We had been driving through the thick bush into the mountains for what seemed like over an hour. A Filipino pastor offered to drive myself and a fellow missionary friend to a church located in a rural area. Like most villages, it didn’t offer the conveniences of a Western restrooms.
I’m sure we’ve all found ourselves in inconvenient locations where the urge to relieve ourselves caused us to do things that we wouldn’t openly admit to our family, much less our friends.
the car door hiding your cute tooshy on the side of the road.…..
or the leaves you used on that camping trip.…..
and let’s not even think about how many swimming pools.
I grew up in the South and was not a stranger to finding alternatives in the woods as a kid. There were too many imaginary games and playing to be had, which meant running home to use the toilet was not convenient. So we often “popped a squat” and took care of business.
As time passed and we grew up, not only did we stop playing in the woods, but popping a squat became illegal. You could get thrown in jail for indecent exposure in the USA.
In some parts of Africa, the side of the roads were used for these very things. In the Philippians, you had to be more careful about which leaf you chose.
This particular day as we travelled deep into the tropical forest, I soon learned laws and leafs were the least of my worries.
It was a hot, August summer day in 1995. This day was no different that any other, except I was saying goodbye to my father. My husband, John, was out of town for business, so my father came to spend the week with me. We drove to the airport, said our goodbyes, and I slowly shuffled back to the car with my pregnant self.
Halfway home my car started making strange clicking noises, so I quickly maneuvered through three lanes of traffic to pull over on the side of the road. It was the grace of God that helped me get to the shoulder of the road before the car died. Standing in the hot Texan heat seven months pregnant on the side of the road and no phone was more stress than I needed at this stage in my pregnancy. This was back in the day before cell phones were invented, so my only option was to walk a mile to the nearest exit. I stood there praying for God to help and sure enough He heard my prayer.
A light yellow, four door, sedan pulled over to greet me. The woman in the drivers seat leaned forward enough to crank the window so that it slowly rolled down enough for me to hear her speak. I could tell her companion was a man in the passenger seat, but neither of them looked in my direction. The lady driving ask me if I needed a ride as they both continued staring towards the front of the car. This entire situation seemed shady, but I was desperate and had to get to a phone. Against my better judgement, I hopped into the back seat. Actually I rolled into the back seat slowly and asked if they could drop me at a gas station at the next exit.
This gas station was the same as any other. When we pulled into the parking lot, cars were lined up at the fuel pumps, while others were parked at the front door. She drove the car through the parking lot pass the fuel pumps and let me out near the front door. I thanked them both as I exited the car. When I turned to wave goodbye, the car and couple had disappeared. I didn’t see them waiting on cars to exit the gas pumps or waiting for traffic to pass to enter the highway again. There was no way the car had time to drive away because they had to put the car in reverse to back up, so they could exit the parking lot. Yet I stood there alone, with no car and no explanation, except that I was entertaining angels unaware.
“Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!” ~Hebrews 13:2 NLT
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I remember her tears, her shock, and her joy. Meredith had been walking through a difficult season in her life. Her husband was addicted to alcohol which found her not just protecting herself, but also her 5 year old son. Her husband was a good man and she loved him dearly, however, when he drank it felt like he became a completely different man than she married.
One day her son, Joseph, was playing in the living room when her husband came home. Joseph asked his daddy who the friend was that came home with him? Meredith was a bit perplexed because she didn’t see anyone enter the house and her husband was too inebriated to respond. As she looked into the front yard, she didn’t notice any friends or visitors entering the home, so she asked Joseph, “What friend are you speaking about?” Joseph said, “The one standing there,” pointing beside his Father. Joseph, Meredith, and her husband were the only people in the room. Meredith realized that “this friend” was not really a friend at all. It was a demon.
“My teenagers are seeing demons in the house. They haven’t been able to sleep for months and I need someone to help us get these demons out of our house. Will you come pray with us?,” said Mike. As a single father he had enough stress of raising teenagers alone and now demons were threatening his peace. Myself and two other friends agreed to pray over his home.
Before we journey together into Mike’s home, let me share a bit of truth about demons. God created us all with a free will. (Galatians 5:13) You are free to live your life how you want. God sent his Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins so we can live life more abundantly, but we have a choice to accept that gift or deny it. God doesn’t force it on us.
So, if the creator of the universe doesn’t make us do what He wants us to do, then satan who does not have a smidge of the same power of God can’t control you either. We have to invite God into our lives. We also have to invite demons into our lives.
