I love how God surprises you, especially in the most unusual places. The story goes something like this.
I was loading up my basket… yes, basket… full of candy. A gentleman walks by and says, “Are you going to eat all that?” I laugh and reply, “It’s not all for me! I’m buying for my friends.”
At that point I think he decided he would be my friend, and I was all for that. We struck up a conversation and I shared the real reason I was loading up on the sweets. I was preparing goodie bags for our mission team headed to Romania. At that point, Mr. Leon introduced himself and shared he had been to Romania on three different mission trips, as well as several other trips. We told a few stories, and then Mr. Leon said he’d like to pray for me and our team… right there in the candy aisle at Walmart. He prayed the most beautiful prayer, and my heart was just bowled over!
And then if that wasn’t enough of a blessing, Mr. Leon said, “You sure look familiar. I think I know you.” A quick inquiry into where he went to church, and we discovered that his precious wife, Mrs. Anne, attended a retreat I lead in March for Meadowbrook Baptist Church. Mr. Leon had seen the PR materials at the church and recognized my face. It’s a small world… and a wonderful one!
Can I just add one thing more to the story? Mr. Leon and Mrs. Anne are 79 years young. They will be married 60 years next year. And, Mr. Leon is headed to Chad (think Africa) on a mission trip later this year.
I left Walmart with a full basket and a full heart. Later that evening, Brad and I had dinner at Pei Wei. Here’s what my fortune said:
And I instantly thought of Mr. Leon. His example inspired me. I want to be just like him when I grow up. If you’re looking for me, you might find me in the candy aisle praying for someone and inspiring them the way he inspired me.
Our team departs for Romania on Wednesday, July 22. We return on August 31. I’ll be blogging and posting pictures daily. Your prayers are greatly appreciated!
P.S. I got to sere Mrs. Anne in Walmart, too! Double blessing! Mrs. Anne and Mr. Leon, thank you for loving out loud! You’re doing mighty work for God’s kingdom!