>I heard a great story while at Wycliffe USA yesterday. There was a missionary in Australia, striving to translate for a tribe of Aborigines. The first phrase he had told them was simply, God loves you. Because they were often laughed at by other tribes and Aussies, he thought that this would be a powerful statement. Instead, he got a very lukewarm response; like ok, so this God loves us so what?
One day he was working with one of the tribes men on the translation and they translated the verses in Matthew where Jesus cast out the demon from the man. The tribes man sat back, closed his eyes, and was silent. Then, out of no where he stood up and began to walk out of the camp. THe missionary was greatly confused and watched him as he began to walk toward a tree that sat outside the camp.
Now this tree, like many others in Australia, was hollow because of termites, but what made this specific tree differnt is that it was where all of the spirits lived. The only person allowed under the tree was the witch doctor and any one else that stood under it fell down dead (literally). THe missionary had also written home about the demonic presense he had seen in the villiage. Everything from arrows coming out of no where to spears dancing on end.
The tribesman that was currently walking to that tree was not the witch doctor and because of this, the other members of the tribe began to take notice. As he stepped under the tree of spirits, he looked up at it and began to speak. He said, “I know that you are powerful. We were told that God loves us and that’s nice, but what good is love when it isn’t more powerful than the thing that controls us. But I just learned that God is more powerful than you.”
You see, he didn’t drop dead, and nothing attacked him. This tribesman knew that not only did the God of the universe love him, but that he was more powerful than anything that controled their lives and that is where it made the difference.
People hear that God loves them and to some that is what they are looking for. Someone to love them unconditionally and for all eternity. But others need to know that this God, who loves them, is strong enough to deal with the demons in their life (both literal and metaphorical). And He is, and to this tribe, that made all the difference.