Mountains and Mustard Seeds
Casey: As I looked up at the vast mountain range before me, I thought, Are You really able to move this mountain, God? It had been seven days since the enemy had gained entrance into Karin’s life. When the disciples were unable to cast out a demon from a young man, Jesus told them they only needed faith as small as a mustard seed to move mountains. Although I knew it to be true, as I looked up at the mountain before me, I was tempted to doubt.
Karin and her family live in Kebgen, a village far in the mountains about a 12-hour hike from us in Kemantian. Kebgen is known for its spirit worship. People there commonly perform sacrifices and make offerings to appease the spirits. Karin’s family are new Seventh-day Adventist converts, baptized in May, 2016. In choosing to follow the God of heaven, they went against everything they had been taught growing up. They were one of the first converts in that village and are now actively involved in leading the church there. Though they faced their share of trials, they were determined to follow God and raise their children to follow Him, too. Karin came to our school last year and was excited to come back this year to learn more about God, pray, and read His word. We never would have guessed that she would become a victim of the enemy’s attack.
One Friday night, I noticed that Karin was acting strangely. I dismissed the thought, assuming that her malaria medications were making her more emotional than usual. However, her behavior did not improve.
Talice: Lalay, a local missionary, brought Karin into my home on Sabbath morning. “Karin is not acting right,” Lalay said. “Would you be able to watch her for a while?” As I observed Karin’s behavior, I realized this was no ordinary babysitting job. This was a battle between good and evil. As I began to feel tempted to fear, I heard a voice say, “I have not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7).
Karin had seemed fine just a day earlier, but now she was displaying behaviors I had never imagined she would do. This was the beginning of 10 days of demonization. Our sweet Karin was attacked by the enemy, and only God was strong enough to stand against the evil one. We are indeed on a battlefield. Weapons of carnal nature have no effect on the enemy.
Justina: We called Durman, Karin’s father, on Sunday morning to inform him of what was happening to his daughter. To our surprise, he was not in Kebgen but on his way to Kemantian. He’d had a dream the previous evening that something bad was happening in Kemantian. When he arrived, he discovered what the bad dream was about. His daughter was being spiritually harassed. Despite the shock, Durman’s faith did not waver. His prayer for his daughter was beautiful—a prayer of intense faith and trust in God. He knew his God was stronger than the demons that were tormenting Karin.
As the week went on, it was difficult to keep up with what the enemy was doing through Karin. I wasn’t fast enough or strong enough to keep her from hurting herself or others. Watching over her was not only physically taxing, but emotionally and spiritually exhausting as well. I began to wonder why God was taking so long to answer our prayers, but I knew He heard us. Our team drew together in prayer and song, encouraging one another every day. We took turns watching Karin, and we gave each other grace and understanding, knowing that we were all tired.
Samantha: It was truly exhausting taking turns watching Karin. We had to be with her all hours of the day and night to stop her from hurting herself or others, and sometimes our attempts failed. There were a few times that Satan tried to take advantage of our fatigue and create discord among our group. We had to constantly be on guard to resist the enemy’s attacks. By God’s grace, we were able to counter those attacks and remain firm in our faith in God. Every time we had a shift change, we would pray together for Karin’s healing. As we took care of her, we sang, prayed, and read the Bible to Karin. It was challenging to watch her wake up day after day still tormented even though we surrounded her continuously with prayer.
My hopes were high as I watched Karin finally sleeping after three days of no rest and little food. I imagined her waking up and being fine, but disappointment filled me as she woke up, obviously still possessed. Discouragement was a huge temptation. I never doubted that God could heal her, but when would He? Why was it taking so long? I was encouraged every evening as the team gathered to pray and sing with Karin. As we sang, “He’s Able,” it strengthened my faith in God’s power.
Carrie: Karin slowly improved throughout the week. On Friday, her parents came to take over her care so the team could go to the lowlands for a meeting before Leonda George left for furlough. After we returned to the mountains, I spoke with Karin’s mother, and she told me that several people, including witchdoctors, had come by while we were gone and offered traditional medicine for Karin. But her parents refused it all, choosing instead to trust alone in God’s power to heal their daughter. God rewarded their faith, and by Monday Karin was free. My heart filled with joy as the team gathered with Karin and her family to praise God for what He had done. We serve such an awesome God, a God who is stronger than all the demons that were tormenting Karin!
Talice: It was incredible on Monday to sit around and give God the praise for healing Karin. I sat there in awe, wondering why I was so surprised. I had always known God would heal her, I had just wondered when. I found the healing to be an incredible testimony to the faith of Karin’s parents.
What a blessing to know that our Commander in Chief, Jesus Christ, is well aware of the enemy’s tactics and has shown His power through healing Karin. As a team, we prayed, fasted and worshipped God. Through this attack by Satan, God showed me His power and love for each one of us, and how His timing is perfect.
This experience was truly a test of faith that taught us three important lessons: First, God is much stronger than Satan. Second, it is essential to persevere in prayer and earnest supplication, even though our prayers seem for a while to go unanswered. Third, faith is vital to God’s work in and through our lives. Throughout the week, we read chapter 47 of The Desire of Ages and the gospel accounts of the chapter. It spoke of the man who came to Jesus’ disciples seeking healing for his son’s demon-possessed state, but they could not help him. Christ read the unbelief in the hearts of his disciples and the witnesses surrounding them, and He exclaimed, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to me” (Matt. 17:17). The father’s plea for his son echoed our own cries: “Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). Jesus told the disciples that all they needed to move mountains was faith the size of a mustard seed. Amid the mountain ranges of Palawan, five jungle nurses and a believing family came to know this type of faith personally. God moved several mountains this week, and He is still in the business of moving mountains through the persevering faith of His people.