Moment #528. How does God do that? Yoruba at Kroger. Sat, Feb 25, 2006.
02/25/2006. It was shortly before midnight, and I was the only person in the check-out lane at Kroger. A lady in traditional African dress and speaking a foreign language on her cell phone got in line behind me.
After paying I waited a bit halfway between the check-out and the exit. As the lady came by I politely asked where she was from. She said Nigeria. I asked if she spoke Igbo or Yoruba. She said Yoruba.
I said my church has a Sunday school manual in Yoruba, and that I had one in my car that I'd like to give her. I asked her to wait inside and I would get it, but she decided to follow me to my car. Another reason I ask people to wait inside while I fetch the material is that I don't want to appear to be a mugger or kidnapper.
But I've given up on trying to explain to people why not to trust strangers. These encounters are not the time for safety lessons. I ask people to wait for me in the safety of the store, but if they want to follow me to my car, I'm not going to argue.
I also have one of those sappy faces that people like to trust, but it also makes me a mark for panhandlers on the street.
I gave her a Yoruba and an English Gospel Fundamentals, and a couple DVDs of Together Forever, and Finding Faith in Christ. She asked a couple questions, and I pointed out the phone numbers in the material. She was very eager, curious and grateful for the material.
I've read that there are over 20,000 African immigrants in central Indiana. So it's not surprising that I meet a few now and then. But the interesting thing is, I didn't realize that there were so many immigrants from Africa until I followed a prompting to put the African language copies of the Book of Mormon in my car on June 18, 2004, and then met a man from Zimbabwe that very day.
Now that I know to be prepared for these chance encounters, maybe they aren't such big miracles to me. But looking at it from the other person's perspective, perhaps it is a miracle to them. That lady went to Kroger to shop, and the guy in line in front of her gave her a church book in her native language. Wow. How is she going to tell that story to her family?
Was this really a chance encounter, or is it something in which we should confess that the Lord has his hand? As in DC 59:21. Why did I procrastinate and wait so long before going shopping? I didn't feel prompted by the Spirit. But did the Lord manipulate either my circumstances or hers to bring us together like that? Or am I over-analyzing this?
"Miracle" or not, I'm going to go along with DC 59:21 and say the Lord had his hand in it.