Every story of salvation is one of transformation from the darkness to the light. Living in a country that has a very dark presence from voodou – sometimes these stories of redemption are much more tangible.
One of CPR-3’s pastors is currently discipling what he calls his “young Timothy”.
We sat with this man, who beams Christs light, and we got a taste of the darkness that once consumed his life.
This young Timothy was consumed by voodoo for 15 years. He explained it as “his 15 years in the satanic world”.
His dad, a voodou priest, began teaching his young son the ways of this darkness. Timothy described that although he constantly had questions about the power between God and Satan, he was engulfed by his works with the spirits. He explained that he became so good at this practice that it was being said that he would outdo his father – he was not only practicing one of the sections of voodou, but both, white magic and black magic. All while doing so, he continued to question the power between bad and good. He was addicted to the idea – even when he watched movies growing up, he anticipated the scene where good and bad would meet.
He shared that although surrounded by voodou, he loved to hear the Word of God. He was intrigued.
He ended up stealing his little sisters bible, and in secret, terrified of what his Father would do if he found out, began learning about His Artist.
As he continued to question the powers of God and Satan, the spirits of voodou that he was interacting with began punishing and torturing him. The only thing he mentioned of this torture is that they made him eat flesh.
In Haiti, Voodou is understood to be an outlet where people find healing. Instead of their Mighty Healer, they turn to the spirits of their ancestors, calling upon them in rituals and ceremonies, and asking them for supernatural healing. People become possessed by these spirits, where what happens next simply just depends on the priest.
Because Satan loves to take the glory from the one and only God, it seems as though people are indeed receiving healing, and this is the majority of what voodou is used for in Haiti. Of course everyone is seeking healing, it makes sense that this practice has flourished in one of the poorest countries of the world. In other circumstances, sacrifices are made, curses are put upon people, and darkness entails. This is the part of voodou we hear about in America, the voodou doll, curse-making type of voodou.
As our young Timothy began being torn by these two worlds, he came across Psalms 23 in his sisters bible,
“The lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest alley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
He was baffled.
He was specifically confused by the verse, “He makes me lie down in green pastures”.
Fast forwarding to some time in that near future, he had a dream one night that he told descriptively to us.
In this dream, he was surrounded by darkness and disparity.
Babies being torn limb from limb, their hearts being devoured.
He found one of the babies and was able to run away, escaping with it.
As he was hiding with this child, a man with beautiful hair and a large, overwhelming presence approached him and said to him, “it was me that you saved and it is me that you should serve.”
The next day, American missionaries came to his community, told him about the love of Christ, and even more specifically the love Christ has for his children – and with joy, 12 year old Timothy accepted Jesus.
Terrified as to confront his dad with this decision, oddly enough, his father was not angry and actually accepted his new decision. It was only until Timothy came before his father and asked for his permission to get baptized that he was condemned and told to give up his rebellion and submit once again to this satanic world.
For the next three years, this young believer went back to practicing voodou – but never giving up on learning and sharing the gospel in secret whenever he could.
It wasn’t until he was 15 that a movement of evangelists were coming through his community and he sought out the opportunity to go to the alter they had set up. It was then that he fully submitted himself to Christ, in front of everyone, including his father.
This moment of complete surrender was not the end of Timothy’s story – and it definitely hasn’t been the last time God moved radically in his life. He is now integrated into the movement of Pastor Jacksons church in Cabaret, where he is being poured into by the leadership, sharing his story along the way and bringing lives to Christ.
Timothy now shares his story with a confidence and authority – a story that in this country, desperately needs to be heard.
Pray with us for this young man and the many, many ways he will be using his story to tell others about this persistent passion Jesus has to recue every single one of His beloved children.