Monday, January 14, 2013

Refresh: The place for smiles

"Good news refreshes the bones." - Proverbs 15:30b

This is part of an ongoing series called "Refresh" which highlight tales of God providing, especially in amazing, fun and unexpected ways. Details may be modified to protect privacy. May this tale help refresh your bones!

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"The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps." (Proverbs 16:9 ESV)

My wife Melanie and I showed up at Starbucks to share our ministry with a couple but were dismayed to discover that not a single chair was empty and the line was out the door. It was obvious that we were going to have to think of a new place to have our appointment.

While we waited for the couple, we brainstormed alternative venues. Our usual backup is Wegman's because of their nice cafe. But we could also try the other usuals: McDonald's, Burger King, etc.

When the couple arrived, they noticed the seating issues as well. So after a little small talk I asked them where they'd prefer. Their response bewildered me: Eat'n Park.

Now, I have nothing particular against Eat'n Park. It's a fine establishment. But if you had asked me for my top 1000 places to meet for anything, Eat'n Park wouldn't have made the list. Nonetheless, off to Eat'n Park we went.

Other than the location, it was a fairly typical support appointment. We ordered coffee and the couple seemed interested as we shared. We chatted, asked if they'd consider financial support, asked if we could follow up, etc.

As we were wrapping up and heading toward the door, my mind was already moving onto other things. Then, all of a sudden, a man with a large smile stepped in front of me. He said hello and told me his name was Pete. The only response I could think of at the moment was, "I have no clue who you are!" Now, I didn't actually say that, but my face clearly showed it because he followed up by saying, "You don't know me." I sighed with relief that I hadn't forgotten someone. Then he continued.

"I wanted to stop you because I was sitting across the way from you and I overheard what you were sharing about your ministry. I'd like to support you."

It turns out that Pete is only in the area five times a month since he and his wife live more than an hour away. He just happened to be at Eat'n Park that night because he was eating dinner after finishing a job.

In the end, the couple we'd actually met with gave a generous one-time gift, but Pete is now a generous monthly donor who has faithfully given ever since our "appointed" appointment.

Oh... and I kinda like Eat'n Park now.

Submitted by "Fred"