By Mark Ellis —
Dano was raised in a Christian home by parents who formerly practiced animism. After his father died, Dano turned to God and accepted Jesus as his Savior.
As a young man, Dano enlisted in the military and had combat experience on the frontlines fighting Chinese rebels. “Our enemies ambushed us, they shot us and landmines exploded.” Dano reported in a story by Open Doors.
He narrowly escaped the ambush. “I was positioned on the frontline, there was one experienced soldier before me and another behind me. The soldiers in front of me and behind me were killed by the explosion of the landmines. I found out that 120 soldiers died.”
Dano believes his life was spared for a reason. “I believe God preserved my life from death on the battlefield for a purpose—because it is written in the Bible that God protects those whom He has chosen. I believe God has chosen me to do his work and serve his people,” he told Open Doors.
After eight years of service, Dano left the military and obtained a license to operate a timber business and began to earn his livelihood exporting timber to Thailand.
One day he had a surprising vision. “I was shown a vine full of grapes, fully ripe and waiting to be plucked. A heavenly angel asked me to pluck the grapes and eat them. If I didn’t pluck he would send someone else.”
When Dano shared the vision with his pastor, they concluded that Dano was being called into ministry. The pastor thought he should attend seminary first, however.
But Dano decided he wanted to begin his ministry right away, so he went to the village chief and offered to teach the children in the village for free.
The Buddhist chief and vice-chief agreed to allow Dano to educate their young people, but they warned him not to preach about Jesus. They even drafted an agreement stating that the villagers must file a complaint to the military if Dano preached about his faith.
Reluctantly, Dano signed the agreement and began teaching the children. While he didn’t preach, he taught the children short bible verses and songs about God. And he lifted them up continually in prayer.
Dano also began prayer-walks for his village. He would wake up at 4:00 am and walk through the village praying aloud, but some residents saw him and complained to the Chief. Dano was told not to pray anymore.
But that did not dissuade him. “I continued praying for the village — I just decided to pray at midnight,” he says. He patrolled his village as if he was still in the military, claiming his town for the Lord. In addition, he and his family fasted every Saturday. And when the people in the village were sick, Dano prayed for them and many experienced healing.
Spiritual warfare erupts
Because of their Christian faith, Dano’s children were often threatened by other children and their teachers sometimes pressured them to say Buddhist prayers.
At times, angry groups of people gathered in front of Dano’s house. “Many times, the village chief and vice-chief would come and search for me to be tortured and killed. But in some miraculous ways, they couldn’t find me or I would have escaped,” he told Open Doors.
In one incident, Pastor Dano was held at gunpoint, but the gun malfunctioned. The villagers were so astonished they left him unharmed.
Even though Pastor Dano was badly treated, the villagers would sometimes approach him when they needed help. The vice chief once came to Pastor Dano to ask for help with his son. It seems the young man had been staying in the woods near a shrine for demons. His behavior and health deteriorated and it was believed he was demon-possessed.
The physicians and magicians that many villagers relied upon were unable to help the young man. When all hope seemed to be gone, the family remembered that Pastor Dano prayed for the sick. In desperation they approached Pastor Dan for help, feeling awkward because they had been opposing him.
“The vice chief’s family thought I would be angry with them and would refuse to help, but I saw it as a good opportunity to reach out to them,’’ Pastor Dano recounted. He fasted and prayed for three days in preparation.
After three days, Pastor Dano went to find the young man, but the vice chief’s son ran away when he saw him, shouting: “That person is going to catch me!’’
Undaunted, Pastor Dano returned to the shrine at 11:00 at night and commanded the demon to come out. Dano attempted to burn the shrine, but at first, it wouldn’t catch fire. Finally, he poured diesel fuel onto it and the shrine burned.
Pastor Dano confronted the vice chief’s son. He called upon the name of the Lord and the demon left the young man. Not only did one demon flee, but villagers reported all the evil spirits left the village at the same time.
Shockingly, the next day some villagers begged Pastor Dano to bring the spirits back. The mediums pleaded and offered sacrifices for the spirits to return, but they would not. “They were not happy because their spirit gods had left them. They complained to their chief and tried to kill me,” Dano recounted.
Pastor Dano visited every shrine in the village and prayed against the evil spirits. “The next day all the shrines in the villages had been burned. No one knew how it happened. It was, seemingly, a miracle.”
But something even more remarkable happened: the vice chief and his family, along with four other families, accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord!
Soon other villagers accepted Christ. Villagers who once opposed Pastor Dano now listen to him and are being led by him. Pastor Dano pastors a church in his village, and he also has a vision and aims to reach out to nearby Buddhist villages.
Pastor Dano requests prayers for courage and ongoing protection, as well as prayers for the families in his village that have turned to Jesus. He also asks God to prepare the way for the Gospel to reach the neighboring villages and “have hearts ready to receive the Good News.”
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