Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Moment #533. Yoruba at Chinese Restaurant. Tue, Mar 7, 2006.

03/07/2006. A friend and I were having dinner at an upscale Chinese buffet before going to see a concert of "Blind Boys of Alabama."

While we were getting our first plate of food, an African man, and his African-American companion were also getting their food.

My dinner companion is from Africa. She was able to non-chalantly speak to the man at the steam tables, and she found out that he came here from Nigeria just three months ago, and that he speaks English and Yoruba.

They finished eating shortly before us. We could see him standing in the waiting area up front while his companion was likely in the ladies room.

I got up from our table and went out front and talked to the man. I said my friend told me he was from Nigeria and spoke Yoruba. I said that I was trying to learn a little Yoruba from a CD, and I repeated a phrase.

He understood what I was trying to say, and broke into a smile and shook my hand. We chatted a bit, and I said that my church has a Sunday School manual in Yoruba, and offered him a free copy. He said okay. I said I had it out in my car and would bring it in if he waited. He started to follow me out, but I asked him to wait, as I didn't want his companion to think he had abandoned her.

I brought back in Yoruba and English copies of Gospel Fundamentals. He was delighted to see it, and started flipping through it right away. He also accepted the English copy. I had forgotten to put local info flyers in there, so I wrote the Mission Office number in one.

It was a very upbeat encounter, and he did not indicate that he felt put upon by my approach.

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