This last Nov. 13 - Dec. 18, our ministry partners enabled me to accept five teaching requests in five different cities in southern Asia. At each one, we taught "Scriptural Foundations of Healing & Deliverance," and, at each one, the power of God manifested not through my hands but through the local believers who received our teaching and then simply responded in faith. None was more willing, more gracious, more helpful than Richoniy, a lovely teenage girl in a city of seven million people. This was one of our follow-up reports.
At 16, Richoniy (ree-show’-nee) can’t boast the delicate features prized by so many sparkling Bollywood film stars, yet Richoniy is singularly beautiful. Beneath her dark eyebrows and lashes, her eyes glisten with compassion, intelligence and a quick wit. Richoniy’s high voice and laughter resonate like music. A pastors’ daughter, she walks unaware of how people almost unconsciously watch and admire her.
At the close of a lo-o-ong teaching day in this large Asian church, one woman, perhaps 35 in a pale blue saree, begged for healing. Tears streamed down her face. Pain and exhaustion yellowed her eyes and infused her cheeks with a feverish glow. A bad tooth had erupted into a throbbing abscess, and she had not slept in three days.
I motioned across the crowded room to Richoniy who came alongside to translate my English into the local language. I told the suffering woman that God would heal her through Richoniy’s hands. Richoniy had never seen or experienced a healing, but she translated without hesitation and clearly owned the faith to continue. Reminding her of Scriptural truth, I had Richoniy gently touch the woman’s swollen cheek and provided words for Richoniy to proclaim aloud. Cautiously Richoniy followed directions, not once but several times before pain gave way and every sign of infection disappeared. Under Richoniy’s fingers, the woman’s abcess evaporated. Tears of anguished exhaustion gave way to tears of joy. The woman’s eyes, now fever-free, danced with wondering gratitude.
From that point forward, Richoniy and the same woman led the way among those who attended our three-day program in in this bustling city of 7 million people. On the third day at Richoniy’s direction, a group of older women ministered and saw several dramatic healings, one involving a woman with a dislocated shoulder; healing manifested only after Richoniy led her in a prayer to forgive her employer who, in anger two years before, had wrenched her arm from its socket.
So a letter from Richoniy, handed furtively to me as I packed to come home but read at 35,000 feet somewhere over the Atlantic, is now a treasured possession. “I lack self-confidence,” she wrote to me. “Normally, people say I’ve got a gift of music and writing songs, but I’ve felt that I had so much more and never knew what that might be. Your words caused me to know what’s inside. God dwells in me. He can and will use my lips, my hands and my eyes. He uses me as His vessel. In just three days, you’ve made me feel so special about myself like I’ve never been before.”
God has revealed his tangible love to Richoniy, and, I’m convinced, she is forever changed by that. He indwells all those who, like Richoniy, simply trust in Him. He will speak and act through us -- all of us -- if we dare to believe what He plainly says is true. Thank you for empowering me to teach so many over these last twelve months and especially through these most recent 35 days spent in Asia. Both Debbie and I are deeply, deeply grateful.
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When Sam and Luke were small, I used to tell them, "Every day with daddy is an adventure!" That's true about our spiritual daddy, God, too. Read and see.