I am not a cessasionist. This means that I do not believe that miraculous gifts were reserved for the first century alone. I am not Benny Hinn. My hair will never be as cool as his and I just don't go around healing people all the time. Actually, some of my friends have learned tons from the illnesses and injuries that they have had and they would have missed it all if I had gone and healed them. So I don't do that. I do what the Boss wants me to do.
One day in February of 2004 I was sitting in the office with a full load of reports I was trying to procrastinate doing when I got a phone call from the team down in Anfalas. They needed a part for the well in order to keep digging. I told them I didn't have time but they insisted. So, the next morning I drove the three and a half hours down to Anfalas to bring them the part. When I got there they looked very surprised and said, 'Didn't you get the message? We don't need that anymore.' I kicked the tire of the car. Hard. Then I looked up and said out loud in English, 'Why do you want me here?' This is always the right question to ask. At that moment a man came up and asked Frodo if he could speak to him for a moment. I told him to go ahead but as soon as he was done to come to the office with us and we would pray and I would go. Five minutes later Frodo came in and said, 'We have to go now and pray for a young boy who is very ill.' He was just two years old and severely malnourished. He had some water-borne disease and was coughing up blood. He had no strength left and they did not believe he would live through the day.
This was it. This was why I was here. There was no doubt in my mind what the Boss wanted me to do. I took Frodo and Sam and headed to the house across the village. When we went inside the home it was full of people. The small boy lay in the middle of the room with a cloth over his forehead and about 15 people sat around the walls in silence. I took the boy's right hand and Frodo took his left while Sam knelt down at the boy's feet. Frodo said, 'Sam, put your hands on the boy's legs and pray'. Sam is a powerful man in prayer. He leaned forward, put his hands on the boy's legs and said nothing. I couldn't understand why he was not saying anything until I saw that he was crying. Great tears were pouring down his cheeks and landing on the boy's legs. I began to cry watching Sam cry and Frodo began to cry watching me and Sam cry and no one was praying and I am sure everyone was wondering why three strangers were coming in and crying their eyes out. By the way, men from Gonder never cry. Ever. So, after a long time Frodo began to pray. He prayed forever. Well, it seemed like forever. It was probably five minutes- which if you have ever been at someones house and had them pray for a meal and they prayed for five minutes you would pretty much conclude that that is forever. He proclaimed how great God was and how needy we were. He went on and on but I noticed he never asked God to heal the boy! There was a bit of a faith thing going on here. So, when he finished I prayed. I prayed simply for the boy to be healed in Jesus' name in about four sentences. We got up and we left. As we walked out on the street there was Denethor. He is the local village religous leader and a friend. He invited us to their religious meeting that they were having that night and we accepted. I had not been to it before (they had always told me they didn't have one but I knew they did) and I was looking forward to going.
We got there and there were lots of people. Denethor gave a devotion on God being the creator and that he was very kind. The team later joked that he was keeping it simple and noncontroversial because I was there. In the middle of his speech the boy's father burst in and declared to everyone, 'Hey everybody, the boy these guys prayed for this afternoon is completely healed and up and walking around.
Now, I know what you are thinking- because I was thinking it as well. Now everyone will listen to us. Now everyone will accept Jesus. Now the whole village will turn to Christ and start a big whole village church. No. Now everyone in the village got sick. What followed was the weirdest spiritual warfare I have every heard of. But it is late so I will tell that story tomorrow.