Friday, November 30, 2012


Today was a very special day for us, as I took Jayden on a road trip to Santiago to pickup Justin who has been staying with my sister for the past 6 days. Jayden was excited to get out for a bit, and also excited to go see his baby brother! I found a taxi driver to take us on the 1.5 hour trip to the city, and had an interesting drive as he spoke no English, and my Spanish is pretty poor!

When we arrived at Sherilyn's house, and i opened her door, Justin saw me immediately and stretched his arms out for me saying "dada dada". It was a nice feeling knowing that he still remembered me!

After picking up Justin, I was able to quickly stop by a large Walmart style grocery store, and buy a bunch of things to take back with us, as well as treat Jayden to a large Mc Donald's lunch! It tasted soooo good having some American fast food!

2 hours later we arrived back in Sosua, where we are staying, and Will was very happy to see Justin! It's hard for a mother to be separated from her baby for that long, and it was nice to see them happily together again, and helped lift Will's spirits.

Although Will has been slowly getting her appetite back and eating a little solid foods, she still spent most of the day in bed resting.

We were able to connect with a missionary here who has arranged a lady to help us with the kids for the next several days until Will gets her strength back. We are really grateful for this, and also Jayden, who now has another playmate!

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Today was a very exciting day for all of us (and particularly Will)! After being hospitalized for 6 days, the doctor consented to her release this afternoon! Although Will remains very tired, sore and weak, she was happy to be able to get outside finally and not be bound to her small hospital room.

Jayden and I went earlier today to checkup on Will, and were excited by the news. I immediately began making the necessary preparations to get her to the hotel and settled in. I spoke with the doctor before she was released, and he cautioned us that her platlets were still very low (in the 70,000 range) and she would need some time for that to return to normal. Will is very fortunate that she did not end up needing the blood transfusion as previously anticipated, as her platlet levels finally began to climb for the first time today! Again, we are grateful above all to the Lord for his protection and provision!

The Hematologist advises that she needs to see Will's Blood Platelet levels at least in the 180,000 range before she should travel. This means that she needs at least 4 to 6 days of taking it easy and a healthy diet. We are conveniently staying in a hotel that is very close to the hospital, so she can still do her regular checkups as well as blood tests with the doctor quite easily.

Sherilyn, Anthony and family are still fighting the flu, so we have decided that I go to Santiago tomorrow to pickup Justin. Again, we are truly grateful to them for their help with Justin over the past several days! We were providentially able to connect with some other missionaries here in the Dominican tonight that have offered to help with watching both the kids and homeschooling Jayden!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Moving About

It was nice to see some more positive progression with Will throughout the day, although she was pretty worn out and tired by this evening again.

This morning when we went to visit Will, she was sitting up in bed with the iPad! She was happy to see us both of course after a long night alone. We are continually amazed at the level of service and care that the small hospital provides, and are truly thankful for that! However, her biggest complaint is the frequency that the nurses and even cleaners come into the room. Throughout the entire night she is awoken by the lights going on, simply for a lady to empty the garbage cans in her room at 2:00 am.. But at least she is being regularly checked upon!

Will woke up this morning with all of her clothes and sheets drenched from sweat. It's obviously not from the room temperature since they keep it at around 20 Celsius! But according to the Hematologist, it is normal for the fever and chills to return at night!

Will was anxious to get out of the room for a bit, so we took her for a walk in the wheelchair up and down the hallway. It must be very hard being cooped up in a small room the whole day!

I was hoping to take Jayden today to Santiago to say with my sister and start school at Santiago Christian, but we had yet another setback - her entire family is sick with the cold, and felt pretty miserable today! I feel so bad for Sherilyn and Anthony who are already graciously caring for our 9 month old little handful! Jayden was quite disappointed needless to say, but nothing a bit of soft ice cream and beach time couldn't cure! Please pray for the Koster family as the care for Justin, and that they will also recuperate soon so that Jayden can possibly join them for a short time!

