Testimony of James, former priest of the voodoo delivered by Jesus Christ.
Narrated by Bill Rudge.
The testimony you will read is simple and poignant. He does not speak specifically of voodoo practices as the convert lived them. The story goes to the essentials and focuses on conversion.
In the midst of attempts at a coup d'etat, embargoes, political uprisings, excessive poverty and the oppression of voodoo, the Spirit of God is still operating powerfully. The following texts are the compilation of the words of people who have witnessed the conversion of a voodoo sorcerer. The texts cover facts gathered during five missionary trips to Haiti. He was known as the most feared man in the community; a killing machine that tortured people with voodoo. His name was James, known as "the voodoo priest" (better known as a sorcerer). I met him personally during my first mission to Haiti. He lived with a woman near Mission Possible.
Apart from what Leila, my interpreter who served as a missionary in Haiti, had told me about him, I knew little about James when we first met. Leila tells me that she had to narrowly save a baby that Jacques was about to sacrifice a few years earlier. Another story concerns Idelette, a beautiful Haitian girl who worked in the fields of mission. Her mother was deeply involved in voodoo with the sorcerer Jacques and she feared that her daughter Idelette would reveal her husband's voodoo practices. His job at the mission was just as distressing to Jacques.
One day, those who were at the Possible Mission heard cries of distress and voodoo tams-tams. Some of the missionaries looked through the wall of the mission and saw that James had tied Idelette naked to a chair and struck her, using burning coal to consume the spirit of religion outside her. He had nicked her head with a machete and forced her to drink animal blood and deny Jesus. She refused to renounce Jesus.
I asked the missionaries why they had not intervened. They told me that it is against the law to interfere in a voodoo ceremony and they feared that the voodoo practitioners would all come to death with machetes.
Thus, I was given the opportunity to meet people who could attest to the terrifying power of darkness. However, I knew from the Scriptures and the years of experience that God's power was superior. It is this wonderful power of God that is referred to in this story.
Meeting between the sorcerer Jacques and Bill Rudge. James and I met only for an hour that day; but it was enough to plant the seed of God's power in him. I asked him pertinent questions about voodoo that he could not answer clearly. I told him how God had transformed my life. I was convinced that God had compassion for him. The Spirit of God led me to share Christ's love with gentleness rather than a message of strength. So I spoke to him with love and the message was consistent. I told him that the spirits that gave him powers and instructions were not gods but demons. I warn him that the spirits would get rid of him like a waste as soon as they no longer need him. "When they do, the only one who is powerful enough to help you is Jesus Christ; then summon Him! » ; I said. James replied that he was not ready to give his life to Christ, but accepted that I would pray for him. The seeds of truth were planted. For the next two years, they were watered by Bettie, director of the Possible Mission, who greeted James with "Jesus loves you!" every time they met. The Lord was working in James' hardened heart to the point that he was so excited when Bettie announced my return to Haiti. One night, shortly after my arrival, Jacques came to see me at the mission.
The conversion of James.
I was leading a team of seven people on this second mission to Haiti. We were listened to in several churches and schools, including the most remote schools few missionaries had had to visit. We went from hut to hut, making ministry and offering thousands of kilos of food to several communities living in the mountains. This time was the one foreseen by God for
The day after we returned, I went to Jacques' house with other team members. I stood in front of him while Rosemond, the interpreter stood by our side. Jacques was much taller than me. I shared the Word of God based on Revelation 20:11-15. I made him understand that he had to give his life to Jesus Christ so that his name would be written in the Book of Life, otherwise he would be eternally separated from the presence of God.
After a fairly long sharing of the Word, I told him that I would return the next day and that we would have a Bible study together. I didn't want to press him for a decision, but he was the one who held me back so that I could pray for him. I believe that he had cast many evil spells on me for the last two years, but as he realized that they had been ineffective and that I had the courage to show him the love of God, he wanted to know the God I was serving. So, during prayer, I mentioned the power of Christ as greater than that of Voodoo and renounced the implications of James in voodoo, he sincerely repeated after me.
At that moment, Jacques' hut was surrounded by people waiting; some men had crumpled faces of hatred. Their eyes seemed burning with anger. During this trying situation, I remained focused on Jacques and little attention to anything else. The pages opened very quickly while some members of our team prayed, and others played with the children to keep them occupied. My wife later told me that when she started praying outside, she felt the presence of a strong evil power that almost brought her down. It was by quoting the Scriptures that she found peace. She had asked for a protective belt around the hut and presents.
The destruction of the objects of the voodoo cult.
Jacques led me to an inner room where all his voodoo tools were kept. He lit a candle in this dark room and began to collect all the voodoo figurines, fetishes, leaves and all the other objects in order to burn them. The presence of the Spirit of God was so powerful in this little cell that I said to others, "Let us get down on our knees." At the same time, Jacques, together with Rosemond and two other crew members who had joined us, we got down on our knees and I made a prayer of consecration of James' house to the Lord. As James gathered the objects outside for destruction, about 100 villagers had gathered there. James even took out the shelf on which he placed his equipment. Rosemond looked for dry herbs, found a neighbour who had a lighter, and everything was consumed by fire. Jacques returned to the hut and unearthed a few bottles. An inverted cross that was in his yard was burned. Jacques uprooted a plant 'Aloe and Vera' which he used for processing and casting spells and threw it into the fire.
