Here at SAIACS, there is a spiritual battle going on which is sometimes more obvious than one might expect. There is a Hindu temple across the road from the seminary campus family residences, and its greatest weapon is a large loudspeaker. There have been times that their “songs” and proclamations have been ridiculously loud. It seemed funny to us at first, a bit like bad karaoke, until we realized that it is a sign of a spiritual battle. One family living on campus has one member who is sensing a sometimes debilitating physical oppression because of it. On Wednesday evening, our team gathered to pray for the family, and for the blessing of their home. At one point, the “music” started while we were praying. I felt a pressure in my chest, and raised my hand in the direction of the music, against it. It stopped. As we prayed around the property, one of my teammates had a vision of angels, but those angels looked badly beaten and war-wounded.
The church here is sometimes an oppressed ministry. The battle is significant, but it belongs to the Lord. He will gain the victory, because he is greater than whatever those across the street may conjure up.
I also met with a young man who is a relatively new believer – a wonderful and not uncommon thing in India. This fellow is different, though. He was, you see, an Imam – a Muslim cleric. He had a special responsibility: to re-convert Muslims who had become Christians, back to Islam. While studying Arabic, he was taught about the Christian faith, and decided to read the Bible. He discovered that what he had been taught was a pack of lies, based on what the Bible said, and as he read, he became convinced that Jesus died for him. Through a variety of connections, he met with a Lutheran pastor who became his Christian mentor, leading him to Christ and to some theological training.
When his family found out, they tried to kill him. But God had a better plan. He was hospitalized, and then jailed (since his family fabricated the idea that he had come into their home as a thief), but the case was thrown out. He was safely taken into the care of Christians, and now is working actively to re-convert those he had re-converted! His zeal for the gospel is nothing short of amazing, and I praise God for him, because he is perfectly positioned, knowing the “inside story” of Islam, to help Muslims come to know Jesus as their personal Saviour and Lord.
Sometimes, the battle is spiritual, and sometimes it is physical. But God is greater than the knife wielded in hatred.