From the coast, we headed inland crossing the mountains and coming to what is known as "the Interior" of Oman. It is more conservative and people mostly live in villages or small towns. Ironically, it is not only known for being more conservative religiously, but it is also known as the place where there is the most witchcraft. This is something that is not only believed in Oman, but I've asked Arabs in many countries who also believe this to be true. We decided to go to the city considered to be the center of magic and witchcraft and see what the Lord would do.
In a restaurant we met a man from that city and asked him to tell us what he knew about the city's reputation for witchcraft. He began to tell us some stories and the history of it acknowledging that it was far less today than in the past; however, he did tell us that one of the witches from the heyday (the 50's and 60's) was still alive, but crippled and living very close by. We got excited. We asked if we could go to meet him and told the man that God would heal him to show him and others the superiority of God's power over the forces of darkness. So off we go to meet the "last living witch"! We got to his house (it was very close) and knocked on the door. Eventually his son-in-law came out and spoke with us. Sadly in the end, he did not let us come in to pray for his father-in-law. He said he was sleeping which was probably so since it was the afternoon, but we could tell that he really didn't want to let us in. God gives people a choice even when He sets up divine appointments. I will tell you though that this experience as we re-told it many times to others ended up opening more doors than even the testimonies of the healings. When people discovered that we Christians went to the house of a known witch to offer healing to his crippled body in a city that many won't even drive through, they were interested to say the least! Why would we do that? What made us think we could do that and not be 'cursed'? (I even had a student of mine ask me that today). Even though we saw NO healing there and didn't even have the actual opportunity to pray for the crippled witch, God redeemed the son-in-laws refusal into an opportunity to pray for many others.
Our next stop was the "religious capital" of the country which ironically is the next city down the road. Again we thought we had another divine appointment. While walking through a neighborhood under the date palms, a man approaches pushing his son in a wheel chair. I introduce ourselves and explain that we are healers and as Christians we are required to pray for the sick and God heals them. I didn't get very far with this man. He was more or less a fundamentalist muslim and simply refused our offer. Again we were discouraged, but yet again this story of his refusal opened up doors for us later as I explained to other Omanis that he wouldn't let us heal his crippled son. What intrigues them is that we are speaking so readily about miracles.
We didn't leave "the Interior" empty-handed. As we had some tea before leaving the city, a couple of Omani men sat down next to us. They were the first ones we told the "witch story" to. I had gotten a word of knowledge that one of them (I knew which one) had a left knee problem, that it was a soccer injury (and later the Lord also indicated that it had happened 2 years earlier). Right in the middle of the whole story of visiting the witch's house to heal him, I stop and ask about the knee problem. They were SHOCKED! It was like they had just seen a ghost. I would think their first thought was "this is witchcraft", but we were clear that God reveals to us people's problems in order to heal them. So much of recounting our story in the former city was to emphasize God's power over and above the powers of the Kingdom of darkness. I laid hands on the man and prayed telling him that God was going to heal his knee. I gave him my number and told him to contact me back in the capital city and to tell me how his knee was. They were very thankful. As of the time of writing, I have not yet heard back from him. I am confident that I will very soon.
What in some ways felt like a disappointment (the 2 refusals and there was even one other guy we prayed for who didn't seem to get any better) ended up in the end affording us many other open doors and opportunities. That is definitely God working all things together for good. I know He led us to those people and was intent on healing them. He doesn't override people's free will. He did redeem it all by not only opening more doors to destroy the devil's work, but then doing what He always does – healing them! Those stories will come in Part 3.