Jayden was quite tired of going to the hospital by the end of today, as we made the trip 4 times! At least it is only a short drive by motorbike taxi! A few times today we walked the whole way! Once for fun, and the other time because I got robbed of the little money I had in my pocket! Actually wasn't as serious as it sounds, as I only go with a little money in my pocket each time for obvious reasons. I stupidly paid the moto driver some money for the ride up, and since he had no change, I asked him to wait for 15 minutes while I ran into the hospital to drop some soup off for Will. No sooner did I go in the building, he sped off with my only money in hand!

It's encouraging to see Will's appetite slowly coming back, as twice I brought a little food for her which she had asked for! However, after taking only a few small bites, she could not eat anymore because of stomach cramps .

I pray that she will have a better rest tonight, and a be well enough that she can maybe move from the hospital to the hotel here for some more rest.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Slow improvements

Today started out with an early flight in MAF's new Caravan directly up to Puerto Plata. I am very grateful to MAF for providing this option as it saves us many hours of traveling time by public transportation from the border to Puerto Plata as was originally the plan! Less than 1 hour and 15 minutes after taking off from Port au Prince, Jayden and I walked through the front doors of the hospital in Cabrete where Will is being treated!

Will was very excited and surprised to see us both, and it was nice to see her perk up a little for the first time in several days! It really is amazing to see how the psychological impacts the physical state! We stayed for only a short time as she became very tired again and needed some rest. Jayden and I took a motorbike taxi for 25 pesos to a nearby hotel where we could stay. Initially I was a little concerned about the expenses - not knowing how long we would have to stay... However, God answers prayers! I was able to talk to the owner of the hotel (who was dutch) and explain my situation. He graciously offered us a very large room with all meals included at an amazingly low price!

After settling in, we took a moto back up to see Will. This time she was able to get out of bed on her own and go to the bathroom! The doctor reported that bleeding had subsided, and she is on meds to control the diarrhea and vomiting. Her platelets, however had continued to drop, although the blood count was up. Will was alot better hydrated - particularity after going through more than 20 IV bags over the past several days!

This evening Will didn't feel quite as good as earlier today, and the doctor said it was quite normal for the fever to return at night..

As Will continues to improve the Lord Willing, I hope to take Jayden to Santiago in the next day or so so he can continue to go to school there.

Day by Day

Many of you have been asking how Wilhelmina's been doing so it's easiest to stay in touch through the blog updates. We want to thank you for the many encouraging emails we have received and appreciate your continued prayers!

This is an update from Monday, November 26

I spoke with Will very briefly tonight and she was still very weak, tired and not much had improved with her symptoms. I was not able to talk much more than 3 minutes on the phone with her since she was simply too tired to talk. I have been messaging with her back and forth for the rest and have come to the conclusion that her condition is not improving as quickly as we had hoped.

Doctors reported that her blood count is still very low, and she is on IV 24 hrs a day since her platelets are still not coming up. Her dehydration has since subsided, but she is still very weak, and unable to move around. Since her body was already weak and unable to fight the cold that she previously had, the doctor is also treating Will for Bronchitis and an ear infection. I still dont have a lot more information on her condition other than this. The doctor did tell me that she will need at least 7-10 days to fully recuperate and strongly advises against her traveling until she regains her strength. My hope is that she will get well enough that we can go to Santiago with her where she can continue to rest up a bit, and i can return to Haiti when she is feeling better.

Since my sister has left back for Santiago earlier today, Will has been on her own. After some deliberation, we have decided that it would be best for me to travel back up to Puerto Plata tomorrow morning to be with Will, and also take Jayden with incase her condition declines to the point we need to travel to the States. I will be flying with MAF up to Oanaminthe, walking across the border and taking a bus to Santiago then up to Puerto Plata. For now, we have arranged for a nanny to help with taking care of the kids while they stay with my sister in Santiago.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Dengue Fever!

