The Shaman makes a quiet entrance and quick exit.
A group of us led by Kevin Penner were ministering the release of the Kingdom in Central Park, Winnipeg. We encountered a First Nations family sitting on the grass at the edge of the park. There was a grandmother in a wheelchair, her husband, her two daughters, and son-in-laws, and three grandchildren. The oldest grandchild (10?) had a cast on her leg. One of the son-in-laws was very inebriated. Kevin engaged the family in conversation and then asked them if they would like to see a sleight-of-hand trick. They all agreed. He then said first they had to answer some questions. The questions were health questions such as: Is anyone blind? Is anyone deaf? Is anyone in pain? The inebriated guy said yes to all the questions. The girl with the cast said she had pain in her leg. One of the daughters said she had pain in her ankles, and the grandmother, whose name was Elizabeth, said she had one blind eye. Turns out she had been blind in that eye for 28 years. Kevin, then did his trick which involves making a serviette disappear, and he said when the serviette disappears so will all of your pain, and grandma will receive her sight. After the trick, the little girl was kind of non-committal about her pain being gone (but, later she did tell one of the team members that her pain was gone). The daughter wasn’t willing to say, and unwilling to get-up and test her ankles. Kevin then focused on Elizabeth. She said she still couldn’t see. So with her permission, he laid his hands on her head and prayed a short prayer. She covered her good eye and said she could see the girls standing next to me. She broke out in a smile. Kevin prayed some more and had her test it again, she said she could clearly see. A miracle had just taken place. (What surprised me was the family was so un-reactive to this miracle. Other than our team none of the family was celebrating this miracle. I asked the oldest grandchild if she knew her grandmother’s eye had just been healed, she just said ‘yes’ – no expression – no emotion. I wondered if these people were so down-trodden, so discouraged, that they had truly lost all hope, and couldn’t even get excited about a miracle.) Kevin then asked the grandmother about her withered arm. She said she had a stroke, and lost the use of it. Kevin then prayed for her arm. While he was praying we saw her arm gain flesh, and change in appearance. Kevin encouraged her to lift it which she could not do before. She lifted it about 8 inches on its own – another miracle. It was during this time that a nicely dressed, well groomed First Nations man appeared and he spoke a few words to the grandfather, and then left. I don’t know what he said, and I didn’t know at that time that he was a Shaman.
The Shaman returns and verbally attacks.
Kevin along with the team was continuing to prayer for Elizabeth when suddenly the man I had seen returns. He interrupts the prayers for Elizabeth. He says he is their Shaman and he will do the healing, and we should all eff-off. Kevin engages him in conversation and tells him we are also interested in healing. He continues to tell us where to go and to leave his people alone. He says Christians just tell lies to his people, and then he commands us to leave with a few more profane words.
Jesus Overwhelms the Shaman with the Holy Spirit.
Kevin then tells him that the grandmother’s blind eye has just been healed by Jesus. He responds angrily “Yeah, well where was your God when this happened?” And he reaches up and plucks out a glass eye. He then says he is also deaf in one ear. He starts to berate us again and then his demeanor suddenly changes. He backs away from us and asks just Kevin to go to him. They are about 15 feet from us, and I see Kevin lay his hands on him, and the Shaman begins to weep profusely as he receives Jesus as his Lord and Saviour. He tells him his name is Charlie. In the midst of his anger, the Shaman had encountered Jesus. His countenance was suddenly much softer.
Jesus heals Charlie’s deaf ear.
Then Kevin and a couple of team members pray for his hearing. He begins to hear – first a little and then more and more. They check his hearing and he says he can hear equally good in both ears.
Jesus calls Charlie into service and his encounter intensifies.
