Today, one of the children in our center told me a testimony of how God protected her mother, Pha, from demons. Pha is a humble and loving mother who lives in Beung Run village in Northeastern Cambodia. She is very poor and owns no assets, only a simple wood house. The village she lives in floods every year. She has no road access, clean water, electricity or healthcare. We are educating two of her children in the Imparting Smiles center. She became a Christian about 8 years ago. In her village, they do not like the Christians and the few Christian families are persecuted regularly. They are used to being mocked and insulted and usually they just ignore the insults that non-believers hurl at them.
One day recently, Pha was walking in the village and a local witch doctor (Kruu) mocked her. He said, “How powerful are you, follower of Jesus? Do you want to test your strength against my power?”
Pha instantly replied in faith, “I am not powerful, but Jesus is powerful. If you want to test the power of Jesus, go ahead!”
The witch doctor responded threateningly that “We will see if your Jesus can protect you!”
Having been regularly mocked for no reason, Pha was accustomed to such random attacks and just continued on her way. Her response was faithful to what she believed. Jesus always protects her.
Later that night, something horrific happened. As she lay alone in her bed, surrounded by a mosquito net designed to keep mosquitoes and other insects off her in the night, she felt a dark presence cover the room. Instantly, hundreds of black ants appeared in her hair and swarmed all over her. At the same time flying insects, some large and some small started flying throughout her mosquito net.
Instantly, she knew this was a demonic attack on her. Her immediate response was one of habit. She called out, “Jesus help me!”
Within moments all the insects had vanished.
Jesus, as always, had answered Pha’s call for help.
The next day Pha was walking in the village and she didn’t think anything about the mocking and threats from the old witch doctor from the previous day. She knew that he had tried to put a spell on her and call on demonic powers to hurt her, but she knew Jesus would always protect her. However, as she bought some vegetables the seller told her that the witch doctor had gone missing and no one knew where he was.
After another peaceful night’s sleep, early in the morning a commotion was heard in the village. The witch doctor was found. . . dead. But it was not a murder and it was not a suicide, it was strange. He was found sitting in a meditation position under a tree outside the village. A rope was tied above his head, however, his neck was not in a noose. He was simply sitting cross-legged, head bowed, hands resting on his lap. . . like he was in a position for meditation and talking to spirits. But, he was dead.
In the battle of angels and demons, Jesus won!
This is real spiritual warfare.
A few thoughts from this story: Because I understand Cambodian culture and language I want to share some things about this story to highlight what I am intending about spiritual warfare. Being an American I also understand American culture. I know that many are thinking, “So, after the witch doctor died, did the village come to Christ?”
Thousands of years of being blinded by Satan, don’t end so fast! Actually, this was not a public challenge like Elijah against Jezebel on Mt. Carmel. This was a personal test of faith. It was a simple Christian who loves Jesus and knows the power of the living God, against a witch doctor who thrives on the power of Satan and demons. It was not public. This was a normal attack. It was personal. No one would ever know about it if I did not write a blog about it!
So, when the witch doctor died, only the few Christians who prayed with Pha knew what had happened. This shows me some crucial things. First of all, she is poor. She has neither nor academic credentials, formal church members, nor a denominational affiliation, but the local Christians respect her as a key leader of their congregation. This is because she does have strong faith and maturity in her relationship with the all-powerful God. In a mocking moment, her faith was shown. In the darkness of the night, alone in her bed, her faith in Jesus was steadfast. She passed the test. Jesus is very powerful.
Secondly, the witch doctor had no fear of God. Pha did. She knew the power of her God, Jesus Christ. I am certain now that the witch doctor fears God, but it is too late for him. One day all of us will fear God. I guess the only issue is will we live in the fear of God now and follow our Lord Jesus, or will we discover him after it is too late. The witch doctor directly challenged God’s power. Yet, at the same time I meet many people, even Christians, who live their lives in a way which seems to challenge the power of God as well. I am grateful to be challenged in my faith, in private times, by wonderful Christians like Pha.