Life's Little Detours Pt. 6 - In the Eye of a Storm
Last Update: Feb 2, 2016
The first three children to be born to my parents were girls. I cannot imagine the joy and jubilation in the family when a male child finally arrived. You see in our culture it is believed that it is the male child who carries on the family name. The worst disaster that can ever befall a man is to die without a son to carry on the family name. This fact was demonstrated clearly in our neighbor’s family. This family had two daughters and no son. Being a true African family, they desperately needed a son. Rumor had it that they visited every possible witch-doctor in search for a son. Finally, the wife became pregnant and gave birth to a son. The boy grew and developed like any other child. After seven months, he was sitting down. After one year, he was crawling. However, for ten years, he never developed beyond crawling and never talked and he died. The family was devastated. But, it is understandable
Probably, like this family, my parents must have desperately been looking for a son because when he finally came, they gave him a name that suggested that he was refusing to come. Names in our community are given, primarily, depending on the circumstances.
However, it was believed that there was a witch who for some reason was not amused with the jubilation in our family. So when my mother became pregnant again, she was given three bananas by the witch when the pregnancy was about five months. She peeled and ate the bananas but she immediately felt nauseated and vomited. For the next two years she was seriously sick, or so the story goes.
Was she taken to the hospital? Why would anyone go to the hospital while there were so many witch-doctors and when the source of illness was known to be witchcraft? It was not a viral, bacterial, or any other scientifically explainable disease, but clearly a case of witchcraft (this was a pervasive view in that community). She was treated by numerous witch-doctors in course of two years. She is said to have been too sick to do anything for that period of two years and for those two years she never lost the pregnancy. It sounds unbelievable. I personally find it too unrealistic to believe, but my parents and my grandmother convinced me that it happened that way. I have no way to confirm it, but knowing what I know about spiritual warfare, I know anything is possible. After two years, she gave birth to a baby boy and gave him a name which means the one who suffers! What a name! Thank God for my grandfather who came around drank and gave me a name which means stiff. That is my name to this day.
Throughout my life, I have wondered why the devil wanted to destroy me before I was born. Did he know something about my future or was it my parents he wanted to frustrate? Why would he want to frustrate them while they were his servants? Most likely he knew something about me that he wanted to destroy but we cannot be sure for these are questions we will not be able to answer until we get to glory.
My maternal grandmother was a local witch-doctor, one of my uncles’ wives was a witch, and in the whole spectrum of the extended family, Christianity was a foreign concept. I was born into a devil’s stronghold, but thank God, he had a purpose and a plan for my life. But why did he have to take me through so many little detours before the realization of that purpose? He is God and we cannot ask him questions so we just accept it by faith. To be continued . . .
It is on the roughest ground and stormiest environment that the strongest trees grow. Congratulations on the fulfillment of your journey.
What an amazing story, Joseph! Thanks so much for sharing it with all of us. I'm fascinated by stories of witchcraft and the supernatural. I find it amazing that you managed to escape the bonds and become a Christian. I too, look forward to your next installment.
Thanks for sharing, Joseph. Really fascinating. I imagine, if you keep yourself open to the answers you seek, they will come.
My father is Native American and we also have a story in our family (not as interesting as yours, though). Supposedly someone tried to curse my grandfather, but he was too strong. So the curse bounced off him and onto my father. This resulted in him having to go to the hospital (appendicitis and the realization his blood lipids were high). Everything turned out okay in the end, though.
Looking forward to your next installment, Joseph. =)
Fascinating story Joseph. I think most cultures went through this at some point. Maybe we can get a little insight from our friends in the community on this. On the whole very true of our African cultures, east, west, southern. Brilliant post and thanks for saying it so well.
Wonderful blog and I feel lime I am back there again!!!
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You will get all your answers--all of us will get our answers-when we get to glory. I feel pretty sure that God plays no tricks except for on Lucifer. Big tricks headed his way.