This is my War Cry

“All the nations
surrounded me; in the Lord’s name I crushed them.  They surrounded me on every side; in the Lord’s
name I crushed them.  They surrounded me
like bees; they blazed like fire among thorns; in the Lord’s name I crushed
them.  I was hard-pressed and falling,
but the LORD came to my help.  
The Lord,
my strength and might, came to me as Savior.” 
-Psalm 118:10-14
This is my war cry.  After a month of recovering and renewal, I am ready for the battlefield!  Like the speaker in Psalm 118, I
was hard-pressed and falling, feeling lifeless in the battle, but I had an army
at home to serve me all month long and pick me back up.  It’s good to be in God’s army.  I am so full of an unexplainable joy!  Of course, though, that doesn’t mean I won’t
have heartache or pain or frustration or failure.  After all, I know that I am returning to the
war.  But this time, I am ready.  I am equipped with “The joy of the Lord is my strength.”
(Nehemiah 8:10)
The enemy, the prince of darkness, had attacked mercilessly
this past year, seizing numerous opportunities to overtake our girls and make
it clear he did not want me in Swaziland.  He knows my wounded girls
are an easy target.  He knows his entry
points.  He knows a girl without Christ who’s just been raped is the best entry
point because she lives lifeless, worthless, believing that now she’s
“useless.”  Daniel Walker says sexual abuse “strips them of their heart and soul.  It murders the person, but leaves the body alive.”  There’s not a better target for Satan than this.  In fact, sex in general, and the abuse of sex, continues to be Satan’s greatest stronghold in our world.  Specifically in Swaziland, there are thousands and thousands of these women in this tiny country (1 in every 3) who’ve been sexually abused.  Like walking zombies with no life or purpose, they wander aimlessly back to the streets, living as prostitutes, tempted by and then enslaved
by darkness.  A cult that beckons these
girls with lies like, “If you worship the seven-headed snake, you’ll be rich!”
or “You’ll find a husband!”  or “If you kill your baby, you can be a princess!”  Satan has been raising
up an army in Swaziland, but we are willing to fight, and that’s why this past
year has been the most difficult year of my life.  
Three years ago (2013) we formed our army.  Two years ago (2014), we stabilized our
army.  This past year (2015) we attacked
with our army.  We went to the
streets.  We marched into the darkness
with prayer.  With the blessing of having
two men volunteers for a month, we were able to hit the streets at night, to
give rides home to prostitutes, to pray for them, to pray for physical
strongholds in town where satan worship takes place, to pray for specific girls and specific victories.  We attacked, though, without knowing how our
enemy would counterattack.  Satan comes
to “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10). His purpose is not complicated, his
mission is no secret.  Yet, we let him
wear us down, like warriors in continuous battle.  He can’t win, he can’t take us, but he can
wear us down and wear us down until we give up. 
Too many victories are lost because Christians simply give up.  Especially in prayer.  
September is a month I will never forget.  Our prayer and street nights shattered the enemies strongholds and it paved the way
for spiritual victories, but it didn’t come without an all-out war.  *Maria, a girl from my earlier blog about her
mission to kill me, (she had returned to her cult and said she was lying that
she “loves Jesus”) appeared a week after we had begun street night and had begun
praying specifically for her.  God’s timing is perfect, as we were equipped
with an army of seven other women from the World Race, who stayed with us for
the month. (They were a tremendous army for me personally and for the mission!)  Soon after Maria came to us, the
team organized a day long devotion called Beauty from Ashes.  It was a devotion meant to give girls a
voice, to dig up the ugly—their pain and abuse—and turn it into something
beautiful.  During the morning sessions,
the girls were asked to draw a picture of their view of God, to draw their
relationship with God, and to draw how they think God sees them.  Two girls (Maria was one of them) drew
intensely dark images, both with the theme of being trapped and bound in the “underground,”
which is the term they used to signify the devil. They wanted freedom but were under an immense
satanic stronghold.  As the day continued,
the evil spirits manifested, and the path to freedom lasted until the following
As the days unfolded, we discovered Satan’s entry point
into the two girls’ lives—Maria still was bound to her satanic cult though she
claimed she wanted to go back to God; the other girl who had transformed in the
past year from an atheist to a believer, repeated over and over again the lie
that tortured her, “God doesn’t love me.” 
