Rural Zambia lives without running water, electricity, or medical facilities. They live in simple huts, carry water in jugs from the borehole, and farm to feed their families. Due to the lack of resources, most Zambians have at some point turned to witchdoctors. Witchdoctors associate with evil spirits, but they earn their wage by treating the needs of the people with spells and charms. Typically if someone has an illness, they travel to the witchdoctor and pay a fee for a charm to protect and help them. They do this out of habit, convenience, and ignorance, oblivious to the dangers. More often than not, these charms do more harm than good because they are opening up a door for the enemy to attack. Some churches in Zambia have also adopted this habit of wearing charms as a form of protection, and it is not uncommon for witchcraft to appear in churches.
One day in the village we met with this woman (depicted below) and her family. They gladly received us and listened to our message of redemption and reconciliation. All accepted Christ and started a personal relationship with Him. We noticed that she had many charms on her, so we inquired what they were for and where she got them. She shared that she frequently suffers from epileptic seizures, so they had gone to the witchdoctor, but the charms she was currently wearing were from her church. We discussed the importance of trusting God alone, and not turning to other gods or idols. We asked, “Do they work?” And she confessed that they do not have any power over her sickness. After our conversation, we asked if she would be willing to cut them off, declaring that Jesus is Lord of her life. She agreed! So we cut off all the charms on her and her child!
I love her testimony because it depicts what freedom and security we have in Jesus. It is easy for me, as a westerner, to see the ignorance in trusting these charms made of string, but the Lord revealed that the principle this Zambian woman struggled with is the same issue we all struggle with… Do we trust God to be God? Or do we take matters into our own hands? Do we fully believe His character as our provider, protector, and healer? Or do we turn to other gods and idols?
These questions remind me of the account in Luke 8 where we meet the woman with the issue of blood. She had suffered for 12 years, under the care of many doctors. None of them could fix her, but when she had an encounter with Jesus, everything changed. She was completely restored, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. With her particular disease, she was considered unclean, making her an outcast. When Jesus healed her physically, he also restored her emotionally, giving her the opportunity to be with her family again. But He doesn’t stop there, he calls her daughter, welcoming her into the family of God.
Both of these women found healing, restoration, and freedom when they willingly turned to God, trusting Him fully for every need.
This is God’s character. One of His names is Jehovah Jireh, meaning the Lord will provide. So even if you haven’t seen breakthrough to this degree in your own life, believe that God is able and trust Him at His word.