Sermon Illustrations

BLOOD FLOWS IN THE BOMOKANDE

In November 1964, anarchy broke out in the Belgian Congo. Assemblies of God missionary J. W. Tucker knew he was at risk, but he stayed where God had placed him. One day, a mob attacked and killed him with sticks, clubs, fists, and broken bottles. They took his body, threw it in the back of a truck, drove a good distance, and then tossed his corpse to the crocodiles in the Bomokande River in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

J. W. Tucker had risked everything, yet he seemingly had nothing to show for it. But 30 years later, John Weidman, a close friend of Tucker’s, was in the country (by then known as Zaire) and learned how God used that missionary’s sacrifice.

The Bomokande River flows through the middle of the Mangbeto tribe, a people virtually without the gospel. During a time of civil war, the Mangbeto king became distressed with the violence and appealed to the central government in Kinshasa for help. The central government responded by sending a man called the Brigadier, a well-known policeman of strong stature and reputation who came from the region of Isiro. J. W. Tucker had won the Brigadier to the Lord just two months before he was killed.

The Brigadier determined to reach the Mangbetos with the gospel, the only way to peace. Being a relatively new Christian, he did his best to witness, but he was met with no response. Then one day he heard of a Mangbeto tradition that said: "If the blood of any man flows in the Bomokande River, you must listen to his message." This saying had been with the Mangbetos for as long as anyone could remember.

The Brigadier called for the king and all the village elders. They gathered in full assembly to hear his address. "Some time ago a man was killed, and his body was thrown into your Bomokande River," the Brigadier began. "The crocodiles in this river ate him up. His blood flowed in your river. But before he died, he left me a message.

"This message concerns God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who came to this world to save people who were sinners. He died for the sins of the world; He died for my sins. I...

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