Stories of visible spiritual warfare rarely conjure up images of the modern mission field; rather, they bring to mind Mission Spotlight stories of decades past and jungles far away. The truth is, these battles still rage in many places around the world where God's light has not yet been shared. One example of this is a recent situation in Alaska Conference.
One evening a group of young people in Gambell, Alaska, was walking home when a feeling of dread came over them. Something had passed through them that could not be seen, only felt. Each was gripped with fear as a putrid odor hung in the air. They quickly ran home to safety.
For several months, a “Tall Man” spirit has been terrifying residents of Gambell and Savoonga. Sometimes it is seen, sometimes not, but the outcome is the same. Young people are the target, and many will not go out alone or after dark. Others move in groups, but all are afraid.
Those who have seen the Tall Man describe it as over seven feet tall, slender with thin arms and legs, wearing a black stove top hat. It is said to have the ability to control people’s minds.
In Nome, the Tall Man confronted a social worker on night duty at the Nome Children’s Home. Earlier that day, a girl had been brought to the home from an outlying village. When the worker came on duty, she noticed the girl was highly agitated, thrashing in bed and groaning.
As she approached the girl’s bed, the worker saw the figure of a tall man dressed in black, sitting at the foot of the bed. He screamed that this girl was his. The worker dropped to her knees repeating the name of Jesus Christ while the spirit stood over her, screaming.
After what seemed like an eternity of spiritual warfare, the worker, with eyes shut and praying, heard a window fly open then slam shut. When she opened her eyes, the spirit was gone and the girl was now peacefully sleeping. Christ had won the battle!
In Gambell, 11-year-old Alyssa Oozeva is using her faith and trust in Jesus to help friends through their fear of the Tall Man. She has started a Jesus Club and invites friends to learn about the power of Jesus and how He will protect them.
Gradually, Jesus Club youth are moving about the village strong in their faith in Jesus, and with support from their church members, they have scared away the Tall Man in the name of Jesus.
If you are a prayer warrior, Alaska villages and workers need constant prayers of Christ’s protection against the spiritual warfare waging. "Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil" (Eph. 6:11).