In countries like the Philippines, it is a different story. True Christian faith, meaning to the exclusion of all other spiritual forces, is not pervasive. This is especially true as you work your way back through the generations. Here, a heritage of animism and spiritism are being diluted with Christianity and atheism. In America, our heritage of Christianity is being diluted with various cults and apathy.
Additionally as a nation, Americans tend to respond to the intellectual (with great variations in ability) rather than to the spiritual. This is why demons and smurfs are similar in most people's belief systems, a cute outfit to wear to a costume party. But here, people are much more aware of the spiritual world. Offerings are still made to spirits. The other day, I was walking down the sidewalk and a little old lady was squatting at the edge of the sidewalk making a small fire. Her companion was directing pedestrians to walk in the street, away from the lady. Of course, I cannot be certain that any spiritual activity was taking place. But there was no food being prepared.
Since arriving, most nights someone has gotten up with a nightmare. One of my older daughters had even seen someone standing at her sister's bed one night. I would have dismissed this as overactive imagination but a few nights later she refused to go into her room because she knew the man was going to be there again. As we shared with the staff, some of the Filipino staff immediately suggested the possibility of spiritual activity. They discussed that our home is built in what was once a rice field. It is quite possible that sacrifices and offerings were made to the spirits over the years for their "protection" and "blessing" over the fields. Currently, the rice fields that surround our home are being harvested.
Many nights we hear men scream and shout outside our home. Even tonight the familiar voices have cried out. Alexie wondered aloud whether it was better or worse that we cannot understand the language used.
Sickness has also been an issue. Nobody has been terribly ill, but for short periods felt quite miserable. One Sunday morning, I had to leave church with Adriana. Another Sunday, I stayed home because Annalise was sick. Thursday Annalise was sick so I stayed home from Chapel Talk to be with her. Last night Alayna was sick so we stayed home from the Fun Night fellowship with the staff and SSM students. Tonight Alexie is sick - we did not miss anything, but I will be hesitant to take her to church unless I am sure she is feeling better.
You may remember the night we returned from Baguio we had a flood. Because of the work involved in cleaning that up, I did not wake up at 4:30 a.m. to join the SSM students for their weekly prayer walk.
The YWAM staff came over yesterday to pray for our family and home. We asked God to bless our home and that His presence would fill it. We asked His protection. We also spoke against the enemy in the name of Jesus. We reminded him that he has no authority in this place.
In the power of HIS might,