Burning the Asherah pole by Charl van Wyk

(From our friend Charl van Wyk


Cozmore gazed into the distance and couldn’t believe what he saw.

“Maybe,” he thought, “my eyes are deceiving me!”

What he saw was a group of women taking a shower under “The Tree.” He ran to fetch his camera from his tent. When he emerged, they were nowhere to be seen.

If you’ve just joined us by having downloaded “How to Win a Gunfight… Even if You’re Not a Great Shot”, welcome – please meet Cozmore, our fearless Zimbabwe ministry partner.

Cozmore and Laizah
Earlier that week Cozmore saw one of the local village politicians under “The Tree” at midnight. Then he discovered clay earthen pots and clothing used in witchcraft—and ancestral worship—under “The Tree.”

“The Tree” stood tall right outside our ministry base in Zimbabwe.

Cozmore was warned by neighbors, “There is a vicious snake that lives in that tree. You better not go near it!”

In Africa, snakes are sometimes looked upon as the incarnation of deceased relatives. Serpent worship is, in some areas, closely connected with the worship of the dead.

Cozmore believed the warning of the snake to be a tactic to scare him so that he wouldn’t act against “the evil outside our yard!”

He remembered King Josiah in the Bible and how he dealt with the Asherah pole—a sacred tree or pole that honored the pagan goddess Asherah that was brought into the house of the Lord.

And he brought out the Asherah from the house of the Lord, outside Jerusalem, to the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron and beat it to dust and cast the dust of it upon the graves of the common people.” 2 Kings 23:6

Responding in prayer and faith, Cozmore cut down the tree, burnt the clothing, and destroyed the pots.

This move could have brought conflict with the local authorities. No doubt some were unhappy with Cozmore. But for those who love the Lord God, it has brought peace and joy.

Many, including a village tribal leader, came to thank Cozmore for his courage in the face of danger and spiritual warfare. These were not idle words.

That very week, Cozmore was struck by a cobra!

Cobra bites can be deadly. Their venom has potent neurotoxic and cardiotoxic compounds. Bites can cause blistering, tissue damage, and fatalities.

But, Cozmore had gumboots on! Praise the Lord!

He killed and burnt the snake!

Often spiritual warfare plays out in the physical world.

If Cozmore had been injured or killed by the snake, we might as well have closed our mission base. The locals would have been convinced that the God of the Christians was not as powerful as the other gods.

Cozmore and his team are still serving and discipling the local villagers. The Gospel of the Kingdom of God is what motivates us to carry on.

The corn plants are healthy and tall, the nuts are growing well, the community can’t believe that our originally barren land can produce such healthy crops. The antagonists are speechless.

We serve a great God!

Our team has been feeding some 60 families. The widows we serve, previously emaciated, are now healthy and strong.

We are so thankful to our ministry partners who helped us drill a borehole at our ministry base.
The borehole supplies life-giving water to nourish our chickens, rabbits, and vegetables. It also connects to our offsite tap, which ensures many local families—as well as any passersby—enjoy access to a convenient means to quench their thirst. It’s also a great opener to speak to them about He whose Living Water quenches all thirst.

Jesus said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’” John 4:13-14.

In Zimbabwe today, 1.7 million people—including some 408,000 women and 935,000 children—lack access to safe, clean water. Why? Within rural areas, only 50 percent of water pumps are working.

The shear demand for clean drinkable water has led to us needing to upgrade our submersible water pump, and system.

This includes two more solar panels, a 10,000-liter water storage tank, a two-horsepower pump, a solar panel stand, and a tank platform, costing USD2,400.00.

Again, we are so thankful to our ministry partners who’ve prayed for and helped serve the suffering through our ministry base.


Charl van Wyk

PS. Our greatest goal is to share Jesus Christ who is the “Living Water,” offering eternal life to those who believe in Him (John 7:37-38).

(Please visit Charl’s website https://missionliberty.wordpress.com/2023/10/31/burning-the-asherah-pole/


Charl van Wyk – Missionary In Africa
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