A couple Christmases ago, Kyle was new the Himalayas. He was a short-term missionary still acquiring a sense or orientation in the radically different culture. A shopping errand took him to town, but God had another reason on his agenda for Kyle’s venture. He passed a noisy crowd gathered around a girl, obviously demon possessed. She was screaming and forcefully breaking the chains by which she had been bound – exhibiting supernatural strength, far beyond her natural abilities. A witch doctor was attempting to drive out the spirits and bring the girl calm, but with no success.
At one level Kyle was certain the problem was spiritual and the solution was Jesus. At another level, confronting demonic activity of this type was new territory for him. So, he observed the happenings, and passed on by. But deep inside, he felt a call to return to the girl and offer prayer. Eventually he did return. He offered to pray for the girl, but the witch doctor was skeptical. He smiled and showed Kyle a long list of sacrifices that were required by the girl’s family in order to appease the gods – and of course, to pay for his services. He expressed doubt that Kyle understood the power of the spirits in the girl.
Kyle was steadfast. He persisted, asking for permission to pray for the girl. The witch doctor yielded, certainly not realizing what was about to happen. Kyle, still unsure, on new territory, prayed in the spirit, in the name of Jesus. As he did, an amazing calm came over the girl. Suddenly, she was completely free.
“Where do you live,” the bystanders inquired. “Who are you?”
At 5:00 a.m., the next morning, Kyle was awakened by pounding on his door. He opened it to find some 70 folks outside. In the pre-dawn hours, they were bearing torches, asking him if “Jesus lived here?” It was the name he had use in delivering the young girl. It was by his authority that peace came over her and into her. The crowd wanted to see – Jesus.
At the first site of the torch-bearing crowd, he had assumed that the girl must have had a relapse, so they were coming to kill him. But that was not the case. They had brought a number of sick people and wanted Kyle and his friends to pray for them. Kyle recalls, “It was amazing. Everytime I laid hands on someone, I knew exactly what to pray, and every person for whom we prayed was healed or set free.” The more Kyle and his friends prayed for those in need, the more folks in need showed up. From 5:00 a.m. in the morning, until 8:00 p.m. that night, they ministered to a steady stream of needy people. They estimate that they prayed for at least 3,000 people.
In a very short time, an estimated 10% of people in the area have become believers. They are now organized into house churches. Kyle smiles and reflects, “I wonder what would have happened if I had ignored the voice telling me to pray for the girl on the street that day?”
Sometimes the main thing is not the main thing. Sometimes our plans are not the ones that God uses at all. He has the plans – he just needs the people who hear and obey his voice.
Adapted from JoelNews International