“Never pity missionaries; envy them. For they are where the real action is — where life and death, sin and grace, Heaven and Hell converge.”
In my lifetime, I have heard numerous stories of missionaries who travel to foreign lands, build churches and the natives ‘flock’ to the services; packed out crowds come to hear the Word of God. Here in Ecuador, that is not the case. The area that God led us to, instead, is packed with demon possession, witchcraft, sorcery. The enemy himself is on a rampage here, and the people are powerless to stop him. The Word of God tells us that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). Those powers, those principalities, are very real here.
A few mornings ago, I was sleeping soundly in my bed, then heard a loud scream. It was piercing, as if someone was in real danger. I instantly jumped out of my bed, looked out the window, to see right across the street, a young man seated on the sidewalk amidst the trash. This young man is just like Legion in the Word of God. He lives on the streets here. He cannot hold a conversation with anyone. His life is in complete submission to Satan. No, not by this young man’s will. The Bible says they are in the snares of the devil, ‘who are taken captive by him at HIS will” (II Timothy 2:26). I saw him rifling through the trash, and then let out another horrible scream. He continued this for about 15 minutes, every few minutes letting out a sound from the pits of Hell, and each time thereafter, calm as if nothing had happened. He is tormented daily by the enemy. Here in Puyo where we live, this is a very common sight. I prayed for this young man right then, for him to be freed in Jesus name from the wicked one.
This life is not a game we play. Spiritual wickedness is very real. Because it is so strong here, the people do not flock to our churches. They have been taught to turn to the Shamans, or drink a poisonous plant in hopes it will help them. Babies are born full of demon possession. When you enter some homes, the spirit of Satan is so thick that it literally gives you cold chills and cuts through you like a knife. Therefore, we have to spend numerous hours in prayer, many days a week fasting to liberate them from this bondage of the enemy. Liberation that they cannot attain on their own. They are truly depending on us, depending on you. Depending on your prayers.
We really are where the real action is. We are where Heaven and Hell converge. And we love it. We live to gain victory over the enemy and see the Kichwa and Shuar set free! And that is what God is doing here.