When I first met Tavito 4 years ago he was a junior higher who had only recently started to come to church with his family. I remember how he’d share with me about getting teased about his belief in Jesus at school and struggled to forgive others that hurt him. Even forgiving his father, Gustavo, who although had given his life to Jesus and was changing, Gus in his former life had hurt the family a lot with his anger.
I’ve gotten to know Tavito through youth group over the years and in this past year have had the privilege to mentor him. Even in the past year, I’ve been so encouraged by his faithfulness and growing courage to be more open about his faith and to care for others that are left out. He has not only grown to forgive his father Gus but this past month they even got to minister together on a mission trip to Taxco, Mexico! While they were there Gus sent me this message: “Tavito and I prayed for a blind woman and God healed her.”
God broke forth an amazing ministry of healing down in Mexico through members of our inner city church. Gus and Tavito shared how they’d be praying for people’s physical and emotional healing for hours. With the lady that was born blind they persevered in praying for her multiple times in one sitting and her healing progressed from seeing light to seeing her mother in front of her to seeing figures in the distance. I challenged him to share with the youth group this past Wednesday about his experience.
Whereas a couple months ago I was concerned of Tavito’s distance from the youth group, he stepped in with God’s courage and shared with his peers (a big step for high schoolers who are so self conscious to what their peers think)! Tavito is not yet some super experienced Christian guy but he’s opening to God’s grace working through him. I know that the teens seeing God touch one of their very own peers makes them long for more of Jesus.
After the youth group meeting Tavito, Phil (one of the local youth leaders I’m mentoring), and I talked about the spiritual atmosphere of the teen group, talked about the possibility of starting up a bible club at his school this fall of his senior year, and prayed for the youth of our community. Tavito is not only acknowledging Jesus but is letting Him lead and thinking about the others Jesus wants to touch. It was a beautiful moment I didn’t even imagine in my dreams.
God hears our prayers. God is always at work. There’s a harvest of the lost, the last, and the least that God still wants to reach.