Monday, July 23, 2012

Making a new friend

I had an unexpected pleasure this morning, right in the middle of running my errands and crossing off things on my list..... it just happened. I was down to the last thing to do before heading home for some computer work and stopped into the license office. Mine expires next month and Tom has been anxious and reminds me daily to get it renewed!!   I know, I know, I saved the best to last, right?!! You see several weeks ago, I had been there and left after waiting for 20 minutes and not moving ANY!!! But today, as I walked into the office, I thought it might not be so bad with only about 10 people in front of me... I waited, and waited a bit more.... then commented to the sweet lady in fromt of me.... "Wonder why the other line moves and ours doesn`t?".... with that, she turned around and we talked non stop  for the next 20 or so minutes until it was our turn.

My children always told me that I could talk to anybody, even the people in line at the grocery store and Walmart. Guess I am guilty as charged but ..... if you don`t take opportunities to speak, how do you find out blessings that may be waiting for you?!! This was one of those times for sure.  Her name is Charles Etta. She is from Liberia. She had come out here from the Liberty Parks area for her lunch break cause she had heard it wasn`t as crowded at this one... Her license had already expired, which she didn`t realize until yesterday, so she was nervous to be driving with an expired license...

That was the small talk that started out but when it got deeper, she asked where I lived and where I went to church..." Church of Brookhills?" she said, then conversation starting pouring out... You see,  in the early 1990`s, a missionary, from Church of Brookhills, went to Liberia, her hometown, and became friends with Charles Etta. They became such good friends that when the missionary was leaving a few years later and war was starting to get thick, she asked Charles Etta and her family if they would please come back to Birmingham with her..

In church, you hear about foreign missions and missionaries who are going to the far east to serve,
but to see the fruits of this ministry  right there in front of you, is so awesome! My mind was excited as I listened to her and was already thinking about  hurrying home, so I could  write this entry  about her not wanting to  forget anything she told me...

Her family packed up and came to Birmingham in 1990, with Church of Brookhills sponsoring them!! They even got her husband, Eddie Gibson, a scholarship to go to Samford and then to get his masters at the Divinity School there. Fast forward to 2012, he is a preacher now, across town. He has started a new planter church  this past year, Brewster Road Community Church. Now he is known as Rev. Eddie Gibson. They don`t have their own building yet and only have about 20 members but I know God must surely have big plans for them, after bringing them all the way here from Liberia.

Her family has all come, she works at a childcare program at a church near Liberty Park. Her daughter has graduated from Auburn and is studying to become a dentist. Her son has just started college in Mobile. They traveled back to Liberia, to start some church plants but as the war was still going on, they decided to come back to Alabama and have been here since 1995.

Wow.... all this because a missionary from Birmingham, befriended these precious people and wanted to share God`s love with them through her. This missionary has moved to Texas now, but Charles Etta says that they still are very good friends and stay in touch.

She was so excited to hear about our connection that she reached in her bag and gave me a card with her husbands information and church name on it. She wanted my phone number and gave me hers so we could keep up. She wants to send me information about the church. .

.By now, it was her turn so she walked up to renew her license , got her picture taken and was finished in a matter of minutes. We said our good byes, agreeing to stay in touch. I was in there for another few minutes, taking my picture, and paying my check, waiting for the receipt... As I walked outside, there she was again, talking to a friend of mine! I stopped to speak to my friend who I hadn`t seen in years, and asked how they knew each other.  Well, as my friend, Debbie was walking toward the door earlier, she just asked Charles Etta as she was walking past her, about the crowd in there. When Charles Etta  answered it was bad, Debbie noticed her accent and asked her where she was from. Debbie`s  daughter had just gotten back from Liberia  on a mission trip! So they were talking  like old friends each sharing information. After we talked a abit more, we commented to Charles Etta that she had met two new friends at the license office today. She smiled her warm smile, and told us both good bye that it was so nice to meet us.

I say, thank you God, that I am never too old to make a new friend that He places in my path!!

Have a great day,

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