Benin is the birthplace of voodoo. The voodoo that is in Haiti and New Orleans can be traced to Africans brought from Benin as slaves. Today it is still very active. Many houses have small altars at their doorways to make small chicken sacrifices or egg offerings. In Ouida there is a small round building with one hundred pythons that are worshiped and attended to by priests. Once a week the doors are opened up so that the snakes can roam the village at night to feed before they return on their own to their home. In one village nearby there is a pile of human heads from ritual sacrifices. Voodoo is very alive.
Ode is a believer in one of these villages. He came to the first day of training on how to use stories for evangelism in his village. The first night we gave them “homework” to go share one of the Bible stories we had done. But the second day Ode didn’t show up. On the third day, he came apologizing for being absent.
“I was walking to my village along the ocean. I saw some of my friends working on nets. They asked where I had been, why I had not gone out today. I told them the story [of the demon possessed man]. I was asking questions, but some people came and I had to tell it again. Then they got some friends and I had to tell it again. So we sat on the beach talking about it. Then they asked if I had another story. I told them the paralyzed man.
One of the older men said to me, ‘Why haven’t you shared this with us before! I am very upset with you.’ They stayed until the morning. Then they went home and I fell asleep on the beach. That is why I didn’t make it yesterday.”