An isolated island 400 kilometres from the coast of East Africa, Madagascar suffers from poverty and the majority of people practise old folk religions. This story comes from Bright Hope World, a Christian-based humanitarian organisation working in partnership with indigenous people, which has a vision to see the poorest of the poor become spiritually and physically self-sustaining.
Sonia’s mother was 15 years old when Sonia* was born. She has four sisters and four brothers. Her father’s third wife is younger than her. She grew up in a little village in the south of the country.
At 14 years of age Sonia was married. Her husband involved her in witchcraft and she began to suffer with demon possession. She had constant visions of demons in her head and this blurred her vision. Sometimes they struck her down and threw her to the ground. She became fearful and always had to have someone with her for protection.
Then, one day a team of Christians visited her village and she heard a woman share her testimony. This was the first time she had heard about God. She wanted to know more and soon became a Christian. When she told her husband she did not want to be involved with witchcraft any more he became very angry. He had given the witchdoctor a lot of money over an extended period of time. But, despite her husband’s anger, Sonia threw away the necklace-charm the witchdoctor had given her, and her life changed completely. Her bad dreams ceased.
This was the first time she had heard about God. She wanted to know more and soon became a Christian.
At first Sonia’s husband was supportive, but he became hostile as she was constantly sharing the gospel. Frustrated, he told her he had married her to look after him and then returned her to her parents. They welcomed her home and were very thankful she was healed and not with her husband’s family who had been persecuting her.
Sonia now stays in town with the Christian team and is completing an internship with them. She makes regular visits back to her village to share what God is doing in her life and teaching her through the Scripture that she loves. Her 15-year-old brother now leads the small study Bible study in the village.
Sonia has been taking sewing classes and would like to own a sewing machine so she could start her own business. She is so happy to be free and wants many more to come to Jesus.
*name changed to protect identity
- for people in rural areas, like Sonia, to hear about the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ
- for growing churches to disciple young people in biblical truths
- for the leadership of the country to help lift their country out of poverty.