July 13, 2012

Making Friends

We’d barely gotten off the bus, Camille and I, when we bopped into the first gas station for a bottle of water and a bag of crackers.  I’d been praying for weeks that God would go before us and line up meetings with people we could minister to, contacts and neighbors and new friends.  So we skipped into this gas station and I started up a conversation with the young lady working there, asking her which bus line we should take to arrive at our new neighborhood.  Turns out this gal lives near us, and already knows a couple of the young people we know.  I told her we’d come back by and exchange contact information and visit a while once we were settled in, while I whispered a quick thank you to the Lord for working so quickly.

Then we made our way to the house, began to clean, and realized we needed more to drink.  Across the street is a little almacen (a tiny store in the front room of someone’s house, selling the most basic grocery items), so I skipped over to find an abuela knitting a table mantel.  I’d barely explained that we would be her new neighbors when she told me about a group of ladies that walks every evening for their health, and that I MUST join them, “so that leg of yours will heal up.”  (Despite how much I hate the thing, this cane is a great conversation starter.)   

A couple of days later, we dropped back by and were offered chairs outside the almacen, so we could all visit.  The abuela lives there with her daughter and 11-yr-old grandson, and there are a few teen grandsons that visit regularly.  So we were able to get the low-down on area high schools, colleges, and hang-out spots from these young folks.  The adults filled us in on the “need-to-know” stuff and cultural tips for survival in this unique part of the country.  It’s easy to notice that this town is totally different than the other two we’ve lived in, so we appreciated the advice.

Today we headed out to the phone company, where a lovely young lady helped us.  As we sat there, the conversation turned, as it always does, to why we’re in this country.   That’s always a tough explanation because the word missionary doesn’t mean the same thing here as it does for North Americans, and most people end up either seeing us as Peace Corps volunteers, Mormons, or Jehovah’s Witnesses.  Or government spies.  So I gave her a kinda vague explanation of working with youth, sharing God’s love with them and teaching them about His plan for their lives, and before you know it she was opening up about all sorts of things.  We had a great time talking with her and made plans to get together soon.

So again, the Lord has answered prayer and opened doors for contacts and sharing about Him.  One of the devotionals we had a month or so ago dealt with asking God each morning to arrange our day to His liking, to prepare hearts for Him and use us to bridge the gap between those people and the God who loves them.  I challenge you to pray this and see how He uses you daily to be a missionary where you live.  Let me know how it goes!


  1. wow very nice artical :
    Friends are for ever

  2. My dear, are you sure you are really "skipping" around?? :) I hope so!!! Does this mean your leg is much better? Have you found a new physical therapy center?
    So glad that you folks are making friends and "sowing seeds!" We'll continue praying and we wait to see what's next!
    Have a fun weekend (and don't skip too much!)!


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