This month’s #GoGrowChange theme of sunshine is all about the importance of prayer support. This story by Tim Rickel, vice president of International Ministries, makes it evident why there is such a great need for prayer.
I sat behind the wheel of my truck, heart pounding. As soon as I felt the right rear dual tire slip off the road and start to slip down the six-foot drop to the stream bed next to the road, I hit the brakes and stopped the truck. How had this happened?
The F-350 was tilted at a crazy angle—left front tire off the ground. I gingerly got out to survey the situation. A large clump of grass was all that prevented the truck from going over the edge and likely flipping upside down into the stream below. In the next few minutes, what had happened would come into clear focus. This was spiritual warfare!
I was on the island of Roatán, Honduras, right in front of the clinic where people were seen for medical care throughout the week and where a church was being born. We were building a house across the valley, and that’s where the events leading up to this accident began. I was working that morning with three young men, and I needed a chain that was back at the clinic to pull start our Jeep that had a dead battery that morning. To save time, and because the chain was heavy, I drove the truck over to pick up the chain. Just as I was getting into the truck to return, there were my three workers walking down the road toward town! What were they doing? So instead of turning right and going back over to the house, I turned left to catch up to them and ask them why they were walking off the job. As they came back into view, one of the three turned and looked back at me and then turned and kept walking down a small side path; they were gone. I slammed on the brakes and threw the truck in reverse. Forget it! As I backed up along the familiar lane to the spot where I could turn back around, the wheel suddenly dropped off the roadway. I hadn’t realized it, but the night before the government road grader had graded the road, leveling off clumps of dirt that had formed a sort of curb on the drop-off side of the narrow road. That was the first time that road had been graded in the seven years we had been in Roatán.
I now had to walk over to the house to get some rope and plan how I was going to extricate my heavy truck. When I got to the house, there were my three workers! I asked them how they had gotten back up to the house; they looked at me like I was crazy.
“We’ve been here working. Where’s the truck?” was their response.
And as in other occasions in this small village of 1,500 souls, where the message of Christ was unknown and where we just had a fledgling church starting, I could definitely see how the enemy of our soul was trying to defeat us using every trick at his disposal. Nothing in my Christian background had prepared me for the spiritual warfare we faced in Roatán. When things would get to a certain point and we needed help, we would call WGM headquarters and ask for a request to be put on Prayer Lifeline. This was before email when the only way to get the Lifeline was by calling an 800 number. Every time, we would feel the oppression lift right around noon on Tuesday when the new Lifeline requests were being recorded. It was like the soldier on the frontlines of battle calling in an airstrike on an enemy position.
I was able to use ropes and a jack to winch the truck back up onto the road that morning, tying off to some coconut trees across the road. But the real help came the next Tuesday when the Lifeline went live. Prayer is still the main weapon in our arsenal against the enemy. Satan would like us to forget that.
ACT: Missions work can be dangerous, and the enemy is always on the prowl. We are God’s army, and we can make a difference today! Will you take up arms and join the Prayer Lifeline team (www.wgm.org/lifeline) to support those under attack and on the front lines?