I have a friend who is currently serving as a missionary in Africa. Ethiopia to be more specific.
I have always had a sense of calling to missions. As I finished law school my first effort was to contact faith based organizations to discover mission opportunities for attorneys. My reasoning then was that if doctors were welcomed as missionaries, lawyers would be as well, but my questions were always met with a chuckle. “Those two words just don’t go together,” they said. I explained how they did, but everyone responded with, “Well I guess you’ll be a missionary in the legal world.” Ok fine, nevermind.
I did get the opportunity before law school to serve in Alaska, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and I’ve been to Belize a few times to cook for construction crews on mission trips. Over the years since law school, I’ve been trained in both biblical and secular mediation – helping people to resolve disputes and mend relationships, and I enjoy using these skills just as I enjoy mission work.
But now, a friend is in Ethiopia and dealing with spiritual warfare issues. In the non-industrialized world, more people call medical issues spiritual, but on the flip side of that coin, people still recognize spiritual issues to be spiritual.
He told me a story of some men caring for a young girl on a street one day recently. He and his friends passed on by because they didn’t want to intrude, but they later ended up speaking to the mother of the child. The mother explained that this is her second daughter and that the first “had a demon that killed her.” And now, according to the mother, this child “has a demon” as well. The account goes on to explain that this spirit causes convulsions and has thrown her into fire or against walls at times, injuring her. That’s how the first daughter died.
Now at this point I must confess my skepticism along with most people who read this. On one hand, the Bible clearly states that angels and demons are real and active, but on the other hand, because christians rarely see them or even evidence of them, we discount stories of their activity. This is very similar to the intelligent atheist stating that they don’t believe in God because they haven’t seen Him or even evidence of Him.
Well, I’ve seen enough that I believe, not only in a real God and Devil who is interested in mankind, but also in the spirits that swear allegiance to each. I further believe that God has given His disciples authority over them, if we simply have the faith and confidence to use it.
So I have become convinced that God has been, and is, preparing me to go help these friends in Ethiopia, with issues of biblical mediation/reconciliation and spiritual warfare. He has uniquely equipped me, given me the desire to go, and finally, after years of praying and hoping for a specific opportunity, He is providing one. Africa is calling.
I’m now saving my dollars for the airfare, as that is all I will need. I’m a quarter of the way there.