Encounters with a Village Spirit Doctor
We had another successful year at our Karen Bible School. Ying, our school director, divided the students into teams and sent them to different villages to practice what they were learning in class. All teams would leave the campus Friday morning for their assigned village. They were not to return until sundown Sabbath. The first visit to the village was the most challenging because they did not know anyone and could not take extra food. This meant that they would need to make friends in order to have a place to sleep, eat, and worship. The following is an event that occurred during one of these trips, as told by Ying.
Ying’s Story of the Spirit Doctor
I asked a church member if there was anyone in her village that needed help. She took us to the village’s spirit doctor. He had mouth cancer and when we first got there, I was in shock. I thought, “Oh, it is so big! I cannot do this, God. I don’t know what to do. I have to be strong for my students so they won’t be afraid. What can I do?”
I turned to the man’s wife whose face looked very tired and asked, “Do you want me to help? I can’t guarantee that your husband will recover, but if you want me to help, I will help.” The woman said, “Yes, why not. I don’t want to do anything. If you want to do, just do.” I told her that our way is different, we don’t give medication. Instead we work on changing lifestyles. “Do you think he could do that?” “Yes,” she exclaimed. “He will do everything you ask.” I turned and looked at my students. Their eyes were wide and full of fear, as if saying, “Don’t ask me to touch him.” I knew that I had to do it myself so that the students would learn not to be afraid.
I began to give the orders. “Boil some guava leaves, make a charcoal poultice, massage him.”
So we started to deal with it and we prayed. As an encouragement, I told the husband that only God can heal him. We spent quite a bit of time talking about his history to try to find out why he got mouth cancer and why he hadn’t done anything to make it better. I asked him if he wanted to get well. “Yes,” he nodded. I told him, “If you truly want to get well, you must pray to God, the God that you never knew. I know that you don’t worship God, but I just want you to invite Him to come be with you. Even though you don’t know Him, He knows you. That’s why He brought us here.”
I decided that this man’s health was a big thing for me to try to deal with. So I started to think, “I should fast. If I don’t fast he may not get well.” I told my students that I knew that charcoal is good, but I don’t want to depend on just charcoal. I want to depend on God. Someday when we cannot find charcoal, what will we do? We need something more powerful. We see all the natural things that He gives us and all the things that He has prepared. But I want to see something more. I want to see a miracle.
So I told the man and his wife that we would fast for him that week. We will ask for God’s will and for His mercy. We prayed that God would look upon us with mercy and help this man. He knew that we fasted for him, and at the end of the week we worshiped with him on Sabbath.
The next Sabbath every group, including ours, went to several different villages. But we all fasted and prayed for the man with the mouth cancer. Every minute in my mind, I prayed about him. “God please show me Your miracle like the ones Jesus did during His time here on Earth. I read about the miracles in the Bible, but I want to see them now in my time.”
“Christ is the same compassionate physician now that He was during His earthly ministry. In Him there is healing balm for every disease, restoring power for every infirmity. His disciples in this time are to pray for the sick as verily as the disciples of old prayed. And recoveries will follow; for ‘the prayer of faith shall save the sick.’ We have the Holy Spirit’s power, the calm assurance of faith, that can claim God’s promises. The Lord’s promise, ‘They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover,’ Mark 16:18, is just as trustworthy now as in the days of the apostles. It presents the privilege of God’s children, and our faith should lay hold of all that it embraces. Christ’s servants are the channel of His working, and through them He desires to exercise His healing power. It is our work to present the sick and suffering to God in the arms of our faith. We should teach them to believe in the Great Healer. The Saviour would have us encourage the sick, the hopeless, the afflicted, to take hold upon His strength. But only as we live in obedience to His word can we claim the fulfillment of His promises. The psalmist says, ‘If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.’ Psalm 66:18. If we render to Him only a partial, halfhearted obedience, His promises will not be fulfilled to us.” Counsels for the Church, 303.
These days, with all the high technology, people don’t care about religion. If we could see a miracle, my students and the man and his wife, would know that He was there with them all the time. They would know that when we teach “God with us,” that it is true.
God is blessing the efforts of these students as they use the medical missionary work as an entering wedge to reach the hearts of these villagers. They are finding that the villagers are much more receptive than they expected them to be. The villagers are now actually seeking out the students for help and advice! Nearly all the students have returned to their villages with more confidence and enthusiasm for sharing the gospel. Several have committed to full-time mission service.
Join us in praying for this village spirit doctor as we ask for the miracle of transformation in his life. Contact us to find out how you can be involved in training up an army of workers to reach even more villages.
By Steve Rawlings and Ying. Email: email@example.com. Website: www.leadingtothelight.org.