In the Gospels, we find the story of a demon possessed man, set free when Jesus arrives in his town*. I couldn’t help thinking of that story as we drove away from the Soba’s (Chief’s) home in Cavulukamue. The day before our expedition departed, we had been robbed at our home in town. It was the second time a robbery took place right before we headed to the Mucubal people. It could have been a distraction to deal with the troop of police that once again descended on our house. It could have threatened our peace to learn that once again, as before, our own security guard was the guilty party. Instead, we dealt with the issue as quickly as possible, and got to packing. The retrieval of our personal goods from the Police lockup would have to wait until we got back to town at the end of the week. Thankfully, the incident this time didn’t cause a big storm, but it had all the potential makings of one.
Sometimes, we think we’re just crossing a lake, like the disciples probably did that day that Jesus got them all into a boat. But what awaits us on the other side can determine the journey to it. Unbeknown to us in Cavulukamue, a tiny rural community in Southern Angola, a lady probably about the same age as me was laying on her death bed. She was ridden with disease- probably a cancer, and had been losing control of her body over the last few months. She lay motionless and helpless as family members tried desperately to hold on to her. We had never seen or met this woman when we set out from Namibe, but just like that bound man in the Gospels, we know that Jesus had plans for her not to stay bound.
When we first arrived and visited the Soba, the guys spent over an hour praying with the Soba’s wife. In the process, she renounced many spiritual forces of darkness that she had aligned herself with and she cried out to Jesus. David asked her if she wanted to live, “Yes! I want to” she said. He explained that it was Jesus who would give her life, and that her body needed a miracle from Him. During their time praying with her she made progress, speaking more and becoming more animated. But there was still a long way to go.
We were camping a 30-minute drive from the Soba’s place, and before we left we passed by again to check in. This time his wife had been moved inside a small hut where a fire blazed to keep her warm. I asked our four-year-old if she’d like to pray with me for the lady, and together with our translator friend, Angelina, we squeezed into the hut to pray. The Soba’s wife had life in her eyes, but her body was clearly failing her. She could barely move and we were told she no longer had any control of her bladder. Again we prayed. She didn’t have the energy to talk that day so after praying, we left her to rest.
What happens next, God alone knows. He has gained one more follower in this woman. She chose Him over her other pursuits when given the opportunity. We know what that means to God. We know that He will never leave her or forsake her. The next chapter of the story, we will learn when we return to Cavulukamue. Until then, would you pray with us for this lady? We pray that a miracle takes place in her body and that she is completely restored, just like the man we meet in the Bible. We pray that her life also becomes a walking testimony to those in her community, who otherwise don’t know the loving power of God.
*Matthew 8, Mark 5, Luke 8