By Jared Haechton
“Did seminary teach you about casting out demons?”
This was the question posed to me last year at a prayer meeting with other missionaries from Western countries. This question has come up in my mind again and again as my wife Stacy and I live and minister here in Isaan, Thailand.
The reality is that my seminary training did not teach me much about casting out demons in our modern-day.
At seminary we did take time to study the ministry of Jesus Christ and the early apostles, in which casting out demons occurred fairly often. However, in most of our experience in ministry in North America, we were not exposed to, or at least not aware of, the reality of demon oppression.
Contrast this to our current context in rural Thailand, where we frequently hear of the fear of demons oppressing and possessing people. We find that, although we have little experience in this, there is a real need for us to study the Bible on this topic with new Christians in order to prepare them to stand firm on the truth and under the protection of our mighty Jesus Christ.
On a recent occasion, Stacy and I were made aware of a possible demon possession occurring within one of the non-Christian families whom we know in our neighborhood. On this particular day, several of the children from the neighborhood came to notify us of a family member being possessed by a spirit. We were told that a large group from the community had gathered in the house where it was occurring. Stacy and I prayed about our response, and although uncomfortable, felt that we should go to the house where this was happening and offer to pray for the lady who was possessed.
By the time Stacy and I arrived at the house, the lady appeared to be back in her right mind and the family seemed to be trying to ignore the issue or put it behind them. We were able to talk to the woman for a while and offered to pray for her, but she refused our offer at that time.
We continue to pray for this family. We ask God for continued opportunities to share with this family and that they would have an openness to the gospel. We also pray for continued growth, understanding and boldness in presenting Jesus Christ with those who feel oppressed by spirits.