In 2003, I went on a short mission trip which was my first trip after I became Jesus’ follower. I was young Christian and still searching for God’s calling in my life, and was so excited to go on this trip. God showed his grace upon my team and I and He provided our needs to go to the remote village in East Borneo.
We took a 5 hours flight from Jakarta to Balikpapan. Then the next day we took about 5-6 hours bus drive to Samarinda, then took 3 days on a boat river to the village. In the middle the second day on the boat, our boat suddenly stop in the middle of the night, no electricity on the boat, all dark and that was the season when the male crocodiles looked for the female and they would get angry if there any interruption happened. We were waiting and waiting for hours until finally the boat got fixed and we continued our trip. During the waiting, I was so afraid and many crazy thoughts popped up in my mind. But then the Holy Spirit comforted me with the Word of God said, “I never forsake nor forget you,” and I was just thanked God for his presence and protection for all of us.
We finally arrived. It was one of the small village in the middle of the forest of Borneo. People couldn’t speak Indonesian very good, except those who had education in the city, which were only very little people. All of the people in the village spoke Dayaknese and neither one of us could speak. This situation troubled my heart and questions started filling my mind, “How can we share the Good News with these people?,” “How we communicate with them?,” or “Will they understand what we will say?” etc. That was the first day.
We stayed at a church which was next to the village “witch doctor’s” house. He wasn’t happy with the presence of the church, and now us. But, the pastor told us that they tried to build relationship with him. The second night, we were having a group of young people at the church and we had to walk them home after that meeting. On the way walking them home one by one, something weird happened. A friend of mine saw a big black guy following us but then when we turned around to see, he was gone. Just like never was there. Then, happened again on the way back to the church. Then, we got together and prayed asking for God’s protection from the evil spirits that had been following us. Then we went to sleep. I could’t sleep. My spirit was not comfortable at all. We all were laying down on the floor at the same room, then suddenly I turn to the other side, and saw him. The big black guy! I screamed but my voice couldn’t come out. I tried hard to open my mouth to call Jesus’ name over and over again. Suddenly, my voice raised up and a friend of mine woke up and started to pray the warfare pray with me, and then the rest of them joined us. By the power of Christ, we stood and praised God and the big black guy gone. Never came back until the last day were there. But the evil spirits attacked us in different ways, for example, where there was a weakness in one of us, we had a conflict one day there and it was hard for every one of us. But then we reconciled and forgave each other, then realized that was one of the attacks.
Another form of attacks from the evil spirit also happened when I went to a village in Central Borneo, with my husband a group of students from the States. We were having a literacy program, reading program in local language, encouraging people to read in their language so when they have the Bible in their language, they will read it and apply it in their lives. So, we went to the next village for a day visit and recreation at the river. It was a big and beautiful river. When the others were playing at the river, my husband and I walked around the village taking pictures and talking to the people. We saw a small house with 2 statues, a man and a woman, and also a tall post with a big pot with cover on top of it. We asked the lady who was with us walking the village what they were and she explained to us that the post with the pot was the ashes of the ancient people of the village and the house with statues were the house a symbolic that they were still living in that village in spirits guiding and protecting the next generation. Then we walked back after taking pictures. We all gathered together for lunch at an empty house next to the river before we walked back to the main house. After coming back from that village, that night, I had a very very weird dream. I was got attacked in the dream. I could breathe and tried to screamed for help but couldn’t the 2 statues were on top of me tried to chocked me to death. And I kept on trying to call Jesus’ name over and over again until a soft voice came out, “Jesus, help” and then their hands came loose and letting me go but were still there tried to attack me again, but them I could talk and call upon God’s protection and Jesus’ power to help me to fight these evil spirits. Then Dave woke me up by shook my body over and over again. That time he was for sure said that I was crying for help and called Jesus over and over again when he tried to woke me up. Praise God I got through it with God’s power and protection. I was pregnant that time with our little daughter. I was weak in spirit and physic that was the opportunity that used by the evil spirit to attack me and the team.
Going on a mission trip, a long or a short ones, these situations could happen, of may in different forms of attack by the evil spirits. This is what we call Spiritual Warfare. What is Spiritual Warfare? Here’s a definition taken from “Abandoned Times Blog” by JFK Mensah, saying,
From a Christian perspective, spiritual warfare is the cosmic war of good versus evil: its battles are fought daily between God and Satan; between the Christian Church and the world system ruled by our spiritual enemy; and between the Holy Spirit and the lusts of the carnal flesh within every human soul. Robert S. Sims
Spiritual warfare is imitating Christ’s attitude towards Satan and his kingdom. Jesus Christ confronted Satan, his kingdom and demons more than anyone else in the Bible. He began ministry by overcoming Satan’s temptations.
The Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil, 1Jn. 3:8. He came to set the captives free, Lk. 4:18. He was anointed with the Holy Spirit and power and went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil, Acts 10:38.
He went throughout the synagogues of Israel preaching the gospel and casting out demons, Mk.1:39. The demon-possessed were brought to him and he cast out the spirits with his word, Matt. 8:16,17.
He appointed his twelve apostles to be with him so that he could send them forth to preach and have power to cast out demons and heal the sick, Mk. 3:13-15.
When Jesus sent out the twelve, he gave them power against unclean spirits and commanded them to heal the sick and cast out demons, Matt. 10:1,7-8. The twelve did exactly that, Mk. 6:12,13. When he sent out the 70 two-by-two, they came back rejoicing that even unclean spirits were subject to them in Jesus’ name, Lk. 10:17.
Our Lord Jesus forbade his disciples from stopping a man casting out demons in his name who was unknown to the apostles, Lk. 9:49,50. He rebuked his disciples for unbelief when they could not cast out a stubborn demon, Matt. 17:19-21.
He promised that those who believe in him would have power to cast out demons in his name as they preach the gospel to every creature, Mk. 16:15-18. In fact, they would do the same works that Jesus did and greater works, Jn. 14:12.
He told his disciples that all authority in heaven and on earth was given to him and they were to go and make disciples of all nations based on his continual presence with them, Matt. 28:18-20.
Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:10-20 that we always have to put on the Whole Armors of God wherever we go, whenever we go, and whatever we do, especially go on mission trips to reach the unreached and to share the Gospel of the Kingdom of God the unbelievers. God has provided the protection and we just need to put them on.