“We are being tormented by evil spirits,” the Bagobo tribal people said, “Can you pray and get rid of them?” “Yes, of course, by the power and authority of Jesus Christ that has been given to us, we can tell them to go,” we explained.
This was our second visit to the Bagobo tribe and we felt honored they trusted us to help them. More than that, they trust the God of the universe who lives in us to help them. We began a prayer walk outside the school building through the homes and a shelter. In each room we prayed against the spirit of death that had been attacking their unborn babies and the tormenting spirits that kept the people from sleeping at night.
“You need to leave work now and go home, because it’s beginning to snow here and it’s headed your way. I don’t want you to be stuck in the snow or on the side of the road,” my brother explained on the phone. He worked 30 miles away from me and it had already started snowing at his location. When I looked out the window in my office, the skies were clear and there weren’t any snow flurries in sight. So I took my time warning colleagues of the storm ahead and packed up my things to begin my 30 minute drive home.
For the most part, the drive was smooth, until I exited the interstate onto an old country road, which was the last mile and a half before my driveway. Instantly it felt like the skies opened up and a bucket of snow was dumped on me, the car, and the roads. I slowed my speed to prevent myself from sliding around on the icy roads. Surrounded by farmland and deep ditches lining the road, I had to be careful. If I had an accident or ended up in the ditch, my car and possibly myself would be there a long time. The ditches were intentionally four feet in depth to catch water running off the farmland, so the road wouldn’t flood. If I lost control of my car, there was no way I could recover quick enough to get out of the ditch and the nearest house was about a half mile away.
It seemed like within minutes, the road went from very little snow and ice to an ice skating rink. I soon found myself losing control of the car as it spun around in the middle of the road. I quickly hit the brake only to find myself hood first into the ditch. Within a split second I screamed, “Jesus” and slammed on the gas pedal in hopes that Jesus would take the wheel and help me get out of the spin. Sure enough He performed a miracle as my car seemed to lift up and float back onto the icy road.
The night seemed darker than usual as I travelled half an hour home from a church service. Living in the country has its perks, but driving long distances to get home was not one of them.
If you grew up in the country, then your childhood years were likely filled with quiet mornings, make believe adventures in the woods, drinking from the water hose, and chasing lightning bugs at night while your friends and family hung out by the campfire. Everyday was a picnic and camping experience. You also learned to drive in the dark, as there are no lights lining the dirt roads to light your path like the city provides.
On this particular night, I was about 10 minutes from my driveway when I saw two bundles of light in the sky in front of me. It was like they all the sudden appeared in the night. One moment it’s pitch black outside and the only light in the night is my headlights and the moon. The next minute, there are two additional lights in the sky. Immediately, it made me think about the spotlights that car dealerships use as a marketing tool to draw people in like the Batman signal. However, there were no car dealerships nearby and Batman is not real. As a matter of fact, there isn’t much of anything nearby except farmland as far as the eye can see. These lights were smaller than a spotlight and very close to my vehicle.
As I continued driving I noticed the two lights remained in front of me. Surely by now, I should have passed under them. As I neared my driveway, the adventurous spirit in me decided to keep driving. Soon the two lights split and started traveling on either side of my car. This went on for about a mile, until I stopped. When I stopped, the lights stopped and came together again in front of me.
I pulled over on the side of the road. There wasn’t a house around me for at least 2 miles. I was surrounded by flat farmland that had just been harvested, so the ground was dry and empty. I exited the car and stood watching them as they began swirling around in a circle, almost like children do when they are playing.
I asked God, “What is happening here? What are those lights?” Immediately I heard him say, “They are Angels.”
To be continued…….
Next week, I will share with you what the angels did next. You will never doubt the truth about guardian angels again.
“For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” Psalms 91:11-12
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Looking at my hands and my surroundings, I realized I was in the passenger’s seat of a vehicle. I couldn’t see a road through the windshield in front of me, however, it was very apparent we were moving at a steady speed. There was no scenery to view through the windshield or out of my right side window, it only looked like white clouds engulfing us.
If I was in the passenger seat, then who was driving?
I turned to see someone that I knew well, though I couldn’t make out his facial features. Every tense muscle in my body quickly released as I became aware of His presence. It was Jesus.
Still confused about where I was and what was happening, yet feeling complete peace about going wherever Jesus was taking us, I heard voices in the backseat. Correction, I heard laughing and joyous sounds coming from behind me. It sounded like belly laughs that make you pee your pants. So, I turned to see two formless beings sitting in the back seat of the car. They were a crystal, clear, white color, yet I could see their heads and mouths talking. They were angels.
