This is a true life story told to me by a veteran missionary to the Philippines. I think it is always good to be reminded that Satan is very active but that God is in control!
Because of what God taught us and all that spirit world with tribal people, we had faith for bigger things because of what happened here. But I’m going to stick with these stories. Hundreds have come to faith, and it’s all been dreams, visions. I hope we can write, someday, the history of the church. We’ve seen it happen from the beginning, from the first believers. Now there’s hundreds. It’s the beginnings of it. But it’s all been just amazing stuff, a lot of amazing stories.
We were living in that little village, that little town, where my husband’s work was all up in the mountains. One day, one of the pastors hiked in and came to see us, and he had a big problem. His little daughter had come down with typhoid fever and was seriously ill. He’d just spent a lot of money on trying to get her better. Then his wife had gotten seriously ill. Then he had also gotten seriously ill.
His money completely spent, he had gone back home. The people in the area said, “The reason that your family is all getting so ill is because you have moved near the waterfall. The spirit of the waterfall is angry because you have not paid homage to him.” This family had been living several kilometers away from where there was water. They had to hike every day to get their water and bring it down; every day hike in those mountains just to get the water. So he’d moved his house near the water.
As my husband had, through the years, learned to deal with these things, God just gave him a picture story for this pastor that day; something that finally helped kind of bring the light on [laughs] to explain the situation.
My husband said, “Pastor, who owns the waterfall? Who is the owner? Who is the creator and the owner of all of it?” Pastor said, “Well, God’s the owner of the waterfall.” Then my husband said, “Well, then who is the spirit in the waterfall?”
The pastor thought a little bit. Paul said, “That spirit is a squatter. In the Philippines, we have squatters. Squatters are people that put a little house up on a piece of land. If you stay there long enough, you’ve got a right to stay there. Squatters have rights in the Philippines. So, squatters’ rights, and then the owner has trouble getting you off his land. So that spirit is a squatter. But you, pastor, are a son of the owner. So, who has the higher right in this situation?”
Pastor said, “Well then, I should, because I’m a son of God. As a son of the living God, I can take authority over that situation and be able to live peacefully in my house by the waterfall.” So that was what pastor was able to do: go back up and just pray, and claim that waterfall back for the Lord. And he and his family, after that, did well.
There were ways that we had to learn how to explain these things; so that they could see it–because there really is this thing about territory and rights, legal kind of things that go on with this. So there’s a formal religion, whether it be Catholicism, Islam, Buddhism–well, Buddhism already has so much spirit activity in it. But then there’s the underlying animistic, and that’s the same all across the board, in all these different countries.