I feel blessed to have the privilege of serving overseas with children. They often open doors to meet neighbors and other members of the community. I believe many local women find me more approachable as a foreigner because of our common position as wives and mothers. Currently, my children (ages 8 & 10) are participating in a local sports club. They love the chance to exert some energy and make friends, and I am enjoying the fellowship of local women.
Over the course of a month, I noticed an elderly woman occasionally waiting with the other parents. She sat withdrawn from the other waiting moms, and she never joined in the chatter and fellowship. Truth be told, she has a very sad and somewhat mysterious presence about her.
One Saturday, as the Lord would have it, she entered the club and decided to sit on the bench right next to me. I began small talk with her and even shared a plate of cookies passed out by the staff. After about an hour, she asked me to point out my children. I thought it was pretty obvious, but continued pleasantries by indicating which two belong to me. She then very gravely informed me that several weeks ago she felt compelled to put a hex on my children “so that their foreign souls would not harm her grandson, and so that they would not succeed and do better than her grandson in karate.” It is common for women of all cultures to deal with jealousy; however it seems to be especially prevalent in this society. It is also just as common for women in Central Asian cultures to dabble in folk religious practices. However, I must say that my initial response was shock. Thankfully, the Lord gave me His words to share. In short, I told her my family loves her and her grandson and we intend her no harm. I also explained that my husband and I pray in the name of Jesus over and for our children daily. Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord over all. Nothing happens without His permission. At that point, her face changed from the grave sadness to a strange grin, and she replied, “We know of Him and He is greatest over all.”
I cannot quite wrap my mind and hands around what might be going on in this woman’s life, but I do know that the Father desires her heart and fully desires that she proclaim Him Lord of all. I am praying that the Lord gives me more opportunities to share truth with her as well as the other moms.