Old Jobo, the Sor'aba translator, sat across from Sam Turner. "Shaman could not heal Mabasa's woman. Mabasa says, if your god cannot cure her, useless he is too."
Sam Taylor, a freshman missionary, sighed. "You know I'm not a shaman. God holds all the power."
"Let your god show power; Sor'aba people will see. Sor'aba listen to other shamans because they call on gods and gods hear." He shrugged. "Most of time. Your god cares not that we are sick or hungry?"
"He cares very much."
Jobo stood up. "My father, he cared for me. He taught me to be a man. He provided food." He opened the door and departed.
Sam sat back. His head hurt.
Wendy, his wife, slipped in from the bedroom of their two-room hut. "What are you going to do?"
"I've got no idea. I've never seen a miracle in my life, and he expects me to conjure one up now?"
"The apostles performed miracles, not just Jesus."
"But my teachers told me that God stopped the miracles after they died because the church no longer needed them." He stood and paced. "But I need one now. What can I do?" He stopped by the window. "I know; let's read what the apostles did. Maybe there's a clue there."
They pored over the Book of Acts for the rest of the afternoon, but nothing came. After supper, Sam read some more. When it got too dark, he slammed the bible shut. "Let's try again tomorrow. I'm beat." They went to bed.
When Sam awoke the next morning, he could see his next step clearly. "I've got to fast and pray," he declared to Wendy when she entered the front room. "Like the apostles. No breakfast for me."
She studied him as he sat, hunched over the bible, before preparing some food for herself. She sat down a few minutes later.
He looked up.
"Would you mind if I went to visit the Van de Weils in Gawal'ama today?"
"I don't see a problem. Why?"
"I thought I'd talk with them about what Jobo said."
She took off soon after on her bicycle for the neighbouring town.
Sam got up a while later and took his chair around to the shady side of the hut. Leaning back against the wall, he stared out into the savannah.
Faith, he thought. How many times have I heard that I must have it, but they never told me what it was?
He thought and prayed there until lunchtime, when the hot sun flushed him out of his hideaway. Feeling a little woozie from the fasting, he went inside and lay down. Just for a moment, he told himself.
He dreamed he was back surveying the savannah. Then Jesus stood in front of him. "You do not need a miracle, oh man of little faith, but you must be willing to let me be God."
He awoke with a start and glanced at the clock; after two.
A jeep pulled up outside; it was Rick Van de Weil, bringing Wendy back. "I hear you're having a little crisis here," he said as he jumped out. "Let's talk."
Once they were gathered around the table, Rick said a quick prayer before reviewing what Wendy had told him. Sam then mentioned the dream.
Rick laughed. "Yes, the Sor'aba need the miracle; otherwise, they won't believe, right?"
"Right, but how do I let God be God?"
"Have you ever watched their shamans work?"
"The shamans call on their 'gods'; that's the key. You should call on your God too; that's what the apostles did. Remember Peter and John with the cripple at the Beautiful gate? Peter said, 'In the name of Jesus, walk.'"
"But I can't say that!"
"I know. Right now you don't believe that God will be faithful and heal that woman if you do what the apostles did. Speak, and God can act; that's how you let Him be God."
"But didn't the miracles end when the apostles died?"
"No." Rick leaned forward. "Because I've seen people healed when I prayed."
Sam's jaw dropped.
"God works, Sam; that's the bottom line."
Sam sighed. "I don't know ..."
"Come on. I'll go with you and show you how I do it." He stood up. "Let's prove to these people that there's a God in heaven."
Sam was as amazed as the Sor'aba when Mabasa's wife got up healed.
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