The E3 Partner’s Expedition Podcast 2: Lisa in Panama

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Lisa reports back from Panama how the Lord raised a woman from the dead. Really !!!

Here’s her story:

We arrived in Panama City really late at night, and three-and-a-half hours into our bus ride, we stopped to get some food.  As I was walking, to my right, I saw this woman with very dark skin, sunken eyes, funky teeth, and tussled hair.  Now, I had been to many places before, but never to Panama, and this woman scared me!  It wasn’t a Godly attitude, but I was really hoping that this wasn’t the type of people that God had in store for us to minister to.

Anyway, I got my food and had almost finished eating, when this very woman came and sat across from me.  As scary as she was at first, I then noticed that she was carrying this little red Bible.  So I asked her, “Are you a Christian?”  She said yes, and so I smiled kindly, finished my food and then went back to the bus.

We continued to drive and finally arrived at the hotel and caught a few winks before getting up early the next morning to drive to the village where we were going to work for the next week.  As I got into the car, I looked and that same lady was sitting there in the car with me on the bench seat.  Right away, I knew this couldn’t be a coincidence, so I slid right next to her and began talking with her.

When I asked her, “What’s your story?” she simply began:

Well, I died June 10, 2003.  And God raised me back to life again June 14, 2003.

Her name was Maelisa and her mother had abandoned her as a baby, so she lived with her grandmother.  By the time she was eleven-years-old, she had joined a gang and then climbed the “gang ladder” to the top.  Everyone throughout the country and even surrounding countries knew her as a murderous gang leader.  She was a drug trafficker and alcoholic.  And one day, Maelisa was in a drunken stupor, out on the street, when a woman pulled up along side her and asked, “Have you taken a look in a mirror lately?”  Blown away that someone would have the audacity to speak to her that way, she became belligerent.  But the lady in the car simply handed her a Gospel tract.  Upon reading it, the words pierced her right to the core of her heart.  She had never heard anything like it before.

About two weeks later, the same woman drove up in a car again, this time offering to pay for Maelisa’s rehabilitation.

At the rehab center, Maelisa was assigned to be the groundskeeper.  Over time, she had caught the attention of the center’s director, who offered her the position of “Spiritual Leader” for the rehab center.  Laughing hysterically, she asked, “Do you have any idea who I am??”

Making a long story short, she took the position, but quickly realized that she knew very little regarding spiritual matters, so she began to read the Bible and it began to transform her life.

Within three months, she was leading Bible studies and ministering to other women at the center.

When she finally left the facility, the news had gotten out the Maelisa, the hardened drug trafficker and gang leader had come to Christ.  Out of nowhere, churches from all over called her to ask if she would come and speak to their congregations.  She did this for around two years – traveling all over her country telling Christians about her transformational story.

Then, one day, her brother found her and told her that she needed to come home to identify the body of her 11-year-old daughter who had just died in a car accident.  While standing over her little girl’s body at the morgue, she cried out to God, and in a fit of rage, swore that she would never do anything for Him ever again!  She turned her back on Him and renounced anything to do with Jesus Christ.

She then went out and blew just about every penny that she had on drugs that weekend, with every intent of overdosing and dying.  After a three-day binge, Maelisa fell down into a dried up well.  Emergency crews were able to get her out, but she died later that night at the hospital.  An autopsy was performed and her body was placed on a slab of ice in the morgue.

Somehow, she woke up, naked on a slab of ice and laid there wondering, “How did I get here?”  She couldn’t remember a thing about her death nor the events leading up to it.  Then, she felt her soul come out of her body, and the next thing she knew, she was in hell.  Firstly, she noticed that hell was full of young people.  Then she noticed people that she had met at churches before – even pastors – down there in hell.  Satan was there laughing at her, taunting her.  Mocking her that she thought she had done so much for God, but still ended up in hell!

She couldn’t understand why all these young people and church-going people would be in hell.  God responded, “I am a God of love and mercy.  All I ask for is obedience, and these people did not obey me.”  She then begged God not to leave her there.  He then said that He would heal her and raise her back to life if she would go back and preach unity among the churches and tell others that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life, and no one comes to the Father except through Christ.

She said that the next thing she knew, she woke up on that slab of ice, realizing now where she was.  She got up and banged on the door to be let out.  A doctor heard the commotion and came to see what was happening.  When he saw her there, naked, banging on the door and shouting… he fainted there on the spot.

A second doctor came down as she continued to yell and pound… and he fainted right there alongside the first doctor.  Finally, a nurse cracked the door open enough for her to run out, grab a gown and hit the street!

A friend drove by, not knowing what had happened over the last week and simply thought she was high again, running around in a hospital gown.  Maelisa’s friend drove her home to her grandmother’s house, where she walked in on all these family members gathered at the house, preparing to go to her funeral later that day.  Her grandmother was even in the middle of ironing her burial clothes.

Upon looking up and seeing her granddaughter, Maelisa‘s grandma yelled, “Whatever I said bad about you or to you, please forgive me!  Go rest in peace!!”

Eventually, Maelisa was able to convince her friends and family that God had healed her and brought her back to life.  She then swore her life to God, promising to serve and preach the Gospel.

Over the next several years, her older son and her grandson were killed in a gang fight, her house was burnt to the ground, and she become homeless for at least four or five years.  Life serving God was definitely not easy.  Her family and all her possessions were gone, but she relied on God every day and continued to preach God’s word and proclaim the need for church unity.

It’s amazing how God can use even encounters that we try to avoid – like when Lisa originally tried to avoid Maelisa  - to reveal Himself and encourage us to serve Him!

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About Jefferson Drexler

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