Witch Doctor

Baby Anyar photo

Feb 28th started out much as any other day.I was taking care of people who came in for dressing changes and just before lunch, Dennis, one of the medical staff asked if I would take over caring for a 5 month old baby that needed to be watched closely. Baby Anyar, had been very dehydrated and was in shock initially suffering from possible pneumonia and amebic dysentry. I gave some IV medications and kept an eye on him out on the back porch. After I had seen all my patients for dressings I went out with the translator to ask a few questions of the mother. There was a man sitting there also who I asked if I could pray for the baby. They said yes, and I did. The uncle asked if I prayed because the child  was suffering? I said yes, that’s partly the reason, but that we all needed prayer and pointed to each of us.

I went to lunch and do some other things but felt drawn back to them. I asked Isaac who is a translator and A Community Health Worker if he had time to translate for me. He was happy to help. We started a conversation that lasted quite a while. Apparently the child had been sick for about 10 days. They had gone to another clinic quite some distance away and were given medicines. After 3 days the medicine did not seem to have made any difference. A family member said if it hasn’t helped then they should go to the witch doctor.

I know that all of you reading this in various parts of the world, outside of Africa, think this is very strange. For those who have many questions about this I would love to talk with you some time face to face about it. Let me just say, it is very, very real. They ended up going to two witch doctors. The first one asked to be paid 50 Sudanese pounds. This is a huge amount for most people. This witch doctor said the baby had gases in it’s belly, and rubbed oil all over him to remove the gases! It didn’t help. The 2nd witch doctor wanted a bull, goat and chicken for payment. This was a big problem because when the mother of the child got married her uncle was supposed to pay with a bull, goat and chicken but never did. The witch doctor stated the baby won’t get well without the payment. Fortunately I  asked them if they knew God to whom I had prayed earlier. They did not know about God at all. We talked about God, his son Jesus and the Holy Spirit. It was a long conversation that I can’t go into details but it was very obvious that God had set this appointment for us to meet together this day.

In the end the brother and sister prayed with us to ask God’s forgiveness for their wrong doings, accepting that Jesus paid the price for their sins and invited Him into their lives. I explained that this was a free gift, no money, no bulls, goats or chickens for their healing.

They will never again go to, or trust in the witch doctor.The power of the witch doctor pales in comparison to the power of the One who made heaven and earth and rules over all his creation.

“There is no sorcery against Jacob, no divination against Israel. It will now be  said of Jacob and of Israel, ‘see what God has done!'” – Numbers 23:23

Photo with Nurse Photo with Doctor