Sunday, August 17, 2008

Good Friends, Good Preaching, and a Starbucks

It’s been an awesome weekend! First we had a great evening on Saturday with our Malaysian-Singaporean friends (see my previous entry). This morning I spoke at both services at Hiway Church in Barrie, one of our supporting churches, reminding the folks there of God’s agenda (in Matthew 28:18-20 and Acts 1:8), and challenging them to get involved by praying, paying, or getting on the way.

Kathy & I have been the “resident missionaries” there for the past 3 years, and besides allowing me to serve on the Missions Committee, Pastor Todd has several times been brave enough to take the risk of allowing me on the platform to speak to the congregation on a Sunday morning :) He was also the first to take a chance on hosting our very first “Welcome to Ouagadougou!” presentation. And another time, he was willing to join me up front in a somewhat radical “team preaching” effort.

I think I had him worried this morning, though. The first service at Hiway begins at 9:30. At 9:10, I was still at home putting a few finishing touches on my presentation when the phone rang. It was Pastor Todd. “Hey, where are you?!!!” he asked with a touch of franticness in his voice. “You know you’re preaching this morning, right? Church starts in 20 minutes and you’re not even here yet! You’re gonna be late!” I thought of feigning surprise and saying I’d forgotten all about it, but decided I’d better not give the poor man a heart attack :)

Instead, I remembered what had happened to a friend of mine several years ago in Africa. He had gone as part of a CUSO team to a village where they had decided together with the villagers that they were going to build a school. Everyone was to gather at 9 o’clock the following morning to begin the work. My friend was there at 9:00, but nobody else was. The first person didn’t show up until 10! Somewhat annoyed, my friend said, “You’re late!” To which the African replied, “What do you mean? I got up, I had breakfast, and here I am. How can I be late?”

Haha, I told Pastor Todd that he shouldn’t worry. I was just practicing getting back on African time. He couldn't have been too upset because he took us out for lunch afterwards. And even paid for the meal :) (Haha, just razzing you, Pastor!)

Tonight was such a lovely evening that I decided to go for a walk up to our local Starbucks. Only two and a half weeks left to enjoy the taste and ambience of my favourite coffee shop. While I was sitting there sipping on a short bold and working on a crossword puzzle in the paper, who should walk in but Scott, my favourite barista! “I’m gonna get you a pound of Starbucks to take back to Africa with you,” he told me. He just made my day. It was the perfect ending to a great weekend.

No comments: