Life Transforming Miracle
by Lodryk Ngahu, March, 2001
I belong to the tribe of Sabu, who inhabited a little island off the main Timor Island in east Indonesia. The ancestry of the Sabu people can be traced all the way to India. According to legend, an Indian couple fell madly in love but was forbidden by their parents to marry so they escaped to the sea and was finally stranded in Sabu. Though this is hard to believe but our culture is very similar to Indian culture. In fact even today, many of us are mistaken for northern Indians or Pakistanis. I have a friend who looks like Benazir Bhutto! We worshipped different types of god and ancestral worship is very strong.
In my family, the Serpent god is the dominant figure. Dad is very deeply involved in the worship of the Serpent god. At month end, without fail, a snake would enter his room. I remembered once when I was five a snake slithered onto my bed and slept with me. I was shocked and called out for my mum but she told me not be alarmed as the snake had been in our family for generations and it came to protect and bless me.
But we also believe that our ancestors need to be pleased. Whenever someone in the family fell sick, it would be attributed to the wrath of our ancestors. A trip would then be made to their tombs to bring an offering of spices to appease them.
Since young I stayed with my grandmother for dad is never a good father. He is a drunkard and womanizer with either five or six wives - mum is wife number 3. When I was eight-month old, in his fit of anger he literally threw me out of the window, my head hit against the fence and the impact of that fall affected my speech faculty. Later when I learn to talk I speak with a very serious stutter. Throughout my school days I never answered any questions in class for I could not speak clearly and it took me a long time just to finish a sentence.
By the time I was 3, dad had left mum for a Chinese woman, for seven years we never saw him. To support ourselves, all of us had to work. I would go to school in the morning and by noon I would be out in the streets selling cakes and cigarettes. At times, when I was hawking near the seaport - my house is near the pier, the guards would chase me away and confiscate my wares. When this happened I dreaded going home for mum would certainly beat me. To make ends meet mum kept a few pigs in our backyard so in the evenings I would go around the village looking for leftover food from the neighbors to feed the pigs.
At 13 when we were staying in a Moslem village, I had become very wild and often joined the neighborhood kids in all kinds of daring game. One fateful day, we decided to race one another on our bikes. The route of our race went through hilly areas and due to my recklessness I crashed down a ravine and the bike landed on me with the handle poked right into my pelvic joints. After three days of intense pain, I was left paralyzed.
A village doctor, also known as a tabib, was asked to treat me. He put all sorts of herbs on my legs but it didn’t help. Mum then thought we might have offended our ancestors so she brought spices to their tombs and negotiated with their spirits to lift the curse on me. Again it didn’t work. Finally a doctor in the hospital was consulted and I was given jabs and medications. There was still no change in my situation.
Being bedridden I needed to be carried to the bathroom everyday. I was quite huge before the accident but after a few months of lying on bed I was reduced to only skin and bones. A serious infection soon set in. I still remember the day when a doctor and nurse were called to our house and they told my mum that in order to save my life, my left leg would need to be amputated. It was to be a major operation and we did not have the money to pay for it. It was a very difficult time for us. I was in great despair and I realized that there was no more future for me. I felt that death is very near.
It was at this point in time when I was at the lowest that I met with God. A voice spoke to my heart the very night the doctor broke the news to us. “Do not be afraid because I will heal you.” Taken aback, I asked, “Who are you?” The voice said, “I am the God who would heal you.” A lot of questions came to my mind, “How are You going to heal me? How can I believe this?” The voice spoke to my heart again, “Tonight I will heal you.” Not knowing what to do, I just prayed, “God, heal me from this. And I would seriously pursue after you.” After that I fell asleep.
Around four in the morning I was awoken. I felt someone was pulling my left leg. Since the accident I was not able to straighten my left leg at all but now something was pulling my leg. Amazingly after that I was able to stretch it. Slowly I could stand and was able to walk a little. I forced myself to go outside and pushed out my bicycle. With some difficulty I was able to get on the bike. As I was trying to pedal a man approached me and asked to borrow my bike. I didn’t know why but I just lent it to him. He took the bike and started to pedal away. A neighbor who was nearby shouted to me that the man has mental problem so better don’t lend him the bike. Anxious I then ran to chase after him to get back my bike. Surprisingly I was able to run quite fast and managed to catch up with him. I felt God is very amusing for it was as if He arranged for someone to steal the bike to motivate me to run after it.
By then my family has woken up and they were shocked to see me walking around. I kept all that had happened in my heart. I knew a miracle had occurred.
Though still not a Christian I knew it was Jesus who had healed me. I heard about Him from an evangelist who had set up a post in our village. After the incident I would witness in Christian meetings about how Jesus had healed me. I went back to school and on the surface everything was normal again but something in my heart changed. I started praying to God every night. Through a friend in school I joined a fellowship group and church.
The path in following the Lord had not been easy. Since 14, not long after I could walk again, I left home to stay with my best friend who is a Christian. His father is a leader of a fellowship group doing outreach work among young people. Later due to my decision to be baptized my family disowned me and asked me not to use the family name anymore. Through the years I continued to seek the truth and be strengthened by the word of God.
Though no longer staying at home, I would bring people in the area to join bible study and to go to church. Some of these people were baptized and my friends and I were called upon to give an account to the village head. While we were being questioned the people around threatened to stone us. However in the end no harm came to us and we were asked leave after being warned not to do it again.
When I was in my second year in SMA(an equivalent of A-level) God spoke to me again. A voice spoke to me saying, “Arise, Arise, Arise son of Man.” I couldn’t remember what else was spoken except something about a rod had been given to me. It was from that point onwards that I decided to dedicate my life to evangelize and to preach the Word. As I started to launch out I experienced the second major miracle in my life. Since young I had problems speaking due to my serious stutter but God miraculously healed me. Now I show no sign of stammering at all.
During my second and third year in SMA I was invited to preach in various fellowship groups in my town. Though untrained but when I preached I could sense the anointing from the Lord and I realized that people would sit very still to listen to me and some would cry.
Now, I know exactly what I want to do in my life. Alive or dead I will serve the Living God. Recently a pastor from Malaysia, Pastor Chuan shared with us about the life of Apostle Paul who planned to die in Rome for the sake of preaching to all Gentiles. Like Apostle Paul I hope by the grace of the Lord I am count worthy to suffer and even to lay down my life to preach to those who has yet to hear the Gospel. Living in this country where many are not only non-believers but very much against the Lord I know that to reach out to them may mean death to me. May His grace be upon me.
(c) 2012 Christian Disciples Church