Sunday, September 23, 2012
Exposing the Darkness
We’ve had an incredible weekend of exposing the darkness here on the island of Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia. On Friday night, Jonas and I decided to go on a treasure hunt, asking the Lord to lead us to His treasures that are hidden in the darkness. On Friday nights Kolonia town is bustling with Pohnpeians gathering at sakau bars where they get intoxicated on the mild narcotic called kava, or in the local language, “sakau en Pohnpei.” On the surface it doesn’t seem entirely bad, but more of a cultural practice. I’m still not certain what to think about it as it is such an integral part of Pohnpeian culture and society. Pohnpeians use sakau en Pohnpei at traditional feasts and gatherings, at times offering the cups of sakau to the spirits before they drink it. So there is a spiritual connection with sakau en Pohnpei that needs to be carefully and delicately looked at. But the modern sakau bars seem to be a place where Pohnpeians drink in order to escape the stresses of life and to help them sleep well as the drug has a calming effect. We hear Pohnpeians say that they drink it so that they can fall asleep, which means it probably has addictive qualities, as other narcotics do. It is also a social practice, where they hang out with old friends and meet new friends at the sakau bars. From what we’ve heard, many Pohnpeians will fall into adulterous relationships at these modern sakau bars. Whatever the case, if Jesus was walking the streets of Kolonia town in Pohnpei, He would more than likely be hanging out with the “least of these” who self-medicate at the sakau bars. So on Friday night, after cruising around Kolonia and praying for God to lead us to the right people, Jonas and I felt led to hang out with some of the youth in our neighborhood near the sakau bar close to our house. We live in a section of Kolonia called, “Chinatown.” We want to prophetically rename the area, “Shekinatown,” as we want to see the Shekinah glory of God inundate this place. We went and bought some sodas at the sakau bar, then sat with the local youth that we always see playing basketball and hanging out every day. They kept their distance at first and didn’t seem so welcoming of us. I think it may have been because they were all underage and drinking alcohol from a bottle. We just sat and spoke with them in English and Pohnpeian. Then one guy named Troy came and hung out. He is older than the rest and is half Yapese, half American. At first he was a bit “stand-offish” as well, but as Jonas and I just sat and listened, he began to ask questions of us. We engaged in some really good conversation with him and the others, didn’t once condemn them for their drinking, but just sat there, loving on them all. They’ve invited Jonas and I to come and hang out with them anytime. Thank you Jesus for leading us to these treasures. It has been said, “it is better to shine the light than to curse the darkness.”
On Saturday night we had our usual gathering in our apartment. We believe these gatherings to be the beginning of the House of Prayer that we will start here in Pohnpei. Our friends came in and we had an awesome time of prayer and worship. I had our friends write down on a piece of paper all of their personal prayer requests, then on the other side all of the things they would like to see change in Pohnpei. Then as we worshipped together, we took time to pray through all of the requests. It was an incredible time in the presence of God. Before and after our time of prayer and worship, we always get to have such good conversations with our friends. The more we sit and listen to their stories, the more we realize how dark the darkness really is here in Pohnpei. Of course from living here before we knew about the history of Pohnpei being the center for human sacrificing in the islands. We also had experience tremendous opposition and outright open attacks from the enemy as we saw many youth delivered from evil spirits and cling to Jesus. We also knew of the black magic that is practiced here, but are coming to realize how many Pohnpeians are involved in such practices, even though many of them are professing Christians. This Saturday night, the daughter of one of our friends wanted prayer. A few months ago she had accompanied her parents to pray for a girl who was demon-possessed. Her parents were able to cast out the evil spirits from the girl, but the daughter had an open door in her life due to a pattern of sin, and from that time on the demons began to torment her and her older sister. Because of the demonic oppression, the daughter lost over 50% of her hearing and was even vomiting metal objects that she had never swallowed. So on Saturday night, we had her close the doors to the enemy by repenting of her sin. Then Christy and I anointed her ears with oil and prayed for her healing. Within moments, her hearing had been completely restored. When the light of Christ exposes the darkness, evil must flee.
This morning, some of our other friends who were at our Saturday night fellowship asked if we could anoint the new local house they are building on their land in the “U” municipality, as the wooden beams have already been invaded by bugs . The locals are attributing this to a curse and have been trying to get our friends to use more black magic to combat it. Our friends denied their request and are trusting in Jesus to break this curse. I anointed every wooden post with oil and in the Pohnpeian language wrote Joshua 24:15 on the center post which says, “As for me and my house, we shall serve the LORD.” We all prayed together and dedicated the home to Jesus, breaking off all curses and black magic. These same friends had an amazing encounter with the Holy Spirit at our fellowship last night and said that for the first time, their family didn’t argue at home in Kolonia. They want us to pray over their house in Kolonia as well because black magic was placed in the cement as the front fence was being built. On our way to their home in “U” this morning, Jonas and I saw a half-naked woman who didn’t seem to be in her right mind shouting at our friends in the car ahead of us. Our friends said that they have taken care of her for a long time now, giving her shampoo and helping her to shower. It was the first time she has ever cursed them. It gave our friends the goose bumps. We know that when a line is drawn in the sand, and through faith in Christ we choose to be children of the light, the darkness is exposed as we simply live our lives. For whatever reason, the battle between light and darkness is more “in your face” here in Micronesia and in other foreign nations we have lived in and traveled to. But the truth is, this battle is all around us no matter where we are in the world. The question is: Will we choose to shine the light of Christ?