Shadows Behind Me by Charity Schutte
My name is Charity (Ntombiyethemba) Schutte, a child of the most High God. I am not ashamed of that cos that’s where my life transformation came from. I thank God for my life cos if it were not for Him I don’t know I would be today.
I grew up in a typical Zulu home, my dad was a Bishop in the United Apostolic Church in Zionist. I looked up to Him as he was the pillar of our home. We were 11 children from same parents. Two of my siblings had passed on before I knew them. We were a close knit family, respected one another and obedient to our parent. My dad was very strict and always punished for any misconduct to keep us in line.
We used to gather as a family and pray every night as a family. We always slept late at home and I hated that as I went to bed with the chickens. I went early to bed and every time they woke me up to pray and I hated to be disturbed when I was asleep as a result I hated praying. When I was about 18yrs old, one day it was prayer time as usual and I was half asleep but on my knees, after everyone had finished praying before we said the Lord’s Prayer dad asked me to pray by myself. I didn’t hear him saying the first time but the second as I was still half asleep. I didn’t know what to say but I just mumbled through the prayer just repeat everything I always hear him say. Since that that I started learning how to pray as I was always prepared.
That’s how I learned to pray and slowly I was getting more and started emotional every time and didn’t understand why. I believe how God wanted to prepare me for the time ahead, because praying fighting spiritual battles on our knees. God always answers our prayer in His own time. The only thing God takes time is to test our patience and diligence in praying to Him, trusting only Him, looking and seeking only Him. He’s everything we need, everything we have and has everything we need and want. There’s power in prayer, if we pray according to His will the answer is expedient. It’s important to know God’s word to arm your prayer otherwise you’ll be like shooting empty bullets when we pray.
My dad had outburst of anger sometimes, we were terrified of him. He fought with his colleagues one year and was fired from his job. My mom wasn’t allowed to work so we suffered, poverty strike the family. I couldn’t have bus fare as my school was far from home and I had to take two buses or walk far to get to school. In the cold or rain, no jersey. Had no food to take to school. Had no supper the night before. That’s when I was the mighty power of prayer, my dad prayed until tears ran down his face. I had never seen dad cry before, he poured His heart out to God and the very next day went job hunting, was hired.
In the midst of the storm God was always with us, He Jehovah-Jairrah the Lord our provider. Ps 37:25 I was young now I am old and I have never seen the righteous forsaken or His children beg for bread. It was tough growing up in my house, two bedroom and 11 children you can imaging. We were sleeping in every room in the house except the toilets off course. My dad would borrow loans so he can extend the house and in the midst of it all he would suddenly broke unable to support because his bank cards were in the loan sharks. We’d go out in the field to pick herbs (imfino) just so we can eat and my older siblings finished matric, no money for tertiary, unemployed.
My mom would send us to ask for neighbours as I hated to go as it was an everyday thing. Spirit of poverty never seemed to want to leave our home. I remember my song I used to sing that gave me hope and allowed me to escape my situation. It goes like,” maningakhathazeki ukhona ubaba, izinhliziyo zenu mazingakhathazeki ukhona ubaba”. Means don’t let your heart be troubled, there is a Father. When I sang it my heart content in the midst if it all. I remember that year I was in matric, for two weeks I couldn’t go to school cos my school shoes were so torn beyond repairs. A friend of mine was so gracious to give me her elder sister’s who had finished school. What was unbelievable they were my exact size. I believe that was my God making a way for me to complete school.
That’s just some of the things amongst many trials we went to, I can tell a whole book stories of how God hand was over my life. What I didn’t understand though, as a Christian my dad used to slaughter to ancestors at time when we were suffering. Spiritualist, sangomas, fortune tellers would come and say we must slaughter a cow, goat or chicken and things would be fine. When dad took his retirement and had a feast, slaughtering for my grandfather with beliefs that he will bring good luck unto us. In 3 months R30 000 was gone and we were back to square one poverty. I saw patterns that were not adding up, people coming with intentions of helping but lead us back to poverty. A year later my brother was shot dead in my home. That year was the mist miserable of all.
