Saturday, June 17, 2006

Moment #605. Amharic x 2 at McDonalds. Sat, Jun 17, 2006.

06/17/2006. I was on the far East side of town on errands, and decided to have a fruit salad at a McDonalds between breakfast and lunch. I was not looking to make a placement opportunity. Honest! After making a pickup, I stopped at a McDonalds but their parking lot seemed too full, so I went to another one further down the street.

I went into the second McDonalds and immediately noticed a family group consisting of teens and pre-teens and two middle-aged men in suits. The adults were definitely East African, either Ethiopian or Eritrean.

I ordered and picked up my food, parked my tray and newspaper at a table near the door, thinking they'd pass me by on their way out, then I went back out to the car and got Amharic and English copies of the Book of Mormon, and two Amharic New Testaments.

I sat back down, and took them out of the bags. A table right next to the African family opened up, so I transfered my stuff there, and sat facing the family. The man closest to me turned 90 degrees, and there was the perfect opportunity to hold up a book and ask if it was his language. I forget if I held up the New Testament or the Book of Mormon first.

It immediately caught his attention, along with the other gentleman. They both turned torwards me and showed definite interest.

They were originally from Eritrea, and Tigrinya is their primary language, but they also spoke and read Amharic. They have been in the US a long time, are professionals, and were in Indianapolis for a family wedding.

I offered the books to the first man I spoke with, and the other man asked for copies too. It was a very friendly encounter, and we continued chatting for a while.

This was definitely a "Wow" moment. I was prepared for it. But looking at it from their end, after driving hundreds of miles to Indianapolis, what are the chances they would run into perhaps the only guy in town with Amharic books in his car?

There were lots of seemingly unconnected and non-inspired minor events that got me to that side of town at that particular time. Now, thinking back on those events, it makes me go "Hmmmmm."

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