We are back from an "interesting" trip to Cabarete in the Dominican Republic.  Our trip started out well, and were very pleased with the very nice accommodations that my sister and her family had booked for us up in Cabarete.  We planned to spend Thanksgiving weekend with them there at a nice beach house property.  After the first night, Will started showing symptoms of fever, headache, and cough which we just dismissed as the flu.  After day 2 her condition had worsened and we picked up a prescription of Amoxicylin to fight her ear and sinus infection.  By Saturday afternoon she became so weak and dehydrated that she could hardly move, and her fever continued to spike.  Saturday night she became increasingly disorientated, extremely nauseas and started hemorrhaging and we quickly decided to take her to a hospital in Cabarete.  After an initial assessment the doctor said he thought it was quite possibly advanced stages of Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever, and that she would need to be admitted and quarantined for a minimum of 24 hrs so they could complete the blood work, Chest Xray, and MRI.

I spoke with the doctor and he strongly advised against moving her even to Santiago (where my sister and family live) which is only a 1.5 hour drive.  At this stage, the doctor said that she could bleed out within an hour if not closely monitored.  Flying her back to Port au Prince was even less of an option due to lack of Medical Care, as well as the negative impact that the pressure altitude would have on her hemorrhaging.    At this point, Will is still in Cabarete hospital and will certainly spend the night there.  Our hope / prayer is that she will be well enough tomorrow for the doctor to allow her to be transported to Santiago Hospital where she will be re-admitted for observation.  My sister has graciously offered to take Justin to Santiago with her and look after him - since he is not allowed to be in  contact with Will!

The tentative plan if Will continues to improve through this week, is for her and Justin to fly back to Port au Prince either Friday or next week Monday (those are the only days they have flights) or else I will need to pick her up if she is not able to get on the flight.

Thank you for your prayers

Jason + Family 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Looking Up

Wednesday, November 14, 5:05 p.m. 

Dirty clouds of dust and pollution linger in the air as Jason manoeuvres the Toyota up the steep S curve near our home. Right at the top, traffic comes to a halt and Jason fights to keep our vehicle from sliding back down the incline. 

From our vantage point we can just see the source of the problem. A pickup truck around the corner is changing his tire in the middle of the road; to its left and oversized vehicle is trying to pass.

“Aww man,” Jason groans. “Do you have to change your tire in the middle of the road? Can’t you just push your truck to the side a little! Seriously! This is ridiculous.” 

I sigh. Our team just left this morning and after a busy week we are both tired; nothing that a quiet evening and a good night’s rest can’t fix, but tonight that just isn’t happening. 

“Cough, cough, cough, cough.” In the backseat Jayden breaks out in a serious coughing fit. “Waaa...” to add to the commotion, Justin starts to scream and whine now too. Sitting at an awkward angle in his rear facing car seat is making him uncomfortable.

“Honk, honk.” Traffic is building up all around us. A man steps out of his vehicle in front of us and gets to work directing the oversized vehicle around the pickup blocking the road. Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. Brakes squeal, horns honk, Jayden keeps coughing, Justin keeps whining and by now the two adults in the car are only hanging on to what’s left of their patience by a very thin thread. 

Finally, after what feels like forever, we squeeze past the vehicle and the man calmly changing his tire, and turn right onto Delmas 83. Suddenly a car veers in front of us and Jason has to break hard to avoid a collision. The sudden stop on the bumpy road makes me feel sick now too. 

Fighting my light headedness I try to focus on a stationary object. Suddenly something catches my eye. Above the grime and filth of the city I see something truly beautiful. A shining pink cloud.

Admiring its sheer beauty, verses that I had previously memorized fill my mind and heart. 

..Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 1 Cor 2:9 13 

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.  For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. Hebrews 11:13-16 

What a glorious view upward. Soaking it in, the fatigue and stress of the present moment melt away. Faith; because of what Jesus has done for me, I too can have faith that greater things are yet to come. 

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6

Friday, November 16, 2012

Guest Post - Pignon Adventures

Saturday morning began bright and early. Before 7:00 a.m. we were on the road and on route to the domestic airport. Today was the day we planned to fly out to a small village in the central plateau known as Pignon. 

