By Sue Danneker, who with her husband, Ed, is planting a church in the district of Baan Paeo, Thailand, a community of 93,000 people with no church
“It’s going to be loud tonight,” our friend Nun told me that Saturday morning. “There will be a lot of people—and a lot of drinking.”
I was hosting a children’s outreach in her hair salon and had noticed the ruckus in the street.
“What’s it all about?” I asked.
Nun explained that the shop owner across the street, a medium, was preparing for an annual ceremony he hosts to honor an evil spirit. It would begin that night and last well into Sunday, and the whole neighborhood was invited. She told me that some people had become possessed by the demon during previous celebrations.
This year, Nun said, the medium was selling dreams as well. For example, if someone had dreamed about receiving a car or a house, he or she could pay a fee to the medium so the spirit would consider making the dream come true.
“It’s all just a hoax,” Nun explained. “The shop owner doesn’t do well and keeps having to move because he can’t pay rent. And wherever he happens to be renting, he performs this ceremony.”
My husband, Ed, and I returned later that day to take Nun and her friends Bale and Ahn to help the Lindsay family, our mission partners, move into their new home in Mahachai. The three were eager to help, and it was a great opportunity to get away from the night’s activities.
The lane was jammed with partygoers when we got to Nun’s street, so I had to park some distance away and let Ed out to retrieve our friends. When Ed walked up to Nun’s shop, he felt an evil presence emanating from where the ceremony was being held. He prayed in Jesus’ name to bind the devil.
After dinner and fellowship in the Lindsays’ new home, we dropped Nun, Bale, and Ahn off near Nun’s salon.
There had been no sign of rain, but about 30 minutes after we returned home, it suddenly began to pour. Ed and I hoped the storm would close down the ceremony so Nun would be able to get a good night’s sleep.
On Sunday we picked up the three to take them to our church in Mahachai, where the believers here have been worshiping until we start services in Baan Paeo. Bale was bubbling with excitement and praising God. She explained that after we dropped them off the night before, they returned with Nun to her shop. The ceremony was loud, and partygoers were drinking heavily.
Nun decided to open her salon and turn on all her lights so everyone in the street could see the crosses displayed in her windows.
“I dedicated this lane to Jesus,” Nun said. “At least everyone saw the crosses and knew that my shop was not participating [in the ceremony] because of my belief in Jesus as the only true God.”
The friends then prayed in earnest, asking God to bind the evil one and to be victorious in the community of Baan Paeo. “We did not tell Him what to do. We just prayed for Him to work in the lives of the people,” said Bale.
“Not five minutes after we finished praying, this violent rain storm came out of nowhere. We began praising God.”
The storm lasted only 15–20 minutes, but it was enough to send the people attending the event scurrying home. The rain even shorted the host’s electricity, preventing the party from resuming when the rain subsided.
Pray that Nun, Bale, and Ahn will continue to grow in their faith and that many more residents of Baan Paeo will turn to the Lord.