Friday, 8 July 2011
When God Would Not Let His Name Be Defamed
A remarkable testimony occurred when new house church believers traveled to a Hainanese village in Lingao County, in the northern part of Hainan Island, in November 1995. The church planting team arrived in one village to preach. The local people said there was no way they would believe in the Christian God because they already worshipped the most powerful spirits.
The locals gave a stern warning to the evangelists. They said that the village shaman (witchdoctor) had, six years previously, received a vision that Christianity was the one true religion. This man was so convinced that he immediately burned all his spirit charms and other paraphernalia, even though he had not yet heard the Gospel and was not a believer. As soon as he did this, the people said, the shaman started to have visions where he saw many demons flying at him to eat his internal organs and completely destroy him. He was so scared that he tore his clothes off, ran around naked, and went insane. He also lost the ability to speak. The shaman would pick up stones and throw them into the air, throwing the stones at the demons that were tormenting him. He lived in a hut with a thatch roof and walls so soon his rock throwing and other antics had completely knocked away the roof of his home. His life had become pitiful. He was exposed to the elements, naked, unable to speak, and completely tormented by demons.
The shaman was only kept alive by the kindness of the local people. Every night they would place some rice and other food outside his door for him to eat. The villagers said that the shaman’s experiences were proof that their local spirits were more powerful than the Christian God, so they told the evangelists not to waste their time, for they would never believe in the Christian God. They said if the Christian God was truly able to heal and deliver this man, then they would all know that Jesus is the true and only God.
The evangelists were new believers. When they heard this story they didn’t know what to do, so they returned home. Over the coming weeks the church started to pray and fast for this village and for the shaman, asking God to glorify His Name among the villagers because His Name was being defamed.
The evangelists were taught how to cast out demons. They then returned to the village and cast the demons out of the man. Immediately he regained his speech. They clothed him and helped him rebuild the roof of his home.
After hearing the Gospel, the ex-shaman became a Christian. When they saw the tremendous change in the man’s life, almost the entire village became Christians. The new believers then took the Gospel to the neighboring village and the vast majority of that village also believed.
As a testimony to God’s power over the forces of darkness, the Christians began to meet for worship and Bible study in the home of the ex-shaman! He was not the church leader himself, but his powerful life-changing experience was the catalyst for many to come into the Kingdom of God, and for the Name of Jesus Christ to be rightfully honored among the people in that area.