Jungle tribesman tells of God's Power

by Andy Butcher

    Former shaman says answer for his people 'is Jesus Christ' A member of an Amazon-jungle tribe renowned for its savagery has told how missionaries have helped break the power of demonic forces that control the group.
    An elderly man nicknamed "Shoefoot," who is part of the Yanomami people scattered through the Venezuelan and Brazilian rainforests, has been visiting churches in the Midwest to share his testimony and tell of how God has changed the tribe.
    "Even though I'm not an educated man and I don't know many things, I do know the answer for my people is Jesus Christ," he told a meeting in Nekoosa, Wis., reported "The (Wisconsin Rapids) Daily Tribune."
    The primitive Yanomami were made world famous by researcher Napoleon Chagnon, whose 1968 anthropological study, "Yanomamo: The Fierce People," is still widely read by university students. The book chronicles the tribes frequent, violent clashes with other groups.
    But Shoefoot said that people who believed the tribe would be corrupted by contact with the outside world were wrong. "They thought everything was OK the way things are. But they're not. The only way to maintain our identity, to survive as a tribe, is if you teach us, if you help us learn that we don't have to revenge kill. We're wiping ourselves out as a people. This is because of the demonic spirits that the people fear and worship all the time."
    A former shaman now in his 70s, Shoefoot told how for many years he had daily contact with evil spirits, and used hallucinogenic drugs, said the "Tribune." When he turned to Christ he was still bound by the devil. "I told God, 'If you want me, you'll have to rescue me from Satan,'" he said.
    "I could not resist. Then, there was a blinding white light, breaking away the chains. And a voice: 'Leave him alone. Now, he's mine.' All the demonic forces fled. And they've never been back. I never want the hand of Satan on me again. I have been covered by God Himself now. I just want to stay close to Him, always."
    Shoefoot dismissed the controversial claim that has dogged Chagnon's work in recent years, that he and other researchers had deliberately spread measles that had helped decimate the tribe. Nor was it true that violating custom by persistently asking members of the Yanomami their names had provoked warfare, he said.
    Shoefoot's account was translated by missionary Gary Dawson, who has lived among the Yanomami for almost 50 years and whose parents began working with the tribe in the 1950s, said the newspaper. Through their work, the cycle of killing and rape has stopped in Shoefoot's village but continues in other communities that have not accepted God.
    Dawson said that when he showed Shoefoot some of the Pokemon trading cards when they first came to Venezuela, the Yanomami man identified the images and names as belonging to "child spirits" who prepared youngsters in the tribe for the evil spirits that would come during adulthood.
   One of those who heard Shoefoot speak, Karen Zwicke, told the "Tribune" she had become a Christian after hearing his testimony previously on the radio. "I don't think people realize the realness of God and Jesus Christ," she said. "Shoefoot's testimony proves God is real."
Charisma May 08, 2002.

I'll Never Go Back - Former Shaman Shoefoot Testimony. You tube 54:48.