Unchained from Dysfunction

Forgiveness leads to healing

One of the most beautiful sights nestled in the western Pacific is the archipelago of Palau. Early inhabitants were born to the tradition of seafarers, hunters, and spirit worshippers. The weather is hot and humid, with an annual rainfall around 150 inches (3,800 mm). The flora and fauna are tropical, but Palau is best known for its 70-mile long (113-km long) barrier reef which encloses spectacular coral reefs and a lagoon of approximately 560 square miles (1,450 square km), a divers' paradise. This is the home of Lily Rashid, who was baptized into her newly found family, the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Lily’s father was a policeman, yet his earnings were not enough to raise seven children. He had many vices. Often, he would come home drunk. Lily was growing up in a dysfunctional family. Soon she also began to struggle with addictions to alcohol, tobacco, and other vices. Eventually, her father became sick and was admitted to Palau Hospital. Even if he was not a responsible father, she felt that it was an opportunity for her to care for dad before he died.

As she was attending church one day, she heard the testimony of a man who was healed. She thought about her abusive dad and presented the idea of being prayed over. Her father consented to be prayed over at the hospital for he wanted to go home healed. Unfortunately, he was not healed. Her father’s illness was becoming worse. He was referred to be hospitalized in Guam. Lily accompanied her father to Guam for many days. While waiting for her father to recuperate, she went to church on a Sunday. She observed how kind and accommodating the church members were. She felt at home, like she belonged to their church. Before long, she was adopted by an American couple who treated her as one of their own. She was blessed by them and desired to share those blessings with others.

Today, Lily, pictured here with her grandchildren during the SDA Elementary School Constituency meeting, attends church in Saipan

Lily travelled to Saipan, where she found a job, but all her earnings were spent on alcohol and tobacco. Then she was diagnosed with a tumor in the stomach. She began questioning whether her illness was the result of her father’s sins. She recounted that in John 9, Jesus’s disciples asked Him “who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind”? She continued to read and found Jesus’ response: “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. I must work the works of Him who sent me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work” (John 9:2-4). Lily claimed God’s promise to heal her so “that the work of God might be revealed” to her and she was ready to accept whatever would be God’s will. Miraculously God healed her.

After being cured, she promised God that she would forgive her ex-husband and make peace; an unlikely response for a woman of her culture. She encouraged her children to be kind and good.

She had been praying for several months for a pastor to come and visit her when, behold, Pastor Wanes Joab of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, fresh from ministerial training, came to visit her in an answer to her prayers. They had Bible studies and she decided to be baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist faith on Saipan.

One September day in 2019, with the beautiful Pacific waters as a backdrop, it was Lily's rebirth through baptism that was most beautiful scene. Today, Lily’s children listen to 3ABN, to Doug Batchelor, and to Pastor Luis Mafnas throughJoy FM radio. She opens her house for a group Bible study. Most recently, an estimate was done to renovate part of her house destroyed by Super Typhoon Yuto for plans to soon conduct prayer meetings in this place.

Lily (second from front left) stands after being baptized into the Adventist faith, as Pastor Ken Norton (center back) offers the prayer of dedication
Sign up for our eNewsletter.
It's quick and free!

You are now subscribed to the
Tropical Isles eNewsletter.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form