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Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Effe Tribe of Pygmies

Last week an old blind Pygmy woman received her sight after prayer in
Jesus’ Name.  THAT was a wonderful day.  So many great things are
happening here so fast; but, first I must explain something.   (Link
to FB photos below).

On the ride home on our motorcycles from the village where that woman
received her sight, an insect flew into my eye and part of it would
not come out no matter what I did.  Later it turned out to be only a
speck which my colleague Edie pulled out after about an hour of pain
and my complaining like a spoiled child.  Thanks to Deb Timko for
sending instructions by Facebook about how to get it out.

Even the testimony of the Lord healing a blind woman was not as
important to me at that moment as the urgent need to remove the pain
from my eye.  When I saw the speck that had caused me so much pain, I
began searching for the meaning like it was a great dream with a
hidden meaning (every miracle has a message). I started with:

And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not
perceive the plank in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your
brother, “Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye”, when
you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite!
First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see
clearly to remove to speck that is in your brother’s eye.  Luke
6:41-42 NKJV

Am I so self-absorbed that a speck in my eye was more important than a
woman receiving her sight?  And what about the fact that, although the
woman could see, she had to go back into that tiny banana leaf hut,
keep a fire lit to stay warm and still suffer from the smoke that made
her blind in the first place?  Is preaching, teaching, casting out
devils and healing the sick all that the Lord wants us to do? Or is
there more?

Jesus said, “Blind see, lame walk, lepers are cleansed, deaf hear,
dead are raised and poor have the gospel preached to them”. Mt 11:5

Miracles go with the poor having the gospel preached to them and prove
that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah and the Lord.

But what about helping the poor?

“Inasmuch as you did it to the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.
“…for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me
drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you
clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you
came to Me.”
Mt 25:40 + 35

Jesus also wants us to provide natural things as well. Where the Lord
directs, He provides: This week, the Lord added a former DOCTOR to our
team who left medicine to be a pastor. Pastor Charles is the PERFECT
team mate!  He also pastors a large church which we attended today.
We have delegated the medical and health and hygiene education
programs to him.  The Lord and PAP RDC also gave us a great Yamaha AG
100 motorcycle for him to ride (we just paid $300 to fix and insure

Thank you to donors of this ministry who have equipped Pastor Charles
with antibiotics, de-worm medicine, malaria medicine, folic acid,
Vitamin B, soap, formula for malnourished babies, salt, shovels, picks
and machetes (katana’s/pangas).  He is now almost fully prepared to
teach and equip Pygmies to live in better health.  Because,

“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says that he has faith
but does not have works? Can faith save him?  “If a brother or sister
is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them,
‘Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,’ but you do not give them the
things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? “Thus also
faith, by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”  James 2:14-17

Most Pygmies here are non-literate and lived in their beloved forest
until they were recently driven out by either rebels or the government
which has taken huge areas of their habitat for national parks.  So,
our spiritual work is preaching, healing, casting out devils and
teaching bible stories (which they can retell over and over again);
and, our practical work is teaching them to use a blanket (not just
fire), dig a latrine, wash their hands and bathe with soap, feed
babies formula, farm (plant trees), and take medicine (anti-malarials,
deworm, folic acid, vitamin B, etc.). Very basic.  Further north in
the Ituri Forest, it will be even more basic (i.e. wear clothes,
etc.).  Truly these are to me the “least of these My brethren”.

Here near Beni, the Nande (a Bantu tribe with which the Pygmy
affiliate) are not generally hostile to the Pygmies.  The Nande are
mostly farmers and a few (especially the groups which we work with)
seek to lift up the Pygmies by teaching them to farm.

But, further to the north where we are headed, many of the Bila people
have historically looked upon the Pygmies as a food source or as
slaves; and, so I am told, they do not like the fact that the Nande
seek to raise their social status.

We are also working with PAP-RDC which has done fish ponds and farming
for Pygmies and is working with other international NGO’s to continue
this and to also build houses and latrines for Pygmies and do other
things.  It is wonderful to work with PAP-RDC for this and 100 other

In 2000, the Lord called me to, “Go your way, sell whatever you have,
and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; and come,
take up your cross and follow Me” (per Mark 10:21 NKJV)

The “give to the poor” part is now in full swing,  Recently, I
questioned the Lord, “should we focus only on the Word and prayer and
not on health, hygiene, food, clothes, blankets, de-worm medicine,
etc”.   The answer I received is really simple: Just as I need to wear
eye protection after I got the bug out of my eye; so, we cannot send
this old Pygmy lady back into her same hut with the smoke to become
blind again.  The Lord healed her.  Now, He wants to protect her from
this happening again.

