February 21, 2012

Deliverence for Patience

I wanted to share an encouraging story about what God recently did.

Patience is a 15 year old female who was admitted to our hospital one evening.  She was totally disoriented and was suicidal.  Her husband reported that for a month or longer she was refusing to eat, was having visual and auditory hallucinations, as well as various delusions. 

The next morning when I met her she was lying in bed with an apathetic expression and a hollow/blank look in her eyes.  I sensed that there was a spiritual problem present rather than a medical one.  As I evaluated her, I noticed a red string around her neck which held an item blessed by her religious leader.  (Many people here wear a string around their neck or waist as a way to protect themselves or ward off evil spirits.)  She was part of a cult that did not believe that Jesus is God, but rather their prophet/leader was God.

I said through the interpreter, “This necklace cannot protect you, only Jesus can protect you. This is not helping you.  Can I remove it?”  After hesitating, she agreed.  I broke the string and threw it away.  Then I asked if I could pray for her and she reluctantly agreed.  I prayed a prayer of deliverance over her and wrote an order for the chaplains to come pray with her as well.

The next morning, during rounds, I saw Patience, but she was a totally different woman.  She had already eaten breakfast, and was peacefully sitting up in bed, smiling.  The change was so dramatic it was amazing. As I sat on her bed, she immediately said in English, “Thank you.  I am free.” I excitedly replied, “Jesus did this!  Jesus set you free!”  Her nurse told me that her confusion, hallucinations, and suicidal thoughts were all gone. Patience told me that she prayed to my God the night before.  I was very excited for her and proceeded to thank the Lord for delivering this young woman.  Since she lives near the hospital, I invited her to come to our church and said she could even sit with my family.

Seeing what God did with Patience has been invigorating.  It reminded me that Jesus came to, “heal the brokenhearted and set the captives free.” 

February 8, 2012

Go Go Goi!

My boys and I had a cultural lesson today.  One of our fellow missionaries set my boys down, to explain some important things about the Shona culture and their homes.  Every home has a front area (or veranda) that is very important in how it looks.  Each morning the woman of the house is out on her hands and knees scrubbing and waxing this area until it shines.  This means that shoes are taken off before even reaching the veranda and not at the door or even inside the door.  The flowerbeds around their houses are free of trash or plants (you don't want any nasty critters living in them) and even the dirt area before the veranda is swept neatly.  No matter how the house looks inside it is a matter of respect and duty to have the entrance looking presentable. 

This is why, when you go to a house, you stand at the entrance (not the door) and call out, "go, go, goi!"  This is the same as our, "knock, knock, knock!"  You do not enter the home, or even step up onto this highly waxed area, until you are acknowleged or invited in. 

This reminded me of the verses in Revelation 3:20, "Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me." Christopher's purpose here at Karanda is to fix broken bodies, but the only true healer is Christ Jesus.  Christopher constantly is sharing with his patients that all he does is temporary, but only the Lord Jesus Christ can heal completely and eternally.  He stands at the door of our hearts and calls out, "go, go, goi!"  All we have to do is invite Him into our lives and into our hearts.  The wonderful thing is, our entrance doesn't have to be perfect and well swept before He calls out to us.  But once He is invited in, He cleans us up from the inside out and we can be "whiter than snow" (Psalm 51:7).  The inside is what matters most. 

Jesus does not push His way in.  He waits until He is acknoweledged as Lord and Savior.  We are here at Karanda to share this tremendous truth with these people whom we are learning to love and greatly respect.  There are many who know of Jesus, but few who really know Him and have Him in their homes and lives.  Please continue to pray that Christopher has opportunity to share Christ with his patients as he treats so many who are dying from cancer or AIDS.  Karanda has some wonderful chaplains who work diligently and tirelessly with the inpatients.  But there are so many people who come to the outpatient part of hospital each and every day, and Christopher and a PA see almost all of them.  We pray that no matter how long their stay, they see Jesus all over the hospital.  There is no greater guest to arrive and knock on the door of our hearts.  "Go, go, goi," will you invite Him in?