OpEd, Politics

Journey of faith: A pastor’s transformation from a family of witch doctors

By Deng Akoldit Ajuong


“In an African example, there was a pastor who was born into a family of witch doctors and was being trained to become a witch doctor himself. During his training, he wore bracelets, believing that his survival depended on them. He also kept various items under his bed that he used for ancestral worship and traditional healing, such as traditional medicines, clothing, homemade beer, and snuff.

At the same time, this pastor was attending a Bible college in order to become a pastor. As part of his studies, he was assigned to read and analyze the book of Joshua in the Bible. It was during this time that he came across the story of Achan (Joshua 7), who had disobeyed God’s command and hid forbidden items in his tent. As a result of Achan’s sin, God’s anger fell upon the Israelites, and they suffered defeat in battle. Achan and his family were punished for their wrongdoing.

Upon reading this story, the pastor reflected on his own life and the items he kept under his bed for ancestral worship. He realized that, just like Achan, he was guilty of disobedience and hiding things from God. This revelation made him aware that God was not distant but intimately aware of everything, including the items under his bed. The pastor recognized that God sees both our good deeds and our sins.

Motivated by this newfound understanding, the pastor took decisive action. He immediately went outside and called his wife to join him. Together, they gathered all the items from under the bed and burned them. Additionally, there was a tree in their garden where they used to pray to their ancestors, and he cut it down as a symbol of renouncing ancestral worship.

The pastor’s encounter with the truth that God is near and all-knowing brought about a profound transformation in his life. He said that Jesus Christ saved him and gave him a new life. He wasn’t just freed from ancestral worship. He was also freed from other sins like being unfaithful to his wife. He said: “Jesus Christ didn’t transform me into a European man. No, Christ transformed me into a new African man.”



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