Filled with sorrow that his wife had left him and taken their baby with her, a 21-year-old man in Laos was walking through Buddhist temple grounds early this year when he felt something like a small bird hit him in the chest.
Kaloni’s* wife, a former prostitute, had left him and gone back to her parents’ home after 18 months of marriage, saying she could no longer stand their poverty. Each time he had gone to her village asking her to return, she refused. Kaloni had begun to drink heavily.
He could no longer control his drinking, but he was not drunk when he felt the force hit him on the temple grounds and settle in his heart. A strange strength came over him, and relatives said that later he became violent and unable to communicate coherently.
The leader of a local ministry said Kaloni was so out of control that authorities in his wife’s village put him in jail for five days, where he screamed threats at officers all day and resisted with such power that they were unable to restrain him. Exasperated, police released him and sent him back to his village.
Kaloni’s parents and other villagers were unable to calm or communicate with him; they built a cage and locked him inside.
“His parents killed many pigs and cows to appease the spirits and invited many witchdoctors, who were powerful spell-casters, to have them get rid of the evil spirit possessing Kaloni’s body,” the ministry leader said. “None of the witchdoctors were able to do anything – instead, Kaloni got more violent.”
After about six months, a Hmong Christian suggested the parents connect with local missionaries in a predominantly Khmu village nearby, and the pastor there went with his team to Kaloni’s village – where they stayed and prayed for one month.
They returned to their village and continued to pray for him.
“One day Kaloni’s father came to visit his son in the cage,” the leader said. “All of a sudden, Kaloni spoke with clarity and awareness: ‘Dad, I want to get out of this cage.’ His dad, who was barely able to communicate with him when he brought water and food every day, was astonished. He asked, ‘Are you well, son?’ Kaloni replied, ‘Yes, I am fine, Dad. I feel normal.’”
Kaloni’s father called the pastor, who visited the family with another church leader and a graduate of the ministry’s seminary.
“When all three arrived, Kaloni, his parents, and brother all accepted Jesus as their Christ and Savior,” the ministry leader said.
Kaloni along with his brother and father went to stay at the home of the other church leader, spending four days learning the Bible and basic Christian principles. His brother and father returned to their village while Kaloni spent the next month with the pastor who had prayed for him, recovering under his spiritual, physical and psychological nurture, the ministry leader said.
“Kaloni was full of wounds and bruises from hurting himself in the cage and biting rocks and iron with his teeth,” the leader said, adding that only gradually did Kaloni become aware that his wife and child were not with him. “Pray that his wife will come back to him and for the Lord to heal his broken heart.”
Meantime, the people in his village were astonished, the leader said.
“A lot of people realized that Jesus is so powerful, able to cast out this strong, evil spirit that many witchdoctors could not, no matter how much they tried,” he said. “Now, many people are starting to show interest in Jesus.”
The miraculous healing has resulted in nearly 100 people asking to learn about the Lord, putting the village authorities in a bind, he said.
“They do not know what to do; they themselves know, and have seen firsthand, that there was no one to help Kaloni except Jesus,” he said. “Even the spirits that they worship as part of their tradition and from their ancestors could not help, so this miracle obviously came from God. The village authorities are very afraid that the people in the village will flock to accept Jesus.”
Requesting prayer for those people to put their faith in Christ, the leader also sought intercession for Kaloni’s brother, as his wife has left him because of his new faith.
People in several provinces are facing such opposition as they embrace eternal life in Christ through the local missionaries’ home visits, Bible studies and medical missions, as well as radio broadcasts and Facebook live messages.
Workers in Laos have also seen many people come to Christ after learning about Christ on MP3 digital audio players. Many of the listeners had never heard the name of Jesus Christ. One told the ministry leader that he, his wife and four children had put their faith in the Lord, only to have the village headman threaten to expel them from the village.
Local workers throughout the country are bringing Christ’s salvation and discipling such people to stand strong against opposition. Please consider a donation today to help them bring light into darkened hearts.
*Name changed for security reasons