Whoonga; The New and Evil Drug of South Africa
Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?”
In Luke, we find Jesus healing a woman who had been crippled for eighteen years. She had been bent over in an awkward position for all this time. Jesus had met her on the Sabbath in a synagogue. Jesus put his hands on her and immediately she stood up and praised God.
The synagogue leader and other parishioners became angry because Jesus healed her on the Sabbath. To which Jesus said; Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?”
In this amazing statement by Jesus, it wasn’t just that He fought back about healing on the Sabbath, but that he blamed her illness on Satan, the dark force of evil. Evil that had caught this woman eighteen years earlier, and despite all efforts, it took the hand of Jesus to heal her.
Evil comes in many forms, in this case crippling a woman.
But like all of the stories in the Gospel, this story is remarkably transportable to the 21st century. We certainly have evil in this world. In comes in the form of addictions, bad life habits, depression and bad decisions.
As I was reading this verse, I instantly thought about addiction, to alcohol and drugs. I am not sure why, but this is what stood out for me in this story. I am sure others would focus on the grumbling about a healing on the Sabbath, and they would be right. It is one of the messages of this story. But addiction stood out for me and particularly, the onslaught of new and more dangerous drugs that have emerged. Evil that catches it victims and relentlessly keeps them trapped.
In my research, I discovered a new drug, I had never heard of before, called Whoonga. A particularly addictive drug that is crippling people in Africa. It is so addictive, that one hit of the drug will hopelessly entrap a person. Turning a productive life into a desperate daily search to find money to pay for the next hit. In this search, I found a recovery story about a woman named Sesy.
Miraculously, Sesy has been drug-free for more than a year.
This mother of one was now looking to turn to college. She had been hooked on a Whoonga, for a couple of years. A drug that is a cocktail mix of low-grade Heroin, cannabis and rat poison. It is first smoked during the early part of the addiction.
Sesy, stated she was prone to experimenting and trying things new. When her friends introduced her to Whoonga, she quickly agreed. And as she tells the story, she was immediately hooked.
Over time, her family noticed substantial changes in Sesy. Changes like quitting her job, sudden disappearances, and especially loss of weight. They got Sesy into a rehab program sponsored by The South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (SANCA) SANCA was set up to provide resources to those with limited resources to fight drug addiction.
Sesy, described her withdrawal time as more painful than childbirth. Bouts of nausea and unrelenting body aches. With the help of SANCA and her family, she made it through to recovery.
There are not many stories like Sesy’s. Most people addicted to these new drugs can’t win the battle of withdrawal. Trapped by a drug they no longer like, but desperately need. They have become modern zombies. Their deep wish of being drug-free is not as great as the drug addiction and the sickness of withdrawal.
Each year evildoers create more addictive drugs, cocktails of destruction. People get deeply entrapped and ruin their lives. In fact, ninety percent of those trapped have an underlying mental illness and they use these drugs as a form of self-medication. Then as they drift down into addiction, they become outcasts. A vicious cycle and descent.
Even in America, this drumbeat of evil is accelerating.
Today, if you are under the age of fifty, the leading cause of death is through an overdose. Fifty thousand people a year are dying from an overdose. Worldwide almost half a million people a year die from drug overdose.
When I was younger and a teenager, I would hear every night about the numbers killed in Vietnam on the nightly news. Yet today, when more people are being killed worldwide by drugs than the whole of the Vietnam war, I wonder why isn’t this worldwide crisis made more public.
We will hear about the Corona Virus, and the arguments between petulant politicians on the news. But the rise of these evil drugs goes unnoticed. This is why I write about drugs. While I am a mere pebble causing a very small ripple, I pray that more becomes published about this vicious preying on innocent souls.
I can only ask and pray that Jesus finds these people, like the woman crippled by satan, even if it is on Sunday, and touches them. I know there are Christian warriors, like my friend Gary Frieze and Lou Strugala, who have given up successful careers to tend to the addicted. But they fight a lonely battle.
Evil does exist and cripples’ people.
Listen to the Full Podcast – Whoonga; The New Evil Drug of South Africa
Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman
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