True Freedom In Jesus



     I never heard about Jesus while I was growing  up.  Our village in the tiny country of Benin in West Africa refused to allow Christians to enter.  One Christian church tried to establish a mission there once, but village leaders drove them out.

     When I was 13 years old I went to visit my mother’s relatives in another village.  To my great surprise, I found some of my uncles and aunts listening to a young man who was speaking about Jesus.  I sat down and listened with them.  This was the first time I had heard anything about Jesus, and I was profoundly impressed.

     I returned home overjoyed with what I had learned.  In my zeal to share what I had learned, I went so far as to discredit voodoo, our country’s major religion, saying it was powerless.  Immediately someone informed my grandfather, because I was staying with him.  My grandfather didn’t say a word to me then, because he was preparing himself for a big voodoo ceremony, during which food was presented to our ancestors, who had supposedly been fasting for many years.  On the day of the ceremony I refused to go near or touch anything associated with the feast.  My grandfather ordered some men to grab me and beat me for my refusal to take part.  Three days later they beat me again.

     I was put out of Grandfather’s house, but because of my young age, I was taken back under the condition that I would not practice Christianity.  Then my aunt, my Grandfather’s youngest daughter, became seriously ill.  They tried all the various occult remedies and ceremonies, but my aunt remained desperately sick.

     In desperation the family asked some Christians to pray for her, and she recovered.  Healing has great power in our minds, and Grandfather consented when my aunt wanted to become a Christian.  This opened wide the door for me, as well, praise God!

     I visited several Christian churches in search of the one that taught the truths of the Bible.  In searching, I discovered a Christian radio station that taught the whole Bible.  At last I had found what I was looking for!  Now the burden of my heart is to reach others in my village and in my country who still suffer under the influence of evil spirits and don’t understand true freedom in Jesus.

Akouta Sylvestre