God blessed me, I never really unemployed for long and I was grateful. I moved out of mom’s house, in two years got married. My life seemed to be going well but lack love and peace. I didn’t disconnected from spiritualist. I noticed these people never said any good thing to me. I always left stressed and depression, I was never content. I occasionally went to church, stopped praying, never really read the word of God except for when I was in church. I still believed in the ancestors and sacrificed to them. I noticed instead of things getting better they went worse. My marriage was not what I wanted it to be, we struggled in everything. My job was stagnant, no recognition, promotion, no joy. Nightmares every night eating and being chased in dreams.
I knew something was wrong with me and my siblings were worse than me. We were bombarded with sicknesses, spiritual attacks, and death in the family. I would have suicidal thought, low self-esteem, and laziness and just wanted to give up on life. I would cry time after time. One day I went to looking for a church house, since I was married to a non-believer we were not going to church. I felt the deep desire to seek the Lord, I went to 4 churches before I could one that was felt home to me. I was back in faith but only active in church, outside the church I had no connection with God. The demonic feelings came back and I didn’t understand why as I was back in church. I had near accident, had charges at work for misconduct, people hates me for no reason. I was miserable, I wanted to end my life as everything became unbearable.
I went to a spiritualist and he told me, “I see a shadow behind you, like a women covered in black following you everywhere you go.” He is the devil is behind you, he want to use you to kill people though accident, he want possess you. He can’t cause you keep going to church and he come in the dream that’s why you’re being chased in the dream. He gave me something to do to stop that but never really stopped. I started googling about the spirits and I was shocked at the pattern that I saw in my only life. All the signs of satan killing stealing and destroying my life were there. I started reading the word, fasting, praying. I was diligently seeking an answer to my problems.
I ran to God, fasted for 7 days, prayed, and poured my heart out to the Lord. I needed to know what was I doing wrong and how must I do it right. I sought the Lord with all my heart and in my distress He answered me. In 5 years 4 people died in my close family and now my mom and I was sick. I prayed and prayed and God was merciful. When the doctors couldn’t find what was wrong with me, I was getting thinner by the day. Al tests results were negative. At the point of my giving up, I was transferred to a new Dr and was able to diagnose me with TB. Years earlier my sister had it at home but survived it now I had it.
My mother had suffering blood pressure, her heart wanted to stop every time she was upset and angry. One day in search for healing, went to a pastor directed by a friend with a hope to heal mom. The pastor started opening scriptures about ancestors before we even say why we came to him. God spoke through him about the root cause of all our problems.
We were resistant to change, I then searched the scriptures and slowly I was convinced to change. I remember the one scripture that hit home in Jer 17:7 blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, who does not look to the proud or in those who worship idols”. We serve a mighty God, always faithful, who is the embodiment of love. He loved us so much that He came to us as God the Son, Jesus Christ. He came for us to have faith, hope and love in Him.
The bible says He never leaves us nor forsake us, He’s always fighting for us every day of our lives. We ought to give praises to Him for all the good and perfect gifts we have are from above sent for the father. God gave me a new life in Him, He called by His name, I was transformed by His word one day at a time. I made it my mission to get my family out of the bondage of believing and trusting in the dead. I encouraged them to trust in the Lord and only Him. My mom has since changed, she’s healed no longer complains of her blood pressure. She’s stronger than ever, we no longer consults anyone but the Lord Jesus, He is our hope of glory. Every day I lie to seek and serve Him every day.
This is to encourage everyone out there that God is alive, Jesus still saves, Jesus still heals only if we abide by His word. We have faith in Him and grow in our spiritual walk with Him. I pray that every situation you, give God control, you can’t fight spiritual battles alone, let your God protect you. Surrender to Him and watch your life transform as Jesus transformed mine. I am now a new creation in Christ Jesus, all things passed away and everything is made new. My mind in transformed, I have faith, joy and love in Jesus. I have peace that surpasses all understanding that guards my heart. I pray that God will see you through your situation today in Jesus name.
Remember to seek Him first His Kingdom and His righteousness and all shall be added unto your life. That’s God’s promise to us, the bible says let everyman be a liar and God be truth. His word is the truth. Read it meditate on it day and night and it shall be well with you, I pray our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ will be with you, He will never leave you!
God bless you!!!
Spirits of the Enemy by Trini Kistan
Greetings in the Name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
My name is Trini Kistan. I am an only son and together with my 3 sisters, we were raised in a town called Verulam, North of Durban South Africa. Our family were devout Hindus, by this I mean we followed all traditions of our forefathers and tried to follow Hinduism to the best of our ability.
