The night after I met Mar, the Christian woman at the massage parlor, we went back downtown to do more follow up and try to meet and share with new people. Still on a spiritual high from the night before, I was not completely prepared for the darkness that awaited us.
The particular street we witness on regularly is always dark, but that night it seemed even more so. Almost overwhelming. Not only was the evil visible, but it was felt. With everyone we spoke to, there seemed to be a presence of darkness. One woman we met told us that she reads the Bible and likes Christianity, but she cannot become a believer because she has to keep going to the temple to make merit for her deceased father. Our whole team left feeling discouraged. Strange how a defeated enemy can make the appearance of victory. But "we do not fight with the weapons on the world. On the contrary, ours have the divine power to demolish strongholds" (2 Corinthians 10:4). There is a stronghold of evil here: in the false religions, in the spirit worship, and in the sin that is everywhere. But when Jesus came into the world, He shattered the darkness with the light of his glory. Our little lights now are just taking that glory into the corners where the darkness thinks it still reigns.We told one of the amazing missionary women we work with about the intense feelings of darkness, and she offered a perspective I had never thought of before. When we go in, we feel the darkness. But what about the reverse? When we walk down the street, can they see light in us? Does the darkness feel the bright light of Jesus as we enter the bars? I believe it does, and the gates of hell tremble because "the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness had not overcome it" (John 1:5).