“How are you feeling today?” I asked Hannah the day after her demonic attack. “I feel like someone used me as a punching bag,” she replied. She was sore all over, and her right knee felt weak and would occasionally buckle when weighted.
The next day was Sabbath, and we had a lot to do for the Christmas program in Dumchi village. The believers in Dumchi wanted this to be an evangelistic event and invited many friends and family members.
On Sabbath afternoon, our team and several local church members loaded into the trucks and headed to the village. The program went well. Dumchi literacy students sang songs; Jonathan shared why Christmas is important; and the student missionaries did a skit of Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus. After the program finished that evening, the guests enjoyed some special treats the ladies had prepared. What a blessing it was to be part of this enthusiastic group of believers!
Soon it was time for little ones to go home to bed, so all the people with young children loaded up in my vehicle, and I took them home while the rest of the crew, including Hannah, stayed to help clean up. Some of the young people began playing a game called “ninja,” in which you keep from getting “out” by avoiding other players’ movements. But when Hannah stepped back to avoid another player, her leg collapsed under her, and she landed hard on her left arm. Crack! She knew immediately that it was broken.
Everyone flew into action, cutting her coat sleeve off and splinting the arm with stiff cardboard and a soft cloth. The pain was intense in both her arm and her leg. As she was loaded into the truck, she heard the demonic voice from two days earlier say, “I told you I would make you.” She knew she was still under spiritual attack to coerce her to give up her allegiance to God.
I was driving my passengers home when Bethany called. “Mommy, Hannah broke her arm!” My heart sank. I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach. I recalled how Jesus had received everything that happened to Him as from the Father. I wanted to receive this event as from the Father, too. But how is this good? I wondered. Then the thought came to me that we are simply soldiers in a great war. God’s purposes are much bigger than lives of convenience and comfort for His followers. This can somehow be a testimony to God’s goodness, I thought. I decided to speak this spark of faith. “I praise God for Hannah’s broken arm,” I stated firmly to my friend in the passenger seat. “I don’t know how yet, but I’m sure that God will use it for His honor. I may never know His purposes on earth, but I choose to trust Him.” I was thankful for this moment of faith that helped buoy my spirit.
The local doctors where not equipped to handle this kind of bone break, so when we arrived home, we packed a few things and made a soft bed in the back of the truck for Hannah. Then we headed out on the long drive to a hospital in Phnom Penh. We arrived at the hospital around 8 the next morning. Both Hannah’s ulna and radius were broken, and the doctors determined that they would need to surgically put in metal plates to support the broken bones. The surgery was successful, and three days later we headed home, arriving in time to attend the school Christmas program on Christmas eve.
On Christmas day, however, Hannah still had a significant amount of pain in her arm and leg. She couldn’t walk without someone supporting her, and her arm was aching deeply. It seemed as though there was a dark cloud pushing down on her, discouraging her. All she could think about were the difficulties she would face and the things she would have to miss out on. On our way to our team prayer time that evening, Hannah was grumpy and even argumentative with Jonathan and me. She felt frustrated with the way she was acting. When we arrived at the school, she disappeared into one of the classrooms (with Bethany’s help) and said out loud, “God, I choose You even if I miss out on the trip I was hoping to take, or I can’t do things that I want to do. I choose You no matter what! I always want to be on Your side.”
When she came and joined the rest of the group, we were on a video call with our field director, Laurence, and debriefing on some of the spiritual warfare that our team had been experiencing. At the end, Laurence asked for volunteers to pray, especially for the teammates who had been faced with extreme circumstances. When Serena, one of our student missionaries, started praying for Hannah, Hannah said that she felt God speaking to her in her mind. Why don’t you ask Me to heal you? was the impression.
Okay… Please heal me! She responded in her mind. In that moment she saw the room fill with a beautiful brightness, and she felt a tingling sensation go up her arm and her leg. After prayer, she got up and gave Serena a big hug with both arms. She walked across the room without even limping, climbed stairs and picked things up with her left hand. She had not been able to do any of these activities before prayer time. The pain in her arm and leg were gone except for the surgical incision sites.And her deep discouragement had lifted, too. Hannah had been set free from the demonic harassment and the pain she had been experiencing!
Is Satan whispering discouragement to you? Do you feel like things are hopeless? Does life seem endlessly bleak? Cling to Jesus! Remember that no matter how dark life might feel, He cares for you. Speak your faith out loud. Choose Jesus at every time of discouragement. He can turn your situation into a testimony of His goodness and power!