We are met at the airport by a friendly younger man, Mustafa*, who is here to take us to our new apartment.  Traveling by bus, we arrive in an unfamiliar bustling city, quite a bit more populous than anything we’ve experienced before.  People walking, riding moto’s, vehicle traffic everywhere, diesel fumes and donkey carts. All around us, a cacophony of sounds, smells and sensory stimulation.

It goes without saying when moving into an unfamiliar country, culture, city, and home that one of our highest priorities be praying for our new location.  After all, this is where our most precious family members reside and friends will visit, the place where we come home and relax-our sanctuary from daily life.  It’s where we get to know neighbors and share the Gospel message. 

We quickly became preoccupied with the need to establish a new home and all that goes along with setting the routine of daily living.  As we began to move in and unpack, our attention drifted to having a comfortable place to sleep, the ability to cook, and do laundry so we could function.  Within a few days, my wife began to complain about skin irritation and poor sleep. I didn’t think much of it at first, but after a few more days it wouldn’t go away.  She was really starting to itch and her sleep got worse. Could it be the freshly painted walls or the fact that we were living in the basement? Maybe it was the new laundry detergent?  Was it the cockroaches that would scurry out after dark? What was here before us?

Suddenly, we remembered.  In our haste to get settled, we had forgotten to pray over the new space.  At that point we began to go through each room, praying and anointing with oil.  First the kitchen, then the bathrooms and bedrooms, so far so good. As we rounded the corner into the living room area, suddenly we both looked at each other as a chill shot up our spines and the hairs on our arms stood straight up! Yikes!

We were encountering the presence of a demonic spirit left behind by some previous poor soul.  (It was curious to me why the mosaic tile on the wall appeared to have movement if I spent any time looking at it long enough). In short order, we continued our cleansing prayer and anointed the living room once and for all demanding the presence to leave in Jesus’ name. It did leave and immediately my wife ceased itching and began to sleep at night.  

The reminder of the story is:  Pray for your surroundings, any gifts or souvenirs, and especially for your home because you never know what might be lurking in the shadows. 

One of a series of short stories meant to give you, a feel for life in a vibrant and exciting culture where Christ is barely known.  * Name changed to protect the innocent