Pulled Out of My Comfort Zone… (Part 5)

Monday, October 11, 2010

The pastor’s conference began this morning.  This conference was the main purpose of this trip for Pastors Jack, Scott, Mark and John.  Over 40 pastors (and some preparing to be pastors) came for the week-long training.    I sat in on a few sessions later in the week, and I was so moved by the profound truths being presented in such an uncomplicated manner.  It left me wishing I had heard all of the sessions, and I know the local pastors were extremely grateful for the teaching.

Just as the pastor’s conference was getting underway, a local pastor brought a demon possessed woman and her husband to the church.  Several of the team of pastors, as well as Pastor JD stepped outside to deal with the situation, while the conference continued.  Deb and I were still back at the hotel, but Pastor Jack later relayed the events to us.  The woman’s husband said that they had tried everything to get the demon to leave, with no success.  While this is not something we see in our daily lives, Pastor JD gave several stories of demon possession he has had to deal with.  The pastors prayed, sang, and commanded the demon to leave her in the name of Jesus.    Over the next 45 minutes, the demon refused, resisted, bargained for more time, and ultimately left, only to declare he would be back in two days.  Yikes!   Upon witnessing this, the woman’s husband declared his belief in Jesus.  The woman was exhausted after the experience, but when questioned, she initially declined to accept Jesus.  Pastor Jack spoke with her more, and ultimately gave her a stern warning and reminded her what the demon had avowed.  Jack informed her that the only way to prevent it from returning was to accept Christ, as Satan and his demons cannot live where Jesus lives.  The power of the name of Jesus was clearly seen by all who witnessed this incident, and yet she was not willing at that time to surrender to Christ.  It made our hearts heavy, and I resolved to earnestly pray for her.

After lunch, the pastor’s conference resumed, but it had been arranged by Pastor JD to take Pastor Jack, Deb, my dad and me to see the field that had been purchased for the orphanage.  Initially, dad had hoped to obtain the land next to the orphanage, but when the owner realized it was being paid for by an American, he raised the price he had been asking.  Nonetheless, God provided a wonderful piece of land at a different location.  Last year, it was just an overgrown field, but they plowed and planted it… and we got to see the first crop on this land.  No one could have imagined how bountifully God would provide.   It is the eventual hope to move the boys of the orphanage to this new location, so that they can work the land, not only supplying food for the orphans, but income as well.

One of the village churches is located right next to the field (that is how they learned it was for sale).  The closest village is one where Dhalit people live.  These are the “untouchable” people of India.  Pastor JD had brought some illustrated booklets about Jesus, and he told us our next stop was in this village to share the gospel.  Many of the adults are illiterate, but their children attend school and can read.

It was difficult to process the reality of the lives of the people in this village.  There were moms with babies with no diapers on, crude housing, and worst of all… sickness.  One man’s adult son had just died, leaving his 3 small children behind.  Another woman could not even leave her dwelling, because she was so ill.  Deb got a good look at her leg which was apparently full of infection.  She was feverish and not well.   It was upsetting and I later asked JD if she would be seen by a doctor.  He said if they feel she is sick enough, they will call the doctor or get her to the hospital.  We were able to leave some antibiotic ointment for her, and we were invited in to where she lay on the floor to pray for her before we left.  The room was dark and the air was still and felt like sickness to me.  Deb and I took turns praying for her, and I silently prayed that God would protect us as well.

It was a long, rough ride home. The roads here are awful.  I was exhausted, and feeling a little sick myself.   I tried to use the time to reflect on what I had seen, and to consider what God was showing me about myself.  I began to realize that while it is easy to see the extreme poverty here and become overwhelmed with all of the needs which are so obvious, I must keep reminding myself that their greatest need is Jesus.  He is needed more than food, safe water, adequate housing… or any other need that seems to scream at me.

By Sherri Stocker

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