Often times on their journey to faith, after Rohingya have been introduced to and
confronted with Truth, they revert to a season of more fervent pursuit of their long-held
beliefs and practices. Interestingly, this pattern can occur even if they were not
particularly devout in the past. For many, it is an attempt to find a similar hope
somewhere within their long-held belief system. We have witnessed this pattern with
several Rohingya recently. We have also seen, however, overwhelming evidence of the
Father’s continual pursuit and revelation of Himself.
The fear of the presence and power of evil spirits is prevalent among Rohingya here.
Accounts of alleged visible manifestation and abnormal activity are part of the community
lore and spread rapidly.
We have been meeting regularly with Abdul, a young Rohingya refugee, to study an
important Book. He has shown great openness, yet the past few months he has been in a
season as described above. As we were leaving his housing unit recently, he
apologized for not serving a meal. “I’m sorry,” he said “but the man who runs the food
stall nearby is in the hospital.” Naturally, I asked what had happened.
“We were all asleep a few nights ago, when suddenly around 3:00 am, we were all
awakened by the screams of the food stall owner being choked by an evil spirit.
Everyone rushed to see what was happening. Later, after an ambulance came and
carried the seemingly lifeless man to the hospital, we all reluctantly returned
to our housing units. Everyone was scared that the evil spirit would attack someone else.”
I reminded Abdul that he had already heard and watched many stories of when Isa (Jesus)
had encountered evil spirits. “Isa has greater power and is stronger than any evil spirit,”
How exciting it was when he responded, “Yes, I know!” He continued, “I returned to my
unit and for a long time I tried to go back to sleep. I couldn’t though because I was just too
scared. I then remembered what happened when Isa encountered evil spirits, and so
I prayed to Isa and asked that I would not continue to be scared. After I finished praying,
I tried once again to sleep and this time I rested peacefully.”
We are always amazed to learn of how the Lord uses incidents like this for His glory and to
- that as the Lord continues to stir Abdul’s heart, he will continue to call out to Him who offers eternal peace.
- for more incidents like this which God can use for His glory.