 We learned that we can keep
setting these girls free in Jesus’ name, but it’s up to them to remain free.  They must choose Him for themselves; we can’t
choose Him for them.  I wrestled with this and cried about this, because I wanted them so badly to be free but had no authority to choose it for them, though I wished I could.  The same goes for some of my old students or kids in the States that I’ve prayed for unceasingly, wishing they would just listen to me. Unfortunately, as
Neal Lozano says, some only “look for a formula for freedom and not a relationship,”
and a relationship is necessary.  But you
can’t have a relationship if you don’t understand God’s love.  Although Maria took off again and the other
girl struggled with dark moments, there was great rejoicing.   As the one girl wrestled her way through an
intense scriptural reading of Acts (a recommendation from our connecting
pastor), she shattered the darkness that bound her and is regaining her
identity in Christ.  She still struggles
with God’s love and love for herself at times, but she has made great strides,
and is working towards complete forgiveness of her mother, who has been a
source of pain and hatred—satan’s stronghold—for years.  Additionally, Maria returned several times
the next couple months to “say hi” to me. 
The last time I saw her, though, she came to the girls home to gather
everyone and apologize.  She said she had
finally surrendered her life to Jesus through the help of a pastor and the
pastor told her to go and reconcile with all whom she had wronged.  Though she does not live at the house
anymore, our home was one of her first moments of reconciliation.  Praise God!  
Demon manifestations are not uncommon in a culture that
has deep roots in the occult.  But I’ve
learned that they deserve no such attention or fear.   In his book about deliverance, called Unbound,
Neal Lozano reminds us that deliverance is less about demons and more about “removing
obstacles so we may, in Christ, receive the Father’s blessing.”  Satan loves fear and loves attention because
he distracts us from who we are in Christ.  He loves that America romanticizes, fictionalizes,
and fantasizes demons – in movies, TV series, celebrities, gossip, greed, etc.  But hardly anyone takes the time to see where
Satan has seized a stronghold in their own lives.  There’s no reason to give him and his legion
attention, but it is extremely important to know the enemy, to know his
tactics, to identify his lies and combat them with Truth, to renounce sin, to
forgive others, and to verbally command him to leave in the name of Jesus
Christ. (Read Unbound)  
I’ve learned so much about spiritual warfare, and I am
ready to keep battling for the lives of these girls that Satan has seized and attempted to bind in his army.  Lozano encourages us
to be on the offense and defense: “Every
time territory is taken for the Kingdom of God you will have to hold it, defend
it.  It may be a day, a week, six months,
but you will have to hold it.” A pastor reminded me that the reason I’ve seen
and experienced so much spiritual warfare is that these girls are finally
receiving and wanting Jesus!  These girls, whom Satan thought would be easy
targets to enslave, are now living examples that Jesus sets us free; He breaks
every chain.  “He has rescued us from
darkness and transferred us to the Kingdom of Light!” (Col 1:13)  As I return to the battlefield, as we return to the streets, as we continue to attack and take back kingdom that belongs to the Lord, please pray unceasingly for us.  Through prayer, we are taking the very people
that Satan thought he could use to build his army and we are bringing them to
the Kingdom of Light!  Our commander says
this: “Rescue those who are being dragged to death…” (Prov 24:11)   This is our
battle.  This is our war.  This is our cry:
(Listen to Jeremy Camp’s song here and check out his
lyrics below.
“I can see the waters raging at my feet
I can feel the breath of those surrounding me
I can hear the sound of nations rising up
We will not be overtaken, we will not be overcome
I can walk down this dark and painful road
I can face every fear of the unknown
I can hear all God’s children singing out…
We will not be overtaken, we will not be overcome.
The same power that rose Jesus from the grave
The same power that commands the dead to wake
Lives in us, lives in us
The same power that moves mountains when he speaks
The same power that can calm a raging sea
lives in us, lives in us, He lives in us, lives in us
We have hope that his promises are true
in his strength there is nothing we can’t do
yes we know there are greater things in store
we will not be overtaken, we will not be overcome
The same power…
Greater is he that is living in me
he has conquered our enemy
no power of darkness, no weapon prevails
we stand here in victory
So, let us stand together in Christ’s unending
Victory!  Let us put on our war paint—covering
ourselves with the Blood of the Lamb.  Please
continue to join me hand in hand, arm in arm, united in prayer—as we rejoice
over Jesus breaking every chain and turning all of our ashes into something

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