My dad worked in South African Railways as a labourer and later became a Tally Clerk. He was also a drug addict and consumed alcohol to the extent that my siblings, my mum and I were physically, mentally and psychologically abused. As much as he committed these awful deeds, there was a side to him that took care of us financially and ensured that we finished school.
In a nutshell I hated school. I hated life and I hated my dad. In my late teens I found consolation in my friends. I obviously had no adult guidance in life orientation and slowly turned to alcohol, drugs and smoking cigarettes. My common way of speech was vulgarity. Having no vision after matric, I did part time jobs to earn an income until in 1988 when I was employed by The South African Railways. A new era started in my life when at the age of 22 I married Resh who was a Christian. As time progressed I started to do what my dad did to my mum and family. My wife, who had never been exposed to abuse, now started to experience it at my hand. Even as a Christian she was forced to obey my religious beliefs and perform all rituals pertaining to Hinduism which resulted in her backsliding from her faith.
In the October 1995 I suddenly became sick at work and could not eat. The symptoms were similar to those of influenza (flu). I returned to work after being off sick for a week and upon my return became sick again. Only this time symptoms of anxiety and depression set in. I began to vomit and lose weight. Sleep could only be achieved through a combination of sleeping tablets and brandy. At this stage I smoked almost 60 cigarettes a day and drank almost every day whilst being sick.
I prayed to all my gods to help me but still remained sick. At this stage I was renting property and my mother suggested I come back home. On my return she realised the seriousness of my condition immediately took me to a Hindu temple. A woman at the temple performed a ritual and by going into a trance like state revealed that someone close to me had bewitched me (in our terminology ‘put muti’). I was cursed to lose my job and get sick. To rid me of the curse I was to buy a whole lot of stuff and perform some kind of ritual. This result still left me sick. I was at this point that I lost all hope. I had been off sick from work for 3 weeks. It was when my employer started to question my absence from work that I contemplated suicide.
It was on the 26th October 1995, at my deepest point of despair, that I turned to my wife and challenged her by committing that if her God would heal me – that I would serve Him for the rest of my life. She reached out behind her wardrobe and pulled out a small Bible that I once threw out the window and she started reading from the book of PSALMS. It was only then that a peace and calm overcame my spirit and I fell asleep without sleeping pills and alcohol.
The next morning I awoke with a new refreshed spirit, but the enemy was fighting for my soul. I told my wife I wanted to go to Church down the road as they are having a service in a little tent. That afternoon we went to the Church. I had developed a terrible fever, something like the feeling of a ball running from my head to my belly. The preacher called me and said to that I have come to Jesus tonight. He laid his hands on me the next thing I knew an electric bolt of lightning had hit me and I was flat on the floor.
When I awoke I could not stand nor walk, the power of God filled me and I was totally healed, delivered and saved. My sickness and bad habits were gone. My vulgar language changed to the language of the Spirit. When I returned to work all I wanted was to see was revival. I wanted everyone at work to experience Gods power as I did. In one years’ time my entire family was saved, and revival broke out at Wentworth Diesel Depot, souls started to get touched as we gathered to pray. This God that we serve is awesome, Blessing and Honour and Power be unto Him.
900 Gram Miracle by Thandi Sabelo
I grew up in a family that loves God. I lived with my grandmother who was an evangelist and we went to church at The Assemblies of God. I was born again at the age of 13 years, but rededicated my life to Christ with better understanding at the age of 26 years. By this time I was passionate about being a child of God, all I wanted to hear and be involved in was about my Father’s business. With my grandmom’s relentless early hour prayers, I guess I had no choice, the hand of God was upon me.
My testimony is about my son, who is himself a testimony. When I was pregnant with my son I had a few complications, in and out of hospital. On my 5th month of pregnancy I was admitted in hospital as my Gynaecologist had recommended to observe me for a day. Shortly after my husband had left for the evening hospital visit, I felt a sharp pain and called the nurse. I told her that the pain was getting worse and I felt that the baby was about to come out. She totally dismissed it as impossible as I was only 26 weeks pregnant (out of the 40 weeks for a full term baby).