In the terminal MAF staff weighed us and our luggage and we soon find out we were only 9lbs under the weight limit! Whew, that was close! Thankfully we didn’t have to leave anything behind! 

When Jason and crew finished inspecting and loading the aircraft we taxied to the active runway. Minutes later we were in the air. What an amazing view!

From my vantage point in the airplane I could see small houses and huts dotting the mountain sides. How did these people live so far away from civilisation? I wondered.

25 minutes later we landed on Pignons’ grass airstrip. The weather here was much cooler than that in Port au Prince; a welcome change!

After a quick jaunt down the road to the MAF office where we stored our luggage for the day we met up with some young men who were renting out their motorbikes. We split up in pairs and then listened as the drivers of the bikes gave us instructions on how their bikes worked.

Apparently we didn’t quite catch all the basics though! Arnold and Rosalyn were the first ones off.... straight towards the villages’ only tractor!! For some reason Arnold was unable to turn or brake, so he ended up flipping the bike on its side; much to the villager’s amusement. Watching this, the bike’s owner quickly decided it would be much safer to drive Arnold and Rosalyn around for the day. Good idea!

Joel`s first attempt was a bit better than Arnold’s but he did stall the bike several times before we took off. Finally we were on our way and as we headed deeper into town towards the market the road began to slope steeply downward. As we picked up speed Joel suddenly realized he didn`t know where the brakes were! He yelled to the Haitian driver on the other bike but we were going too fast to hear any instructions. Apparently the look on the other drivers face was just priceless as he realized that we couldn`t stop! Thankfully Joel figured out how to shift down allowing the driver to catch up and we found the brakes. What an adventure!

Eventually we reached the village market; all in one piece! 

The market was unlike any other place I had ever seen before. There were many crudely made stalls which sold everything from dead goats and chickens (with free flies) to candies, snacks, fruits, vegetables, toiletries, clothing and shoes!

Jason gave each of us 1500 Haitian goudes (approximately $40USD), so we could help the local economy AND those who couldn`t afford to purchase clothing and shoes.

On our way to the clothing booths, Jason kindly led us directly past the meat department where they had a bowl of deep fried intestines and a butchered goat laying out. Ewww! 

The clothing merchant had quite a variety and our bargaining skills were put to the test!  We were quickly surrounded as ‘blan’ in the local market was quite a spectacle!

Picking through the piles we bartered and paid for about 40-50 articles of children’s clothing. The next stop was the shoe booth. Here we let children in the market pick out shoes and Jason bartered with the ‘mechan’ for the price. What a novelty for many of them to get a pair of shoes that actually fit!

After a final stop to pick up some crackers, cookies and candies we were off again on our motorbikes.

Our next stop was the camp where Jason and Will lived for 3 months during language training. The road to this place was definitely a challenge for inexperienced bikers!! It was quite rough and had some steep and rocky sections. At the bottom of one of the hills was a small creek we had to pass through on our bikes.

On the way we saw oxen, donkeys and more. At the camp many children were waiting for us; as Jason had prearranged. Here we handed out some of the toys we had brought along as well as distributed the clothing purchased earlier. Several ladies from the community had already divided servings of rice in bags that we were able to divide between the children. It was so rewarding to be able to bring a little joy in their lives!

When we were finished we rode the motorbikes back over the bumpy roads to the airport. There we gathered our luggage and waited for pickup by a mission organization called United Christian International.

At their rural location we enjoyed the greenery and fresh air. Quite a difference from Port au Prince!
We settled into our rooms at the guesthouse and ate a quick lunch.

 Then we were off on a hike to visit the voodoo caves.

Our young guide was a little nervous about being there later in the afternoon as the witch doctors did tend to go there as darkness fell. Thankfully the caves were deserted but it did feel a bit creepy!

Back at the mission we were put to work moving some bookshelves around in the new university buildings. When we were finished it was time for an intense volleyball game!

Joined by Kristy and her two daughters as well as some other Haitian students our skills were put to the test!

Once we could no longer see the ball, we headed to the cafeteria for a supper of mashed potatoes, chicken and vegetables. It was definitely not what we had expected but it was very good!!

