Barren ex-sangoma finds true blessing comes from the God of the Bible
Mntlanzi Masango, also known as Elina, blamed God for her family's poverty until a miraculous change happened in her life.
As she worked instead of going to school, Elina recalls thinking that "God had other families as His favourite while we suffered". She believed that the ancestors would save her family from poverty.
Elina and her husband were initiated as sangoma traditional healers in the 1970s but when she did not produce children he suggested they divorce.
"We did not realise at the time that our quest for children was God's way of motivating us to search for Him to love and be our God."
While this was all happening, a Christian friend invited Elina to a Christian tent meeting.
"I went with the intention of proving the man of God wrong," she says.
She went dressed in her traditional ancestral attire, with the beads and hairdo of a "sangoma initiate" to state her opposition to the Christian preacher.
When the preacher asked if anyone needed prayer Elina went forward but refused to accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour of her life.
"I don't want Jesus, just a child," she recalls saying.
The next day Elina angrily told her Christian friend, "I wasted my time there." The women calmly gave Elina a Bible, but she later threw it away. "I wanted to fight, beat and humiliate her," Elina confesses.
During the conversation with this woman a Bible verse stuck in Elina's mind: "Blessed is the man whose trust is in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him (Jeremiah 17:7)".
When Elina read that verse again at home, she says, "God began to speak to me. It was like my eyes were opened, the words I read troubled me. I saw my sin: the hate I had for God. I saw how crooked I was, how wrong I was because I blamed God for my barrenness.
"My heart broke and I cried out for God's mercy and forgiveness," Elina recalls of the moment she finally accepted Jesus as her own personal Lord and Saviour.
In response to God's truth Elina burned everything in her "ancestral laboratory" so there would be nothing left of the false gods she had once worshiped.
Having given up her livelihood to serve the one true God, Elina's husband told her to choose God or him. She prayed, chose God, and he ordered her to leave their house.
Later that day some church members came to their house and prayed for Elina.
After one of the men talked to her husband Elina was amazed when her husband asked her if they could hold a church revival service at their house.
"My husband put my bags back in the bedroom. During the service the next day he trusted in Jesus as His Lord and Saviour," Elina says joyfully.
Not long after this Elina became pregnant with their first child, a boy, followed by another boy and two girls.
"My marriage was healed, my husband was found by God's love and God proved that He is able to do the impossible," she explains.
"When my husband passed away he went to be with the Lord Jesus because he was a believer."
Now in her 60s, Elina is still going strong with the Lord and visits hospitals and prisons weekly to tell people about the hope, forgiveness and blessings that Jesus brings.
"I tell people about their rebellion against God," she concludes, "That salvation is true and healing is there. What is impossible with people is possible with God."•