War is upon us.
Lk 11:20ff >”But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed. But when someone stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away from him all his armor on which he had relied and distributes his plunder.
Dan 2:34f > “You continued looking until a stone was cut out without hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and crushed them. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed all at the same time and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.”
Luke Martin, 21, good kid from Oregon – meets Singanga.
His first week has been interesting.
- Arrives Thursday noon. Rest from travels.
- Friday night – overnight party with Zambian “associates” who join us for fun, training, then village work. Luke is on the dance floor with the others (not Regina – definitely not Dan!) – our waxed living room floor – doing his break dance imitations!
- Sat – first taste of the village. He goes with Mike who gives “live orientation” – how to greet (a little clap of hands, a Lozi tongue twister, a slight bow while continued clapping, then a handshake while holding the right elbow with the left hand – it really comes natural after a while!), how to eat (with hands), introduced to headman. “I love it! I am sooo excited!” is his impartial opinion.
- Next week Dan and Regina need to go north, so Luke goes out to the village for the week with fellow intern Jon. Oh my!
- They camp at Ruth’s – a cluster of huts with about 15 little kids and 6 adults. Many of the kids are vulnerable – living with a single mom or grandma without support.
- They bring some ingredients, but just eat with the family, sleep in their tent between huts, wrestle with the kids, pray and share Bible stories with them – incarnation – “God became flesh and dwelt among them…”
- Wednesday night Jon and Luke spend the evening out on our “island” by the river, praying up a storm. It is powerful. They are filled with God’s presence and overcome by His Holiness. They had no idea what battle they would be waging this night.
- They were woken out of a sound sleep – a lady has drunk poison and needs to go to the hospital in town! They throw her in the truck and take her 45 min to the hospital, only for her to revive and tell everyone she did not drink poison. As they head back to the village after midnight the story unfolds – she has been attacked by a spirit. Earlier in the evening she was in a screaming argument with a neighbor that escalated out of control; as she turned to go in her house she was confronted by a huge, dark shaped evil spirit that grabbed her and strangled her. She knew nothing after that…. As soon as they got back to the village she again went into a mute flopping madness. They began to pray for her – Nimisha, Jon and Luke – none of them seasoned experts at demon bouncing, but all with a deep assurance that God really can and should win this contest of wills – if only Lord, somehow we can be pure vessels of your power – filled with assurance of your Ultimate-ness, enforcing with authority the boundaries of Your Kingdom that extend to “every place where the sole of your foot shall tread”. At one point she seemed to regain some sanity, though not her voice, and sitting up she looked at them, but then in an instant she looked behind them at some horror that sent her fleeing if it were not for the speedy grab of her heel by Jon. By early morning they were all spent and drug themselves home – hoping they had exorcised some of the thieves, but a bit discouraged at their inadequacy to finish the job. (It seems in the morning the friends took her to a visiting “Pastor” – a kind of spruced-up witch doctor– he charges for his prayers and esoteric knowledge of a curse someone has cast. It is so maddening! He prays for her and she is fine. At least I thought they might mention – “Luke, Jon and Nimisha we know – but who are you?” The war is not finished yet, I’m sure.
- Friday night is All-Night-Prayer in the village! Africans are used to this stuff! Six of us Love’s Door zealots, six young Zambians from town, and another six or so from the village crowd into the freshly completed Children’s Home and have hours of power reminiscent of Biblical shaking times! Most of us have been fasting with an expectation of breaking fast together sometime in the evening, but we get so caught up in our spiritual banquet that it would only be at 2:30 AM before we took a break to eat some physical food. We marched thru the dark villages at one point and warfare was the point of the Spirit’s Sword – binding, loosing, standing against and standing for. We are all very aware of our enemy’s power and cunning – but more aware of our Captain’s present campaign to transform this place for His renown!
- Saturday the duel was called: because of the lack of rain in the village, a man wants to come and pray to his ancestors over the grave on our property. The Spirit of God rose up to the challenge and led us to oppose. We stated that he could not come onto our property to pray, because God was going to send rain! If God did not send rain by Wednesday night, then he could come with our blessing. Since then we have had more confirmation that our words were not just presumption, and we are standing in faith for God to show the villages that He does reign on earth as in heaven if we will but ask.
“If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sins and heal their land.” ~ God.
Will you stand with us? Ask God to show Himself strong thru us. We need to grow in our confidence to heal and cast out demons – we face this continually. We are trusting God for so much right now, and yet I often feel tempted to put my hope in subtle human methods to accomplish our ends, rather than in Christ alone. He is sharpening me and all of us here – to really, really trust only Him for all things.