Monday, March 30, 2009

Dinner Guest - Part 1

We are honored to have a very special dinner guest this coming Friday night. Lawrence is his name. I don’t know his last name, his age, where he lives, what he believes, or what he likes or dislikes. I do know he works at Central Market, is from Kenya, has lived in the US for six months, and speaks three languages. I would guess his age to be around 22.

Lawrence checked us out while shopping at Central Market this afternoon. Jacob noticed his name tag stated "Kenya" under his name. He said, “Mom, that’s funny. Last week we had Ethiopia and this week we have Kenya.” Lawrence laughed. We are studying Africa so the kids get excited when they meet somebody from a country we just studied. Sometimes it’s not so easy to know where a person is from. But Lawrence announced it to us right on his tag, so I took full advantage and asked him questions the entire time he checked us out. The way he spoke English, I was shocked to learn he has only been here for six months. So of course I asked and he said he learned it while in college. English is his third language. He also speaks French. He came here alone, lives alone, and is lonely. How do I know he is lonely? I asked him. So we told him goodbye and packed our groceries into the car. I started to reverse out of the parking space when I looked back at the kids and said, “Hey, let’s invite Lawrence to dinner this weekend.” I went back to his checkout line and invited him to dinner. Actually, I told him I was married and that my husband, the kids and I would like to invite him over for an American dinner. Without hesitance, he accepted and told me thank you. I asked him to tell us everything he knows about Kenya when he comes.

I recently read a book titled Fields of the Fatherless by C. Thomas Davis. The book talks about planting seeds of hope in the lives of those in need. A specific line that struck me reads, “One person has the ability to completely revolutionize the life of an abandoned child, a foreigner who is here to study or to work, a single mom, or an elderly widow. Your creative energy could be the very thing that helps her or him keep going and even experience God’s love for the first time.” A living sacrifice starts with being sensitive to those God brings to your attention. I know God brought this young man to my attention. Please pray with me for our time with Lawrence that our family will be a witness of true Christianity to him.

James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.


Kelly said...

What a great testimony you are not only to this lonely man but also to your children who were watching you. I will be praying that this evening goes extremely well.

Jody said...

I'm so excited to see real live Christ type Christianity today!!!!!!
I'm inspired! And I hope everyone who reads this today will make a new friend. TODAY. This day. Thank you, Ed and Gretchen for showing what it looks like!

Anonymous said...

I would love to hear more about the book! And, we will be praying for special blessing of Friday evening in your home! Evelyn

Shipra Panosian said...

oh that's so great, Gretchen. I know that often in the past I've prayed that someone would reach my parents the same way that you've reached out to Lawrence. They have lived in the U.S. many years but still often feel like 'foreigners'. I pray that God would give you all a wonderful time together at dinner and that it would be the start of a special and significant relationship.