At the recent conference for Christian chiefs in Northern Ghana, we heard testimony from the Dussi Chief, from a village in Upper East Region. I tried as much as possible to write this down verbatim and will pass it on to you in his own words.
He started by saying “If you are going to be a Christian, BE A CHRISTIAN,” and then the story began:
“In the 1970s World Vision sponsored my village and did so for 8 years. In 1983, Pastor George from the village of Zuarungu came to minister to the mothers and children at our clinic and paid a courtesy call on me. We went into the Scriptures for about three hours and the pastor dragged me to the front of Christ. Pastor George went and organized some other Christian brothers to come back to speak to anyone who was interested in hearing his message. Mostly the young men and children came to hear the pastor.
“Beware of the devil and his manipulations! The evening the pastor was to speak in my town, my beautiful daughter, who was married and living in a nearby village, died. Her mother-in-law had gone to market leaving her at home sick and for some reason my wife decided to go and visit her that day. When my wife got there she found the daughter very sick and returned home to get some things to go and take care of her. By the time she got back, our daughter was gone.
“Prior to this event, I had invited a soothsayer to empower me. I had given him a ram, bull and heifer. He was there before the pastors came, feeding well in my palace and his job was to see to the welfare of the family. When the news of the death came the soothsayer was resting comfortably in my house and I questioned myself , ‘If he is to be protecting us, how is it that he couldn’t see this coming?’ As the family went to the burial I sent the young men of the house to tell him to leave and not come back. Beware of these people! You know them!
“On July 8, 1984 I was baptized. Other churches were let know that a baptism was planned. It was a big gathering. The Chief of Teli came with his people. I was told I had to give up all connections with idols. I heaped a huge pile together in front of my palace and saved two large bottles of petrol. I sent the young men to search every corner of the palace and anything related to idols they should bring out. It was all there outside the palace gate and as the believers were singing and dancing around, I poured on the gas, lit a match and there was a big explosion!
“What did my people think? They didn’t think I was serious. I hadn’t told them I had planned to follow Jesus. Others were surprised when visitors started to come from all over for this occasion. So we went to the local stream – myself, others and the pastors – and were baptized. People thought the idols had power and that something would come from the heap to destroy me. They reasoned that if I had come to the position of chieftaincy by contesting with 20 others and if I had all this witchcraft I was a strong man. Surely something would happen when the fire was set but nothing did! I knew that God had preserved me to become chief and not those idols.
“The day I became chief, my wife was ripe with pregnancy. People were saying ‘Alright, you’ve given yourself to the Lord. See if she delivers safely.’ The next morning as I dressed in my smock, labour pains came and the birth was as simple as simple could be, the Lord being faithful.
“People thought I would die suddenly, but I did not want or allow any soothsaying to reach my ears. Fortunately for me, no shrine was in my care. I was free indeed and trusted in the Lord only. I’m now 77 years old. I’ve never really fallen ill. I know Jesus and Jesus knows me in and out – better than I myself. He is my physician.
“But Satan did not leave me alone. He instigated a faction to rise up against me. I went with my family to harvest dawadawa (a spice from a special tree) and that faction came with bows and arrows to attack us in the bush. I was resting under one of the trees with a group of elders when I saw them coming. One of my young men sneaked back to the village to raise and alarm that if they didn’t come quickly we would all be wiped out! My people came armed and shooting started. The Lord is great. He is my defense. I had to go and pick up a young man that was wounded and yet I wasn’t hurt. The people were saying, ‘He burnt his arrows (witchcraft) but the power is in him! But I told them it is the power of Christ that is within me.
“Two people died and I along with six others were accused of killing them. We were taken into police custody and the seven of us were condemned to death. We were six months in the Navrongo prison. We were handcuffed and whipped. There is power in Jesus! The other six were worried but I was not because I knew I had done no wrong. The pastor visited us regularly and told us to rely on the Bible and be praying. I had the confidence to remain cool. We were awaiting hanging or the firing squad but we made an appeal and were sent to Accra. I told my people to be calm. When we went to court I was the only one who could understand the proceedings (note: he is a teacher and speaks English). The enemies’ counterparts were in Accra and would come to the court to listen to what was happening. We were there in the prison awaiting the judgment date which finally came. Three appeal court judges sat on the case. The charges were dismissed by all judges. Finally they said, ‘Dussi chief you and your people have been set free!’ The judges condemned the police and lower court judges saying they didn’t know their left from their right. When I got home to my village and asked about the troublemakers I found they had all left town. I gave glory to God!”
The Dussi chief concluded his talk with his hand pointed to heaven saying, “You are my armour, my provider, my rock, my fortress. I hope in you alone. Beware of the frauds. Jesus in the only power. Trust in Him and Him alone! Don’t tempt Satan! You know what you are about. Hold on to your faith! I faced powerful witchdoctors who have tried to destroy my life but the Lord has allowed me to see that they have failed. Be strong in your faith!
Many eyes were full of tears at this moving story of God’s intervention in the Dussi Chief’s life. We all left the room sobered by what we had heard from this giant in the faith.