The Rest of the Story
I haven’t completely lost touch with Penny, the nurse that accompanied me on that first medical mission to Costa Rica. We have friends in common and occasionally exchange emails. What I didn’t know until this week was what she experienced after our late night visitor. We assumed that since Penny slept, she was spared from the experience and the risks. Since I posted “Demons” last week, she sent me this:
I was zonked out on zolpidem during that encounter with the late night visitor and demonic attack. But during the night I woke up with “ urgency and burning” typical for a urinary tract infection. I’d had similar infections before so I didn’t think much of it; I had brought with me my usual antibiotic and started it immediately. By the end of the week when we had returned to the states, the bladder infection got much worse. I called my urologist, and he changed the antibiotic. But again the infection still did not get better. For 4 months I took one antibiotic after another but by then I was peeing mostly blood, and the pain was excruciating. My urologist finally did a cystoscopy and discovered hundreds of Hunner’s ulcers in my bladder, bloody little ulcers found in patients with interstitial cystitis.
I needed morphine patches daily to control the pain and still needed Percocet for breakthrough. Some days the pain was bad enough that I needed a wheelchair.
I stopped taking teams on the mission field. Two years later, with continued pain and disability, my urologist offered me the most radical solution: complete removal of my bladder. I was so desperate for relief, I agreed.
Then, one week before the procedure was scheduled, a couple from my church, Dr. David Friedline and his wife Delores, were hosting a pastor from Africa who specialized in deliverance from demonic attacks. They invited me to come to their house to meet him. I told this African pastor about the Costa Rica trip and how sick I was when I returned home, that I was not able to take missions teams overseas. I said nothing about demons. Remember, I hadn’t even been awake during the encounter.
The pastor said he had “read my mail,” and felt the presence of the demonic at our first introduction. He prayed, rebuked the devil. Over the next few hours and days, I started feeling better. I cancelled my bladder surgery. It was not an instant healing; I had to walk it out for another year.
But a year later, instead of being wheelchair bound without a bladder, I was off narcotics and able to start going on mission trips again. I have been to Kenya, Uganda, China, and Inner Mongolia.
So that night in Costa Rica, that encounter with evil, even though, or maybe because, I was asleep, had a profound affect on my life.