Prayer and Massage Open the Doors in a Closed Country – by Andrew McChesney

pixabay-treatment-finger-keep-hand-161477Nikolai, a 20-year-old Seventh-day Adventist and my friend, received a frantic phone call soon after he returned to his Muslim home country from a month-long training course on massage therapy organized by the Adventist Church.

A mother had seen an advertisement for massage therapy on Nikolai’s Facebook page, and she wanted him to treat her disabled son.

Nikolai hesitated when he learned about the boy’s condition.

“I don’t have that much experience,” he said. “I’m only at an elementary level.”

But the mother insisted.

“Please, come,” she said. “No one else wants to help my son.”

When Nikolai arrived at the home and saw the boy’s situation, he realized that the case was more serious than he had thought. He told the mother that he was a Christian and reminded her that he didn’t have much experience. But he said he would do the massage therapy if she allowed him to pray to God for wisdom before each session.

The mother agreed.

The boy’s father happened to be at home when Nikolai came for the third session. The father, a senior government official, plied Nikolai with questions about his work and faith. Nikolai’s answers seemed to satisfy him, and he told the young man to go ahead with his work.

One day during the massage therapy, the father received an urgent phone call about an emergency. He quickly got dressed, and Nikolai could see that he was deeply worried. Nikolai stopped him at the door.

“Let’s pray about this situation,” he said.

The two prayed together, and the father left. Nikolai later learned that the emergency had been resolved satisfactorily.

As the massage therapy progressed, the parents saw a change in their son. The boy was not cured, but he began to be able to do things that he couldn’t do before. The father was delighted, and he recommended Nikolai’s message therapy to other senior government officials. As a result, Nikolai has become a message therapist to a number of well-placed government officials.

The apostle Paul says in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (NKJV).

Like Nikolai, you may not have much experience. But when you pray, God opens the door to opportunities to serve others and to provide for them spiritually.

This story was originally published Dec. 13th, 2016, by Andrew McChesney, editor of Adventist Mission Stories at:

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  • Sharon

    Amen!! God can use anyone who is willing, may l be willing too!

    • Winn

      Amen Sharon. My prayer as well.

  • Ros Farrell

    Such a beautiful story of faith. God uses anyone who is willing and available to fulfil the work Christ has mapped out for each of us

    • Winn

      Amen Ros.

  • Derek Morris

    Nikolai’s story reminds me of the words of Jesus in the Book of Revelation, “Behold, I have set before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my Word and have not denied My name.” Rev. 3:8
    We may have little strength, but “He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.” Isaiah 40:29
    May God grant courage to each one of us to walk through whatever door of opportunity He opens.
    This is my prayer today, in Jesus’ name.

    • Winn

      Amen Pastor Derek. May I be willing to recognize the door of opportunity.

    • Catecha Francis

      Amen! And thank you Pastor for those encouraging words. I pray that I will allow myself to be used by God wherever he He maps out for me. God, give me strength to do your will!

    • Sherl Latenser Fenton

      Amen! What a beautiful and encouraging story. I pray that I will hear his voice and be willing to go and do what He calls me to do. We are planning on 10 days of prayer at our church and currently meeting weekly for prayer in preparation for it. Thank you for those verses Derek.

    • Amen

    • Eunice Downer


    • Desiree

      Amen. Praise GOD.

    • Jenita Larmond

      Thank you for your words of encouragement and prayer. As we approach the new year different members are assigned positions for the new year. Some have already worked in that office while some have no experience. We pray that as we accept these assignments we allow the Holy Spirit to prepare and equip us for his Service. Use us Lord as we submit ourselves to You.

    • Victoria


  • PNB

    May God continue to bless and strengthen Nikolai and provide opportunities to share the gospel to this important people group. It is not always easy to witness to government officials and highly placed politicians. God used a servant girl to let Naaman know that there is a true powerful God in Israel and today is using Nikolai, an inexperienced massage therapist, to spread the gospel.
    – Peter Nigel

    • Winn

      Very true Peter Nigel.

  • Viveen McLeary

    Thanks for sharing this story. A reminder of what God can do if we have faith, trust and confidence in Him and are willing to be used by Him. May God help us to allow Him to use us in whatever areas of life He chooses to minister to others so they can learn about Jesus and His saving grace.

    • Winn

      Amen Viveen.

  • Phillippa

    I thank the Lord for looking in our 💕 hearts,then determine where He can use us for building up His kingdom. Nikolai thought he was too inexperienced to work as a Massage Therapist but God had already ordained him to work with high ranking government members in a closed county. God used the sick boy as the entry to these powerful officials. The Holy Spirit impressed me with this text Genesis 18:14″ Is anything too hard for the Lord?”, and paraphrasing E.G. White, the Lord has a thousand ways of which we know nothing.Let us all be faithful, avail ourselves to God and watch Him perform miracles through us especially during the time of the end. Blessings for the week.Keep praying for the 10 Days of Prayer 🙏 2017.

  • Eunice Downer

    Praise God! What a beautiful story! God can use us to do so much for Him if we pray and ask for His help

  • Beverley Joseph

    Dear Heavenly Father, please continue to use Nikolai to be a blessing to others and help him to remain faithful to You.

  • Desiree

    Inspiring,I pray that we will be encouraged to share JESUS with those around who do no know of the love of GOD. A blessed week to everyone.

  • Leah atinda

    This story reminds me that it does not matter what situation you are facing. When we trust God he will always open doors for us.

  • Cynthia Duncan Mercer

    How many times do we “miss” opportunities to “serve?” I’m sure Nicolai, like many of us, did not see the big picture of his willingness and obedience. Praise be to God for open hearts of the boy’s family and for God opening doors to areas of ministry that are endless! Anticipating more praise reports from Nicolai:)..”That the Lord thy God may show us the way wherein we may walk, and the thing that we may do.” Jeremiah 42:3

  • Marilyn Fletcher

    Praise the LORD! God is able to use any of us to spread the gospel seed if we are willing to surrender all to him.

  • Dan Serns

    Awesome! The Lord has a thousand ways to spread His final message even in difficult places!

  • Wojtek Janiuk

    Amen and Amen

  • Naa

    Thank you for the testimony of encouragement and we praise our God for that.

  • Kayreen kufa

    Everyday there are ministry opportunities available to us. May give us spiritual insight.
    I pray we will not miss not one of them.
    Very encouraging testimony indeed