I served as a missionary in Kenya working among the Luo tribe; when I was in Nakuru a woman began telling me about someone named Ramogi. This woman said that she had been made an outcast in her village because she refused to obey Ramogi. I thought to my self, “this is not a nice person!” Many times I had heard from the Local Luo tribesmen that Ramogi says this and Ramogi says that, so I began to wonder, “who was Ramogi?” One day I started asking questions. It was said that there was a tribal ancestor who was supposed to be the first of the Luo Tribe and that he had made rules about how people in the Luo tribe should live. Here are some of Ramogi’s laws:
1. If you had a baby girl born into your house it could not be taken out of the house for three days or she would die
2. If you were going to harvest a field you first had to have sex with your first wife (if you had many) or else someone or something would die.
3. If you were going to build a house the door needed to face the east or someone would die.
The list of does and don’ts goes on and on, in fact it seemed that some type of Ramogi law controlled every facet of Luo life. I was told there was a place called Ramogi’s Mountain where he used to live. I was speaking about this to a pastor and his wife and I said, I think I should go and see this Ramogi’s mountain. The pastor’s wife looked at me in horror and said, “If you there you will die!” Later, she said, in order to preserve my life, I should bring a goat with me so that I could offer it as a sacrifice to Ramogi. I was also told that demons would talk to me out of the bushes if I went there. The pastor’s wife also said that there was a high place on Ramogi’s mountain where people went to perform sacrifices, mostly animals but sometimes human children. Moreover, there were clay pots to catch the blood of the sacrifices that Ramogi worshippers used in their ceremonies.
I found out the traditions about Ramogi were so strong that even Christians performed them fearing they would die if they broke them. A widow described how she had been counseled to perform Ramogi’s traditions when her husband died even by a Christian minister! It became clear to me that even though many of the Luo people professed to know Jesus they in fact served two masters.
While I was praying God gave me this verse:
“No one can enter into the strong mans house and plunder his property unless he first binds the strong man, and then he will plunder his house”
Mark 3:27 (NAS)
I was scheduled to speak at a 3 day seminar later that month and the more I thought about it the more I became convinced that I should first journey to Ramogi’s mountain and “bind the strong man.”
When I arrived in the rural area of Kisumu (near Lake Victoria in Kenya) I spoke with my host about going to Ramogi’s mountain. He said he knew the general area where it was supposed to be and we decided to make the trip two days hence. I had planned to preach against following Ramogi in one of my next meetings, I wanted to have gone to the mountain, and, hopefully, return alive before that day.
The day arrived and we got up very early for the long journey to the remote area where Ramogi’s mountain was located. We had stayed in a mud hut about 30 minutes walk from the main road and so that morning we started hiking to the highway. We had not gone more than a few hundred meters when a small blue car drove by and Charles (our host) waved it down. We all piled into that little car and, oddly enough, it took us about half way towards our destination for free. To my surprise the widow who was with us told me that she dreamed the night before that a blue car would take us to Ramogi’s mountain. I was very encouraged for God seemed to be speeding us along our way.
The car dropped us off along a stretch of highway that was seemingly in the middle of nowhere. However, just as we got out of the blue car a small van pulled up, and we climbed inside, and we were off again, we literally walked from one vehicle to the next with no waiting whatsoever. We changed small vans again (without waiting) and finally found ourselves in a small town near the northern edge of the Kenya, Ugandan boarder by Lake Victoria. We found a nice place to have lunch and pastor Charles inquired about a vehicle to take us into the bush and to Ramogi’s Mountain.
We piled into the taxi and started from the town down dirt roads that became progressively smaller and rougher until they were barely passable. The drivers in Kenya go places with a two wheel drive sedan that most four wheel drive enthusiasts would think challenging. Deeper and deeper into the bush we went and the road became progressively worse until it was barely a walking path. Finally we came to a place called, oddly enough; Ramogi’s station and the road ran out. We had negotiated with the driver to pay 250 shillings in and 250 shillings out. However, in true Kenyan style, the driver demanded 700 hundred shillings for going out there and then another 700 shillings to come back and get us. His strong-arm tactics annoyed me so I gave him the 250 shillings that I had originally promised and told him if he came back to get us I would give him 500 shillings more or else we would just walk out.
It was about 2 p.m. and we were in the middle of nowhere and had no idea if we would get a ride back to town. There was an old abandoned building in the clearing where we had been dropped off and a trail that led to the left. Local villagers pointed out the mountain claimed to be Ramogi’s looming ahead of us. I briefly wondered if heading up the mountain at this late hour was advisable, but, in knew in my spirit I had not come this far at the goading of the Holy Spirit to turn back now.
