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Satan Doesn’t Like Sundays

Satan Doesn’t Like Sundays

As I write this, we are anticipating getting on a plane and returning to Oklahoma for the summer. We submitted our COVID tests and are praying for negative results. We look forward to being in the States under fewer restrictions, and I am planning on visiting supporters whom I wasn’t able to visit last year. Mikey and I will be spending about thirty-six hours in Cairo, and we are praying for a calm travel process.

Several weeks ago, as I was sitting in church on a Sunday morning, a commotion in the women’s section caught my attention. When the church was first planted several years ago, the pastor (a Nigerien) allowed people to sit in any seat. Then, newcomers from the area expressed that they would feel more culturally comfortable if the seats were divided, according to custom, into a men’s section and a women’s section. However, the organization with which the church is associated does allow women preachers, so it’s interesting.

Anyway, I looked over and saw several of the women trying to control a younger woman who was flailing. With the help of a few of the men, the woman was successfully removed to a shady area behind the building. A handful of members remained, but the church service continued. French is the national language, but most people speak a tribal language as their preferred method of communication. So, from what I observed, I gathered that the young lady was facing demon possession. The older women clearly knew what they were doing, so I stood behind them and prayed. The young woman’s face was contorted, and her body was struck with waves of convulsions.

Finally, she calmed, and was able to communicate with her own consciousness. However, there seemed to be a problem of communication, and she was asked what language she spoke. One of the people in the circle glanced up and said, “Awngeleesh.” I heard this and thought that I was about to hear a new Nigerien dialect. Then all the eyes stared at me. “Oh,” I declared out loud in my native tongue. “English: I speak that!” Providentially, the women was visiting from Ghana (an English-speaking country), where she was engaged in some kind of witchcraft. I spoke to her for a few moments and led her in the sinner’s prayer. She attended our church for several weeks until she returned to Ghana. During her stay in Niger, she never had another problem with Satan’s minions. You could pray for Esther.

It’s interesting which Bible passages become relevant depending on context and experience. In Matthew 12:45, Jesus discusses the plight of a person who has been delivered from demons but who has apparently not joined the faithful family of Christ. He says that more demons will return, and the situation becomes worse. The week after Esther was delivered from demonic possession, a very similar situation played out on Sunday morning but involving a different young lady. She was removed to a location behind the church, the same people remained, and the church service continued.

As I prayed against demons for the second week in a row, I wondered how I had found myself as a member of the ‘anti-demon’ team. This battle felt more complicated than the week prior. This young woman spoke about herself in the third person and was convinced that her deceased mother was haunting her. Eventually, she was asked if she would like to say a prayer in the name of Jesus. She declined, confessing that she wanted to remain a Muslim. Her name is Rashida, and you could pray for her.

Over the next several weeks, Rashida suffered through the same ordeal. She has tried to become a Christian, but something in her life continues to invite the work of the devil. The terror and agony on the face of those who are demon-possessed is quite heart-wrenching. She wants to be free, but the social pressure of her spirit-worshipping family is great.

I wonder how often the typical Christian yearns to be free but feels compelled by life’s situations to continue in the same habits that lead to bondage. Well, I wrote this post over a span of two days, and we have received our negative COVID tests and will get on a plane very soon. We are looking forward to spending time with friends and family.

Here are the links to a few short video clips.

Typical driving:
Women singing at national women’s day:
Singing at a service:
Mikey bagging cheese for a school fundraiser: