We used to welcome many people to the church seeking healing. Most were broken souls genuinely in need of help. Healing came to those who were meant to receive it, and we witnessed miraculous transformations right before our eyes.

I always prayed before starting the sessions and asked for permission to be of service and for protection. In most cases, we did not know what to expect, so we always exercised caution. The service was popular for exorcising negative energies, curses, spells, and magic. In more extreme situations, we also attended to cases of attachments and, on rare occasions, possessions. My heart went out to the ‘patients’ coming to the church for help. We were their last hope, and I wished everyone could be healed, but we had to accept God’s will. We could never decide whom or what to heal; we were not the healers; God is.

One day, a troubled young man in his late twenties entered the church and seemed restless. He shifted around in the aisles at the back, constantly fidgeting through a rucksack he had on him. He stood up, left the church, came back in, fidgeted some more, and repeated the process. The young man was nervous and anxious, so I called him to join us at the front, and he hurried over. As soon as he sat down, he put his head down, his face in his hands, and started sobbing. I learned from experience that such behavior does not necessarily signify a kindred spirit and to be wary of something potentially more ominous. My team attended to him with water, calmed him down, and then we started our prayers. When we finished, he explained that he was a drifter and recounted some of the hardships he was enduring. He went on a monologue and described various situations he was involved in, including encounters with unsavory characters and dark situations. He became more animated and louder, pleading for help and forgiveness. As he spoke, the image of a blade quickly flashed in my mind and recurred a few times. I recognized it as a warning and asked him if he had brought a knife to the church. He said it was not a knife but scissors because they were not illegal to carry. He stated that they were in his rucksack, which was within reach. This revelation made my team members uneasy, and I assured them not to be scared. I wasn’t afraid, but I knew he was capable of violence and felt that he could snap at any moment. We prayed for him, and years of bottled pain and frustration emerged in tears. Before he left, he knelt before me and kissed my hand before I could pull it away. He thanked me for not turning him away, and I assured him I would never do that. He confessed that he struggled hard against his demons and stopped short of hurting me. I thanked him for his honesty and for not bringing us harm. He was changing before our eyes, and his energy was shifting. He stood up to leave, and I hugged him to say goodbye.

He sat in the back of the church for a while and then left with a warm and beaming smile.

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