Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Victory Over Evil - Part 1

Here is the first part of a fantastic story that is going on right now in the ministry of our missionary friends Shane and Erin Latham, who serve with the ABWE in Gravataí (a satelite city of PoA).

"What a mother's day! This morning we had a special breakfast at the church. The teenagers of the church presented me with a great picture of a bunch of us in front of the famous "Laçador" (the state gaucho statue). Then we went out to eat. In the afternoon it was my turn to clean the church with my 13-years-old girls group. Gabriel and Camilla went to help us. While I was there cleaning up, I went outside and the neighbor lady called me over. Her name is Adriana, and she is a "mother of saint" which is like an urban witch doctor. In the spiritualist system, you have to feel the power in you to become the "mother of saint." She told me that she remembered the feeling and the power that came with it. She and her family have been coming to church, because her husband has been insisting. He is not a spiritist and is trying to pull her out of it. Well, Adriana tells me that she has a question. So I told her that as soon as I was done with my responsibility at the church I would be right over. But she insisted that it was only one question. So I said, "Go ahead, what is it?" She asked me how much of her life would have to change to be able to do the whole "give your life to Christ" thing. I told her that God has never asked us for perfection. All He wants is our complete faith in Christ's perfection and His sacrifice for us because of how imperfect we are. I told her that if a person had to wait to become something to give their life to Jesus Christ, there would be no people in our church because we all have a lot of problems. So then Adriana said, "I just have one more thing to ask you. Would you please come into my house and pray the "give your life to Christ" prayer with me?" I couldn't even believe it. I said, "Adriana, are you serious?" And she said yes! She said that ever since they have lived beside the church she hasn't been able to light any candles or cut up any animals to curse anyone because it just hasn't felt like the right thing to do. She said that the day she became a "mother of saint" she thought it would be the best day of her life but it turned out to be the worst day of her life. Both her and her husband have been to church for the last several weeks, and they went to the couple's meeting and she even showed up at the women's prayer meeting last Thursday. She said that those have been the best two moments of her life! I went into her gate, and she locked it with a chain behind me. When we went inside her house and when she locked her door behind her with a chain too, I started praying, "Lord it is all you and Your power here. I am helpless and I am only trusting in You and Your power. I didn't know what was going on, but she turned on her cd player and played a song that she had gotten as a mother's day gift from one of her kids. It was an old hymn that talked about kneeling down and praying and talking to God with sincerity in your heart. She said that this is what she wanted to do. So there in her home we knelt and prayed and we cried and cried. She said, "I just don't feel it in me anymore. I know that I am no longer a "mother of saint" I am now a child of God." Of course then we cried some more. I told her that the battle may get tough now that she is in the thick of it, but not to give up, and that she would always have God on her side and brothers and sisters in Christ to help her get through the hardest moments. And she said, "then we will all just get down on our knees together and pray some more. It is kind of funny because just yesterday I was looking at a spiritual self-evaluation and I was specifically praying to the Lord for more opportunities to witness (there was a question about how many times we had shared the story of Jesus Christ with someone in the last month). It was a wonderful answer to prayer. Please keep Adriana and her family in your prayers because people who come out of spiritualism always seem to have a pretty tough run of it at first, and we have seen many get tired of fighting and give up. Thanks"
Erin Latham

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