Nearly ten years ago, we were visiting a rural village in South East Asia with some guests, and showed them one of our ministries’ clean water filtration systems.
These systems are built with community involvement and ownership in mind. Each one provides clean water for up to 100 families, who would otherwise not have access to clean water.
Typically, these community-sized systems are maintained by a few people in the village, or a designated family. But in the village we visited, it was being maintained by an older man named Banyu, who was doing it well.
When we visit, Banyu is usually present to greet us and show us how their clean water system is doing. On this particular visit however, he was not in sight. Instead, his wife asked me to come into their home to see him. He was gravely ill after suffering a serious stroke.
When I entered their home with another member of our clean water team, we entered a darkened room. There we saw a weakened and pale Banyu lying on a woven mat on the floor. He was covered with a thin blanket, unable to move or talk, and surrounded by family who did not know if he would live or die.
After talking with Banyu’s wife and a few other family members, I asked if I could pray for him in the name of Jesus. Everyone in the room agreed. So I prayed, asking God to give him healing and strength, placing my request at the foot of our Lord.
As I left their home, I felt saddened for Banyu and his family’s suffering. Yet I was thankful for the opportunity to pray and profess the name of Jesus in a community that follows the majority religion of their nation. I left their home trusting in God, knowing the outcome was in his hands.
Our team has continued to visit the village. On a recent visit, a photo was taken of Banyu attending to his village’s water filtration system. The photograph was shared around, along with the joyful story of his healing and recovery, for which his family and whole community give thanks.
The photo gave our team a time to rejoice and reflect on God’s goodness in making himself known in such a powerful way through prayer. Where Banyu had been struck down, God lifted him up. Although he has little use of one arm, he can walk, talk and continue to serve in maintaining his village’s clean water system.
Through all of this, I was reminded of the awesome power of prayer: it is not limited to our own understanding, faith or desired outcome; but through prayer we can trust in God and his power to accomplish his will.
So please pray with us that we can clearly make known the author of Banyu’s life through our shared joy, thanksgiving and meaningful Kingdom conversations.
Paul is a Partner in South East Asia.