Moment #576. Spanish at liquor store. Tue, May 9, 2006.
05/09/2006. This one was weird, but at least the prompting rose to the level where it was obvious. It was about 11:00pm. I was on my way back from the other city where I had met the man from Central America and his girlfriend from Russia in a friend's store. I stopped at a couple gas stations hoping to find opportunities for book placements, and didn't see any.
At one point there was a Burger King along the main drag. I felt a tug to go there, and checked it out, but it had just closed. As I write this, I wonder if it meant that I was to go back at a later date, or maybe this was a "timing detour" to set up another appointment along the way.
I continued home, and passed by another little commercial area consisting of some stores, a gas station, and liquor store. The idea occured to me that "there's someone in that liquor store who's ready for a Book of Mormon." In my mental scenario, I made that remark to an imaginary passenger. It didn't occur to me that the person in the liquor store, probably the cashier, would be someone whose main language was other than English.
As I kept driving along, my conscience said "If that's true, why don't you stop there? You could just buy some ice or pop." It was a limited access highway, and it was still a little while to the next intersection, so I started to analyze my feelings. As I debated, I got the "antsy" feeling. I really didn't want to go to a liquor store, but as I pondered ignoring the idea, I got a feeling of guilt. I pondered going back, and I got a feeling of peace. "Okay," I decided, "I'm going back." Yes, that felt good. I got in the left turn lane to do a U-ey, and I saw another commercial zone on the cross street. A liquor store there "stood out." Oh geez, I thought. Was I "ginning up" promptings about liquor stores now? Anyway, I did feel a spiritual "tug" to the commercial zone on that cross street, so it might not necessarily have been that 2nd liquor store, but another store there. I made a mental note to reconnoiter that area on my way back.
I made the U-turn, and headed back to the first liquor store. I was expecting to talk to a regular English speaker there, and I mentally rehearsed offering a Bible and a Book of Mormon. But I first drove around and checked the other stores and gas station in that commerical area. Sometimes the Spirit tugs me to point "A," which I can see, in order to get me to point "B," which I can't see, but going to point "A" puts me in position to see "B". All the other places were closed, so I became confident that the liquor store was the intended destination.
I grabbed a bag of ice from the freezer outside, and took it in to pay for it.
The cashier was from Mexico and spoke Spanish! No one else was there, so I could make a presentation. He owned a Spanish Bible, but not an English one. He was willing to accept an English Bible and Spanish/English Books of Mormon.
Back in my drinking days, I never met an Hispanic cashier at a liquor store. I wouldn't have thunk it. But guess what. The Spirit was right about someone at that store who was ready for a Book of Mormon.
Just to cover the bases, I brought back in a Reina-Valera 1960 full Bible, an NVI (Nueva Version Internacional) Spanish New Testament, an NIV (New International Version) English New Testament, a Spanish Book of Mormon, and an English Book of Mormon. Yeah, it was a bit overwhelming for him, but he didn't have any of those versions of the Bible. He said he attended a Catholic church in Indy. Spanish speaking Catholics generally use a Bible with the Apocrypha, such as Dios Habla Hoy (formerly Versión Popular). The Reina Valera and NVI don't have the Apocrypha.
I presented the Bibles, then stepped aside for two other customers. After they paid, I then presented the Spanish and English copies of the Book of Mormon. We chit-chatted for a bit, but it was close to closing time. I invited him to church, and pointed out the Spanish branch on the info flyer in one of the books.
Yeah, it was weird, and out of the ordinary. But the Spirit knew he was there and ready, and the prompting rose to the level of obvious, enough to overcome my reluctance to do something I would not have thought wise.
On my way home I stopped at that commercial area at the next cross street, and drove around it. I couldn't have seen it from the main drag, but there was a Chinese restaurant there. The "tug" was probably for it. That second liquor store on the cross street was just a "go to point A so you can see point B" thing. The Lord can use places that we can see to get us to places that we can't see.