A woman is bitten by a cobra. Our evangelist is there. He prays for the woman. She lives. People in her village are stunned. No one survives a cobra bite. How can this be? This event has such an impact on the people, along with the sharing of God’s word by this evangelist, that 22 men with their families convert to Christianity. Many say, “Your God is stronger than our God.”
An imam in a mosque is unable to raise fish on his farm. Everything he tries fails. Our leader who befriends this man for many months prays for his fish ponds one day. Suddenly his ponds are filled with fish. This incident has such an impact, along with the continuing witness of this Christian friend, that he becomes a Christian.
Then a mob of 500 people come to his baptism to kill him and those who are performing the baptism. He speaks to the entire group and tells them of his personal belief in Christ. Miraculously the mob spares him and the Christian leaders.
Do miracles still happen? Yes, we believe they do. Still our certainty in spiritual matters rests on God’s Word and not our experiences.
It should be noted that we have offered prayers for others who were bitten by cobras, believers and unbelievers, and they did not live. We always pray, “As God wills . . . ” We do not understand why God provides dramatic answers to prayers sometimes and other times not. We trust in God’s wisdom and love. We live by faith not by sight.
Now I will tell you about the most amazing miracles:
We were told not to work in the villages where these events took place. Christians from other churches said, “Do not go there. It is too dangerous.” There was not a single church in this area. But this is where we are having our greatest harvest.
Two months ago a mob came and destroyed the homes of 31 families in our fellowship. They used a bulldozer to level the small brick homes to the ground.
The people who suffered this loss are trying to rebuild their homes with bamboo sticks along dusty roads. Now members of this mob are coming and tearing down some of the second homes they made with palm branches.
Here is what surprises me.
- Our brothers and sisters in Christ talk about loving the people who destroyed their homes. If someone lit a match and burned my home to the ground, I’m not sure my first thought would be, “How can I show love to them?” They want to use this event to lead their enemies to Christ.
- So far no one has left the Christian faith and returned to their former way of life; even though from a human perspective their conversion has brought them great suffering.
- They have not asked for any help in rebuilding their homes because they do not want to open themselves to the accusation that Christianity has brought them material gain.
Such maturity! Such perspective! And from people who are new in the faith! How can this be? Oh, the power of God to change human lives.
I see miracles, the greatest miracles of all: the miracle of being brought to faith and the miracle of being kept in the faith through the message of Jesus Christ.
Do miracles still happen in our mission fields?
Written by WELS’ friendly counselor to South Asia
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