From witchdoctor to witness for God
A member of the Sotho people of South Africa, she was raised to be a sangoma — a traditional healer who communicates with ancestral spirits. After marrying and giving birth to two children, she began sangoma training.
During the training, she was troubled by bizarre dreams. Her teachers said that her ancestors were speaking to her.
When she completed the training, she killed a goat and drank its blood — a ritual thought to seal the bond between a sangoma and her ancestors. She later became ill, and doctors could not determine the cause. They released her to go to her home village to die.
As she languished, Radebe’s sister, Malinge, read to her daily from the Bible. Her uncle made frequent visits and prayed to God for her health. She recovered.
“With a strength found in a growing relationship with the God of the Bible, she recalled how, with the encouragement and advice of her sister and uncle, she destroyed all her potions and paraphernalia,” said missionary Jeff Kenee.
Kenee’s brother, Patrick, oversees a ministry training and equipping program called Reaching and Teaching. Radebe is “a very active, evangelistic first-year student in our equipping program,” he said.
Based in Sebokeng, South Africa, Reaching and Teaching uses materials on evangelism from missionary Roger Dickson, International Bible Institute and World Bible School. The ministry feeds and cares for children orphaned by HIV/AIDS and oversees other benevolence programs. More than 140 people have been baptized so far this year through the ministry’s work, Jeff Kenee said.
The Exchange Street Church of Christ in Union City, Tenn., supports the work. For more information, see www.fundiswe.org.