Benin is the birthplace of Voodoo. Woven into all aspects of life and tradition, Voodoo practices keep a link of ancestry alive. It is more than a belief system— it is a complete way of life influencing culture, philosophy, language, art, dance, music, and medicine. The central belief in Voodoo is of a creator god who is unknowable and uninvolved.
The practices of worshiping idols and performing sacrifices keep people enslaved to a fatalistic system. With this belief system, people who are sick suffer without medicine and education is discouraged. As a result, only 31% of women in Benin are literate.
We were never intended to live in poverty, divided against one another, with little hope for peace. In the Kingdom of God, poverty, violence, division, and hopelessness will not exist. We believe the Church is God’s primary transforming agent in the world, and that the local church exists to make its community more like the Kingdom of God.
We partner with local indigenous leaders as they minister to the communities and cultures that they themselves are from. We start projects and programs in the hardest places and set up a plan for them to be self-sustaining in order for them to know independence and the value of reinvesting in their own communities.
Read on to learn how communities are being transformed in Benin.
Gozem Car Rental - The Gozem car rental project in Togo is financially supporting the work of the AECM ministry and its missionaries serving vulnerable communities in Benin.
West Africa is a meeting point of different religions. Islam, Tribal religions, and Christianity all exist in the region, and often not peacefully. People living in pluralistic and tribal cultures are in tune with spiritual realities that we often miss in the "enlightened" West. The power of Jesus' death and resurrection is best applied when people see its capacity to address the struggles of their everyday lives, often associated with spirits.
Learn more about the role of culture in contextualizing the gospel by reading The Global Gospel, written by Mission ONE Vice President, Werner Mischke.