Today I talked with a voodoo priest about Jesus.
His name is Johnny. He lives in Blanquette, which is a beautiful town on the top of the mountains. This is also where his voodoo temple is.
I met Johnny in the Christian church that we came to visit in Blanquette. When Johnny heard that we were in town, he came to the church to see us. He knew some our of group from previous years. Bob (our mission team leader) introduced me to Johnny, and let him know that I am a pastor. He was very interested in this, and we immediately started talking about following Jesus.
Johnny says that he believes in God and Jesus, but is unwilling to give up practicing voodoo. He even admits that he knows that he should, but he’s afraid of what might happen if he does. He says that he gave up voodoo once, but his voodoo spirit made him sick because of it.
Johnny is also afraid of what the people he leads would think if he became a Christ-follower. He’s afraid that they would desert him, or even worse. He feels an obligation to them. I let him know that many of them probably would desert him, but that he was in a great position to actually share the true gospel with many people, and that many of them would likely follow Jesus as well because of their respect for their leader. This seemed to resonate with him.
Johnny took me and a small group of us down the road to his voodoo temple. It was simply a large empty room with several wooden doors. I was told later by members of our group that had been there before that some of these doors contained voodoo dolls and even human skulls.
I asked Johnny what their voodoo services were like, and he said that they came together twice a month to drink alcohol, dance, and fall to their knees and faces as they cry out to the voodoo spirits. I told him that if he would follow Christ, then he would receive power from the Holy Spirit, who is much stronger than these voodoo spirits (demons). He asked if I could pray that the voodoo spirits would leave the temple. I asked if I could also pray that his voodoo spirit would leave him, since he was the priest of the temple. He was reluctant at first, but he agreed. We asked him what the name of his spirit was, and he said it was Lucifer. We prayed for John, that Lucifer would leave him, and that all of the evil spirits would leave the temple, and that God would protect them and draw them all to know Jesus. John seemed to appreciate all of this, but when I asked if he would now give up practicing voodoo, he replied, “Not yet.”
I’ve never met anyone in the United States that has practiced voodoo, but I’ve met many people who cling to idols, whether it be their alcohol, drugs, food, sports, laziness, anger, or any other thing that they cling to instead of fully embracing Christ. Jesus spoke with one man whose idol was money.
“Jesus said to him, ‘If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.’ When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” (Matthew 19:21-22)
This describes so many of our friends, family members, and neighbors. They often say that they follow Christ, but when it comes down to it, they would rather cling to those things that are most important to them.
It might even describe you. If that is the case, I urge you, give whatever it is to God and follow Christ only.
Please pray for Johnny. He’s so close to trusting in Christ, just like your neighbor next door.