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Thursday, September 9, 2010

I Love MY Church, Starbucks I


The Bible college where I teach is an hour away from my house. To avoid the morning rush hour, I leave home early, which gets me to the college an hour before my class starts. I spend the hour in the neighborhood Starbucks where I get my tall “Awake” with a maple scone, and get a chance to review my teaching notes for the day.

On this particular day, as I sit down, I notice the young lady sitting across from me is reading her Bible. I automatically assume she’s one of my Bible college students, and ask her, “Whose class are you studying for?”

“It’s a Lit. class,” she tells me.

I’m confused. I know there are no literature classes at the college I teach.

“Do you go to LIFE?”

“What’s LIFE?”

“The Bible college a mile south of here.”

“No, I go to CSULA working on my master’s degree.”

“And, you use the Bible in your class?”

“Yes, one of the assignments is studying the Old Testament as a literary document.”

I’m so intrigue by the conversation, I decide to forgo reading my notes, and spend the next hour getting to know this young lady. From then on, till the end of the semester, I keep meeting with Lisa once a week at Starbucks to talk about life and The Old Testament.
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Lisa is not a believer, but her knowledge of the Old Testament would put many of my students to shame. After getting to know her well enough, I asked if she’d be willing to be interviewed by the students in my “Evangelism and Discipleship” class, which she agreed.

On the day of the interview, Lisa sat on a stool in front of the class and let the students ask her questions about her beliefs. Although she was a bit nervous at first, it all went fairly well.

After the class, a student walked up to me and said, “ProfeShah (that’s what they called me) you amaze me. You not only can walk into a Starbucks, and start a conversation with a total stranger, but you can also convince her to come before a class full of Christians and be questioned about her beliefs.”
 “As I’ve been trying to teach you, evangelism is all about a relationship built on trust. Lisa knows I’ll be her friend for life whether she ever decides to follow Christ or not,” I told him.

During the same semester, along with a group of students, Karen and I had Lisa over for a BBQ where she taught the students how to swing dance.

Throughout the years since our first meeting, I’ve continued to stay in touch with Lisa. She’s always been open to hear about my faith and how I became a follower of Christ. At the same time, she’s always made it clear that she prefers to stay a secular person, enjoying her own moral values. So, what took place next was quite a surprise to me.

Last week Lisa called me. She is getting married and she wants me to do the wedding. Apparently, her Catholic fiancĂ© wants to have a church wedding, but doesn’t want it done through the Catholic Church, so, she immediately thought about me.

I met with the couple yesterday. I feel quite honored to officiate the marriage of a young lady I met at my church, Starbucks. I'm looking forward to the privilege of sharing a Christian perspective on marriage with a group of people whom, otherwise, might have not heard it. 
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