Kevin still has one hand on Charlie’s formerly deaf ear, because Charlie insists on holding it there. He then begins hearing music through Kevin’s hand. “Where is that music coming from?”, he demands to know. We assure him there is no music. He thinks there is a radio in Kevin’s hand. He insists there is music he takes Kevin’s hand and examines it carefully, and accuses Kevin of tricking him. No tricks Kevin assures him. Charlie puts Kevin’s hand back on his ear again holding it tightly, and then he begins to have a conversation with Jesus of which we only hear one side of, and he has visions. Here are some of the things I heard him say:
“Why me Jesus?”
“You want me to what? Heal my people?”
“Why me Jesus – I am no good I am just an alcoholic medicine man? I am no good.”
“Angels? I see Angels? But I don’t even believe in angels.”
“Charlie? That’s my name! Who told you my name?”
“Emmanuel? What is Emmanuel?” (Then Charlie would ask us who or what is Emmanuel? We tell him that means God is with us.)
“I Am, I Am? What does that mean?” (again he would ask us – what is I Am? We tell him that is Jesus’ name, He is the great I Am.)
“I hear laughter and singing!”
“You want me to go where? North? Where in the North?”
Every so often he would pull Kevin’s hand away, and ask if this is real and accuse us of fooling him. He would then examine Kevin’s hand as though he was looking for a hidden electronic device or speaker. It appeared Kevin’s hand had become a conduit for Jesus’ voice. I told Kevin he had just become a big cell phone for Jesus.
Jesus baptizes Charlie in the Holy Spirit and he becomes empowered for ministry.
Charlie, still holding Kevin’s hand tightly to his ear, reaches out his hand, and asks each of us to put our hand near his, and we do, one at a time. We could each feel something emanating from his hand. To me, it felt like light static electricity or like air moving between our hands. For another team member, it felt like a magnetic electric current. He then begins to prophesy over each of us and in some cases prays over us. Some team members said the prophecies were bang-on. He then makes a statement that Jesus wants him to heal and He is sending someone for him to heal. We look around, but the park is almost empty, and it is getting dark.
Jesus heals through Charlie’s hands and he becomes a Medicine Man for Jesus.
Then we saw a man who was bent over in an L-shape posture (90 degrees – his chin was level with his knees when he walked – his back was severely deformed. Charlie said this is the person Jesus had sent him to heal (his name is Mike). He placed his hands on Mike, prayed and the man started straightening-up. I was overwhelmed with emotion and began to worship Jesus through a flood of tears (However, these happenings are not without some humor – during this time the medicine man looked at us and asked: “what is tongues?” He had never heard of it before. He then says Jesus says we should pray for him in tongues – so several of the team did, and then Charlie, much to his surprise, also started to pray in tongues). It was during this time that Charlie finally let go of Kevin’s hand, but he continued to hear from Jesus.
It was now quite dark and getting late. When I left the team Mike had moved from a 90-degree posture to a 45-degree posture (I had to urgently find a bathroom back at Portage Place). I was told that Mike wasn’t totally erect when everyone else left.
As I was leaving Charlie slipped back into his carnal self and was attempting to take an offering for healing Mike (Shaman typically receive gifts for their services). Charlie has lots to learn about serving Jesus, but he is off to a fast start.
I am told team members have arranged to meet with Mike again, and Kevin has offered to mentor Charlie and arranged to meet him at Siloam Mission the next day.
I don’t think this is the end of the story for Elizabeth, Mike, or for Charlie. I know I am praying for all three, and plan to go with Kevin again soon. I am curious to find out if Charlie gets fully launched into his calling.
As I said earlier, this was not a clean tidy package of events. I put some order to the writing of it to better help the reader follow what happened, and what I wrote is more orderly than it was in reality.
This circumstance has caused me to worship more deeply and helped me to recognize that releasing the Kingdom requires me to expect the unexpected, but to also expect Kingdom building results. Jesus is not safe, and He is not predictable, but He is so good! I now see that grace has a depth that I never understood before. Jesus just loved on these people with no pre-conditions of any kind. It happened through us, but we can make no claims to healing or evangelizing anyone. It was all Jesus.