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‘Moody Radio Kept Me Going’

Jenna, a Louisiana native, has experienced two radical truths firsthand: the dark evil of voodoo and the life-changing power of Jesus Christ

by Anneliese Rider  /  June 25, 2024

Moody Radio listener Jenna has experienced two radical truths firsthand: the dark evil of voodoo and the life-changing power of Jesus Christ


* Names and location changed for safety reasons

Jenna* met Jesus Christ after she’d already conceived a child with a man devoted to voodoo, and her story is far from over.

The father of her children still worships demons, her relationship with her own family is rocky, and she has an unending pile of bills—but Jenna’s faith in God is firm, and she trusts in Him and His plan for her life.

The truth about voodoo

Shawn’s practice of voodoo hadn’t alarmed Jenna when they met years earlier when Jenna was 23. She’d lived the party life herself and even dabbled in Santeria, a traditional African mystic religion.

When Jenna was 27 and pregnant with their first child, a son, she and Shawn moved in with Shawn’s family, and things started to get increasingly weird—scary, even.

“When Shawn and his family had parties they would become possessed, and their behavior would change,” Jenna says. “They would become violent and reckless, cussing, yelling, speaking in other languages, even touching hot pots and pans with their bare hands without being burnt.”

Whoever was possessed by the “ancestor spirit” also predicted the future and shared secrets.

“I would secretly be praying, asking God to please not let me become possessed like them,” Jenna says. “On the outside I would pretend I was fine, but inside, this terrified me deeply.”

Jenna’s parents, who hailed from the Dominican Republic, had raised her to respect God. But it wasn’t until she attended church with a friend during this season that she heard the gospel for the first time. Her uneasiness melted away as the pastor taught about Jesus.

She shared the gospel with Shawn, but, blinded by darkness, he wasn’t interested. Meanwhile, Jenna’s mindset changed.

“I began to understand that voodoo and Santeria are pure evil,” she says.

From bad to worse

Jenna accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior and was baptized, but everything in her life grew worse. The darkness in Shawn and his family caused them to lash out at her constantly, even after Shawn, Jenna, and their son moved out.

Jenna became worn down by the persecution and discouraged at how church, her own mother—and even Jesus—didn’t seem to be helping improve her situation. Eventually she gave up on her newfound faith and let anger take the driver’s seat.

Meanwhile, the couple had another child, a daughter, and Shawn continued to perform rituals in the garage of their rented home. He started traveling to Haiti once a year to see a witch doctor. He always returned more controlling, obsessive, and selfish.

One day Jenna’s son said he was scared of Shawn, but he was also afraid of his mom because she was always yelling and starting fights.

“I tried explaining to him that I needed to fight back because no one was fighting for me. My son said, ‘Jesus is fighting for us,’” Jenna recounts. “He made me realize that I was wrong, and my retaliatory behavior was only adding fuel to the fire. I began to pray again for God to help us.”

A lifeline on the air

This prayer represented a turning point for Jenna’s faith, as she rededicated her life to Christ at age 34. One day, flipping through radio stations on the way to work, she found Moody Radio. It became a staple in her home. The messages from programs like Kurt and Kate Mornings, Running to Win, and The Urban Alternative gave her strength and courage to carry on in her relationship with Shawn as a witness of Christ’s love.

“Moody Radio is what kept me going because the Lord would speak to me through Kurt and Kate telling me to hold on and be patient through my circumstances,” Jenna says. “Jesus gave me peace that I can’t understand.”

Marc Durkin, producer of Kurt and Kate Mornings, talks about Jenna’s communications with his team.

“Jenna texts regularly asking us to pray for her home situation,” Marc says, adding that her messages often reference spiritual attacks on herself and her children. “She regularly prays for Shawn, and she is ready to walk through whatever trials and tribulations come her way because of standing firm in the Lord and praying for him to be saved.”

A pact with the spirits

Soon after the renewal of Jenna’s relationship with Christ, Shawn returned from a trip to Haiti totally different. He had no patience, only cared about money, and began drinking, smoking, and staying out till all hours of the night.

“I knew something wasn’t right,” Jenna says, referring to his behavior and the sudden drastic improvement of their finances. “I spoke to him about his behavior one night, and he admitted that he made a pact with the spirits he served so we could be rich.”

With a chilling finality, Shawn told Jenna what the spirits wanted in return: a sacrifice—another child that he would have with a woman of Haitian descent. The child would be dedicated to voodoo and likely become a witch.

Devastated and horrified, Jenna listened as Shawn told her that when he’d arrived back from Haiti, a woman approached him that he believed was to be the mother of this child.

“Shawn apologized and said he had no choice; he was born into this religion and he can’t escape it,” Jenna says. “He broke down crying, which I had never seen him do. He begged me not to leave him and said he would fix everything.”

Waiting on God

Over the next few days, Jenna cried and wrestled with God about Shawn’s total enslavement to sin—and her own future. Finally, she surrendered and asked God to take full control of her life and the lives of her children.

They plugged into a local church again, where she continues to attend and is open about her situation. The church has become a source of constant encouragement for her as she receives support from a body of believers. Together, they are asking the Lord to soften Shawn’s heart so he repents and comes to Christ.

Jenna’s story isn’t over yet, she admits openly. She talks of her own struggles and Shawn’s captivity to sin, devotion to voodoo, and continued relationship with the Haitian woman.

But, unlike before, when she tried to solve everything on her own and it didn’t work, now Jenna holds onto the hope that she has in Jesus.

“I am still going through the hurt, pain, and troubles, but I am not alone,” she says. Through her trials, she has learned about the importance of getting help in abusive relationships. But her certainty that God has called her to this journey while others may have a different journey gives her peace.

“I have a Savior who can move mountains, and I will endure whatever I have to endure because I know my journey is not finished. I am learning to be still and let Jesus align every aspect of my life to His plan.”