No death in Africa is considered merely a result of accident or sickness. People often believe that someone is behind it practicing witchcraft. Margaret believed this about her infant Daniel. Daniel's parents were very poor and would leave him with his two siblings at home while they looked for food. The children would feed the baby with hard food while Margaret was away. As a result, Daniel's health rapidly deteriorated. His parents did not realize what was happening. By the time he was six months old Daniel had not put on any weight. He was unable to move normally and his colour was unhealthy.
Margaret lost hope in her son's survival because of a terrible situation. People told Margaret that her mother in law used witchcraft to kill Daniel because she did not want Margaret to marry her son. It is a taboo in Margaret's culture to confront her mother in law. So Margaret resigned herself to her fate and waited for Daniel to die.
About this time we (Changing Times) held a medical camp in the Kibera slum where we have a clinic. As the medical camp went on, Canadian visitors asked to visit some families in the slums to see how they lived. While visiting one of the beneficiaries, we heard painful cries from a child next door. And we heard the mother say, “ Kwenda kwa watu wenu ndio wanataka ufe.” "Go to your people, they want you dead." We were shocked and asked what was happening.
After praying with the family we were visiting, we demanded to see the child we heard crying. It was Daniel. Margaret resisted us, but we persisted until she opened her door to us. After looking at Daniel we had her bring the entire family to our clinic. All the children were malnourished. Margaret signed an agreement with us to bring the children for check-ups and give the children food supplements which we provided. We gave the children milk, peanut butter and soya protein every two days.
Margaret continued to face a lot of heartache. Her husband left. The relatives totally rejected Daniel. They said that when he dies they will not even attend the funeral. We encouraged Margaret and were determined that Daniel would survive. Daniel's weight improved within two months. His started moving his arms and legs. After 6 months Daniel could sit without any support and had started crawling. The first day the Margaret saw Daniel get up and stand she confessed, "Jesus is really the Lord!" Soon Daniel was on his feet walking.
Daniel's life has brought the family back together. His father repented and is now following God. They have rejected their tribal beliefs in the power of witchcraft. At Changing Times we thank God for saving the three children in Margaret’s family. And we are so happy they received Christ in their lives. We are excited to say that Margaret has also completed our tailoring course and is now ready to open her own shop!
- Changing Times Worker, Kenya
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