Story of one ministry team, May 15-19

Our team, consisting of Enos and Ruth Martin from Pennsylvania, Mosa from the Himalayas, and Ndaru and Elina from Indonesia, led a seminar on the work of the Holy Spirit for about 100 local pastors in southern Sumatra.

After returning from this seminar, one pastor learned that a family from his church wanted prayer for their son who was having problems. When we stopped by to visit his church the next day, he invited us to accompany him on this pastoral visit.

As soon as we got out of the van, we heard loud wailing. We entered the home and saw a young man lying catatonic on a makeshift bed on the floor of the living room, staring wide-eyed into space. The mother, wailing loudly, was clutching the legs of a woman who tried to comfort her. The father looked strained and quietly wiped away tears, and the sister was crying and shrieking, "Bapa, Jesus; Bapa, Jesus.” Half a dozen neighbors watched from the side of the room.

Through the interpreter, we learned that the young man, Cornelius, had gone to the city for work. A non-Christian friend had persuaded him to seek the help of a witch doctor for power to get a good job. The parents were guilt-ridden that they had not taught their son about the dangers of witchcraft.

“The power was too much for him,” they said. At his home one evening while watching a Christian TV program about deliverance, he began to shake violently. He then became unresponsive. They sought medical and psychiatric help, but nothing restored their son. In desperation, they yielded to the neighbors’ pressure to allow the witchdoctor to try his craft. The witchdoctor had come to the home twice, but the son only became worse. The daughter was especially distraught that her parents had done such evil. Now as Cornelius lay in this catatonic state, not eating, drinking, or responding, they believed he was dying and felt condemned for accommodating Satan and his demons.

As we prayed, the Holy Spirit gradually unfolded a plan. We asked the parents to dismiss the spectators who were not believers. Then several of our team members ministered to the parents and sister in another room. They led them in asking Jesus for forgiveness and encouraged them to renounce the works of the devil. At the instruction of Mosa, the Himalayan* missions leader, Ndaru from PIPKA burned the witchdoctor’s paraphernalia. Through the interpreter, the team spoke to the parents and daughter about creating an atmosphere of belief and celebration of the glory of Jesus and not of fear.

Meanwhile, Mosa and the Indonesian pastor ministered to the young man. They prayed and commanded the demons to leave in the name of Jesus.

As we prayed, the young man began to come around. He relaxed and began to eat and drink, although he was still mute. The family was calm and hopeful, and the pastor was encouraged. At that point we needed to leave, but we sensed that the Holy Spirit wanted to continue and complete the deliverance through the pastor and the family – strengthening and building their faith even further. We left with prayers that this Cornelius would become a channel for Christ, like the Cornelius in Acts – to a whole new group of Indonesians.

* Exact location not given because of regional sensitivities.

– Ruth Martin