A Living Testimony
by Neilja Harewood
The Day Satan Lost
By the end of this testimony, you
will probably be laughing at the sequence of events that led up to "The Day Satan
Lost Our Family." It all started with my mother. Mom was the youngest of 8 children
from a prominent family on a small island in the Caribbean. As children, they all attended
Sunday school, then service with my grandparents.
My grandmother died when mom was 12 and her dad married a not so nice woman.
Nonetheless, my mother was able to grow into the wonderful person she is and always has
been, even before giving her life to Christ.
One important fact I should mention is that many people in the Caribbean believe in, while
others actually practice, the art of Obeah (also known as witchcraft, black magic or
voodoo). Though our family was not involved in it, I can remember overhearing
conversations between the adults about some bizarre occurrence they had heard
.the type of stuff you might see on The Twilight Zone.
By the time my dad started working with the Naval Air Defense, I was already grown with
children. They moved into a brand new house in Philadelphia and had not been there long,
when strange things started happening. For example, they would smell unusual foods cooking
in odd areas of the house; hear unexplainable noises that were not necessarily eerie; and
my brother, who was about 6 at the time, began acting very, very differently. Even his
Pekinese acted weird.
As a result of her research, mom found out that their house had been built on an Indian
burial ground. Since I didn't live there and my parents are not social
butterflies, I was never able to determine if other homeowners encountered similar
My dad, though he acknowledged something was happening, opted to totally ignore the entire
situation. Mom, on the other hand, had no intention of living with whatever was in the
house and resorted to the only course of action she could think of.
Somehow Mom obtained the name and telephone number of a Haitian woman who lived in NY and
was supposedly well known as a voodoo queen. The woman came to the house and
did whatever they do and left. Things were fine for a little while, then it all started
all over again.
When Mom finally reached the woman again, she was out of the country and couldn't come
personally, but could tell Mom what she had to do.
Fortunately for her, (or unfortunately, depending on whom you ask) my aunt was visiting at
the time. So my mother, with my aunt behind her, my brother behind my aunt, the dog behind
my brother and my father bringing up the rear, set out to "clean" the house. I
wasn't there to see what they encountered. However, I can assure you they have no reason
to lie about their experience.
That afternoon, while in my apartment in Brooklyn, I received a call from my mother and
aunt. They told me about being physically attacked by something that was not visible to
either of them. Mom received numerous scratches on her shoulders, neck, and face. My aunt
was shoved down the stairs causing a pretty nasty bruise on her tailbone. When I saw her
in October, 1998 she was still complaining about feeling soreness around that area.
When I saw them that weekend, Mom's scratches were still quite visible and my aunt was
walking and sitting quite gingerly. What really made it sad was that they incurred these
battle scars for no reason whatsoever Whatever Satan had loosed in the house was greater
than Mom, my aunt, my brother, the dog and my father combined with the instructions of the
Since we're not talking about anything as extreme as the Exorcist, my parents continued
living in the house. Some of the things, I thought, were a little funny. For example, at
night when my brother went to bed Mom would tuck him in, say his prayers with him (as she
had done with me as a child) and she would close his bedroom door behind her as she said
goodnight. Once Mom left the room, the Pekinese (who I ultimately nicknamed the 'demon
dog') would climb into my brother's bed, get under the covers and crawl to the foot of the
bed, where he slept. The 5-6 lb. dog would act like a rottweiller if anyone attempted to
enter the room while my brother slept. If it was ever necessary for my parents to spank my
brother, they would first have to lock the dog up or he would go absolutely insane. All
the time my brother just kept acting stranger and stranger.
I don't recall exactly who or when it was, but someone told Mom that Satan could not drive
himself out of the house. Only the power of God could help her.
Though nightly prayers had always been part of Mom's routine, she started giving it some
thought and, eventually, decided to go in search of God. After a while, she found a very
small, but growing, spirit filled church with an anointed man of God as their pastor. She
told him about the occurrences. So he and his tiny army of saints came over to pray for
God's blessings on the house and its occupants. By this time she had already accepted
Christ as her Lord and Savior with faith that was growing stronger with each passing day.
Need I say that now that Christ was a welcomed guest, Satan moved...real quickly. The
occurrences stopped and, regretfully, the "demon dog" died shortly thereafter.
My dad died some 20+ years later after struggling for a long time with his walk. However,
Praise God, he did eventually accept Christ's salvation before he died.
Two years later Mom retired and moved to the suburbs of Orlando, FL. She calls it 'God's
At 65 years old, her only concern about this move was her hopes of finding a nice church,
close to home. After all, she was one of the founding members and had been very active in
the same church for 20+ years. By now the congregation had grown to over 3,000 members. So
that was a major concern for her.
The fact that the only person she knew in Florida was the realtor (via telephone) and she
had been there only twice before her move (the first time was when she flew down to select
the site and the house and the second time was when I met her there for the closing). Her
third trip was a few days after she retired and we both headed south on Interstate 95 with
the moving company's truck behind us. None of this was of any consequence, because she
knew God with her entire being. That was about 4 years ago.
The mother, 'anti-social butterfly', is now on the Board of Directors of the Homeowners
Association of the sub-division. It's comprised of people of all ages and races
the newly married with young children to the retired couples. She is very active in the
community. If her neighbors don't see her walking her dog (I recently got a Maltese for
company) every morning, they ring the bell to make sure she's all right. I rest
comfortably knowing that there are people nearby, that truly care. You can't imagine how
peaceful it is to know this, particularly since I am on the opposite end of the country.
As for the church. God is GREAT! She's found another small and, once again, growing house
of worship that's less than a mile from the house. Believe it or not, she even likes it
more than the one she left behind. Our Lord God Almighty has rewarded my mother's
absolute, unwavering, blind faith in Him, once again.
I know you're not laughing yet, but wait
the best is yet to come.
Had Satan left Mom alone, she would have continued to live, like so many other people who
are genuinely good natured, kind-hearted people that, if asked, would say they are
Christians. Yet will have no understanding how they wound up in hell.
Poor Satan was too stupid to know that my mother was not about to tolerate his nonsense,
even during her life in the world when she wouldn't have know to attribute the problems to
him. He never expected she would seek the GREAT ONE. And, because of what came to be a
strong faith and belief in God, he ultimately lost the rest of her immediately family,
some of her brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews as well some of the many people whose
life she touched over the years.
Now, this is where it gets funny.
About 8-9 years ago, prior to dad's death, God revealed her ministry. He spent time
preparing her and, though she did His bidding, she prayed and begged Him to reconsider His
decision (she says it's physically draining). She even thought that possibly, once she
moved to Florida, He might give her the answer she had been asking for. Well, He didn't,
so she stopped asking. You see, His plan was to use her to combat that which initially
took her in search for His face. And, as always, His plan is perfect.
Satan really blew this one. He permitted his presence to disturb the wrong person this
time and it ultimately cost him a lot of souls. The one he messed with has turned out to
be an armed soldier, whose job is it to boot him out where ever and whenever our Lord
tells her to.
For years my mother has had a powerful deliverance ministry.
That is how satan lost our family...my mom and dad, their children and their
grandchildren...three generations doing His bidding.
For those of you who don't know Him, I have no words that are sufficient enough to express
the joy and wonders of serving a loving, living God. It's one of those things you just
have to experience yourself...and I pray that one day you do.
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