John and I are on a much-needed VACATION (I had forgotten what that word means!) given to us by our beloved Door of Hope congregation. I spent the first night sleepless, in a clashing battle between the sounds of the world (a "Carnival Party" full of raucous music and revelry, just below our balcony) and the WORSHIP I was lifting in our hotel room. The contrast between the sounds was the most intense warfare I have experienced since my time in the little room atop the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem when the Muslim calls to prayer would blare over the loudspeakers. I fought in the night with tears and songs of worship until it seemed the battle was won, and then rested peacefully to my FAVORITE sound - the waves upon the beach!
Yesterday morning we kept our appointment with the timeshare salesman. I would normally never have signed up for such a thing, but I had sensed that Father had a plan. The handsome young Mexican salesman's name was Armando - please pray for Armando because he did not realize he had made an appointment with the King of the Universe today! As he pressured us into spending $20,000 for this "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own a vacation timeshare for 4000 resorts around the world" - we witnessed to him the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to know and serve the God of all the earth, who made this vacation possible for us, and who could meet ALL his needs too! We kept telling him that the people of our congregation blessed us with this vacation and that we never worry about what we will need tomorrow. He was getting more and more agitated, not understanding WHO THIS GOD IS. He told us he was raised Catholic and went to church when he was a little kid, but NOW, he said, "I live for the next vacation with a margarita in my hands and two senoritas by my side."
Finally, he took us upstairs to see the fancy rooms where MEMBERS ONLY get to stay, and when he was in a quiet corner where he knew no one could over-hear, he blurted out, "So I want to have all the fun I can in this life because I don't know what happens when I die. Do you know what happens????" In that quiet corner of the luxurious hotel where the members only get to fulfill their worldly dreams, we told Armando the whole Gospel story. We shared with him the Jesus he had never met, and did not realize he needed. He seemed utterly overwhelmed as he took us into the "closing room." He stepped away from us to tell his boss that we were missionaries who didn't have much money and who were not going to buy the timeshare no matter how enticing the offer. The boss man came literally running to our table, his face beaming with joy and light. "So you are missionaries?" he exclaimed. We nodded. And then he spent the rest of his time telling us about how he and his wife had met the Lord, had pulled their children out of Mexican public schools, and put them in a Calvary Chapel school where they were all learning the" 'WHOLE BIBLE"! "When Armando told me what you do, I just wanted to meet you," he said, "and thank you for serving Jesus! And I want to show you the school we have and how we are reaching people." He spent all of his allotted time with us eagerly showing us the Rohi school (online) and his joy was overflowing.
Then Armando returned to the table to sign us out. The bubbly, vivacious salesman seemed troubled, perplexed. He thanked us for listening and we parted company; but I looked back over my shoulder and watched him pace, shaking his head, like a man whose entire world had just been turned upside down. What he had thought was important might have just felt very insignificant. He had had a divine appointment and we left him, rejoicing in our hearts that God is not finished with Armando.
Kelly Ferrari Mills