Devil Possession and Baptism

August 2 2012 / ShareHim in Dominican Republic B, Jul. 6 - Jul. 21 '12 #563
by Karen Schneider

Personal Testimony of Karen Schneider.

Unlike my other Share Him companions, I am not preaching in a Hispanic church. I am preaching in a Haitian church that’s primary languages are French and Creole. Haitians are considered foreigners here in the Dominican Republic. There is great predigest towards them, but they come to gain work experience in the resort and tourist industries. Knowing French and Creole, they quickly learn and see the need to know many other languages; such as, Spanish, English and Russian. I would like to share with you one of my experiences with these beautiful people.

It all started the first Saturday night. There is a large step from the ground to the front porch of the church. During my sermon I heard screaming and a commotion. I assumed that someone had fallen off the step and had injured themselves. It wasn't until the next night that Pastor Batiste informed us that there is much singing and praying before a meeting because they want to make sure the Holy Spirit is present before I start preaching. Many individuals that come directly to the Dominican Republic from Haiti have a problem with Voodoo and devil possession. The interruption during the meeting the prior night, was not someone falling, but the appearance of two demon-possessed women.

The Pastor went on to explain, that even though these individuals have committed to being baptized, the demon continues to harass them until they go under the water during baptism. He had been at ones woman's house until 2 A.M. removing instruments of the Devil from her home and praying for her until the demon subsided in his torment. Once calm the woman had no idea what had occurred. While Pastor Baptiste had four people ready for baptism, he wanted too baptize these two women before the rest, because these two ladies were demon possessed.

I don't know what I expected, but Karen, the Share Him Coordinator, had been preparing me for several days of what was to come. After I preached and the meeting ended on Wednesday, we went to a nearby Hispanic church that had a baptistery. Only a handful of people came from the Haitian church to the Hispanic church for the baptism. I wish there would be more people. Why? I knew I could feel God’s power in numbers and we needed God’s power to fight the devil.

The first woman seemed dazed as she went into the water with an almost drugged calmness. Afterwards her face seemed to relax. The second lady did not go into the baptismal so easily. She was obviously possessed by something beyond her control. It took four strong men and one woman to hold her in the door way of the baptismal. She would rotate between screaming like an animal, hissing, and laughing. Many times she would hit herself in the head with the palm of her hand, hard and frequently. Once baptized, she walked out of the tank on her own with a look of exhausted relief.

Obviously what I was seeing was a shocking experience, but what made the most impression on me was how the Pastor and the handful of members handled the situation. The Pastor called us up front to stand next to the baptismal. The members lifted their voice in song and prayer. There are no words to express how this process seemed to bring the Holy Spirit into our presence, giving us protection from the demon coming out of this woman.

When I shared this with a close friend, this was her response "Wow! Did you EVER think you would not only see such a thing, but be a part of it! And you're right, we in this country have no idea what spiritual struggle really is. We think it's a matter of working our 'beliefs' into our everyday life without having to give up to much self in the process. As you have witnessed, there is so much more to evil then 'devil's food cake.' “

I find the Haitian people I’m preaching to similar to people in the US. I could immediately pick out the First Elder, the Head Deacon, the Song Leader, and the lady at the back who’s always there quietly helping behind the scenes. But the fact is these people deal with so much more than I ever have in the US. From this experience, I can tell you that the Devil is real, but God is all powerful. If he can free a woman from the clutches of a demon today, he can give you strength to deal with your suffering and peace to know that he is in control.
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