After supper we joined Pastor JeanJean and Kristy and played Dutch Blitz in doubles. With all of us competitive player it was quite a game!

When the games were over, we wearily walked back to our rooms and settled in for a good night’s rest!

Bryanne Bisschop

Friday, November 9, 2012

Guest Post - Our First Full Day in Haiti

November 8, 2012
We woke up this morning at 6:00 a.m. to the smell of Will's delicious pancakes. At 6:30 we were out the door, ready to hit the road. Once outside we saw that Jason was having trouble starting the vehicle. The battery seemed to be the problem so we tried to boost it, but with no luck.

Jason called another MAF pilot to see if we could use the Pathfinder, a spare vehicle, which was fine, so we left Arnold behind to take the old battery out. Then, Rosalyn, Joel, Bryanne, Jason and I walked a few blocks to pick up the other vehicle.

The street was filled with Haitian kids going to school in their clean white uniforms. Each of them were dressed better than we ever dressed for school!

Arriving at the MAF pilot's house Jason jumped in the Pathfinder and tried to start it but it's battery was dead too! This was not our day.

After boosting the Pathfinder battery and picking up Arnold, we were on our way to the airport. Jason drove in first gear the whole way to prevent the vehicle from stalling. 

After a bumpy ride through the busy city we arrived at the airport with reconstructed posteriors. Jason's first flight was scheduled to depart in 9 minutes.

Jason introduced us to Dieucon an MAF driver and then left to prepare for his flight. Dieuson drove us to the job site. On the way we made a few pit stops to pick up supplies; we bought rice for the feeding program and enough water to last us through the day.

Driving through the city breathing in the vehicle exhaust, we appreciated our clean air in BC. Most of the cars here would not pass Air Care :)

When we arrived at the job site around nine o'clock it was already thirty degrees. It was tiring being in the heat and humidity, especially since we were not used to it.

It was sad to see the conditions the people were living in.

Working with a Haitian Construction team we quickly got to work building a home.

At 12 o'clock we walked from the job site to Dieuson's house which was right beside the church. We relaxed in the "cool" church and handed out lollipops to the kids while we waited for the food.

Dieuson's wife served us a macaroni salad, chicken and lasagna. We had a hard time deciding what would be safe to eat as Jason and Will had warned us about eating uncooked food.

After lunch we visited an orphanage in that area. When we arrived we handed out lollipops to all the kids. The lady that ran the orphanage begged us to come back the next day with clothing, and we assured her we would.

She then got the kids to sing us some songs, they even sang to us in English.

When the day was over, Dieuson dropped us back off at the airport. Jason drove us home from there. While we were driving home we got stuck behind a water truck that was losing quite a bit of water as it drove uphill. We tried to drive uphill behind it but it was too slippery and the Pathfinder eventually stopped and started sliding downhill. Jason purposely slammed into the curb so that we would stop sliding downhill. We moved to the dry side of the road and safely made it up the hill and home.

We were welcomed with the smell of nasi and peanut sauce, along with salad and garlic bread. It's hard to get homesick with such delicious meals!

Martha Kuipers

Thursday, November 8, 2012

He Is Always There

Five years ago when Jason and I both felt God leading us to move to Haiti, I struggled with fear. One of the reason was that when we googled ‘Haiti’ there was one reoccurring theme.

‘Port au Prince is currently the kidnap capital of the world.’

Now I know some may believe that when you follow God’s leading nothing bad will happen to you, but that’s not what the Bible says.

John 16:33 says ...In the world ye shall have tribulation...

Tribulation in the dictionary is described as ‘great affliction, trial, or distress; suffering;’ and somehow all of that seemed just that much more likely in the ‘kidnap capital of the world.’

God has taught me a lot in these last five years and this particular lesson I feel called to share with you. 

He is always there.

