Sylvere was like any other average teenager. He loved hanging out with friends and playing football. But in 2018, while in grade 8, his world turned upside down.
One day after school, while at home at the dinner table, Sylvere’s dad, Jacques*, noticed Sylvere laughing hysterically to himself. At first, they all thought he’d seen or overheard something funny. But he didn’t stop laughing. When his dad reached out to him and tried to calm him down, Sylvere suddenly stood up and stormed out of the house.
“I didn’t know what had happened to my son, and I ran out after him, but he was gone. When he returned home, he didn’t talk again,” recalls Jacques.
That was the beginning of Sylvere’s illness. His parents tried all sorts of medications to no avail. They were told that someone had cursed him, and the only way to remove it was to go to a witch doctor. Jacques took his son to a well-known traditional doctor. He was given charms and told to hide them in different corners of their house, and that would chase the demons out of Sylvere. He complied for the sake of his son. But the charms didn’t work – in fact, they made it worse. By the age of 15, Sylvere dropped out of school and ran amok in the streets. Nobody knew where he would run to or what he got up to until he returned at dawn.
He was taken to a mental hospital, where they locked him up in a room and sedated him. After a couple of months on medication that didn’t work, Jacques decided to bring his son back home. That day, Jacques met a friend who advised him to go to a nearby church, where he had heard of an evangelistic outreach taking place. “I was exhausted on that day. The doctors had told me there was nothing left to do for my son but take him home. I felt hopeless and had already given up. My wife encouraged me to give it one last try and take him to that church. I was very reluctant. I had heard many stories of people whom churches had scammed by false teachers.
When we got to the church, we were greeted by a group of evangelists who were praying. They immediately started praying for my son. While praying, my son screamed and shouted and moved hysterically. The more he shouted, the more they prayed. Suddenly, he stopped moving. One of the evangelists talked to Sylvere and asked him a question, to which he responded verbally. I was in awe. It was my first time hearing my son speak for three years. I fell to my knees and immediately repented.”
Sylvere is now delivered from the demon possession, and he is slowly but steadily coming back to his full self. We thank God that he is now back at school.
Jacques is grateful to the evangelists who prayed for his son. He has vowed to burn all the charms he had in his home and start attending church.
This took place during the annual summer outreach run by GLO Partner, Harvest Initiatives.