Several of you have asked for updates on the girl I prayed for on my first day in Uganda, who I was told was demonized. You may remember the incident  (see “On the Ground in Uganda”) but if not, in brief, after teaching to a small village house church, I was asked to pray for the mid-twenties (?) sister of one of the people. She was paralyzed hands and feet and mute though the doctor had said he was unable to find anything wrong with her. When I began she was marginally responsive and when I was done she was smiling broadly. I was unable to get back to that group to check up on her.

Just this morning I received an email report from Samuel, the church-planter there in Uganda about this girl in response to my request. He wrote, “I checked on the girl you prayed for in the
village. She is some how [somewhat] improving, and the people there sends you greetings.” So this is good news.

One of the thrusts of my future ministry there and something I worked on while I was there was to teach the leaders that the authority over the spiritual region belongs to the church, not to the visiting teacher. Of course, the visitors often have to model these things because these churches are young. Releasing the full authority to be the church of Jesus Christ into the hands of the indigenous church is one of the central emphases of this ministry in both India and Uganda.

You may notice I used the term demonized instead of the more commonly used demon-possessed. This is because the biblical concept relating to demons in the New Testament is devoid of any idea of possession. Rather the concepts of torment, control, influence, temptation, or oppression are what the Bible refers to on this subject though this is only a partial listing. Possession comes from medieval superstition and has unfortunately entered our English biblical translations only because of popular usage, but possession does not appear in the language or implied language whenever demons are dealt with. Christ possesses us, not the devil, regardless of what Hollywood may portray. The devil hates us and attacks us, but he does not possess us. Christ brings liberty to all who are afflicted by demons and who resist them in the Name of Christ. That’s why I avoid the term demon-possession and use the more biblically accurate demonized which means afflicted by a demon.