I wanted to share another experience from that time ~ about Themba.
I am not sure of the spelling of her full name but she was referred to as Themba. Themba was brought into the AIDS/HIV care center one day and I spent time sitting with her. She was very withdrawn and non-communicative but I would just sit and speak to her in the hope that my presence would be of comfort to her. I also thought she possibly didn’t understand my English. As I prepared to leave I placed my hand on her arm and began to pray for her as we did with all patients.
As soon as I started praying she came to life – but not in the way I anticipated. Her hand shot up, palm toward my face, and she began chanting in Zulu. I admit that my prayer was not as long as normal and I made my exit from the building. As soon as I was outside I was overcome with emotion and began to cry. I felt attacked. I also heard the Lord whisper an instruction to me – continue to pray with Themba.
This was one of those times that I really wanted to bargain with God! It was full on Spiritual Warfare and something that we had been taught about, but not expected to find ourselves facing at this level. Honestly, I was scared. However, I spent time with my God alone and later that day I went back. I sat with a non-communicative, stone-faced Themba as I spoke to her, and was then met with the same reaction when I prayed.
This continued for three days. I would sit with her, even share the Gospel just speaking God’s Word over her with no response at all. Then I would pray and receive a hand in my face and Zulu chanting. I would then leave the care center feeling exhausted and start crying. I was feeling the force of battle.
After three days I was walking to the care center as normal asking the Lord to prepare me and go before me, with me, and after me. I began to walk over to Themba’s bed and as normal I started to speak as I approached her:
- “Hey Themba how are you today?”
- “Oh, I’m just fine, how are you?!” – Say WHAT!!!!!
My first thought – “Oh so you DO speak English!” I was shocked! The stone-faced, non-communicative Themba was gone! She looked visibly different. Seriously, I even checked with the nurse that it was the same person. I sat sharing and laughing with her. She shared stories about her family with me. With warmth on her face and in her heart we shared an incredible time together. Then came that moment. I knew it was time to pray. I took a deep Jesus breath, looked her in the eyes and said:
- “Themba, can I please pray for you?”
- “Oh, yes please.” was her response as she closed her eyes and held my hand.
I took a moment to compose myself as I couldn’t take my eyes off the beautiful, peaceful smile that came across Themba’s face. With tears running down my face I prayed the Gospel over her. I prayed with hope that she understood all that Jesus had done for her. I asked that she believe in her heavenly Father’s love for her.
I shared what had happened with the nurse before leaving and she told me that occasionally they have a patient that comes in to the center in the chains of their religion, but that they come to see Christ and transform. I have never seen such an overnight transformation in anyone and I truly believe that Themba was released from the chains that were binding her; that the veil was removed from her eyes enabling her to see Christ and receive Spiritual Freedom.
My sweet friends, it is with tears of thankfulness that I tell you that Themba passed away the day after this final encounter and I believe she is with her Father in heaven. The Zulu name Themba means “trust” and I believe that she came to trust Jesus in her final days.
My dream is to live in Spiritual Freedom and remember the transforming power of the Lord that I witnessed in Themba’s life.
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32 HCSB
“But now, since you have been liberated from sin and have become enslaved to God, you have your fruit, which results in sanctification–and the end is eternal life!” Romans 6:22 HCSB
“For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!” Romans 8:15 HCSB
Every time I feel myself being held in the grip of fear, the grip of pain, the grip of sorrow ~ I want to remember the transformation I so visibly saw in Themba and remember the truth that the same transformation took place within me. I saw peace on her face. Peace that only Spiritual Freedom can bring, and it is my dream to live with that same peace in my heart every day. I need to keep coming back to these verses and claim them over my life, and my circumstances!
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3:17 HCSB
Hillsong: Where the Spirit of the Lord is [There is FREEDOM]
Disclaimer: Welcome to my “31 Days to Dream” and thank you for joining me on this journey. I don’t hold the road map for October–God does! He started the journey by taking me down a path of memories, some of which I had long forgotten. He showed me how He has made my childhood dreams come true in ways that I could never have imagined. He is giving me FAITH and HOPE for the road ahead. God and I then spent some time looking at dreamers in the Bible to learn from their lives. He is now showing me more dreams of my heart. I am excited to see where He leads my dreaming over this month of #Write31Days 🙂 You can find my other 31 Days to Dream posts here!