So, we must heal the sick, cast out devils, preach the gospel to the
poor but also teach how to dig latrines and wash with soap so diseases
like scabies do not re-occur. Pastor Charles, therefore, is our most
recent phenomenal God-send. This is the expansion of the Kingdom of
God here.  There is no diarrhea or cholera or scabies or hunger or
thirst in Heaven and the Lord does not want it among his children.

We (read “you know who you are”) have bought medicine for the sick,
blankets for the cold and shovels, hoes, pangas and pick axes to clear
brush and dig latrines and dig holes for trees. They do not have these
tools because in their former way of life they did not need them.

Formerly when people in the village were getting sick (i.e. diseases
from human feces) the tribe or clan just moved to a different place.
But, because their beautiful forest home has been taken from them,
they do not have the luxury of moving from place to place.  Instead of
being hunter-gatherers as in times past, the situation is forcing them
to stay in one place and be farmers; but, they are not very good at

We also need to buy blankets.  We prayed for a sick pregnant woman
(who looked too old to me to be pregnant) and she was healed. She
asked for a blanket. The love of God miraculously heals the sick but
also provides a blanket.  We need much more help to do this. It is too
painful to go to Pygmy village after Pygmy village full of needlessly
suffering people we could help with a little more support.  The good
news is that in at least 12 Pygmy camps this is changing for the

Our friend, the old (formerly blind) Pygmy woman named "Jo-enna" who
received her sight on Tuesday returned to the same little banana leaf
hut to continue to live with the smoke that made her blind.

She needs a blanket and help to build a stick and mud house (which is
warmer because it does not let the wind blow in on cold nights).  With
this type of house and a blanket, she will not need to sit in the
smoke of the fire which caused her blindness.

The typical little banana leaf hut of a Pygmy is not waterproof. Q.
What do they do when it rains?  A. “stand up”

999,999 out of 1,000,000 people are in agreement that someone ELSE
should do something. Be one in a million. Be different. Refuse to do

Tomorrow (Monday) we begin a very aggressive program to visit the same
12 pygmy camps every week for 12 weeks.  Rather than hit and run
evangelism, this focus is intended to build permanent relationships
and life-long, reproducing, disciples through bible stories that
non-literate Pygmies can continually retell.  By visiting the same
village each week for 12 weeks, we will teach 12 bible stories and
health and hygiene with a focus on follow up and participation so that
they will “own” these things.

Pygmies have a history of aid workers giving them things and practices
and then leaving.  Later, the Pygmies abandon these things and
practices and say, “Those are yours, not ours”.  Our ministry profits
tremendously from this and numerous other lessons learned by the
failure of other NGO’s.  For example, one group labored intensely to
teach Pygmy men to build their own (stick + mud with thatched roof)
houses.  But, in this Pygmy culture, the women build the houses; so,
it was a partial waste of time to teach the men.  Another time, the
same extremely well meaning NGO, gave goats to the Pygmies but not the
associated Bantu tribe. The Bantu's were angry at being left out and
stole the goats or bought them for very little. That organization has
since learned to give goats in a way that really works.  They are
teaching us all these lessons.  Goats are a great sustainable source
of milk and protein.

We must proceed “pole, pole” (pronounce “poli, poli” = slowly, slowly
as they say here in KiSwahili) or “Low and slow” as Heidi Baker has

We will be four days per week in the forest and stay overnight two
times per week for 12 weeks so as to learn and build permanent

Repetition is the heart of learning; and, training uneducated,
non-literate people to learn how to most effectively tell bible
stories with revelation and application takes time and patience and
permanent relationships.  The 12-week program we start tomorrow will
be a great learning experience for us as Pygmies teach us some of
their ways and we teach them some of ours.  We also hope to plant
fruit and eucalyptus trees and Artemesia (treatment for malaria).

Please pray and support us in this work.  We cannot do it alone.

 To support, please specify Don "Love More" Foster when you may donate
 online at: (verified secure
site/tax deductible).

 Or Send a check to:
 Dunamis ARC
 2413 Jubilance Point Court
 North Las Vegas, NV 89032

1 comment:

  1. oh Precious Deb, makes me want to run and join Don and his team in this land......we stand firmly in our belief that the preaching the gospel is useless if it does not have arms and legs....its like presenting half of Christ and not the whole gospel.
    We love what Don is doing and rejoice at His wisdom......yes we believe what He is doing and yes that is how we go on about our work here ....Low and glory for men or women.....just doing what the Bible teaches us daily .....How to be!
    lovings and hug you all