Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

June 16, 2012

Contest with the Witch Doctor

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

I have written several blogs about Haiti.  The most often request to share an expeience from there has been my encounter with a witch doctor.

Many believe that Haiti is the voodoo capital of the world.  A little background could be helpful.  Although no written records exist, oral history records that in 1791 the voodoo priests  made a pact with Satan.  They promised that if he would help liberate them from France, they would give him the country.  Thirteen years later, in 1804, the nation of Haiti was born.  The people believed Satan had served them and so they believed it was his land and they must serve him.  Voodoo and witchcraft would be considered the primary religion of Haiti.

Voodoo and witchcraft have continued to flourish.  My interest was to see the reality of this satanic practice.  A friend, Deville Legrande (The Grand Devil) grew up in Haiti and was dedicated as a child to witchcraft.  He was raised in a witch doctor’s compound and trained to become a witch doctor. He told incredible stories of men being stabbed and yet not be injured; ropes turning to snakes, and countless other satanic practices.  Through the grace of God he was delivered, saved, and called to ministry.  As  he shared stories of the power of Satan  he had witnessed and experienced,  I wanted to see this and confront it much like Elijah and the prophets of Baal.

Thus my adventure into Haiti in 1976.  Up into the mountains some 250 miles from Port-au-Prince, I travelled.  I would see no Catholic or Evangelical churches.  It was explained that these voodoo priests had control of certain areas.  Most of them would not entertain me, and they would order their followers to observe our movements.  As we would camp at various places, we would hear the drums and chants throughout the night.  It was their purpose to intimidate us.  Finally after several days of seeking invitations, we were invited to the compound of one of the priests.

As we talked, I noticed a small, mud, low-roofed building.  I inquired what it was.  It certainly could not accommodate people for daily living.  The witch doctor explained.  The best translation of what he said is that it was the holy place.  I asked if I could go in.  His first response was no, but later he recanted and gave me permission.  I had to crawl inside.  There was a small area about five feet by five feet.  There were  markings on the wall and a few bowls sat on the dirt floor.  I saw another opening and I crawled through.  I suppose he would have called this small area the holy of holies.  There were items on the wall and floor – – dried frogs, human hair, skulls, and bones.  There was an odor, but I was overwhelmed with a spirit of oppression.  I cannot totally describe it, but I felt an evil power, and I was very uncomfortable.  I quickly retreated from this small structure into the fresh air.  I had not seen a visible act of Satan, but I could affirm his presence.

Once outside I told the witch doctor that he was reputed to have special powers.  He acknowledged such and so I asked him for a demonstration.  He called several people from the compound.  The drums began, and dancing commenced.  It was a wild  expression of contortions and sounds. As many of them began to work themselves into a frenzy,  I must admit that I began to feel that same evil oppression that I had experienced in his holy place.  It was enough for me.  I felt Satan was there, and I used my hands to show it was enough.  The priest motioned to the group, and all became quiet.  He seemed pleased that I felt the presence of his god–the evil one.

He then asked if I had any power from my God.  I, of course, had no such power other than the power of prayer at that moment.  As my mind obviously sought wisdom from God, I picked up a small rock from the ground.  I began to rub the rock against my elbow.  Suddenly the rock was not there.  I then walked over to his wife and made it appear that I pulled the rock out of her mouth. The witch doctor and the others made an audible sound and stepped back.  They seemed frightened.  There was a sudden respect for the power they thought I possessed.

The witch doctor walked away.  I asked my companion what that meant.  He did not know, but said we should just wait.  I feared that I had embarrassed him, and now we would have to face the consequence.  He came back with a chicken.  Of course, I thought he would slaughter the chicken and sprinkle the blood on us, or something like that, and pronounce a curse.  He surprised me as he handed me the chicken as a gift and acknowledged my powers.

I quickly responded that I had no power.  I told him it was a trick, and I attempted to explain that it was all a sleight-of-hand.  I then proceeded to tell him that I did represent a God who had power.  I pointed to the trees and said that my God made the trees; I spoke of the sun moving across the sky and said that my God made that;  I looked at a small child standing nearby and said my God makes life possible; and I followed with several other evidences of the power of my God.

He did not want to hear this and indicated that the visit was over.  We walked away with a peace that we had been able to be a  witness in  one of Satan’s strongholds.  The power of Satan is real  whether it is expressed in Haiti or your neighborhood.  We must be equipped to fight it.  Walking  in other countries through dense jungles and other places where I felt so isolated, I would constantly quote ” . . . the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”  (1 John 4:4)  The power of His presence in our life is always more powerful than Satan.  Believe that.  Live that!

Lawson

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