They both silenced their laughs as I stared at them intently. The angel sitting behind Jesus, we will call Angel 1, said, “Ask her.” The angel sitting behind me, we will call Angel 2, said, “Can I see your hands?”
I don’t remember having a seatbelt on, but I was able to turn my body around enough to stretch out my hands in between the front two seats. I held out my hands, palms up, for the angels to see. Angel 2 rested his formless hands under mine and started oooo..ing and awww….ing. His joyous laughing turned to amazement at what he was seeing.
I didn’t remember having my nails done and I’m sure my hands looked just like any other human hands, so what was the big deal? I didn’t have anything in my hands for the angel to be admiring. After a few moments Angel 1 said, “See. I told you. She has fire in her hands. The healing fire of God.” Immediately my hands began to turn the color red and I could see flames of fire resting on top of them.” Now, I was the one making the awe sounds. I had never seen this before either. I had always felt it when I prayed for people, but I had never seen it.”
For what seemed like minutes, but only lasted seconds were all of us watching in amazement. Jesus never interrupted, only kept driving. We were interrupted by Angel 1 laughing and teasing Angel 2, because he had told him it was true, but Angel 2 didn’t believe him.
Then I came to.
I’ve seen several angels and demons in my life, however, this vision by far was the most powerful encounter with angels I’ve ever experienced.
I still experience the fiery heat in my hands sometimes when I pray for people.
“Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” Hebrews 1:14
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Upon our arrival to Austria, we received word that the pastor of the church we would be ministering with that week had called an impromptu service. He assembled all the church members who were prayerfully waiting for us. This was not the best news we could’ve received after a 15 hour flight. With very little time to check-in, eat dinner, and travel to the church, we were exhausted. In all my travels, I’ve never mastered the art of sleeping on a plane, so it was past my bedtime. The team powered through our exhaustion and we headed to the church.
Worship was beautiful, though we couldn’t understand the words. The message was good, especially since I was one of the speakers. However, the most powerful part of the evening was at the end of the service.
An Austrian woman requested that all single people join her at the front of the building, so we all lined up shoulder to shoulder. The pastors began praying for us, while the Austrian church congregation lined up behind us to pray.
After some time, the church members behind me left and I could feel my teammates leave my side, as they all had received prayer. I stood there determined not to leave until a pastor had prayed for me. Finally it was my turn and I will never forget the words….. “Lord, place your hand upon Khristina’s heart and heal any brokenness from past relationships.” When I heard the words, I thought, “Well, that was a dud. I don’t have a broken heart. My last relationship had ended 6 months ago and I was doing ok.”
I was a bit frustrated I waited all that time, stood up there looking like a desperate girl, and then receiving a prayer that didn’t even apply to me. Yet, something in me made me stay still. My eyes still closed, standing alone in front of this church, waiting on God.
Then it happened.
I felt a hand on my back. The hand was so big that it felt like it could wrap around my rib cage. It was on my back in the parallel position of my heart. The light touch then began to push through my back past the skin, muscles, and tissue to my heart. There was no fear, only peace. No pain, only healing. It lasted for what seemed like 5 minutes. When the hand lifted, I turned to see only a full church congregation staring at me. No one standing behind me.
I quickly returned to my seat and asked my friend if she had seen someone come up behind me and put their hand on me for prayer. She said, “No. You’ve been standing up there for a long time by yourself.”
The next day as we gathered together to pray as a team, an Austrian church member joined us. After prayer, she asked if any of us had questions about the church service, so I shared my experience. She immediately confirmed what I already knew, “That was an angel. The very same thing has happened to me. God was healing your heart just like the pastor had prayed.”
I grew up watching the famous television series, “Touched by an Angel,” however, I never thought I would experience that touch myself.
“Praise the LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word.” Psalms 103:20
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Who knew seeing a demon in the church would change the trajectory of my life.
Just speaking the word “demon” envokes fear and physical reactions of discourse and watchfulness in most people. As a child, neighborhood kids would share scary stories of trolls that would invoke the same fear, but all that was fake, make-believe, only in the movies. Or at least that was what the grownups would tell us.
Well, except the grownups at church.
I had heard about demons and even read about them in the bible, but in the 15 years as a Christian and eight years on staff with a church, I never had the opportunity to actually see one. A friend of mine in junior high used to tell me she would see ghosts at night before she went to sleep and they would talk to her sometimes. I remember praying and asking God to make them stay away when we had sleepovers, because I had no interest in making friends with her ghost friends. Little did I know, I would one day have the opportunity to meet one of her friends.