We started up the trail and passed a few scattered mud huts as the trail became steeper, narrower, and less distinct. The bush became very dense and flies buzzed around our ears from every direction. None of us knew where we were going but I felt this sense of urgency that caused me to have to slow down for my two companions a couple of times. The widow told me she was sensing evil surrounding different places we passed and it was giving her the chills. Charles was now up ahead leading the way as we pushed further into incredibly dense bush as the trail almost reduced to a rabbit hole at places. Along the path we also began to encounter a multitude of smaller trails that led off in all directions like the branches of a gnarled tree. Pastor Charles was now about thirty meters ahead of us when suddenly God spoke to me and told me to take the small path that branched off to my right. I called Charles back and told him that God had told me to leave the main trail and take the small one and without a word more I was off.
Something was driving me now, I couldn’t explain it, but I knew where I was going just as if I had been there before. I came to another set of trails that branched off in all directions but the Holy Spirit said to take the one on the left. I was walking so fast that Charles and widow were falling behind me; I seemed energized and even walking up hill was no effort. Suddenly I burst into a clearing. I was on top of the mountain in a semi-round clearing about 20 meters in diameter. Both out of breath, the widow and Charles soon joined me. I walked into the midst of the clearing and there was a perfect circle of bare ground about 5 meters across (everything else was tall grass). I looked down at the burned ground and saw colored candles which had been burnt and melted forming a ring around the earthen circle. At last we had found legendary “high place” of Ramogi.
We walked around Ramogi’s high place and found an alter made out of sticks and grass adorned with more colored candles. I suggested everyone pray and ask for God’s direction. Charles went off a short distance and started to pray by himself while the widow and I stayed in the clearing starting to pray in other tongues. I went over and stood in the center of that bare circle of earth. I felt that this must be where the animal and human sacrifices were performed. It had the feel of evil.
I spoke to the false spirits of Ramogi and challenged them to show themselves if they truly were a god and if they had any power. We rebuked and bound them in the name of Jesus and commanded them to loose the Luo Tribe. I was praying so loudly that I suppose my voice rang all up and down the mountain, but I knew this was not time to hold back or be shy.
As the widow was praying she moved over to the small alter and started to tear it down. I started walking around the clearing and felt as though I was looking for something, but I just couldn’t seem to find it. I picked up a big rock and placed it in the middle of that barren circle, sat on it, then prayed some more. I rose and walked around the clearing again, asking God “What is it that you want me to find?” I heard the widow’s voice calling me to come to where she was standing and as I approached she pointed to an object under a tree at the edge of the clearing. She told me that the Holy Spirit had told her to go over there and look. I peered under the tree and was astonished at what I saw, a clay pot, a large vessel of the type I had been told about by the pastor’s wife, used to catch the blood from animal and human sacrifices that were made to Ramogi.
Moved by an unseen force I darted under the tree and bushes and grabbed the heavy earthen jar. I carried it over to the sacrificial circle, raised it up over my head and said, “In the name of Jesus I cast you down Ramogi!” and I threw the pot down upon the rock with all my might and shattered it to pieces. Continuing to pray we started jumping up and down on the potshards grinding them into dust with our feet as we rebuked the unholy spirit of Ramogi.
Presently, all of us gathered round the sacrificial circle where the pot lay pulverized into tiny pieces. We had all stopped praying and were silent. After a while Charles started to speak in Luo while the widow translated. Charles said that truly God had given him a sign that day. He said that God has sent a man all the way from America who was directed by the Holy Spirit to find the high place of Ramogi when he, being a native Luo, didn’t even know where it was. He said that today was the start of freedom for his people, and that he would encourage others to come to that very spot to fast and pray overnight so that the spirit of Ramogi could be broken in their lives too.
With that, and when we had thanked God, we started back down the mountain. It was becoming late and the shadows were creeping among the trees and in upon us. As we walked down the mountain we were silent because of what we had just partaken of. I didn’t want to tell the others, but there was a presence that was shadowing us on my right side as we came down the mountain. I stopped and looked into the bushes a few times thinking it might be some form of animal but I could see nothing.
We reached the building where we had been dropped off and, sure enough no taxis, so we began a three and a half hour walk to town. As we walked (now more in the Sunshine) we began to rejoice in what God had just done. We were very excited to have seen the Lord move in such a powerful and obvious way and it made the arduous journey to town less of a burden.
We were dog tired as we hobbled into town and very, very thirsty. We barely were in time to catch the last bus back to be dropped off near Charles place. It became obvious to me that if God had not given us a lift in that little blue car we would have never made it back from Ramogi’s mountain and would have had to spend the night somewhere in that small town. As it happened we didn’t make it back to Charles home until almost 10 p.m. that night walking in pitch darkness.
In conclusion, the false god Ramogi rules the Luo people though fear. If you don’t do what Ramogi commands someone or something inevitably dies. It was important for us to confront this fear and these demons head on so as to demonstrate that the God we serve is greater and more powerful than Ramogi. Jesus was with us that day in a powerful and evident way and I thank God that He was, one should never challenge demonic prince spirits like that if you are not sure that you have God’s approval and backing in doing so. It is my sincere hope that the spirit of Ramogi will continue to be broken in the hearts and minds of the Luo people, liberating them from fear, so that they may serve Jesus as their one true God.