Latuk

During my outreach in Bali, we had the amazing opportunity to stay in an unreached village for five days. The moment we arrived, it took my breath away. The banana and coconut trees, giant tropical leaves the size of umbrellas, and geckos climbing up the trees. I remember how cool and quiet the air was, tucked away deep into the mountains.

When we arrived our host family greeted us warmly, and showed us so much hospitality. They told us everyone in the village practiced Hinduism, or some form of animism. They, and one other woman they had discipled, were the only Christians. We asked them their story, and they told us God called them to move out of their comfort zone from the city of Bali to this remote, unreached village to share the gospel, and love the people here.

Up until this point, I’d only read about the sacrifices missionaries had to make living in an unreached people group. Living it for five days was a completely eye-opening, and life-changing experience.

A few days before we left for the village, I went up to the roof of the base we were staying at to watch the sunrise and pray. As I began to pray, God gave me Ezekiel 47. In this chapter, Ezekiel prophesies about God’s new temple that He promises to establish in the future. This temple holds living, healing water, which is the presence of God. The water is so good, it cannot be contained in the temple, but spills out into the land, healing and reviving everything it touches. As I read this verse God spoke clearly to me and said,

“This is what I am going to do in the village this week.”

He told me He wanted His presence to flow throughout the village, like living water, and heal the people there. He said the living water is the Holy Spirit, no longer bound to a temple, but living and active inside of us. If we have the Holy Spirit, then wherever we go we bring that water and the thirsty will draw near because they sense the healing presence of God.

I knew this was something I needed to share with my team, so the first day in the village I volunteered to lead our morning devotion focusing on Ezekiel 47, and the word God gave me. Everyone was super receptive and we all felt in our hearts that some form of healing was going to happen in the days to come.

That morning we walked down the road to meet the neighbors with the intention of praying and sharing the gospel with them (if the opportunity allowed). Most of the family worked in the fields during the day, so we spent our time getting to know the mother, Latuk and her daughter. The daughter came to know Jesus through our host family, but the mother was not a Christian.

Latuk was lovely. She had soft, strong hands and deep brown eyes. Her daughter told us she was so old, the family had forgotten her age. We guessed she was in her mid 90’s. We didn’t want to overwhelm her, so only a few of my team members and the translators sat down and talked with her while the rest of us walked around the house praying.

It didn’t take long for my team to sense she was troubled and in physical pain. Latuk told us she had severe back pain from a vehicle accident awhile back. She also had a skin condition that left her feeling itchy “from head to toe”. She had visited physicians, and witch doctors alike, but none of them could find a solution to end her pain. As she shared, my teammates felt prompted by the Holy Spirit to pray for healing over her body.

This brings me to a side note about the Indonesian language. In 1945 Indonesia declared Bahasa Indonesia (or Indonesian) as the official language of the country. Before then, all the individual islands spoke their own dialect. That means people like Latuk, living in a remote village and being a senior adult, never learned Indonesian. She only spoke Balinese. Because of this, we needed two translators to communicate with her. Our translator Kezia translated English into Indonesian, and the host family’s daughter, Rebecca, translated Indonesian into Balinese.

Long story short, it took a while to communicate with her. However, when my team began to pray for healing – and only when they were praying – she told us she didn’t need translation. The Holy Spirit actually opened up her ears and gave her the ability to understand English, completely working past language barriers in order to show His power and glory. That alone left us in awe.

After they prayed for healing, she told us her back pain was gone, but her itchy skin remained. We decided we should pray a second time, and afterward, she said the itchiness went away, except on the top of her head. We didn’t quite understand this, but we agreed we needed to pray one more time. After the third time, she was completely healed from head to toe. Latuk was visibly in awe. She couldn’t believe our God could heal her when her gods, the physicians, and the witch doctors couldn’t.

At this point, she was eager to know more about Jesus, so our translators began to share the gospel with her. After talking for a while, she said she wanted to give her life to Jesus. Latuk was saved that day, and I feel at peace knowing our host family is there today discipling and encouraging her in her newfound faith.

That night we went back to our host family’s house feeling pumped for what God did that day. As we ate dinner under the unpolluted stars, we felt an eagerness and confidence that God would show more of His healing power in the days to come.

Shortly after dinner, Latuk’s daughter came to us and told us Latuk fainted soon after we left. She said Latuk was feeling sick, restless, and couldn’t sleep. We decided to go back and check on her the next day to see what was wrong.

The next morning we sat with her and asked what was going on. She told us she fainted shortly after we left, she barely slept, and was experiencing cold flashes. Her itchy skin returned, and as I looked into her eyes, I could tell something was deeply troubling her. That’s when my teammate, Sam, asked her if there was something she was afraid of.

Her composure shifted, and fear crept into her eyes as she began to describe a demon that had tormented her for years. She said it was tall, with crazy hair and yellow fish scale skin. It held a net full of children that opened and closed. She said it had visited her for years in the night, sometimes controlling her body like a puppet. At times, even flinging her from her bed. Latuk told us it became so frequent that her family moved her from one building on their property to another, hoping it would solve things. For a little while it did, but he came back the day we visited, and that’s why she was afraid.

I felt a wave of anger rise in my chest as I listened to her, furious that something so evil could torment a frail, defenseless, 90-something-year-old woman. I knew we needed to pray spiritual warfare prayer, so I gathered a few of my teammates, and we laid hands on her and prayed. Afterward, she told us her itchy skin was gone, but as we prayed she saw the demon catch on fire and fly from one house, into her current one. She told us it was in her bedroom. We gathered the rest of our team, and some laid hands around the outside of her home and prayed, while the rest of us went into her bedroom and began to worship.

As we worshiped in Latuk’s bedroom, I saw her look up towards a corner in the ceiling and point. She said something I couldn’t understand to Rebecca and kept pointing to a spot in the corner ceiling. It dawned on me that the demon was in the corner, and she was the only one who could see it. Prompted by the Spirit, I walked to the corner, looked up into the ceiling and commanded the demon to leave her home in the name of Jesus. For a second it felt strange casting something out I couldn’t see, but I felt the Holy Spirit guiding me to do it.

Immediately after praying, Latuk jumped from her bed, ran to the window and looked up at the sky, smiling. I turned to Rebecca and asked, “Is the demon gone?” She grinned and nodded yes. Simultaneously, we felt the atmosphere lift in the room. To this day, I’ll never forget the look of joy she had gazing out of her bedroom window, and the peace that filled her eyes.

Once the demon left, we sat down with Latuk and explained that she no longer had to live in fear and bondage. We told her she can cast any demon out through the power of Christ within her. I feel confident knowing she has everything she needs to no longer live in demonic strongholds, and our host family is there to walk alongside her in this journey.

As I walked home that day, it hit me that God gave us prophetic words about healing at the beginning of the week, and only two days later we witnessed a woman healed holistically — both physically and spiritually. Not only that, but set free from demonic oppression.

Writing about it today still moves me to tears that Jesus loves us this much. He desires total freedom, and cares about our physical pain just as much as our emotional and spiritual pain. When He invades our lives He wants to heal every part of it, and set us free from darkness. Most of the time this doesn’t happen all in one sitting, like Latuk’s story, but I know that His desire is for all of us to experience healing in His timing. If we open up our hands and ask, He is ready and able to give it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s