Since the distribution of the rice in the lower section of the Rio Coco River in September, we have intensified our evangelistic outreach to those villages. Each month we have been able to make a 7 to 10 day trip down the river, stopping at each village for a day to share the Gospel message.
Usually we set up camp near the river to guard the boat or sometimes a family will move out of their house into a neighbors house and let us use their home to have a little shelter from the rain.
On our October trip while preaching in the village of Sawa, an elderly man named General Olayo prayed to receive Jesus as his personal savior. The villagers didn’t believe it because he was a “sukia”. Sukia is the name in Miskito given to a person that performs witchcraft. They summon demonic spirits or become possessed by demonic spirits at which time they perform black magic often times placing curses on the villagers. They are feared by all.
General, it turned out, was not only a sukia but he was the longest practicing and most feared sukia throughout the region. But as he prayed to receive Jesus, he was delivered from that bondage and was truly born again. That same day he destroyed everything associated with witchcraft that he had.
During our next trip we were in another village not too far from Sawa and were told by a villager there that word had spread about General’s salvation. But that now he was sick, lying in his bed, close to death. The villagers were saying that because he received Jesus, that the demons had come to kill him. And because he lay sick, that the demons were more powerful than Jesus. In fact, General’s wife was told not to bury him when he died but to leave him on his bed and in four days Satan would come and raise him up to be more powerful than he was before.
When we arrived in Sawa we went to see General. As we entered his hut, there he was on his bed, weak, just as the people had said. But when he saw us he said that he would not call on the “curanderos” ( people who used herbs and spells to cure people) but believed God would heal him. We read to him from 1 Peter and James about God’s provision and promise of healing then anointed him with oil and prayed for the Lord to heal him. So great was his faith that as I took him by the hand, he immediately got up out of the bed and stood up on his own, completely healed. Praise the Lord!! I thought of the words of Jesus “according to your faith, be it unto you”. We gave him a Bible in Miskito and some reading glasses we had.
His grandson was there watching all this then told us that two days earlier an evil spirit had come to him (the grandson) in a vision, knocking him down to the ground where he laid in convulsions for a while. But now, after seeing his grandfather healed, he and his wife wanted to pray to receive Jesus, so we prayed with them and two more souls were added to the kingdom.
General Olayo’s story is but one of the many incredible testimonies of God’s power at work on the Rio Coco as the light of the Gospel continues to destroy the works of darkness.
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