For my comfort, she told me she would go get the machine to check my tummy to ascertain what was happening. She had hardly gone for 2 minutes when my waters broke and before I knew it I felt an unbearable pain of a push which was followed by the baby sliding out to hit the end of the bed. By God’s grace the nurse got back on time to quickly snatch the baby before he fell on the floor. By this time I was in too much pain I couldn’t even talk, my gynaecologist rushed into hospital wearing pyjamas. They rushed me to theatre for a clean up, all I can remember was one of the nurses saying the baby “was” a boy. By then my heart sank at the word “was” as the baby didn’t cry.
What was to follow was a 3 months of hardship and pain as our son was in hospital fighting for his life. He had all types of machines all over his body, he weighed 900 grams, not even 1 kg and had hair over his body. His Paediatrician told us in no uncertain terms that his chances of survival were slim. We were admitted in ICU with other premature babies. In the ward there were other mommies in the same situation, we spent long hours in tears as mommies as we were all desperate for the survival of our babies. During this point I literally stayed in hospital, only went home to take a bath and quickly return. Even my maternity leave was extended from 4 to 6 months.
When other babies, who weighed even more than mine started to pass on I took a decision that as a child of God my baby was not going to die. I wiped the tears and started engaging in prayers and declarations. I knew who I am (a child of the Most High) and I knew the power I have in Christ and I wasn’t going to let the enemy steal our God-given gift. I was praying in the parking lot, in the mommy’s room, at the ward, at home, literally my food was prayer. Indeed man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from God. The more I prayed the more the doctor told me negative reports about my baby’s survival. That even if he survived, he would have health complications. By this time I had shut the door to his reports and decided to take God’s report about our baby’s life, which is that he shall not die but live and declare the works of the Lord. At one point, it was hardly an hour after we had left the hospital to go home to refresh when we were urgently called back and told that the baby had stopped breathing. Remembering that the Word of God is power, we are able to send it anywhere and it doesn’t return void. We invoked the same faith used by the centurion when he said Lord just say the word and my servant will be healed.
Our baby started to make lots of improvement and after a month he finally weighed 1 kg, this was such a big achievement that the hospital issued a certificate of 1 kg attainment and we celebrated. Shortly after this achievement, the baby started having growth deficiency illnesses. The more we prayed, the more the enemy was fighting wanting us to give up. When light is about to come, it seems darker. The doctor advised that the baby needed more of my breast milk for proper healthy nutrients. I struggled to have milk coming out from my breasts, which is what my baby needed most. I pressed on in prayers, declaring an overflow of milk on my body and God heard my prayers. Before long I was expressing half a bottle from next to a few drops. My baby was fed the milk through the tubes and survived through the jondisitis and other related illnesses.
A friend of ours, who is now a Pastor came to visit us after a long time to tell us about a dream he had. He was not even aware of our situation when he told us that he dreamt that there was a funeral and we were burying our baby. He prayed with us before he left. We sat up with my husband until midnight praying when we decided to make a request to God that if He would grant us our son’s life we would feed families who are needy. We made this commitment putting our trust in God, the One who never fails. Since then we have never looked back on being God’s gloves to the needy.
Having made effective and all kinds of prayers for our baby, including the commitment, we got to know Dad as a Faithful God. Miraculously the child’s machine breathing statistics went up, which meant he didn’t need breathing assistance of machines anymore. Shortly after this he recovered from all sorts of illnesses caused by the premature birth. Before we knew it we were packing our baby’s clothes and were discharged. Since birth, I only had held my baby twice in my arms. You can imagine the cold place it was every day to go home without my baby but God, My Father, Restorer, Healer, Provider made a way where there was no way.
As a result of our miraculous experience, we told our story to many other mommies who were in the same situation as ours. We would even get yearly invites from the hospital to celebrate our boy’s birthday with them and the nurses would shed tears at the sight of my boy remembering that ours was a lost cause. They called him “Miraculous Baby”. Our situation was really for God to be glorified and we continue to share our testimony in the different platforms. I wouldn’t have grown in prayer and fellowship with the Holy Spirit if we didn’t have such a painful situation. Indeed I know I am strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Today my boy is a healthy 10 year old who is in grade 4.
We give all the glory to Our God Almighty! I love Him more than I love myself.
God Bless. Thandi
JESUS!! You are going to have to come and get me…..
