Tribal people in the Amazon believe in the spirit world. They are terrified of making a mistake and bringing a curse on themselves in the form of sickness, bad harvest and death, and they don’t have the security blanket of banks and hospitals. Most have chronic parasites, infections from cuts and mysterious fevers or malaria.
Knowing this, charlatans and false prophets show up with promises to heal them of their various diseases and cure their bad luck. And their power in the dark arts does not come cheap.
One such curandero (faith healer) promised a village God would heal all their sicknesses for about US$180 each. The villagers filled his boat with chainsaws, chickens, clothes, food, and tools and gave him all the cash they had, in faith he would convince the spirits to work on their behalf.
By sunrise the next morning, the boat was gone. He took their gifts and left them with nothing except a sense of betrayal. The chief and the people were furious. They declared that they would never allow another “outsider” into their village.
Later that same day, a couple of evangelists arrived. Though the chief had previously invited them to come, the wound was too fresh. When they got there they were not even allowed out of their boat. Their heart sunk as they learned what the curandero had done.
Then the chief had a change of heart because he knew one of the evangelists, James. He said, “You are not a stranger to us. We will allow you to work with the kids for the next three days.” James graciously accepted the invitation and set up camp in one of the huts along the river bank.
THREE NIGHTS, THREE MIRACLES
Each evening a different child would invite them home for dinner. The first place they went to, they saw that the child’s grandfather was very sick. “He had the hottest fever I have ever felt on a man and he looked like a cadaver, just bones in the bed,” said James. The family asked the couple to pray for their grandpa so that he would get better. This they did.
The next morning this man who was practically dead the night before was walking around the village, talking and joking like he was a young man. Later that day the old man sought them out to become a Christian and serve God forever. They could barely believe their eyes. He was at death’s door and now he had new life. “What is happening?” they thought.
The next night, at another hut, someone else was healed through prayer and the people gave glory to God. It couldn’t be a coincidence! By the third night, a cluster of new believers had formed. They came to dinner, too, and prayed together for a man with a badly injured leg. A sense of confidence and faith rose in James’s heart. He told the man to stretch out his leg, then he said, “Stand up and walk.” The man got up gingerly, then with more confidence, he stood and finally took his first steps without pain.
A GOD WHO HEALS
The evil curandero meant to trick those villagers, and he got away with it too. But God brought glory to Himself and healed the people of the village.