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29. Baptized in the Spirit in a truck

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Sven speaks: One day in the beginning of Ludvig and Hilding Erikssons’ missionary work in the Highlands, Ludvig walks past a garden where a boy is working. At this time, he only knows a few words in Pidgin, so usually he evangelizes by handing out tracts (tracts = Short Gospel message on a small paper). He stops and gives the boy three tracts. The boy´s name is Lakoo Minson and is 15 years old.

Lakoo reads the tracts several times and is very influenced by what he is reading. (When Lakoo many years later speaks about this incident with me, he still remembers the titles of these various tracts.) The tracts challenge its reader to ask Jesus for forgiveness for his or her sins and Lakoo does this. He also begins to participate in the services, which Ludvig and Hilding arrange for new believers. After a while, Lakoo receives a tract that teaches about the importance of being baptized in water. This results in him wanting to get baptized.

A little bit later, Lakoo reads tracts that talk about baptism in the Holy Spirit. As he reads about this, he gets a tremendous longing to experience this. The thing is that when Lakoo was saved it was not a big emotional experience, but he rather accepted salvation through faith in God's word. When he was baptized, he expected it to be more emotional, but it wasn’t.

Now, Lakoo starts praying intensely for a baptism in the Holy Spirit. In order not to disturb his colleagues, who are sleeping in the same room, he sits in a truck at night and prays. He sits there and prays night after night. The seventh night he is desperate and cries out to God: "I was saved and felt nothing. Not even when I got baptized did I experience anything special. I want to be baptized in the Holy Spirit and if there isn’t anything special about it, I’ll leave my Christian faith." Then, it is almost as if a bright light filled the truck and he feels that something comes over him in a strange way. Suddenly he begins to speak words that he does not understand, he starts speaking in tongues. It is a very dramatic experience. He jumps out of the car and runs into the barracks. He wakes a couple of his sleeping comrades up and tries to tell them what just happened. But the only thing that comes out of his mouth is completely incomprehensible words.

His friends believe that he has an evil spirit inside of him. Initially, Lakoo does not care about what his colleagues say, but later he is worried that he might "have caught" something that is not good. A few nights later, he sees a text in a dream saying: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever". When he wakes up, he thinks about the text he has seen in his dream and thinks that maybe it could be something from the Bible. When he opens his Bible, he finds Hebrews chapter 13 and verse 8 – the exact place where this text is placed. He now understands that it is God who wants to tell him that what he has experienced is what the Bible calls a baptism in the Holy Spirit. After this, he has no more doubt.

A few months later, Lakoo quit his job in the garden and went home to the Enga Province. He lived in a place that, at the time, did not have any roads. To get to his home village, he had to walk 10 to 12 hours from the nearest road. Among other things, he had to cross over a mountain to get to the valley where the village was situated. I have done the hiking trip myself, so I know what it is all about.


Lakoo and his father

Back home, the 16-year-old young man now began to talk about God with his fellow villagers. He also prayed for the sick and many of them were healed. More and more people came to listen when he testified about his faith in Jesus Christ. During a church service, there was a woman who had a spirit of divination and she threatened him. But he commanded the evil spirit to leave the woman and she was completely normal after this. There were many who became believers through Lakoo´s testimony.

After a while, Lakoo came back to Mount Hagen. He took an active part in the various church worship services and worked in the small business that Ludvig and Hilding had started (ref Chapter 24). He worked there when we, Marianne and I, came to Mount Hagen in 1976. As it turned out, he had a good sense of order and was very good with handling money, he become the treasurer of the church although he was only 19-20 years old (ref Chapter 30).

A few years later, I think it was in 1982, we decided to cease the business operations but Lakoo kept on working on other tasks with us for a while. Eventually, in 1984, we could no longer offer him a job. He was then invited to become a pastor and the head of the Apostolic Church in Mount Hagen. We wished him God's blessing in this task, and he has since then been the pastor of the Apostolic Church in Papua New Guinea. When we met him, in April 2012, he told me that he had finished his pastor services and entered a service that would help evangelical churches to receive contributions for social projects from aid organizations.


Marainne, Lakoo and Sven in Mount Hagen in April 2012

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