Even before I was born, Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee. Psalm 139:16-18

I don’t have to be afraid because ....He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. Hebrews 13:5&6

He wants us to be strong and courageous. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:9

It’s repeated in His Word to remind us. Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Deuteronomy 31:6

I can peacefully sleep. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8

Even when I’m dying, I don’t need to be afraid. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; Psalm 23:4a

Or when the world ends, because..lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28:20b

He is always there and I cling to that knowledge.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Justin's First MAF Flight

Okay, so I'm a little behind here, but following our weekend in Pignon, Jason sent me and the two boys home via airplane. Reason number one, we had acquired an extra person in Pignon who needed to drive back with us so there was no longer enough room in our vehicle; and reason number two, if you have the option of a short flight versus a long drive with a five year old and a baby, why wouldn't you right?

So, after catching a ride to the airport, we waited at the grass strip for HH-FLY to pick us up.

Once it was safe to do so, Will White, the MAF pilot flying us, took a quick picture of us in front of the airplane.

Then I took this one.

When it was time for us to get in, I lifted Justin up onto the seat.

"I've flown in jumbo jets over a half a dozen times Mom, so what is the big deal here?" Is what he was thinking.

And yes, Jayden is wearing his pajama shirt. Apparently his mother didn't pack enough clothes :)

Taxi across the grass strip and then lift off!

A bird's eye view of Pignon, beneath us.

And over the mountains..

After spending ten minutes or so fiddling with the airplane door handle contemplating the thrill of sky diving, my little adventurous one dozed off in my arms.

Approaching the outskirts of Port au Prince I was able to photograph the land of Canaan from above.

Then approaching the city center, I notice how brown the river still was; after effects of Hurricane Sandy.

A few minutes later we had the airport in sight.

Total flight time 25 minutes compared to 4 hours of driving. That's why MAF is here.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Good News of Salvation

I remember as a child asking God daily for a new heart.  Then as I taught Jayden God’s Word, sang and prayed with him, and shepherded his young heart, I wondered where that came from. Where in the Bible did it talk about asking God for a new heart? As I pondered, only one verse came to mind.

Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

Then I started thinking about the context of that verse. Is David asking God for salvation? No, we know he was a child of God already. So why is he asking God for a clean heart? Because he felt his heart was polluted with the sins he committed with Bathsheba and against Uriah. He felt the blackness of his heart and was asking God for forgiveness and cleansing.

These past several months Jayden has been asking me a lot of questions about life and death, heaven and hell, sin and forgiveness, Jesus, the cross, God and the devil.

On the morning of October 21 he asked me how he could be saved. Now, I could have brushed his question off with the excuse that he was too young to really understand, but I remembered the words of Matthew 19:14. “But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

So instead I told him the ‘good tidings of great joy.’  
Luke 2:10-11 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

We don’t have to sit in darkness any longer.
Matthew 4:16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.

And God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked.
Ezekieal 33:11....As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live..

So I answered Jayden how Paul and Silas answered the Philippian jailer: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved.” (Acts 16:30-31..Sirs, what must I do to be saved?..they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.) 

And how Philip answered the Ethiopian Eunech, (Acts 8:37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.)

And what Paul wrote in the book of Romans: (Romans 10:9-11 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.”)

And the promise that: “ many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” John 1:12

Deep in thought he finally replied, “I believe in Jesus and that he died on the cross for my sins Mom, but what about everybody else out there? Don’t we need to tell them the good news too?”

Yes, I replied. Mark 16:15-16 says: ...Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

He started to name off cousins and friends who needed to know this and I felt a sense of guilt. Have I really been telling everyone the good news?

The Bible is clear, so here I am, sharing it with you in the way I know best, and I’m begging you “..Today if ye will hear his voice,Harden not your heart..” Psalm 95:7-8

And Jayden, as the weeks went by continued to ask questions and to grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour.  And “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” 3 John 1:4

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Witch Doctor's Testimony

The night outside is dark but between the exterior lighting overhead and the flickering embers of the coal fire we are in a ring of light. From my vantage point in the circle we’ve formed, I have a good view of both Nelson and his wife.

Nelson, a former witch doctor, is here to share his testimony with us. Three months ago he became a Christian.

