The father was a sorcerer and a witch doctor. Africans came from afar to seek his advice and his traditional medicines and he had a fearsome reputation. His first-born son grew up in that atmosphere and determined that he, too, would follow that profession. Days of training, revelations of cultural lore and secrets, learning the right incantations and potions – and exacting premium prices (cows, goats, chickens) for his services established his reputation.
Over the years, his reputation increased. He married, established his own village and increased his wealth and position. In fact, he now became a “consulting sorcerer”. Other sorcerers came to him for advice and direction.
His daughter became ill. His potions and incantations were fruitless. She got progressively worse. A number of miles away was the Mission hospital, Kola Ndoto Hospital. Though he rejected the message of God’s Word and didn’t want to admit his helplessness, he ended up taking his daughter there. There she was treated with “modern medicine” and slowly began to mend. There she heard the message of Salvation preached. There the Spirit of God pricked her and spoke to her. There she accepted Christ as Saviour and now her life was transformed.
Because she has previously been deathly ill, she needed an extended period of recuperation and continued observation. Patients discharged from “lying in” hospital had to take up residence in one of the supporting hospital huts. Immediate family came to live with them and provide food and support. Since she was an only daughter, with a number of younger siblings at home who needed the care of their mother, her father came to stay with her. And, one of the requirements of care was to attend daily Bible teaching.
The “consulting sorcerer” resisted the message. But he couldn’t avoid it. His daughter had a positive testimony; the hospital requirements demanded his listening; the hospital evangelist himself visited often. Continued resistance was futile. The Holy Spirit worked miracles in his soul and a positive decision to believe in Christ was publicly declared.
In due course he and his daughter returned home – both now believer and, in addition, she was healed of her illness. ‘Way out there in the bush neither the church leaders nor the missionaries knew what was happening. He, without prompting or external pressure, destroyed all his witchcraft paraphernalia and witnessed to the surrounding villages. They were shocked, but he persisted. They actively ostracized him, but he persisted. A few, hearing the message and seeing the evidence of the change in his life, believed and he began to gather them together into what became a church.
In spite his only having had a 2nd grade education, he was appointed “church evangelist” in his home area. His faithfulness and effectiveness established relationships and credibility. The Word of God prospered under his ministry. Culturally, and because of his old profession, the relevance was his message was felt.
Faithfulness and effectiveness brings recognition. In spite of perceived lack of education, he was chosen to attend the Bible School for special Pastoral Training along with a number of others. Though he had difficulty because of the lack of reading skills, he finished the training and was ordained.
In those days, newly ordained pastors were assigned by the church to the place where they would serve. For some reason, he was asked for his preference. His choice? Kola Ndoto Hospital station, “Where I came to know the Lord and where my daughter was made well.” So, to Kola Ndoto he was assigned.
For more than 40 years, Anderea faithfully ministered there. Hospital patients, many of whom had also come there for help following a witchdoctor’s failures, were witnessed to by him who had been down that path himself. Many came to Salvation during his years there. The influence and scope of the church in the area increased. When the Lord took him home, many, including former witch doctors, came to his funeral not only to comfort the family but to attest to his message of “Life unto Life”. Praise the Lord!