The heart-piercing eyes of a young woman who arrived late to the women’s Bible study group at the Baptist church in Zhigulievsk, Russia, put me on guard. Something about her mannerisms and her disruptive comments both annoyed and intrigued me. Her smile had something of a wicked twist. She had walked in off the street with Gallya, who had been delayed getting to our meeting.
Her startling and direct questions were intended to challenge me…not my knowledge, but my truthfulness about my faith andtestimony. At first, I thought she was on drugs (and may have been). Most of the other women in the room were former drug addicts. Her behavior didn’t seem to ruffle their feathers at all. But mine were itching to fluff.
We had a short time of worship singing before my study began. Since I didn’t know the songs, I took the time to pray for this girl…that the powers that held her captive would be broken. It’s hard to be annoyed at someone for whom you have just prayed.
Soon thereafter it became quite clear to me that she was demon possessed. The further we went into the study, the more restless and disruptive she became. Often she left the room. Once two guys from the men’s group brought her back to us. Eventually, she left and didn’t return. But our prayer time included her–a chance encounter with a lost soul. Her name is Tanya. Her demon’s desire to ruin our meeting failed. And perhaps she heard enough life-giving words from the Word to entice her toward the love of Jesus.
Here is our group after the study…without this strange visitor.