Set free by the name of Jesus!

**This is a condensed version of a post at  If you are interested in more you can catch it there.  This incident happened in Tanzania this year.

The taxi stopped to pick up another well-dressed and well-spoken man. The doors locked, the tinted windows went up. Immediately, the men started screaming at us, “We are the mafia! We own this whole part of town and you need to do exactly what we tell you!”

Two big black cars came out of nowhere and blocked us in, front and back. Soon there were six or seven men swarming around our car.

Through it all, Jason and I both felt an incredible sense of calm. Despite their yelling, the men promised they would not hurt us or take our passports, electronics, or belongings. They only wanted money! We happily emptied our pockets, but the $300 wasn’t enough to appease them. They told us they would take us to an ATM where we must draw more cash before they would let us go.

Out of ideas, my husband said, “We need to pray.” I started praying out loud in tongues. Jason implored, “We are under your authority, God! You rule over all things! We ask for your justice! Convict these men….”

Stephen interrupted our praying. “Okay. Maybe God answers prayers. Maybe God has heard your prayer today. We will let you go.”

Before we could respond, the “big guy” next to me, pointed at Jason and said, “Something you have said has touched my heart. I want you to pray for a new life for me. I don’t want to live this way anymore and do these things to people.”

Jason started praying boldly over James. Immediately, Stephen lunged back from the front seat to get in on the prayer! Jason prayed conviction and courage for change over both men.

Then Jason said, “You need to choose right now if you want change. Change requires obedience, so you need to obey God and give us back our money.” Both men became nervous, fear shadowed their faces. Stephen said, “We cannot give you this money because of those men (in the black cars). You have to leave right now. But please, I need you to keep praying for me!”

We pulled our backpacks from the trunk. Stephen pressed $20 in Jason’s hand, “For a taxi,” he said. We slipped down the alley, leaving our $300 behind (well, $280, actually), but I believe we walked out of there richer people for the miracle that we had experienced.

When pressed, Jason and I experienced faith, conviction, boldness and zeal—gifts from God. We found power in the Name we love—power to scatter the shadows and stop evil in its tracks. Brushing up against the dark is a small price to pay for front-row seats to see light shattering darkness, Kingdom storming into earth and Mighty God bringing men to their knees.



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