Wow, what an amazing week it has been because of people from Africa.
Late last year I tore a ligament in my ankle which was so severe that I was on crutches for three weeks and basically was unable to do any of the sports I participate in.
My Doctor (Ironically from South Africa) told me that if I didn’t rest it and it tore again I would be on crutches for three months.
I felt it was better and I’d opted out of the season for Oztag (non tackle Rugby League) but felt I could surf and ride my push bike.
Last Wednesday I ran home after a prayer meeting at night. The run was only about 1 kilometre and the ankle felt fine. The next day I rode my bike to work, and I couldn’t help but revert back to a ten year old and was jumping off gutters, bunny-hopping puddles and trying to do wheelies.
That night my worst fears were confirmed. The Ligament had torn again and the foot was full of blood and swollen. Even the weight of my blanket on my foot was agony. I could barely walk across my hallway. My wife bought me a walking stick from the local Pharmacy.
But it was not enough.
By that Sunday at 4am when I started work I couldn’t walk and by 9am some of my associates at Church had to carry me so I could go to the bathroom. One of our elders brought a pair of crutches from home for me. I was in agony and inside I knew that I would be out of action for many months. So for three days I got used to the new crutches.
Then Thursday morning, something unexpected happened.
At our combined Churches prayer meeting, a visiting Bishop from Kenya and his wife turned up. They had not planned on speaking but were asked to share stories of Kenyan life.
“We do not have money for medicine” Bishop Evans said in his thick accent “if we are sick, we pray and God heals us”.
He then went on to share a story about a lady in his congregation who was HIV positive, who after prayer was declared negative in two separate tests and went on to have more children.
At the end of the message I went up and thanked Bishop Evans. He took one look at my leg and asked if he could pray for it. He placed his hands on it and simply and forcefully said “In the name of Jesus of Nazareth I take authority over this leg and proclaim healing in the name of Jesus”.
And I was instantly healed, I write this story seven days after the Sunday where I had to be carried to the bathroom, with no strapping or pain relief, having just walked 2 kilometres. The minute after he prayed I put my crutch down and walked.
Jesus still heals today.
The Thursday of my healing I was sharing the story with my good friend Dave over lunch. He too had a story about Africa.
That Sunday he had been part of the launch of a new Church in Sydney by an African Pastor. He shared with me two stories the Pastor had told him only days before.
“A lady came to his Church and claimed that God had sent her there. He asked her ‘where are your credentials, which Church did you come from’? She put her head down and went away. The next day she turned up at his front door, suitcases packed and said ‘God has sent me here to serve you and work in your Church and you must take me in’. The Pastor told her she could not come and live with him and asked again where she had come from and what were her credentials for ministry. At that point she started screaming, blaspheming God and pronouncing curses on the Church. As people gathered in horror to watch the spectacle unfold she did an odd spin and movements, and at the end of the spin proclaimed more curses. He said in the name of Jesus be quiet. She spun around again and in front of DOZENS OF ONLOOKERS disappeared – she literally dematerialized in front of the whole crowd as if she was never there’.
‘Another time a lady brought a baby in who she said had been cursed by a witch. As an associate Pastor layed hands on the sick childs forehead, he was bitten by a mouth that appeared on it’s head, while he was looking at the childs face and it’s actual mouth, and the bite was so strong it drew blood’.
Photo by Paul Macri
THE REALITY OF THE WORLD WE LIVE IN
Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy. Jesus comes to bring life and life abundantly. People in western countries may not believe in ‘real witchcraft’ and a ‘real devil’ but this is one of dozens of stories I have heard about the bondage that satan brings to the nation of Africa, as well as the healing and authoritative power that Jesus Christ brings. This week, be encouraged that there is a loving God who wants to bring healing to the world through His Son Jesus and that the powers of darkness in this world, whether it is violence, sickness, poverty, the oppression of empire and regime, actual demonic manifestation, discouragement and loss of hope are only temporary. God is restoring all things through Jesus and believers play a huge part in opposing the work of the devil, through faith, hope, love, and the authority given to them by the Son of God. Prayer is the powerful tool that we have been given. For anyone caught in the darkness, simply ask Jesus to shine His light into your life – start by reading the gospel of John in Chapter 3 in the New Testament.