By an Alliance international worker couple serving in the Middle East
After the 2016 Christmas Day morning service we enjoyed a meal with a church family. Our friends had invited another guest—a young man, Ralph*, whom we’d met at church last year—who began sharing his story.
As a teenager Ralph had been oppressed by demons. While under their influence, he would cut his arms with pieces of broken glass and then draw on the walls of his room with his own blood.
Ralph also smoked four packs of cigarettes a day and consumed large quantities of whiskey nightly. He had lost all control.
During this time, one of his relatives began witnessing to him about Jesus. Ralph couldn’t believe what he was hearing because it contradicted everything he had learned during his childhood.
One night Ralph called out to Jesus in desperation, asking Him to show him a sign that He was there. That night Ralph dreamed of a wooden cross. Behind it was a bright light. This symbolism was enough to encourage him to put his faith in Jesus.
Ralph continued to struggle. He would quit smoking and then slip back into his old habits. Knowing he could not become free in his own strength, he begged Jesus to help him. Soon Ralph was delivered from his destructive lifestyle.
Not long after, he had a lung scan, which revealed that his lungs were clean and healthy—“like those of a baby!” Ralph exclaimed.
His believing relative had heard about the Alliance church near their neighborhood, so the two started attending. This young man praises Jesus for rescuing him from the power of the evil one, healing him, and changing his life.
As we listened to Ralph’s story, we were encouraged at how God continues to work in our community. Pray that we will have opportunities to speak truth into the lives of others like Ralph, who desperately need to be introduced to Jesus. Pray also for Ralph and his relative as they learn what it means to follow Jesus.