The Demons Believe – and Shudder!

“My dad is a witch doctor. My mom is a witch doctor. My sister is a witch doctor. A year ago I would’ve introduced myself as Shadrack, the future witchdoctor!”

Shadrack Samson never hesitated over the question of what he wanted to be when he grew up. Of course he would take over the family business, passed down from his grandfather to his father and then someday to Shadrack himself.

Sixteen-year-old Shadrack embarked on a grueling apprenticeship. His duties required demon possession himself and loathing Christianity.

One day, Shadrack watched a man approach his house. Shadrack squinted, looked closer, and shook his head in disbelief. “It’s Pastor Hezron Mabamba, that church planter from the Mara region,” he told his parents. “Why would he visit us?”

“We’re not listening to him!” they scoffed.

They sent him away that day, and the next, and the next. No matter how many times they sent him away Pastor Mabamba always came back. At last, Shadrack’s curiosity overcame him.

“I’ll sit with him,” Shadrack thought. “After all there is nothing he can do to me. I have the most powerful demons protecting me.”

The minute Pastor Mabamba spoke about Jesus, a battle tore Shadrack apart. He collapsed to the ground and the church elders immediately fell to their knees.

“We’ll kill him today!” the demons shouted. Their screams brought neighbors running.

But soon the demons themselves ran, fleeing the powerful onslaught of prayers to Almighty God. When Shadrach stood once more, he knew he faced a decision.

“Will you surrender your life to Jesus today?” Pastor Hezron’s eyes pierced the crowd.  Shadrack’s hand shot into the air to the cry of “Hallelujah!” from one of the elders. On Christmas Day, Shadrack marched into the lake to receive baptism along with seventy-eight other new believers.

“It gives me tremendous peace knowing that Jesus now dwells with me and filled me with his Holy Spirit,” Shadrack proclaimed.

Shadrack’s inner peace fortifies him against the battle still raging. After his baptism, the witchdoctors’ committee offered Shadrach time to change his mind. When he refused, they formed a resolution: Shadrack must die.

Shadrack appreciates the shelter Pastor Mabamba’s church provides, but he worries more about the souls of his family and friends than his own safety. He requests prayer for the strength he needs to witness boldly about God’s goodness and his new hope in Christ.

“I know the God of the Bible is strong enough to protect me against anything the witchdoctors will bring my way.”

In December 2020, churches in Tanzania

  • Presented the gospel to 353 people.
  • Led 156 of those people to Christ.
  • Baptized seventy-eight new believers.

Without Pastor Mabamba’s visit to his village in December, Shadrack would not have received freedom from the clutches of the devil. Twelve21 Global’s church planting ministry brings hope to those lost in a world of demonic activity and witchcraft.

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