Just moments after arriving in the Bush Bush of Nampula Province, Mozambique a young man named Tadeo approached me. One of the only Christians in a village where 99% of the population were from another faith, he couldn’t contain his excitement to see us.
Despite his beaming face and bubbly personality, Tadeo was struggling with a serious problem. Epilepsy. There was a desperation in his voice as he explained the extent of his affliction.
Sixteen years ago he suffered his first epileptic seizure, out of the blue. Ever since that time he has been battling up to six or seven seizures every single day. His condition was so debilitating he couldn’t even work so his wife took his three children and left him.
Jesus is the Answer
Tadeo recognised that Jesus Christ, the Son of God was the only answer to defeat his epilepsy. Even before we’d shown the movie or preached he asked for prayer. In fact he was unable to watch the movie because the lights could potentially trigger another seizure.
I was so moved by compassion for this man, but even more angry at the devil for the torment he was afflicting upon his life. So I assembled three of the Mozambican Bible School students to join me in praying for him.
For different reasons I have become very familiar with the texts of Mark 9 and Matthew 17 where Jesus heals the boy with epilepsy. As the others prayed in the Spirit, I rebuked the deaf and dumb spirit, binding it and cancelling every assignment of the enemy over his life. Finally, after feeling a release, we declared complete healing and gave thanks to God.
In the natural it didn’t look like anything much was happening. He didn’t fall over and there weren’t any manifestations but we decided to trust God and believe.
A Good Night’s Sleep
The next morning Tadeo was up waiting for us outside our camp. “How did you sleep last night?” I asked him? “Excellent!” he replied beaming from ear to ear. Continuing his testimony he explain that not only had he not had a single seizure in over 15 hours, but he also didn’t have any nightmares that night.
Apparently demons tormented him continuously in his sleep which invariably resulted in at least one seizure every night. For the first night in sixteen years he was able to sleep through the night uninterrupted.
A New Life
We couldn’t contain our excitement so Tadeo immediately shared his testimony with Pastor Jose and Heidi. Desperate for a new life and a fresh start in Christ, they decided that he would come back with us. The following Monday he started his first day as a Bible School student where he is training to become a pastor in his village.
A few weeks later, during midweek worship at the base in Pemba, the Mozambicans led us in dance. The strobe lights were flashing, everyone was dancing African style, and there right at the front I saw my friend Tadeo dancing his heart out. Most people know that strobe lighting is a big NO NO for even mild epilepsy because it triggers serious seizures. But Tadeo didn’t even seem to notice.
I couldn’t help but smile watching him worship his God that night. He has so much to be thankful for.
And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover. Mark 16:17-18
Jesus commanded us to cast out demons and lay hands on the sick and it is his promise that they WILL recover. It is our job to step out in faith and pray, he will do the rest.