Philippines Pastor On Kingdom Front Lines
By Carl Stagner
When darkness meets light, it can’t help but flee. When spiritual kingdoms collide, the power of God is unleashed. At the leading edge of the kingdom of God in the Philippines, Pastor Edwin Ofalla is witnessing firsthand this clash between good and evil. In spite of the challenges, the fruit of Edwin’s labor is evident in some pretty spectacular miracles, including divine healing, the casting out of evil spirits, and a growing church. Through his ministry, disease has met the Deliverer, witchcraft has come face-to-face with the One who conquered the grave, and lost souls have been introduced to Jesus Christ. In a report submitted to leaders in the Asia-Pacific region, Eduardo Viray, national leader of the Church of God in the Philippines, offered a glimpse into the spiritual victories God has brought about through Edwin Ofalla:
His gift for healing has made possible the recovery of two children…from unusual boils that sprang up all over their skin. Pastor Ofalla was leading an outreach Bible study…when he noticed the large, numerous boils afflicting two kids among the group. It turned out the kids were cousins, and both seven years of age.
In the Philippines, cults and witchcraft are prolific. Faith in these ideas are often reflected in the numerous charms and items worn on the body. Pastor Edwin asked the mother of these afflicted children if amulets or charms were present. The mother removed those items, making way for the pastor to pray.
…he laid his hand on the two children and fervently prayed for healing in Jesus’ name. When the children reached home, they were immediately drawn to the toilet…shortly after the boils began to disappear, one by one.
Today the children are healthy, and they and their family are actively serving in the church.
Another incident involved casting out an evil spirit, a practice perhaps not commonly seen by many in the Western church today. But where the name of Jesus’ is being preached to regions with less Christian influence, the manifestations of spiritual warfare come with the territory. The following is Eduardo Viray’s testimony:
Pastor Ofalla also had the experience of casting out an evil spirit possessing the body of a granddaughter of an elderly leader in another mission church…The girl had been beside herself for two weeks, always in bed, characterized by alternating periods of violence and quiet. It turned out the spirit was that of a jilted suitor who used her picture to enter her body. The elderly leader had asked for the pastor’s help, and the pastor immediately went to the girl’s home, accompanied by a female assistant pastor and the members of their praise and worship team. Together they intensely prayed and sang praises and worship songs before they confronted the evil spirit. It was a harrowing struggle that lasted from 9:00 PM until midnight, when the spirit succumbed to the power of prayer and faith in Jesus, and left the girl’s body.
It was faith in Jesus. Jesus is the subject of Pastor Edwin Ofalla’s ministry, and he sees this kind of struggle as nothing different than the early church faced. “In most parts of the Philippines, people attribute the clash of good and evil through people who practice witchcraft/sorcery who cast evil spells to humans,” he explains. “They use dark magic and harm their victims through food poisoning and other physical/health destruction.
But to bring in a worship team? Indeed, worship is powerful. Perhaps one of the most familiar examples comes from Acts 16, where we read that the prison doors holding Paul and Silas flew open following an intense time of worship. But Pastor Edwin shines some more light on the subject. “We believe that praise and worship gives us access to the very presence of God, and allows us to enter the Most Holy Place and be blessed, which is vital to our work,” he explains. “Psalm 149:6–9 tells us that the praises of God in our mouths are as a sharp sword in our hands, which is used to execute vengeance on our enemies. In other words, praise binds the enemy with chains, executing judgment written against them. God inhabits or lives in the praises of his people (Psalms 22:3), which means as you praise God and glorify him, God comes down and manifests himself in your circumstances.”
God is doing numerous wonderful things in the Philippines, but Satan continues to try to interfere and undermine. Please continue to pray for the Church of God in the Philippines, Pastor Edwin Ofalla, and the needs of the growing congregation he serves. Thank you!
Learn more about Church of God missions at www.chogmissions.org.