South Asia

Revelatory Reptile: an Indian Missionary Opposes an Idol

By T. L. Angam with Dee Brookshire

“You say that your God is stronger than our god?”

“Yes, my God is the most powerful God in the world.”

“We serve the snake god. Do you want to see it?”

“Of course we do.”

Two of my missionaries and I had walked for 13 hours to get to this village that someone told us existed. We were tired and hungry, but delighted that we had finally reached our destination. The village chief welcomed us and beckoned us to follow him so he could show us his snake god. I expected a lifeless stone statue, but he led us to a huge stone pit. When I looked into the pit, I was shocked. Down in that hole was an 18-foot, very thick slithering live reptile! The villagers sacrificed cows, sheep, and goats to this serpent so he would not be tempted to crawl from his quarry and eat them.

“If your God can make the snake go away, we will serve Him.”

Moment of decision

What was I to do? The chief had challenged my God! I looked around to find the highest peak in the area. I promised the chief that I would return and trudged another three hours up a mountain. I had one bar on my phone, so I called my wife. After I told her I was going into that snake pit to prove the power of Jesus, she screamed, “You’re crazy!”

I asked her to fast and pray.

I walked back praying in faith that God would kill this false god.

“Does anyone want to join me in the pit?” Both missionaries declined.

I looked and didn’t see the snake, but when an animal was thrown to this so called god, the snake would quickly emerge from its hole and devour it within minutes. I held my Bible, prayed and lowered myself into the abyss. The snake did not come out. I stood there and continued to pray. I felt the peace that passes understanding. After nearly an hour, the chief ordered some men to pull me out. 

I stood beside the pit in safety and faced the chief. “You may not be dead now, but you have made the snake god mad and his spirit will kill you by 6:30 this evening.” At 8:30 pm I was still alive.

In frustration the chief yelled, “You will not see the morning light!” We went to bed.

The only true God

I awoke at 4:30 a.m. The chief was watching me.

“Your God is stronger than mine.”

I was able to lead him to the Lord, and then the entire village gave their lives to Jesus!

The snake left sometime between the time I first saw it and when I returned to the village. It never returned and villagers are now being discipled by one of my missionaries. They live in joyful peace planting crops and raising livestock.

Our God truly is the most powerful God in the world. He is the only true God—I know.

T. L. Angam is the leader of International Biblical Missionary Church Ministries, which has planted 50 churches in unreached areas of Burma, Nepal, Bhutan, and India. He has also raised more than 70 orphans from Manipur, India. Most of them take training in his Bible school and go on to become missionaries and pastors. Read T. L.’s story here. Or hear T. L. discuss his life and ministry on our recent podcast episode.

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