We have never felt such a great power of God. It was like a chapter in the Book of Acts. With the help of the interpreter, I say to the people who made a large circle around the burning voodoo tools near James' hut: "You might want to know what is going on today. The God who created the heavens and the earth revealed himself to James and James decided to dedicate his life to him."
The immediate aftermath of the conversion.
My daughter Tabitha and another sister on the team saw two men with machetes and a man with a piece of lead pipe running away. Their nostrils and eyes smoked with hatred and anger.
I knew that James was going to be severely persecuted or even killed; then I tell the crowd that I would conduct a Bible study the next day and in the same place. I went to the men who seemed the most respectable and told them that I hoped to see them coming. They accepted the invitation. Bettie later informed me that the whole village and the whole community were talking about it. Later that night, James came to the mission on his own and joined the songs. All at the mission praised God for the obvious miracle He had performed that day in The Life of James. The next day, James gave us the testimony that God had begun to take care of his heart for two years already, after I had spoken to him. So when I returned to Haiti, he made his final decision: give his life to Christ and destroy all the objects of his ancient practices. Bettie testified that it was the greatest miracle of that year.
We learned several days later that someone had wanted to rent Jacques' voodoo services for thirty-five dollars. As he had converted, he had given up the benefit and returned the thirty-five dollars. James was now a new man. Bettie's testimony on the conversion of James. A fax from Bettie to the possible Mission headquarters in Florida, titled "A Saved Sorcerer in Haiti," said: The air was thick and heavy when large flames burned brightly behind the concession. The voodoo gods were being burned. For miles around, people were talking about it and getting closer to the fire site. "He converted!" he said. When they heard the news of the conversion of the sorcerer Jacques Innocent, some came to the scene with great joy, others with machetes. What a miracle!
Bill Rudge left two years ago. During this stay, he asked me to arrange an interview with the sorcerer who tormented us many times. This man was known as a villain and even a criminal. Bill had asked him a few questions, he had told her that he loved her and that Jesus loved her too. He had prayed for himself. From that day on, I would stop and greet him every time we met. Sometimes he would answer, other times he would not.
When Bill came back this week with a group, he asked to meet Jacques again and I arranged the appointment. When they met again, Bill told him about the Lord. He accepted with tears of joy. James remembers the man who had taken time for him and added that God had worked continuously in him since then.
The flames were his message to the community that he had made his choice. He burned cards, potion-jeanne ladies, pearls, feathers and figurines. The last thing destroyed was the plant 'Aloe and Vera' which was in his yard. It was the basic product of his potions. After the destruction of all these things, god's power was majestic. When our Haitian partners found out, they danced in the kitchen saying, "James converted! Jacques converted! ». Testimonies of James after his conversion.
This is what Jacques himself said in his testimony in the neighbouring village: "If there is anyone here who does not know me, it is because he has been here recently. I used to operate in this district as a wizard. You looked at me as your god; but I'm here to tell you that I'm not your god. ». He then pointed his hand to Heaven and said, "My God and your God is up there. ». He went on and shared what had happened to him and explained how his conversion had affected his life. Immediately after his testimony in one of the villages, a man came forward and said that he wanted to have what James had. Soon after, when the Gospel was announced to James' mother, she too replied that she wished to have what James had, for observing her son's life, the change was remarkable.
One of the men who had a machete and wanted to kill us on the day of James' conversion converted to Christ after several years of observing the changes in James' life. I have no doubt that Jacques' conversion has affected many lives in Haiti and that there will be many Haitians in Heaven as a result of his conversion.
Since he decided to follow Christ, James has endured much suffering for the name of Christ. He has gone through many difficulties but he remains faithful because the truth of God's Word has liberated him. He perseveres because of the love and power of Christ that are greater than what he had known in his misdirection.
Testimony of Bruce, several years after Jacques' conversion.
During my fifth mission to Haiti, more than ten years after Jacques' conversion, Bruce Lozier was part of the team. It was a powerful journey in the midst of much turmoil and danger. Jacques was with us to make ministry. Bruce writes: "During James' testimony, he talked about some dreams he had made. One of them was before his conversion and the other after his knowledge of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The first indicated that a white missionary was coming to tell him the good news of Jesus Christ. In the dream, he was told that if he did not accept Jesus as Lord, he would soon die. His dream came true when Bill Rudge's team returned to Haiti and Bill had the grace to lead James to Jesus Christ. It was also the beginning of a long friendship between the two men. His second dream said that Satan came to him and promised to make him very rich; but as a condition he had to renounce Christ and serve him. As proof of submission to Satan, he had to plunge his hand into a black hole. James had refused and his answer was that he was consistent in everything he said: "I serve Jesus now."
I heard many stories about Jacques before I came to Haiti and I was happy to know him and hear him give his testimony. I was very encouraged to see how God has completely transformed this man's life. ».
Bill's word to conclude.
It was as if it were only yesterday that we met James when he was soaked in voodoo and occult superstitions. God has really changed his life. Many other things happened as a result of James' conversion; but there are too many of them to appear in this article. God's grace and power still touch lives through the light of his testimony. I've met many voodoo wizards in their practices. The power of Christ has always been manifested as superior and Christ's love always touches them in one way or another. End of testimony.