I barely made it in time for the flight to Orlando from Atlanta, and I was one of the last people to board the plane. The last person to board the plane took the empty seat next to me. The flight attendant led her on the plane, carrying what looked like a dog-carrier. She sat down, took a cup of water from the attendant, and proceeded to wipe what appeared to be sweat and tears from her face. She looked like she had seen better days.Something told me I needed to talk to her. A casual question about her pet prompted an hour-and-a-half conversation about her entire family history, family problems, drug and alcohol problems, children problems, mental illnesses and medical background. By the end of the flight, I knew more about this woman than I do about a lot of my friends back in Austin.
I didn’t really know why I was chosen to be the one to sit next to her, and then she told me before we parted that she really needed someone to talk to. She told me she normally doesn’t like people, let alone open up to them. But she felt like I was someone she could talk to. So, I got to share with her about the strength God gives me and that I would be praying for her this summer. She loved knowing that I was a believer and being reminded God is our strength when we are weak and worn out.
Since then, our team continues to have random encounters with people all over Orlando—and usually from all over the world—who work here or live here for now. We have been able to take their prayer requests with us and lift them up as God leads us. It’s been so cool to see. God brings the world to Central Florida during the summer. Our team may get to reach someone of a different country that we may not have easy access to, and they can in turn take the gospel back home. God is so awesome.
We got a little taste of the mission field and how hungry people are for the gospel on Saturday night this past weekend. We went to an outlet mall to prayer-walk. We were instructed to only pray one prayer, “God, let me see what you see.” and then to listen. So, we all did that and God showed each of us amazing things.
There were so many people there from all over the world. I heard languages spoken that I’d never heard before. In fact, I heard very little English while listening and watching. The most remarkable and exciting thing that night was when one of our team members led an 82 year-old man from Italy to the Lord. God is so good.
Emily Gerloff, a student at the University of Texas at Austin, is serving with Go Now Missions in Orlando, Fla.