Destined to be a Witch Doctor. by Surprise Sithole [Mozambique] Iris Ministries
In " A VOICE in the Night "
"From the time i was born, my parents hoped I would follow the family tradition and become a witch doctor. I suffered with asthma and other physical ailments., and when my parents sought healing for me, "the spirits' told them that I was sick because I had not given myself over to them. As soon as I had done this, they said, I would be healed.
My family had been involved with wirch doctoring for generations. My grandfather kept poisonous snakes to use in rituals and died when one of those snakes bit him. My childhood was full of strange spiritual experiences and spiritual oppression. This was the only life I knew.
My parents did a pretty good business. Every day, people came to the house, many of them weeping, looking for a way out of their desperate situation. Perhaps a child was sick, or the monkeys had stolen the crops. They usually brought a little maize meal or some chicken for my family. But they always had to bring some money too. My parents would have their 'clients' rub the money over their bodies as though washing themselves with soap in the shower. Then they would take the money, put it in a shell and start sniffing it. As they did so, they would make a funny noise --"heh, heh, heh," -- and then start speaking in a strange tone of voice.
The advice that came through was almost always the same, and it played upon the person's fears. Someone had put a curse upon them. Death was very near. The spirits were angry and had to be appeased. Upon hearing this frightening news, the customers were usually reeady to do anything my parents told them to do.
Did my parents ahve real power, or were they charlatans? The answer is both. Much of what they did was trickery, pure and simple. But I also know that they sincerely believed in the spirits, and I saw many starnge events for which I have no other explanation besides the supernatural.
More than once, I found myself floating above the floor as I tried to sleep at night. I struggled and kicked and tried to get back on the ground, but I seemed to be suspended in space. Did it really happen, or was it just a dream? All I can say is that it ceratinly seemed real to a young boy, and terribly frightening. Later on, when I told my parents about the experience, they became excited, and began beating on drums they used to summon the spirits.
They definitely believed that the spirit world was real, but they were not above deceit. As an example of their trickery, they would ask their customers to stare into a bowl f water until they saw the face of his enemy. - the one who had placed a curse on him, his crops and his children. Stirred up by anger and fear, the person would look until they saw someone's face looking back at him - and naturally, the face he saw was the face he expected to see. The neighbour who had given him a starnge look. A person he did not like for some reason.
My parents would ask,"Do you want this person to live or die?" By this time the customer was so agitated that he would almost always say he wanted them to die.
he would then be given a stick with a needle attached to the end and be told that he should take revenge on his enemy by striking the image in the water. In most cases, he stook the stick and began wacking the image in the water - which slowly began to turn red. Asd the water darkened with "blood", the attack would increase in intensity. The customer would slash and cut in the water in a hateful frenzy, literally trying to hack his enemy in pieces.
But there was no 'blood' in that water. The stick that held the needle had been cut from the mbela tree, which my parents knew would turn the water red.
Still, there was power in the trickery. Sometimes the enemy would fall sick or even die. I now believe that this was due to the 'faith' of my parents customers. They wanted it to happen so badly that it did.
Every day at sunset just before the jungle became pitch dark, my mother would go out and pick some of the grass that grew alonside the trails her customers walked each day. Then she and my father would burn it on the fire, in the centre of our hut, asking the spirits to give more problems to the people who had walked along these trails. For them more problems meant more business. The last thing they wanted ewas for people in the village to be happy and trouble free. Sometimes they would name people and ask the spirits to bring them to our door. The next day, the ones they had named would show up, crying and moaning about the burdens that had fallen on them.
AS for me, I was oppressed and unhappy and I cried often.
One night he heard a Voice in the night telling him to " leave now". Praise God he obeyed. He rose quietly in the middle of the night and never returned again. His whole family and house was destroyed by a Competitor for the title of village Witch Doctor.
After twelve days in the jungle they were taken in by Mr Lukas at Vila Nova da Frontiera, Tete Province, Mozambique. Lukas explained that he'd seen these boys in a dream and that he was waiting for them.
Gafar, Surprise's friend with whom he had travelled through the jungle as Mr Lukas about his dream. They thought that this knowledge had come from a spirit and do not undertand about God. Over the next several weeks Surprise and Gafar learnt about God from Mr Lukas and eventually understood that Jesus the Miracle Worker ahd been killed on a cross.
Mr Lukas said, "You can follow Jesus and go to heaven or follow Satan, the evol One and he will take you to hell.
It was there under the old thorn tree at Vila Nova that Surprise, holding the old man's hands, on his knees accepted Jesus as His Lord and Saviour as did his friend Gafar.
From Voice in the Night [The true Story of the Man and the Miracles that are changing Africa] by Pastor Surprise Sithole.