Healing in the Jungle

Welcome to our podcast series, Stories From the Field.” I’m your host Joy Kita and with me today is Ron Pearce.

Ron- It’s good to be back with you, Joy.

Joy- Hi, Ron. This is one of my favorite podcasts to do and today I know you already have a title, it’s called Healing from the Jungles in Vietnam.’

Ron- Well, yeah, this is going back in the archives a little bit for this story because it happened quite a few years ago. I have met this gentleman throughout the years when I would go back to Vietnam and the story has been verified over and over again. So, therefore, this is not something new that I’m bringing up here for the first time. Here we go. What it was, he was a young evangelist, married with a couple of kids and he was working in the jungles of Vietnam, especially along the Ho Chi Minh Trail which was the trail that went from North Vietnam to South Vietnam along the border with Laos and Cambodia. This is where supplies during the Vietnam War were taken down from communist north all the way through this trail which went from a very narrow trail, just a horse trail all the way up to almost like a small road, and it would go through that whole area and supplies for the Viet Cong, the communist forces in the south, they were supplied by this road. So the US and the Vietnamese armies they would fight there, they would bomb there, they would do all these things.

Joy- Have you been there before?

Ron- I’ve been on this road many times in various areas. And so this was quite a common thing. Today they are actually making it into a four lane highway. Work has been underway for a long time and they are unearthing tribes and people groups that they didn’t even know existed before. It’s really quite something! So, anyway, back to the story. Here we go. This is the environment he was working in and this was many years ago. He would go in and he would be praying for people for healing. So when I first met him I asked him, Is this a part of your ministry that you make central?” And he said, Well, so many people were sick in the villages,” and he said, when I would go in to see them, I noticed they would be sick, taken to the hospital and many of them would die.” So he said, Just out of deep compassion, I knew that Jesus healed.” So he went and he started to pray for these people and many of them were healed. Then he said he went and besought God for the gift of healing that he saw in the Bible in 1 Corinthians especially, and he said, I asked the Lord for that gift because I really needed this gift to minister in this part where there was a lot of sickness.” Well, he went out afterwards, and he would go into villages and he would be praying for the sick and these people were healed! Not just one or two but almost all the time! And he would be praying and praying and praying. So, this one time, he went into this one area and he knew that there were established Christians in there but they were very, very poor. This was about 50 or 60 kilometers away from civilization at all.

<p>Ho Chi Minh Trail</p>
What it was, he was a young evangelist, married with a couple of kids and he was working in the jungles of Vietnam, especially along the Ho Chi Minh Trail which was the trail that went from North Vietnam to South Vietnam along the border with Laos and Cambodia.

Joy- So in the jungle.

Ron- Right in the jungle. Right in the backwoods at the foot of the mountains, central highland sort of area. And he went into this area, and he knew they were poor so he would go in and he took them some supplies. He took some needles and some thread and salt. And he realized that these people were so poor that they only grew chickens and pigs and used those for local usage because the market was so far away. And they would get their crops and would eat roots and leaves and various things of that nature. They had no money for clothes that much, just a little bit, and the problem was the children didn’t have much to wear at all if anything. So this was a poor, poor area. So he goes in there, he takes these gifts of love, and he goes in to share with the other people there who didn’t know the Lord, about Jesus. Well, the people were overwhelmed. They had never seen this. They were crying, he was crying and he said all the unbelievers were watching all this and the sharing that he was doing with all these people and so he said they had a big banquet. They had a feast and killed a pig and some chickens and they had a big feast. That night, the people came and he started to pray for them and many of these people that were sick were healed. These were unbelievers and believers too I’m sure and they were being healed instantaneously on the spot. So much so that that night, 170 people accepted Christ on that first night in there, and overall, within the next little while, 500 people came to Christ.

That night, the people came and he started to pray for them and many of these people that were sick were healed.

Joy- In this area?

Ron- In this area, right in that little clump of people. There would probably have been a little village here, a little village there, you know, but it’s a smattering in the jungle. And he said, we started churches and these people just couldn’t believe that a God that loved them so much would first of all, be given gifts from this stranger who loved them, but also God loved them enough to heal them of all these diseases that they had. So this really opened their ears, not that they were deaf, but spiritually they were deaf, and God just opened their ears in this way. Well, they told me afterwards as well, and I sort of wrote down some numbers as quick as I could on this one, but here it is. He said, I went to another village and 50 people accepted Christ after we prayed.” Then he said, I went to another village and 95. I went to another village, 100. Another village, 75. And I’m scrambling to write these down and then he ends with, there was another village way off and 150 people accepted Christ there and they sent people out to other villages to bring people from afar to be prayed for so they could see the power of God in their midst.

Joy- So was he healing people? Is that how they were becoming saved?

