Last week we spent a few days up in the mountains with a remote people group. They are one of the indigenous people groups in Southeast Asia that typically live so far up in the mountains that they have very few visitors. The village we visited is mostly Christian, and our job there was to encourage them as much as possible because they are under pressure to convert to Islam. The people were excited to see us and very shy. But the more time we spent with them the more they would open up and show how kind and friendly they truly are.
Healing in the Village
There are very few visitors to this village and it is almost impossible to get healthcare up there, so a lot of what we did was pray for the sick. The villagers gathered in one of the houses, and our team split into groups and prayed for healing. So many people got healed, but I think my favorite healing was when we prayed for a man who was blind in one eye. He said that when he was hunting something had bounced back and hit his eye and he hadn’t been able to see out of it since then.
We prayed for him, and when we asked him if there was a change he had a shy smile on his face as he said that he could see a bit of light out of his eye. We prayed again and again. The man told us that he could see, but it was blurry so we prayed again. His sight was restored! I can only imagine the joy he must have been feeling, because I was psyched!
On our first night in the mountains our team stayed together in one house, but the other villagers wanted a share in us, so we split up into multiple houses the next night.
On our second evening in the mountains, the village held a church service so that we could participate. It was fun to worship God alongside them even though we couldn’t understand each other’s language. However, our team was able to share stories and experiences through interpreters, and some of the stories the villagers told us had me laughing harder than I have in a long time. I’m really hoping to go back and spend more time with them.
Growing in Courage
This past week our group leaders headed off to prepare for our arrival in another Southeast Asian nation. Two people from our group stepped up and displayed some awesome leadership skills in the face of some resistance we faced in openly sharing the gospel here.
Instead of shying away, some of our group members actually became more courageous, and as God moved them they preached on trains to large groups of people. After those times of open sharing, people from the crowds approached us wanting to know more; other Christians who heard us seemed encouraged by our openness.
In the middle of this surprising turn of events, the time came for us to move on to the next outreach location. The culture feels very different here, and we are all excited to try the new foods, transportation and traditions. At first we stayed with a pastor’s family, who were very kind and cooked us some traditional food. It was delicious!
We will soon travel around the country and do crusades in villages and small towns. We have been told that there is a large amount of animism and witchcraft in these areas, so we appreciate all the people who are praying for us. Please pray particularly that we would see many people come to Christ during this time. Blessings!