COTONOU, BENIN - PENTECOST 2024 : A Harvest of 238 Souls in the Land of Voodoo

Posted on Avr 29 2024

A Harvest of 238 Souls in the Land of Voodoo

[Photo - WAD : Pastor Hensley Moorooven baptizing]

In the heart of Hêvié Akossavié, a neighborhood famed as a stronghold of voodoo in Cotonou, Benin, Pastor Hensley Moorooven, Associate Secretary of the General Conference, led the Pentecost 2024 campaign from April 14 to 27, 2024, under the theme "Hope for a Troubled World."
On the final day, Saturday, April 27, 2024, under the scorching sun, baptism candidates were attended by 18 pastors. Among them, Christine had broken away from her old life to follow Jesus Christ. "The slavery and obstacles had lasted too long," she said. She entered one of the three wooden baptisteries built for the occasion.

[Photo - WAD : Baptism ceremony]
Toward the end of the ceremony, the undecided souls succumbed to the repeated calls of Pastor Sessou Selom, Executive Secretary of the West-Central Africa Division (WAD). One by one, they were led to the baptistery.

[Photo - WAD : Pastor Sessou Selom, Executive Secretary of the West-Central Africa Division (WAD)] [Photo - WAD : The baptism candidates]

Four women faced hostile spirits during their baptism. Three were quickly freed from these malevolent influences in the name of Jesus. The fourth required a session of deliverance prayers outside the water before she was finally freed. According to Pastor Kra Emmanuel, WAD Director of Evangelism, "this phenomenon is common in Benin."
Pastor Djossou Komlan Adjéoda Simon, President of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Eastern Sahel and preacher at Segbeya, one of the three sites in Cotonou, emphasized the significance of the event, noting that "Hêvié is a global center of voodoo, attracting followers from all over the world in search of power. It is a locality deeply feared and entrenched in voodoo rites and practices."
The impact of the campaign was felt well beyond the baptisms. Voodoo objects were collected and destroyed, symbolizing the new converts' renunciation of their former beliefs. The moving story of Ella, a woman who wept with joy at leaving her past life behind, illustrates the deep transformation experienced by the participants.
It was a beautiful sight to see these men, women, and children experiencing true life for the first time. It was wonderful for the church members in Benin to experience such intense moments of joy for such a beautiful harvest.
These moments of conversion and celebration were captured in the words of Pastor Hensley Moorooven, who, drawing on the first chapters of the Gospel according to John, reassured the neophytes of an abundant life in Jesus, meeting all needs, whether material, spiritual, emotional, or physical.
The campaign was enhanced by the presence of several speakers. Bollet Nestor from WAD was in Porto Novo; Baka Able Paul, Director of Evangelism for the Eastern Sahel Union, was at the Womey site in Cotonou; Djossou Komlan Adjéoda Simon was at the Segbeya site in Cotonou.
The same fervor animated small groups in Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Togo, totaling 405 baptisms.
In parallel, Alfred Asiem, WAD Youth Director, organized a youth advisory that culminated with a Christian music concert on Sunday, April 28, marking the transition to the new life of the converts.
The impact of this mission was further reinforced by the announcement of a $35,000 donation from the General Conference for the construction of a Church in Hêvié, Cotonou, a tangible sign of the church's ongoing commitment in the region. According to Pastor Djossou, "a plot has already been acquired and in six months the new church will be opened and organized."
With over 7,000 members spread across 38 churches and 57 groups, the Benin Conference sees these events as a powerful vector for spiritual and community growth, breathing new life into the faith in the region.

By Abraham Bakari,
Communication, WAD

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