The Evangelist

By Scott Thacker

Whether by nature or by nurture (probably both) I am a skeptic.  This doubter’s view permeates all of my life, even spiritual things.  To be clear, it is not that I doubt the existence of God; I’m all in on Him.   But I do often doubt the things people claim that God is a part of.  In my head (never out loud) I question the validity when people claim “this was God”.  How do they know that it was God that made their cold get better?  How do they know that it was God that caused them to meet up with an old friend in an airport?  Many people see God in these things; I question, “Is He really there?”

Believe me; I don’t like being a skeptic.  While there is value in questioning things, it is not much fun to live your whole life on the pessimistic side of the glass.  So when I see things where there is no other explanation than God himself, I grab on to them.   When we were in Ethiopia in June I got to see one of those things.

Me, Miki (back), Sami (front)

We were at the end of a long day and making one last visit to a new de facto family in our Partnership.  The mother’s name is Meseret and she has three children – all boys.  We spent time visiting with Meseret and hearing the story of her husband’s death from HIV and the pain of being shunned by her family for also being a carrier of the disease.  She then introduced us to her children: Seadam, Miki and Sami.  When she got to Miki she said, “He is the evangelist”.  It’s not often you hear a six-year-old being called “the evangelist” so I was curious to hear more.  She told us how Miki had almost died when he was younger, and that she had told God that she would give Miki to Him if He would save his life.  Despite the doubts of the doctors, Miki survived and Meseret pledged him to the Lord.  She told us stories of Miki and how he shares Jesus with the homeless, how he prays for the sick and how he proclaims the truth of Jesus throughout Zeway (see video below).

Really?  All of this from a six-year-old?  It sounded like a great story, but it felt embellished.  I’ve got kids that age…I know what six-year-olds are like…they are not out on the street corner sharing Jesus with the homeless.  My doubting heart would have stayed there, but then I heard Miki pray.  This little boy, whose body is strained by the scars of his own HIV, prayed like an adult mature in his faith and understanding of the Lord.  Was God there?  No other way to explain it.

A friend told me recently that you need to remember the faithfulness of God.  Like God told Israel, build a monument of stone to remember how He has delivered us.  That way, when you are in doubt, you can think back to those times and believe again.  This friend also told me to look for God in your everyday life – in the sway of the trees, the kindness of a stranger, the prayer of a child.  Is He there?  I sure hope so.

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