(This story comes from Pioneers in Southeast Asia in their publication, Commnet). Southeast Asia is comprised of nations like: Indonesia, East Timor, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Laos, and Vietnam. This story took place in a remote village, and a Pioneer worker was there when it happened! Bee had been attending church for a little while. But she had been ill for two weeks, was suffering from stomach pains and headaches and not eating. She was also having brutal and disturbing nightmares.
She’d been to a doctor several times and was taking medication but it wasn’t helping. Pastor Som, a village pastor, asked a Pioneers member to come with him to pray for Bee. “When we arrived, Bee was extremely weak and in pain. As we began to pray, her pain became worse to the point she began screaming and writhing on the floor. When we placed our hands on her, she responded with fits of laughter and anger.
“We continued to pray until she became quiet and fell asleep. After a period of rest, she sat up and thanked us, but soon the pain would return. So we would pray again and then she would rest. This was the pattern for the next four days.”
The root cause of Bee’s problems: A few conversations revealed that Bee and her husband had made a deal with a witch doctor several decades before. They asked for blessings in exchange for allowing spirits to enter Bee. That wasn’t what God wanted—the spirits should be cast out. But this isn’t just a story of casting out spirits. It turns out God was doing something bigger.
During the four days of prayer, several brothers and sisters from the village church came to visit Bee. Most came and prayed, while some provided food and others sang songs.
- One of those who came to pray was a new believer, Jeab. She didn’t know very much of the Bible and her faith still had a lot of Buddhist thinking. But she prayed to Jesus with boldness.
- There was also Lek, Bee’s niece, a young teenage girl. She played Christian songs from YouTube on her phone.
- And then there was Deng, a Buddhist woman who just watched things unfold around her.
“All of this challenged my theology,” said the Pioneers worker. “I thought we just needed to pray. I thought those prayers should come from mature Christians. And, at the same time, I was becoming aware of my own sin. Every time there was a sign of a breakthrough, my heart would steal God’s glory with thoughts like ‘Oh, what a wonderful newsletter article this would make’ and ‘I can’t wait to tell people how my prayers cast out demons.’ Yet as the days dragged on, I became frustrated, and even angry at God that He seemed to be doing nothing. “Yet in spite of me, God was at work.”“The fifth day was Sunday and I prepared to go to church. When I entered the building, standing before me was Bee! She was a completely different person with a huge smile on her face.”
And that’s not all.
- That morning, Jeab, the new believer, told the congregation how her faith had become stronger after praying for Bee.
- Lek, Bee’s niece, said how she couldn’t do anything but play Christian music. It was God who would have to act.
- And the Buddhist woman, Deng, stood up and said that before visiting Bee she was 80% decided on becoming a believer but when she saw how the church family loved Bee and how much Jesus must love Bee, she was now 100% ready to become a follower of Jesus.
Then, Bee and her whole household got baptized.
Jeab, the new believer, also got baptized.
Deng, the Buddhist woman, made a profession of faith and she too was baptized.
“Just two weeks ago a small group started in Bee’s house! On that first day, it was pouring down rain and I was sure that no one would come—but 12 people showed up. Three of them were newcomers, people from the village I’d never seen before. And it was Bee who welcomed them in and prayed for them.
“And God changed me. I saw how beautiful the body of Christ is with its many parts and its’ many gifts. And I saw how amazing God truly is. He was at work in more ways than I prayed for. He and He alone deserves all the glory.”