“Bill, please come,we are having problems with Tanya!” I followed Paula quickly into the center. Soon I could hear the screams. As we opened the door, there was Natasha, Tanya’s Mum trying to calm her; but she was too far gone.
Tanya’s eyes were bulging; she looked like a cornered animal, I began praying, “Lord give me the authority to minister to Tanya”
She looked at me and started hurling abuse in Russian at me; this made Natasha embarrassed, but I told her I wasn’t offended; poor kid she was only about seven, and probably didn’t even know what the words meant!
Pauline said “Can you do anything, she must have demons inside her?” I thought this likely and could well appreciate how such possession could happen with her background. They had arrived in Armavir from Chechnya about a week before, the only group of Christians in Grozny, its war-torn capital.
Caught between Chechen Warlords fighting a guerrilla war with Russia and the armed gangs that roamed the city looking for loot and women; these courageous people had recently heard the Gospel and converted from Islam. In a Muslim community, this would bring trouble, in Chechnya, it was extremely dangerous.
Witnessing such scenes of horror, it was a wonder Tanya had any semblance of sanity. I had seen manifestations of demonic possession in Moscow, but to see it in this child was alarming. However, knowing God’s power to evict these foul spirits from other people, I had confidence that I could exorcise this one.
For half an hour we prayed, I commanded the spirit to leave in Jesus’ Name; sometimes, Tanya would become calmer, but then the violence would start again. We continued and slowly she allowed her mother to hold her; poor Tanya was exhausted. I had to get back into the conference and left knowing my prayers had not delivered her, only subdued the spirit. I too was exhausted and disappointed in myself. I had let her and God down
The Marquee was full of people praising God in Russian and English. I was with a team of twenty people, part of a much larger Ministry group from Moscow, to go to five different regions in Russia to bring Ministry to needy Ministers from Evangelical Churches throughout Russia.
I sat amongst the crowd feeling I was a failure; when suddenly two children came over and took my hands and lead me over to another little boy sitting by himself.
Still full of self pity, I heard preaching about God’s healing power, and trusting in Him. I looked at the little boy, with crutches resting against his chair. He looked thin and ill,and my heart went out to him. With hand gestures, I managed to explain that I had a back ache and that both of us should go up for prayer together.
To start with he said no,but then the same two boys gave him his crutches and helped him stand up, we struggled slowly over to the stage.
John came over to him, and was told that he had been hit by a truck, which shattered his pelvis. Without treatment, he was crippled for life. John laid hands on him and prayed for healing. We watched in amazement as he dropped his crutches and began walking about, joy lighting up his face. The place erupted into joyful praise.
I was so thankful to God for this miracle. He showed His love for the boy, and showed me that he didn’t need my confidence and will to heal anybody. I cried and asked Him to forgive my foolish pride, but of course He already had.
Later a man was brought to me for prayer. He was tall, gaunt, and very ugly with a cleft pallet, a humped back and wore a black suit that was filthy. He also had organ adhesions, which meant his insides were stuck together, when ever he moved it hurt him.
I was revolted by his appearance, but as I looked at him, compassion filled my heart and tears flowed down my face. For some reason I knelt down at his feet, holding them I prayed, more tears dripped onto his shoes. I stood up and his eyes shone with joy. He told me that all the pain inside him was gone; I hugged him and praised God.
Being humbled by God is a painful experience, but being restored by Him has no comparison.
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