I came to the café to take a break from a long day of ministry. But when the Spirit of God lives in you and you are attentive to his leadership, it is quite possible your plans may be interrupted.
As I was going over my calendar, I looked over and saw a beautiful girl at the table next to mine looking at a book, studying a picture of the Dome of the Rock. Having journeyed through Israel two years ago, I had a wealth of close-up pictures of the Dome of the Rock and pulled one up on my computer.
At the risk of awkwardness and being uncomfortable I tilted my computer towards her and said, “I don’t know if you’d be interested, but I have several pictures of this.”
She quickly replied: “Oh wow, yes, I am studying for an art history midterm. Do you have any more pictures from Israel?”
All I could do was ask God to take hold of the interaction he had unmistakably initiated. This led to an hour-long conversation of my sharing pictures from my eight-day trip in Israel.
I was unaware if she had a spiritual background of any sort. However, as I scrolled through the pictures she eagerly asked: “What is this? What happened here?”
I showed her the Church of the Nativity where Jesus was born of a virgin, the Jordan river where Jesus was baptized, the sea of Galilee where Jesus performed miracles, the garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed, and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher where people believe Jesus was crucified, died, buried and subsequently raised to glory on the third day.
Earlier that day I had spent significant time prayer-walking on the campus, fervently asking God for opportunities to build relationships and share the gospel. It was a delight that Jesus, in his own time, in his own perfect way, brought an individual to me when I least expected it and allowed me to share the story of his rescue in a unique way I would never have dreamt of.
I came to the cafe to retreat, find rest, and get refreshed. Nothing nourishes or revives our weary souls, however, like sharing the remarkably good news of Jesus. My heart was provided with plentiful rest as I witnessed God overtly answer a prayer and plant a seed.
I was amazed at how easily she welcomed me into her world and how quickly she welcomed me into hers. She grew up in Ethiopia and is in Pullman studying to be a nurse. I told her I moved to Pullman to work a church because I loved Jesus.
I definitely was not expecting what happened next. She wrote down her name, phone number, and e-mail and asked if she could come to church with me. Unbelievable!
I picked her up that Sunday, introduced her to my friends and she was warmly embraced at Resonate. She enthusiastically took home the free Bible offered to her. On the drive home she confessed: “I learned more tonight about what Christians believe than I have in my whole life. I definitely want to come again.”
There is no one like our God. He answers prayer!
Jane Owen is a student missionary correspondent serving with Go Now Missions in the Pacific Northwest.