I had a very interesting conversation yesterday about business here in Zambia. We were talking about encouraging people to try and be successful with small farming projects and small business projects. The American attitude of investing time and effort will equal reward is a foreign concept here in Zambia, as my conversation with this man illustrated once again. He was describing the difficulties of success and I was describing the possibilities of success. Finally, in conclusion he let me know that I didn’t understand why businesses succeeded here in Zambia. So I asked him what he meant. I had a feeling he was going to say the very thing he said. People succeed because they use special charms.
If charms brought success Zambia would be one of the wealthiest nations in the world. It is difficult for me to sympathize with this mentality. The man is defeated before he starts. Since he believes this, which he strongly does, it is almost like he is saying that since he is a Christian and should not use charms he will be unable to succeed. It is God’s fault that he cannot use charms and succeed. Remember this is a nation that exhibited the charms used by one of the leading rebel/bandit in the national museum as evidence as to why he was able to evade the authorities for so long. Our equipment was stolen early on here. As I assisted the police in trying to track down the thieves and the equipment I was assured over and over again that our lack of success was due to the strength of the charms being used by the thieves. The eventual recovery of the equipment and capture of thieves gave our church a spiritual one up over the charms of Zambian society. I am not sure how this played out in the minds of folks, but for the Indian/Muslim community our success was a singular success.
So with this background let me continue a recap of our conversation. This negative defeatism doesn’t sit well with me. The comeback to a belief in charms is difficult. Are charms real? Yes. Do they work? At times. Are spiritual powers connected with the use of charms? Yes. Can those spiritual powers act in a way to reinforce the validity of the charms? Yes. In desperation would a person who believes in charms try to use them? Yes. Christians? Yes. The real issue is not the power of charms but the demonic propaganda that causes people to believe in charms. So we move to examples. I asked my friend which businessmen that he knows were successful using charms. All of them. Let’s get specific. He mentioned the leading Indian family here in town that is in the process of building a big concrete pipe production facility. I said they are able to build that facility because they filled out the paperwork to get a World Bank Loan and they have a track record of business success. I knew his brother operated a very expensive truck so I asked him how his brother got the truck. He assured me that he got the truck through charms. He explained that with charms you can take someone’s money without them knowing and that is how his brother got the truck. I firmly said I don’t believe that. Your brother got a loan from someone or some organization or from a bank and he bought the truck. He denied this. I asked him to investigate. I asked him when his brother bought the truck. 2004. I asked him when his father retired from sugar. 2003. Is it possible that your father used some of his retirement money to help your brother buy the truck? Logic was beginning to shine some light, but logic cannot overcome a spiritual stronghold. It takes faith and the power of God to bring about real change. Here is a “charms” scripture I preach from here in Zambia:
‘Thus says the Lord GOD: "Woe to the women who sew magic charms on their sleeves and make veils for the heads of people of every height to hunt souls! Will you hunt the souls of My people, and keep yourselves alive? 19 And will you profane Me among My people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, killing people who should not die, and keeping people alive who should not live, by your lying to My people who listen to lies?"
20’Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, I am against your magic charms by which you hunt souls there like birds. I will tear them from your arms, and let the souls go, the souls you hunt like birds. 21 I will also tear off your veils and deliver My people out of your hand, and they shall no longer be as prey in your hand. Then you shall know that I am the LORD. NKJV