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?