By Andrew McChesney @ adventistmission.org
The 14-year-old girl was invited into the pastor’s office to discuss why she had skipped classes. Instead of focusing on her misbehavior, the meeting turned into a vivid unfolding of the great controversy between Christ and Satan.
School case manager Giselle Ortiz noticed that something wasn’t right after being summoned to the meeting between Dezba, an eighth grader, and Phil Vecchiarelli, then-pastor of Holbrook Seventh-day Adventist Indian School in the U.S. state of Arizona. When Pastor Phil mentioned the name of Jesus, the girl’s body jerked violently and she cried out, “Shut up!” Then she relaxed slightly and whispered, “Pastor, it hurts when you say His name.”
Pastor Phil opened his Bible and began to read promises about Jesus’ power to conquer demons. Every time he mentioned Jesus, the girl reacted forcefully and screamed, “Shut up!”
Then she interrupted the pastor. “I have a voice inside, and he is telling me that you are lying and that book is a book of lies,” she said.
“Jesus is Lord,” Pastor Phil said calmly. “You can have freedom, and this voice will leave forever if You accept Jesus as Lord.”
It was like a boxing match, with the girl screaming, and the pastor fearlessly pushing back. Giselle prayed silently, claiming Bible promises and thanking Jesus for the imminent victory. As the pastor read another promise, Dezba doubled over in pain and fell to the floor . . .