Ron- Yeah, he was just praying. He was a humble guy, here’s where we jump off now okay, because he was the most humble guy you’ll ever meet and he always pointed to Jesus as the source of this healing, not himself. Because I asked him, Is everybody healed?” And in his eyes, yeah, everybody is healed and it was really something! So I’m expecting, I’ll be honest with everybody listening to this, I’ve seen people with gifts of healing over here in the West and there is a tendency that their ego and their pride goes off scale when they see a legitimate gift of healing coming through them and they get an ego problem and they are very proud of it. Well, this guy did not have this. This guy was as humble as can be and he says, It’s not me, it’s not me. I just pray and Jesus heals them.” Constantly he was pointing people through the miracles to a God that loved them and this is what I’m trying to share with folks, is the maturity of their situation over there. These are very, very simple people in the middle of the jungle. Probably not much education. They know that there is a God or a force or something out there that created them but they don’t know who it is. So he goes into their midst and he’s telling them, the one that made this, who made you, there is a God up there, one God! Not the sticks and the trees and the clouds. There were items that they were worshiping as animists. This is a God up there that loves you and He’s going to prove it to you, that he loves you. And not just by my gifts and little trinkets that I bring in to help you, no, it’s the message that he sent his son, and now he’s sending healing to show you that he is alive and he is supernatural. That supernatural element opens their eyes and their ears to the Gospel and still they have to come to faith like everyone else. And that is the whole purpose of why I am telling you and the folks listening to this story right now, is the fact that if we can keep out of the miracle and we can just be a channel for God to bless the people that are hungry for him, we will be used and God will continue to use us but get the ego out of the way. Suppress it. It’s not us doing this, it is Jesus and when we ask God for a miracle, don’t go looking for a way to write a book around it. Don’t go looking for a way to brag about what God did through me. No, that is not the point of this at all.

<p>Vietnam jungle</p>
There would probably have been a little village here, a little village there, you know, but it’s a smattering in the jungle.

Joy- Well, we wouldn’t even know about this story. So he certainly wasn’t going on television and advertising.

Ron- No, this guy in Vietnam, if he walked up and sat down right with us, Joy, in this studio right now, he would sit there and you would see him, worn out shoes, I’m just picturing him in my mind as I remember him. He had a terrible haircut, no dental plan at all and he wasn’t dirty but he wasn’t polished and he had very poor clothes. He would sit here and his hands, I remember he was just rough. But God never chose polished to work through. He chooses rough sometimes, and the simple and the uncomplicated, and those people who are just humble in spirit. That is the one that God is looking for to work through. So that’s why I share this story with our friends today.

Joy- So he comes to the villages, his message is the Gospel and then the healing comes second and the people came to him. I wonder if, it wasn’t a promise, if you accept Jesus you can be healed necessarily. It was, they heard the Gospel message and…

Ron- That is always a hard part. There is always a hard part in this and I’m sure Jesus had the same thing. It was almost like, do you love me or do you love what I’m going to do for you. And that was throughout the Gospels and I’m sure he faced the same things but don’t stop with that and say, Well then I’m not going to pray for anybody.” No, you pray, you point people to Jesus, and what they do with that sometimes is up to them and up to God and you just do what you’re called to do. You share the love of Jesus and the Gospel with words. After that we pray for people because we love them and God loves them. The results of that you sort out as time goes on. But you always keep pointing to Jesus. Always.

Joy- It’s amazing to me that there is always such a movement of God in the outskirts, in the villages, in the remote areas. Why do you think?

Ron- There are so many distractions in the cities, materialism, and I believe in doctors, don’t get me wrong with this at all, but many times we get accustomed to the fact that we go to the doctor or a hospital for healing first. Well, in that part of the world, they have witch doctors, they have false medicine, they have false gods and they are in the middle of nowhere and who do they cry out to? They call out to God, they call out to Jesus. I remember one time I was in a village, this is in Vietnam as well, and a young pastor and his wife had a little baby who was sick, very sick, probably to the point of death. They didn’t have anything. We drove into the village, I got out of the car with the pastor and John, I’ll give him that name, John took me into a small group of people, probably the church in that town. And we go behind the hut and here is the father, who was the pastor, and he had the baby in his hands and he raised the baby up to the Lord and they had nowhere else to turn. They had no medicine, they had nothing. They were surrounded by witch doctors, there was an antagonistic threatening group of people in that village, and the communist forces were strong. He held the baby up, mom who was crying right beside him, people were on their knees and they prayed. We stood at the back and I watched and as they prayed, they started to cry and they started to pray stronger with joy. Brought the baby down after about five or ten minutes and she looked at the baby and the baby was healed. Everything that was on the skin that was on the skin before was gone, the baby was breathing again, it had life in it. Before when they raised it, it was virtually the edge of death. I don’t know what it was, I’m no doctor, but I know the baby was dying and now it was alive, its eyes were opened, it was only probably a few weeks or a month or two old. So I remember that. They walked in and we met them afterwards. They didn’t even know we were there. We walked in and sat at the back in his house and the church was rejoicing, sort of like, yep, we prayed, everything is good now. It was just sort of like they took it for granted in one way but not in another way. They took it that God would heal and if they cried out to the Lord, the Lord would do something but then they didn’t stop there and worship the miracle, they were just in talking about Jesus and how God was working in their midst. So life just goes on after that.

Joy- And it just seems that the Lord loves to delight, he just delights in doing these healings and we aren’t going to hear about it in North America, he’s doing it for no purpose except to heal this child and to affect the village.

Ron- We are not the focus, the total focus of God’s attention around the world. Not everything revolves around those of us in the West. It’s funny, there is another 98% of the world out there that God loves too. 

Joy- Alright guys, well, this has been our Stories From the Field” podcast and as always it has been a great pleasure. Thank you.

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