Saturday, August 27, 2011


This blog post was written by Adventures in Missions missionary Cait Evangelista who led short-term Ambassador trip to Swaziland this past summer.

Some of you think God doesn't move anymore.
You think God doesn't speak today.
You think the Gifts of the Spirit have ceased.
You think that miracles don't don't happen anymore.
If this is you, this blog might upset you.

Meet Tabani. He used to be mute. Today, he speaks. He enjoys worshiping Jesus at the top of his lungs. He had a condition where his tongue was too big for his mouth, and where his tongue was abnormally shaped...basically his tongue just didn't work right. That resulted in him having trouble containing his saliva to inside his mouth. You could usually find him covered in drool from his nose to his belly button by noontime everyday. On cold Swazi afternoons he would be shivering because his drool had saturated his clothes.

His Mother works across the street from Timbutini carepoint at the Saloon (African hair salon, or a wooden box where you can get your weave done). His little sister is the craziest and funniest little girl. One second she is a little angel singing, "My God is SO BIG, SO STRONG, AND SO MIGHTY. There is nothing my God cannot do FOR YOU" and then pokes you surprisingly hard in the chest. Then the next moment she is making a crazy face yelling, "MASA MASA MASA!!!" If you can't see how that is freaky, try it yourself.

The Timbutini care point is run by the Bomake, or Mamas. These are lovely women who spend their days cooking food over the fire for hundreds of Swazi children. They don't get paid for this. Last year a Real Life team was at this same care point and they talked to the Bomagi about Tabani. The team told the women how Tabani could speak...they just needed to believe he could, and love him. But, unfortunately they were stuck in a Swazi mindset and didn't want anything to do with him. Tabani wasn't healed...then.

A year later the Swaziland Ambassador Team arrives on the spot. On one of the first days of ministry at Timbutini care point God put it on some people's heart to pray for Tabani to be healed. After 30 minutes of praying over him, Tabani laughs. Outloud. This has never happened before. Later in the day he proceeds to say, "YEBO!!!" [siSwati for "yes"]

Over the weeks we spent at that care point we saw Tabani grow. The other children started playing with him. When we would play with him and lay him on his back, he wouldn't choke on his spit anymore. I watched him dance around the Sunday School building wearing a broken fireman hat screaming, "HALLELUJAH!!!" for hours.

As we were nearing our last day of ministry, a group of 12 or so crowded around Tabani to pray for him some more. As I was praying for him, all I could think about was how Tabani was being pursued. I'm sure I repeatedly said that phrase out loud as I prayed for him. Looking at his beautiful, snotty face all I could see was the look of a child being pursued by his Father. He was in love. He was being loved. He was drowning in the love of the Father. It just radiated out of his face. (If you want an example, take another look at the first picture in this post.)

On our last day of ministry at this care point we had to say our goodbyes. After we gave hundreds of hugs and repeatedly answered children with, "I have no money" (which was true), we couldn't say goodbye to Tabani. We were starting to go down the dirt path to our homestead and we were still with him. After saying goodbye and speaking truth over him in Siswati, we needed to head home. We turned around to walk away, and we heard a small voice say, "Bubbye!"

"WHAT?!?!" we all thought to ourselves. We looked behind us to see if it was him, and it was.

After rejoicing, we turned to head home. And, again, we heard that same voice say, "BUBBYE!"

Again, he ran into our arms and we rejoiced.

I'm sure this happened another time, too.

The interesting thing about all of this was that when we turned around to hear him say more, he would stop speaking. Only when we were walking away did we hear him speak. It's like God was saying, "Do you trust me with him? Do you trust that I am a Good Father? Do you trust that I know what I'm doing? Do you trust that I will finish what I started?"

"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another,
God abides in us and his love is perfected in us."
1 John 4:7-12 ESV

I've been learning that Jesus is love with skin on. Let me say that again. Jesus is love with skin on. Jesus is a lot of things, but Jesus is love. That's why He came to Earth. That's why He had to leave. His love changes everything. His love brings death to life, literally. There's nothing that His love can't change. "I can never escape from your spirit! I can never get away from your presence!" (Psalm 139:7 NLT) When Jesus died, "the curtain in the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom" (Mark 15:38). We now have full access to the God's throne.

"I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.
Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it"
(John 14:12-14 NLT).

So, if Jesus had to leave for us to accomplish greater works than what He did, what are we doing with our lives? In the Early Church, "sick people were brought out into the streets on beds and mats so that Peter's [the apostle] shadow might fall across some of them as he went by (Acts 5:15 NLT). When the sick came to Peter, instead of giving them Advil and a pat on the back, he said, "I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!" (Acts 3:6 ESV).

We are called to so much more than the life we are living today.
We are members of an upside down Kingdom...
Where those who are lowest here on Earth are the highest in Heaven.
Where if you cling to your life, you will lose it.
Where those who humble themselves will be exalted.
Where the greatest among you must be a servant.
Where love walks, breathes, speaks and lives.

Remember, Love always wins.

To read more about the adventures God is taking Cait on, read her blog at:

No comments: