struggle to understand concepts except in story form.
God's grace and love is resting upon the Churu Christians. For the first time ever they have joy and peace, and they no longer live under the power of demons. Jesus has set them free! We sent teams of strong young men back into the mountains with clothes and blankets to help our new Churu brothers and sisters.
We praise God that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever!"
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