01/16/2010: Be Vigilant

Be Vigilant

An Object Lesson from Panama

January 16, 2010

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8.

Anyone living in this tropical country is highly likely to have an encounter with a poisonous snake. Since we have been here, there have been three large poisonous snakes killed on the property. There have been sightings of other snakes which the local people tell us, to our relief, are not poisonous. As you can imagine, snakes are frequently the topic of conversation. Not long ago, as we were discussing the topic of snakes entering people’s houses, a girl told us how her father had killed a snake that had entered the shed where they stored their corn. The snake was eating the mice that were in the shed. She described how big the snake was and how they could even see the mice recently swallowed moving in the abdomen of the snake. The conversation was fresh in my mind when it was my turn to go to our tool shed. The tool shed is located away from the house near a stream that passes behind the house. As I approached the building, I could not help but be cautious and look carefully before I lifted any of the tools. As I was considering the possibility that a snake might be in the shed, the Holy Spirit impressed me with a solemn thought: Why aren’t you as careful or vigilant seeing that your adversary, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour? This really impresses me because sometimes I am more worried about a physical snake than the spiritual adversary that can do more damage than the physical one—he can make me lose my eternal life if I am not vigilant.

Here in the tropics the Lord is teaching us how to depend on Him. Doing missionary work God’s way in any place on the earth will put any individual in the line of fire of the enemy. We here at Living Springs are not an exception. We have been having many challenges with which to deal lately: health issues, challenges with other church members that oppose the work being done in our area, and even those who say they are our friends but are jealous of the attention being diverted from them to others. Our adversary the Devil is upset because he knows he has but a little time. But praise the Lord that He has given us the patience to deal with each challenge. God has answered so many prayers in the past few months for us. Following I will mention a few of God’s miracles:

One of our neighbors is an elderly man who has suffered from prostate problems for many years. When he came to Living Springs for a health consultation, he was in a lot of pain. He had an enlarged testicle that, according to him, did not allowed him to sit comfortably. He also had a headache and high blood pressure. He was disappointed with his previous medical experiences and wanted to be treated with natural remedies. After counseling him about his lifestyle which consisted in eating a lot of red meat and pork, drinking very little water and very minimally walking or exercising since he would get dizzy very easily, he was given a simple program to follow using the eight laws of health. He was instructed to stop eating meat and other unhealthy foods he used to eat. He was given a few herbs also. We saw him two weeks later. He stated that he was feeling very good. The swelling of the testicle was gone; the pain was gone, and he did not suffer from the headache and dizziness that had plagued him for years. He used to walk very slowly, and now we can see him walking at the same speed as his young grandson. Thanks to the Lord and His wonderful health program.

Another answered prayer was the case of little Belkis, a 13-month-old girl brought to Living Springs by her mother and hergreat aunt. When she arrived she was having very serious respiratory difficulties. She had nasal flaring and was using her ancillary muscles to breath. She had a low grade fever and diarrhea and was refusing to eat. Her mother had no money to take her to the doctor and was planning to wait until the following day to borrow money to take her to the nearest clinic which is an hour away by bus. After much prayer and claiming God’s promises, we set to work using God’s remedies. At the beginning we were not seeing much improvement, but little by little her chest started to loosen up, and her breathing became easier. She was able to take small amounts of herbal tea and water. Later she started to nurse, something she had not done since the day before. We felt that it was imperative that Belkis be seen by a doctor as soon as possible, so we drove her to the nearest town that had a clinic with a doctor on duty. The doctor diagnosed her with pneumonia and ordered her admission to the hospital located two hours away. After leaving the clinic, the mother told me that she was not taking her to the hospital and that she wanted us to treat her child. She was told that Belkis’s condition was very serious and that she needed to take her to the hospital. To make a long story short, Belkis’s mother did not take her to the hospital; instead she took the bus and returned home. The following day we went to see how the child was doing. Her chest was still congested, but the mother reported that she was eating better; she had no fever and no diarrhea. Since we saw that the mother was determined not to take her child to the hospital, we gave her some more natural remedies and prayed diligently that God would heal this child. The Lord worked a miracle because two days latter her chest was clear and she was eating well. Thanks to God for his mercies. We have done some follow-up with this baby, and she continues to do well.

Another example of God’s faithfulness is what happened in the life of another neighbor, this time a young junior-high girl. She had had years of suffering from severe headaches and insomnia. The parents were used to taking her with severe headaches at any hour of the day and sometimes at late hours of the night to the private clinics or even to the hospital hours away. No diagnosis was ever given because they could never find out the reason of the severe headaches. The doctors had done many tests and could find nothing. They placed her on several medications that did not help the problem. After doing the health consultation, we found out that this young girl drank a lot of cola drinks and tea and coffee and that she did not drink water; she did not get enough exercise because even at school they would exempt her from physical education because of her health condition. She was given a simple program to follow using God’s remedies.

She did very well. Her parents were very happy. After many months from that first consultation, she has been free from headaches, and she is able to sleep well. Praise God and His wonderful program.

Brothers studying the Bible together.

Another wonderful answer to prayer is in regard to a lady who is one of our Bible study contacts. She has been studying the Bible with us for several months. She had openly decided to prepare for baptism. Her husband, on the other hand, was from a different denomination and sometimes would join us in the Bible study given to his wife, but at other occasions he would leave. Sometimes during the Bible study the pastor from his church would show up, and he would leave the Bible study and would meet with his pastor behind the house. We did not know what would happen at the end since our Bible study contact was getting a lot of pressure from the evangelical pastor to stop studying the Bible with us. He would accuse her of being unfaithful to her husband since she did not go to church with him anymore. After a while, a problem developed within the church led by the evangelical pastor. The husband of our Bible contact became very depressed, and he was deciding not to go to any church any more. But with a lot of encouragement and prayer from us, he now sits through our Bible studies and has even told his previous evangelical pastor that he is planning to join the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Thank the Lord!

We are so thankful to have our dear heavenly Father to protect us from the enemy that is constantly on our track. Please remember to be vigilant and faithful to God. It is only through His power that we can survive in this work. We thank you for your prayers and support as we move forward in faith. May the Lord richly bless you all.

By Zaida Acosta, Living Springs Ministry, Panama.