As Nelson begins his story, Pastor JeanJean translates. When he is finished we have time for questions and further clarification.  Pastor JeanJean and Kristie also give us some background information and explain some cultural aspects of his story. At my request they email me some pictures as well.

The following week I sit down behind the computer and piece his story and photos together.

Below you can read ‘The Witch Doctor’s Testimony.”

I made the decision to become a witch doctor when I was 18 years old. Although some of my extended family practiced voodoo occasionally, there were no witch doctors in my immediate family, and many of my family members, including my own mother were professing Christians.

I wanted to be a witchdoctor because I saw it as a way to become powerful and wealthy. 

Once I had made up my mind, I took what little money I had and visited another witch doctor in the area I lived. At this witch doctors’ house I paid for an evil spirit to come upon me. The evil spirit gave me power, but it was a slavish power. If the spirit told me not to bathe I wouldn’t, if it told me not to eat, I would starve myself, at night it would haunt my dreams and I rarely slept.

My family became afraid of me and separated themselves from me. They knew evil spirits were unpredictable and could make me do things I wouldn’t normally do. What if the evil spirit told me to kill one of them? It was just too risky, so they avoided any contact with me.

There was a few perks to being a witch doctor though. The people in the community had a kind of fearful respect for me and would come with their money. Sometimes they would come to appease the spirits that were haunting their dreams, other times they asked for potions to heal sicknesses, sometimes they came to purchase blessings and other times to purchase curses.

My power was limited however, so over time I decided to purchase another evil spirit and then another. Each time I purchased a new one, I knew my life hung in the balance. Sure they increased my power, but being controlled by them also risked my life. Many times they caused me to do self destructive things.

One day I met a sixteen year old girl from the area and we fell in love. Her family was horrified, but there was no stopping us from being together and a year later our daughter was born. Being surrounded by the evil spirits changed her too. 

Then, just before the birth of our second child, something happened.  Pastor JeanJean, Dbou, and two visiting missionaries went on a prayer walk in Terree Glissee, the community where I lived. During this time, they learned about me and came to visit.  I wanted nothing to do with them, but as a parting gift they left a Bible. They also promised to pray for me.  Six months later they started a nutrition center and prayer service in Terree Glissee and I saw more of them.

Then one night a man appeared to me in a dream. He told me to open the Bible and read it. I did and my eyes fell on the words in Galatians 6:7:  “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”  That verse spoke mightily to me.  Although it was 2:00 a.m., I immediately called Dabou and asked for him and JeanJean to come to my house.  When it started to get light out, Dabou, JeanJean, Saul and Lanyo and other church leaders came.  They found me broken and desperate. I told them that I wanted what Christ had to offer and asked if Christ would accept me, a man who had done many awful things in his life. 

JeanJean and the other men spent hours with me that morning, telling me about Christ’s love and sacrifice and His promises.  Hearing those words, I knew that’s what I wanted. Praying for forgiveness, and trusting in God’s promises I took a step of faith.

Finally feeling free after 9 years of captivity I was determined to burn the remnants of my past life.  It took 2 wheelbarrows to haul everything out of my house of magic.




As I burned everything that was associated with voodoo and renounced the evil, the spirits left me. 

Shortly afterwards, the churches of Maranatha of Bohoc and the Worship Center of Caiman celebrated together by holding a prayer and praise service at my house.  Together we sang, prayed and praised God.

Since then I’ve been reading my Bible and spending time with Pastor JeanJean, so he can teach me more as well.

This is the happiest I've ever been.

As I piece Nelson’s story together, one thing becomes clear to me. The devil wears many disguises and is more than willing and ready to take whoever he can; But “..God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

The devil loves it when he can convince us we can’t be saved or that now is not a good time, but it’s just one of his many ploys to keep us in the kingdom of darkness. 

2 Corinthians 6:2 reads: "For he (God) saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation."

And Joshua 24:15 reads“...choose you this day whom ye will serve; .....but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

There are only two options. So Who is it going to be?