I was born into a Hindu home, to a very young inexperienced mum and a very determined father. My mum was very submissive and off course my dad ruled the roost with an iron fist. My father hated religion ….so we in fact were non practicing Hindus. We had no names for the gods we were supposedly serving. They were never mentioned to us by our parents and neither were we taught to go to the gods for things we needed or required. My dad taught us that hard work and perseverance will get you wherever you needed to go. He would teach us daily about truth and tenacity…..and would often teach certain life lessons like “if you fail try again”; ‘failure is a stepping stone to success’; “a rolling stone gathers no moss”; “good fences make good neighbours’; …these were few of his favourites. So from hereon as children we all focused on being good and living up to what we were learning. And life as we know it was normal…..until that terrible day on the 12th of March 1997 …our lives were turned upside down. My mum met with a tragic accident that claimed her life, she was only of 34yrs old….and there was 5 children …with me being the eldest.
From hereon I was no longer a 19yr old teenager but ….was thrown into the adult world caring for 4 younger siblings and my dad. And I had still continued with my tertiary studies…I was in the 2nd year of my studies and decided to pursue my dreams as well. My life revolved around my studies and my family….I had no social life like a normal teenager….then again I didn’t know what was normal anymore and I was far from being a teenager. So I just carried on …..with the new routine. I carried on like this for 5 years …..with no help from elders……just us kids against the world.
I had graduated in 1995 and started my first job immediately with a good company. And the same routine carried on…but now I was raising 4 teenagers…and (due to the financial constraints my dad chose to work 18 hrs a day – to provide for us) it was tough and the demands of work and home took its toll on me. My best friend began to see the effects of the burnout and had invited me on a weekend away to Mooi River.
That weekend changed my life forever. Unbeknown to both my friend and I, there was a church retreat at the same venue. On the Sunday morning we planning to leave…I was approached by 2 ladies (from the church group – one later became my mother in law) and one of them told me she had a dream about me….and she saw a light behind me ….she used the word “glory of the Lord”…I off course did not understand what that meant. Anyway after that encounter, we had breakfast and was getting packed to go back to Durban. For some strange reason I wanted to go inside the church for the church service and I beckoned to my friend to come with.
The minute I stepped in…..something began to happen to me on the inside…(it was March and up in Mooi River it was freezing cold in the morning) but I was feeling uncomfortably warm. The worship team began to sing “a pure heart” a song I never heard before…but somehow I connected with me in strange new way. And as the preacher began ministering on the love of Christ and about the heart attitude of a Christian…….he was looking at me strangely after a while…he looked straight at me and called me to the front….my legs turned to lead, when I realized he was calling me ….and he told everybody to look at me and that the Glory of God was all over me…so like an out of body experience I walked down the stairs and got to the altar…..in front of me was a huge stained glass window and through it, I could see Mooi River flowing and I also saw some bucks hoping around and on either side of the chapel in line with where I was standing was 2 huge wooden doors and these doors were opened. And what I experienced next was out of this world. The preacher started to pray for me …and asked me if I wanted to surrender to Christ and I answered No No No….and the wind that was coming through those two doors began to blow right through me and that is when I realized my cheeks were wet with tears so was my shirt and unknown people were giving me their hankerchiefs to dry my eyes…..the tears never stopped (from that Sunday morning until Wednesday night)…I cried and cried for 5 days…..my boss at work felt so sorry for me she asked one on the technicians who was a Christian to come to my assistance….and he took me into his office and explained this is the work of the holy Spirit. And then I remembered that when I was leaving Mooi River that Sunday after lunch time, I said to Jesus, “I know about you …..you gonna have to come and get me ..I am not coming to you”. (I think I also was worried what my father would say…he didn’t want us to be gullible and believe smooth talking religious people)
And come and rescue me is exactly what the Lord did……on Wednesday evening I sat my dad down and explained everything that took place and told him the only way I would experienc some kind of peace is if went to church. And God bless his soul….he said, “I can see how this is affecting you…you must do what’s best for you”.
I had seen my grandmum on countless occasions go on her knees and confess she is a sinner (she was a Christian)…so I did just that I went on my knees and welcomed Christ into my life. And I went to bed…when I got up in the morning the tears had dried up and I contacted the church I had met in Mooi River …I needed directions to their ministry and have not looked back from that day forth. Today my whole family is faithfully serving the Lord…and my passion for Christ is greater than it ever was.
All glory to God: