Bishop Noah Pogoto (c) Photograph: Steffen Bürger (Uganda, August 19th 2017)
Thank you very much. I’m Noah Frederick Pogoto. I serve with Pentecostal Evangelistic Fellowship of Africa- Uganda ( EPEFA-U) commonly known as Elim Fellowship and I’ve been serving as the General Overseer. But in June 2016 I relinquished that office to somebody else that I may concentrate on teaching and training, especially the rural pastors.
I just want to share my own personal testimony where God has got me from. Born in Eastern Uganda in a small town called Pallisa. I am in a family of two boys and two girls and I am the first born. In our family, I can say, we had three religions. We had the Anglican religion, where my mother was, we had the Catholic, where my father was and then our African religion, headed by my grandmother (paternal) who was a witch. And I can say that was the strongest religion in the home, which controlled the whole family and the whole affairs of the home.
We could visit the Anglican church three times in the year. On the first of the year, Easter and Christmas. But the real religion, being practiced in our home, was the witchcraft of my grandmother. Everything was dedicated. You could not go to plant seeds for the new season without performing a ceremony. You could not go for harvesting without performing the ceremony. Even eating of the fresh food, which had just been harvested, there could be a ceremony, to appease the ancestors. This was a reality, because snakes were a part of the family.
Steffen: The snakes have been spirits?
Bishop Noah: Yeah, the snakes were the physical symbols of these spirits which were real in the home and we were told, that they were our brothers and sisters: “Don’t kill them.”
We had a big one which was in my grandmother’s house. And if something was wrong spiritually then the chicken would be eaten. And my grandmother would know there’s a problem.
Bishop Noah: And then they would perform another big ceremony, to appease the major spirit, that there can be peace in the home and that they’ll have more powers and cause miracles.
And many would come from all over that eastern part of the nation and even beyond, to come and be helped spiritually from these evil evil spirits.
And even a newly married was first initiated before the spirits. They could initiate this new lady as a bride, that now this is a wife – has joined our our society, has joined our clan, community and that’s how our life was.
Now time came, when my mom was bewitched and she suffered for seven years. They tried all witchcraft – it couldn’t work, until her friend invited her to church. The pastor prayed for her but she couldn’t be set free. I understood later, because she was an alcoholic, although she was going to church she continued drinking and smoking. Later Alcohol she left but smoking she continued until, one day, she had a deliverance. And when she came back home after prayer, she could behave like a sniffer dog, smelling wherever she had put her witchcraft and cigarettes. And when we burnt all the things, associated with witchcraft and evil, my mom was set free.
Now in the process, my grandmother, who was a witch, passed on. And they wanted my sister, who follows me, to inherit those spirits. But that time I had become a Christian. Although I was young, I said: “No, that can’t happen.” So my cousin – sister took over the spirit. But there too, he was against but because he was still at school, a small boy there was not much he could do, other than praying. But I remember telling my father, that the day I’ll step at that cousin’s house, that would be the end of her witchcraft.
And one time I went home for a holiday, full of the Holy Spirit, prepared and when I reached our compound, the Lord stirred up my spirit and I begun praying in tongues, going to every place where we had made sacrifices. Because I knew them: Onto hills, big trees, where they had put up shrines. At the scenes I began praying over those places, destroying the altars and powers of witchcraft. And that was the end of witchcraft. Then, the devil is a liar, when I went back to school, they brought another witchdoctor to operate from our home. Thank God it was again a holiday. As I got back into the house, I met this woman. I found myself saying: “I want to eat that chicken. I didn’t know, there’s a chicken dedicated to the spirits of this woman. They said: “No no no, you. Don’t bring us trouble here.” (laughing) I said: “No, Greater is HE who is in me than the devil who is in the world.” Then the Lord sent a spirit of fear on this witchdoctor lady, and she took off.
After that my father got sick, very, very, very sick. The demonic and evil symbols were still there. They couldn’t be destroyed, for daddy was still believing in them. But they were powerless. So they tried the witchcraft, to heal daddy, but it wouldn’t work out.
Then they invited the Christians. They were three miles away to come home and pray with my father. When they arrived at home, they said: “Old man, before we pray, we are to destroy the shrines”, to which my father agreed. Because my father was a beloved of the mother who was witch. And that brought the end to that.
And through prayer and intercession, God has been very gracious, that, as I speak right now, in our compound, we have the church. Witchcraft is no longer there. I can say of the whole village: There’s no, no witchcraft. Even alcoholism has been reduced and the children, our children, are coming to the Lord. Whatever they are going for: For studies – we have seen the hand of God. And we are living in a “Two world” which are both a reality: Spiritual reality which is of God and even the demonic reality. Atmosphere is also true, spirits are there, spirits are there. And as a church as Paul said in Ephesians: “We are fighting against forces of darkness in the heavenly places.” (Eph 6), which are a reality. Unless you are in God, nothing can be removed. But with God all things are possible.
Steffen: Yeah thank you!
Any one, who is interested in supporting the Training of local church leadership please contact
Noah Pogoto on:
Tel:+256 753 959935
(c) Bishop Noah Pogoto and Steffen Buerger