Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Cheri and I arrived in Guatemala on Sunday, June 19th.  We met our teammates for lunch at Chili’s at a mall in Guatemala City.  After lunch, we drove to the mission house, changed clothes, and went to a local orphanage for a short visit, then headed back to the mission house for the night.

We began Monday morning with worship music and a two hour devotional with Dr. Hermann Alb, and then it was time to load up the Suburbans for a seven hour trip into the mountains of Guatemala.  After loading the vehicles, our departure was delayed by about 90 minutes due to mechanical issues with one of the vehicles.  During the delay, we gathered as a team and prayed for God to protect us on our journey and to use us for His glory.

We were late arriving at our destination, and most of the people that had been waiting for the clinic had gone home.  But as we unloaded and set up the clinic, word spread that we were there and we saw thirty-five to forty patients that night.  I had the opportunity to talk with two teenagers, separately, and both of them prayed to receive Christ as their Savior. 

When we finished the clinic, we loaded up and headed to a nearby church where we were to stay for two nights.  After a late dinner, it took some time to get everyone situated with a place to stay.  We set up our cots and got to bed around midnight, exhausted from the long day.  I had trouble sleeping because I had gotten a cot that was too short for my 6’1” frame, and I couldn’t get comfortable in the mummy style sleeping bag I had borrowed from my son Tyler.  But I did manage to finally fall asleep.

Sometime in the early hours of morning, before the break of daylight, I had the worst nightmare of my life.  I rarely have nightmares, and although I can remember it vividly, it was so horrible I will never tell the details to anyone.  As I awakened from the nightmare, my eyes were blinded by crazy patterns and I could see two evil faces in the patterns.  Although I was in a warm, goose down sleeping bag, my body was shaking uncontrollably.  I began to claim Jesus as my Savior, my Protector, and my Redeemer, and I prayed for God to drive away the demon that was tormenting me.  My body immediately stopped trembling, and I laid awake for the next couple of hours before I finally decided to get out of bed to start the day.

I was so frightened by this experience I only shared it with Cheri and one of our teammates, and even then it was difficult to recount the experience without losing my composure.  I wasn’t sure what to think about the experience, and I certainly didn’t want it to become a distraction.  This past Sunday I shared this with my Dad, who has been a great spiritual role model for me.  I told him I had been afraid to share the story because I didn’t know what people would think.  Dad encouraged me to tell the story, and to tell how God delivered me from the attack when I called upon the name of Jesus Christ.

There is no shame in experiencing spiritual attack.  Jesus was attacked by Satan who tried to destroy him in the wilderness.  Satan and his demons want to stop us from spreading the gospel of Christ, and their presence is very real.  If the Holy Spirit lives within you, He will give you victory.  Call on Jesus and He will deliver you!

“Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me!
Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.” – Psalm 25:20 ESV


  1. Joel,
    I confess that this is the first time I've read this entry. Wow. Thank you for sharing this experience of the strength of Christ and His POWER over the enemy. I only regret that I didn't see this at the time you wrote it!

  2. Missy, thanks for bringing me back to this one. If you read "Declare it Boldly" you can see why the enemy wanted to intimidate me! Praise God for His blessings and protection!