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Stability in Tabligbo

January 26, 2010

In all our years at Tabligbo, the one thing that seemed consistent was its inconsistency.  We struggled, they struggled, and things many times seemed beyond repair.  It was with a little anxiety that I arrived there, after our year away as I was not sure of what I would find.  As I rolled into town, my first stop was Papa Koffi’s house.  He is one of the three remaining elders there and has been the consistency of the church even through all the turmoil of years past.  He was well and full of joy.  His family had expanded since we had been gone and his life was moving on in a positive direction.  They made arrangements for me to meet with the church during prayer time that night and then to speak again the next day.  After a meal I drove through town visiting old neighbors, friends, and coworkers.  I was overwhelmed to hear shouts as I drove around of, “He came back”, “he’s returned”, “Look, it’s Papa Tucker”.  All those years of struggle and difficulty were washed over in an instant for a fondness of Tabligbo and its people.  Things had advanced some, although the roads and most of the houses all looked the same.  The carpenter on the corner had finally gone from working under a tree to putting up a tin shelter with multiple tables for his many apprentices.  The professional clothes washer, aka ‘Washy-man’, seemed a little older but was doing well.  Our mango tree in the back yard had fallen over in a storm knocking down the wall of our old compound, blocking the road, and imprisoning those of the apartment block behind our house.  So, some things had changed.  Ablavino’s husband after years of trying to run her off and persecute her for faith in Jesus had finally given up and she was now living in peace at home.  Others had gotten jobs at the cement factory, had thriving families, and were at peace.  All of this gave me a inkling that I had not often had while living in Tabligbo.  The Tabligbo church was going to be alright, not just be alright but in time grow and be very fruitful.  Out of their stability from weathering storms of their past was a deep resolve to continue on and persevere.  That stability, rooted in their faith in Christ, wasn’t stagnant, but instead was propelling them forward slowly and surely to become a great light for Tabligbo and its environs.  As I sat teaching, I was at peace and so thankful not to be delivering a rebuke as I had been forced to so many times in the past; instead it was just a loving message to continue on.  I left with joy knowing that the fruit from Tabligbo will stand the tests of time and be prepared when the King returns.

Ephesians 4:14-15 “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things Grow UP (emphasis mine) into him who is the Head, that is Christ.

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