“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”
Sometimes we need to experience the heat of the battle to be reminded of the ongoing war. Last weekend I had the privilege to witness and participate in an intense battle for the souls of my students.
Starting Sept. 10, two days after the school began its third term, female students began suffering demonic attacks. At first, it was one girl, but then the attacks increased in number and intensity. Six would be attacked in one night, and seven another morning, until up to 20 total, boys and girls, were affected.
Last Thursday I went to teach a class and found students running out of the classroom – some in confusion, others unsure of how to respond to what was happening around them. Spirits of oppression, fear and confusion had descended on the campus.
Wisely, Headmaster Sam Okello, a strong Christian man, called for three nights and three days of fasting and prayer – to seek for God’s intervention. We began Thursday night and continued until Sunday evening.
He recalled the stories of King Jehoshaphat with the imminent threat of enemy attack in 2 Chronicles 15, and of Queen Esther, with her people fated for annihilation. In each case, three intense days of prayer and fasting were called for first, before any action was taken. We understood we were not fighting alone, but the battle was the Lord’s, and we needed only to stand firm and witness His overcoming power.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”
Honestly, I was scared, reluctant and unsure of how to respond. Yes, I have heard numerous stories of demonic activity in my time here, and occasionally, but at a distance, been exposed to it before, but not to this extent and intensity. Up to six or seven girls at a time were being attacked. They would become like entirely different people – wild-eyed, uncontrollable, needing to be physically restrained, screaming, fighting back, uttering strange things, making odd animal-like movements, and sometimes becoming totally unresponsive.
It broke my heart to see these beautiful young women, created in the image of God, being used and abused as tools of Satan. In this, my eyes were opened wider to Satan’s sadistic aim of exploitation and destruction of all souls.
Students, pastors and teachers would gather around, holding the victims, praying with great fervency until the students returned to their senses. For a particular group of 11 girls, they were being repeatedly attacked, and we did not know why.
|Praying for the group of 11 girls.|
Friday and Saturday were days of intense warfare, including many hours of fervent prayer. The day would begin with praise and worship and then move into prayer, especially as students would again fall under attack. Our pleas to our Awesome God were a threat to the demons, and they were very reluctant to go.
“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.”
On Saturday afternoon, Pastor Robert Wafula led us in a session of reading and repeating aloud the truths of God’s Word from Isaiah, from the Psalms, from the Gospel of John. It was emphasized throughout the weekend that the school, and specifically the students, must arm themselves with God’s Word – filling their hearts and minds with truth, to replace Satan’s lies and deceptions.
“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Throughout the weekend, God revealed truth to different ones – helping us to pinpoint the source of the “flaming arrows.” One of the school’s closest neighbors was a Muslim man and his large family. Since the inception of the school in 2006, he had threatened it, vowing to bring it down. Recently, he had taken a different posture, actually appearing to befriend the administration and the teachers, and even sending his own children to study there. But, God’s Spirit revealed the entire pretense was just a way of gaining access to the school and students – not for good, but for destruction.
The 11 girls who were being repeatedly attacked had recently drunk water offered by this man. This “holy water” contained words of the Koran written on a piece of paper. They had both tasted it and been “sprinkled” by it.
On Saturday evening, we divided into “battalions” and conducted a prayer walk around the entire school compound, praying over buildings, land, trees, gates, etc. We prayed in Christ’s name and by the power of His blood for the breaking of all demonic powers and covenants, and reclaimed the school campus for God’s glory and purposes.
Again, by His spirit, elements of witch craft were discovered throughout the campus – hidden in various places, like in trees and along pathways. That night, two male students had visions of a fellow student, a Muslim, mocking them as they tried to sleep. His properties were searched and witch craft charms were discovered, which he had been using against his fellow students. He was ousted from the school that night.
While we identified our Muslim neighbors as perpetrators of this evil, we understood they were only tools in the hand of Satan. And so we also prayed for this man and his family. We asked God to please remove them from the island, but especially that they would repent of their sins and confess Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Each day began tentatively as we were unsure how events would unfold. Sunday morning’s service was subdued, but reverential and still full of thanksgiving for the deliverance we had already experienced. In each of the previous nights’ sessions, students had come forward for salvation, many re-dedicated their lives, and others sought prayer for other issues.
Pastor Fred, who helped lead in the weekend’s battle, preached on “The Conflicting Kingdoms,” reminding us we are in an ongoing battle and we must “stand guard” over our minds, where the battlefield rages.
Four more male students, plus the wife of a staff member, came forward for salvation during the service. All, if not most, were Muslims. We also prayed especially for the 11 girls, asking for God’s protection of them in the coming days.
Joy filled our hearts as we headed to the nearby shore for the scheduled baptism on Sunday afternoon. Knowing many were to be baptized that day, two sets of pastors, plus helpers, stationed themselves and for the next hour or more baptized a total of 92 people! They would begin to conclude, thinking they had done all, when others would come to the shore – from the school and from the nearby villages. Some confessed Christ right at the shore, and were then baptized!!
|What a joyous afternoon of celebrating 92 baptisms!|
God had taken away our fear and given us His victory! He had turned our mourning into dancing and our weeping into rejoicing! Our potential destruction had become our deliverance!
That night we broke our fast and enjoyed a time of celebration – praising, dancing, and thanking Jesus for His power, His deliverance, His grace, and His amazing love which He had poured out on us over the weekend. We had seen Him powerfully act on our behalf and we were in awe. What Satan and man had meant for harm, God turned for our good – for the saving of souls, for revealing of evil plots, and for renewing the spiritual fervency of the school and community.
Though the weekend was long and intense, I felt compelled to be a part of it in every aspect. It was physically, emotionally and spiritually demanding, but I was undergirded by God’s spirit. I knew I wanted to share in the victory, and thus I had to join the battle. And, indeed the victory was sweet!
As of Tuesday evening, all demonic attacks had ceased and students were again sleeping peacefully at night and back in their classrooms undisturbed during the day. The Muslim man and his immediate family took their possessions and left the island over the weekend. A dog that he had been using as part of his witch craft rituals was caught by the students, killed, and burned, along with the dog house.
Almost the entire school has been rising at 3 a.m. for an hour of prayer. There is now a great need for discipleship and we praise God for He has already called up His servants for this important work. We believe the revival of Lingira Island and the surrounding islands has just begun.
There will be more battles, but we are on the winning side.
“He said: "Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: 'Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's.” – 2 Chronicles 20:15
|My absolute favorite photo of the weekend - the baptism of Ngobi Swaibu, with his fellow students rejoicing with him. Ngobi, a former Muslim, is a brother-in-law of the school's Muslim neighbor. He boldly confessed Christ and chose to be baptized.|
Scriptures in bold and without references are from Ephesians 6:10-17.
Armor image from barbwire.com