Amber and Sarah have been in Western Asia for several months now. One important task on their to-do list is getting residency papers. This is a drawn-out process and can be quite tedious. But, the team is seeing some surprising opportunities in completing it.
Since arriving in the city, they have often visited a local photocopy shop in order to gather documents for their residency application.
A dear woman in her 70s has run the shop for the last 50 years! Whenever Amber and Sarah visit, the shop owner absolutely loves it! She thinks the two of them are simply adorable.
Now, the word “adorable” is probably not the best word to describe a 31-year old American who asks you to repeat everything, but the team happily welcomed the woman’s excitement and kindness toward them.
This old soul lives just a few blocks away with her eldest son and his family. Apparently, she told her family all about her interactions with Amber and Sarah. So much so, the family really wanted to meet them. One day, they invited Amber and Sarah over to their house to enjoy some tea. Because of the language barrier, the conversation was simple (they were also very patient with the team). Overall, it was a very sweet and hospitable time.
After the hangout, Amber began to wonder, “How do I communicate my genuine appreciation without having advanced language skills?”
Well, two days later, she wrote a short note (that likely mirrored the same grammar quality of a 2nd grader’s Valentine card) and made a batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. The game plan was simple: let the cookies do the talking.
She journeyed to the old woman’s apartment and rang the doorbell. The eldest son and his wife answered the door and quickly whisked her in before she could say a word, which in hindsight was probably a good thing because if they had waited for her to say “I made these cookies for you to say thanks for the other day” they would have been standing out there for a long long while.
Instead, they sat and talked on the house balcony, which had a beautiful view over the city. Hours later, Amber left promising that she would return someday for dinner. Eventually, that day came.
They went over to the family’s house and enjoyed an amazing meal. Both Amber and Sarah helped make a meal called manti, which is similar to a homemade ravioli dish. Culturally, guests don’t make their own meals. They usually stay in a sitting room until the meal is ready. However, they got to be like family at this dinner by helping with the meal. This was an incredible gesture! They cooked, ate, and talked for six hours straight. Mind you, Amber and Sarah had no idea what was all talked about. But, one thing is for sure! God our Father has clearly endeared them to this family in a way that doesn’t make earthly sense. He’s doing something they cannot do.
Never underestimate the lengths our Father will go in his love for the lost to put you into regular contact with people who need to know Him. If he can use the long and tedious process of getting residency papers to change the lives of a photocopy lady and her family, who knows what else he will do. Open yourself to the opportunities God puts in your path and pray for boldness.
Who’s the photocopy lady in your life? — from encompassworldpartners.org