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Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Lion, the Witch and the Missionary

I want to share an incredible story with you.  I know it's hard for us in the West to believe stories like this to be true, but determine for yourself if the God you worship is still capable of such things....

"Over the years, Manjula had earned the reputation of a holy woman in her village.  Many villagers became her followers and came to her for counsel.  They would bring gifts and sacrifices to her because she was known for her spiritual powers.  She had the reputation for doing many miracles, even causing sickness and death.

When Simon arrived in that area, people told him about Manjula and the powerful woman she was, with all her magical powers and her gods on her side.  But then Simon heard that three years before, Manjula had become ill and now was totally paralyzed from the neck down.  This young brother realized that this situation was God's appointed opportunity for him to preach the Gospel to her.

Despite the danger to his own life, Simon set out to visit Manjula and talk to her about the Lord Jesus Christ.  It was only on his way that he learned more about her story.  For weeks, many ritual prayers with sacrifices had been carried out for her healing.  Hundreds of her followers obeyed her careful instructions to petition her favorite gods on her behalf, but nothing had healed her.  Recognizing that she must be under attack from evil spirits more powerful than she could handle, she decided to approach even stronger witch doctors to conduct elaborate rituals for her healing.  But again, there was no deliverance or hope.

It was at this time that Simon came to her area.  When he arrived at her home, he began to witness to her about the Lord Jesus Christ.  She listened carefully and told him, "For three years I have tried everything to appease these angry gods.  But they don't answer.  And now I am confused and terribly frightened."

Simon asked Manjula, "If Jesus would heal you and make you well, what would you do?"  Without hesitating she replied, "If your Jesus Christ can heal me and make me well, I will serve Him the rest of my life."  Simon further explained to her about the reality of God's love and how Jesus Christ, the only Savior, could set her free from sin and save her from eternal damnation.

God in His grace opened Manjula's eyes to see the truth.  She decided to call upon Jesus to forgive her sin and save her.  Simon knelt beside her and prayed for Jesus to heal her.  As he prayed aloud, he also fervently prayed in his heart, "Lord Jesus, this may be my only opportunity to see this entire village come to You.  Please, Lord, for Your kingdom's sake, touch her and heal her.  You Word says that You will work with me, confirming Your Word, and that miracles would be a sign for these people to believe in You."

As brother Simon finished praying for Manjula, the power of the Holy Spirit and the grace of God instantly touched her, and she was delivered and healed immediately.  Within a few hours she was running around, shouting with joy, "Thank you, Jesus!  Thank you, Jesus!  Thank you, Jesus!"

Hearing the commotion, a large crowd gathered in front of Manjula's house to see what was going on.  There she was, a woman who had been paralyzed for three years, she was praising Jesus and shouting His name.  Manjula became the first individual in her village to believe in Jesus.

The following week, more than 20 people gave their lives to Christ and were baptized.  Manjula opened her house for these new believers to come regularly and worship the Lord Jesus Christ.  Just like in Acts 19, when the Ephesian church had its beginning, all evil practices and rituals were completely eradicated; and there was a whole new beginning for this village."

      -Excerpt from "Revolution in World Missions" by K.P. Yahannan

An important part of this story is the person of Simon.  Who was he?  When he was studying in a local bible college in India, he would wake up early every morning and spend at least three hours with the Lord, on his knees in prayer and meditating on God's Word.  When Simon graduated and went into the mission field, he did not cut back.  Instead, the amount of time he spent in prayer increased.  These two things, his devotion to the Lord in time spent with Him and the fruit of his ministry, are not exclusive from each other.  Did Simon or his determination and devotion heal Manjula?  Absolutely not.  The Lord Jesus Christ healed Manjula.  But Simon's obedience and devotion to the Lord put him in the position to be the Lord's "hands and feet".


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