Can I Sit Here? // 我可以坐在這裏嗎?

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Take a Coffee Break

Josh never knew that sitting next to a stranger at a coffee shop could lead to an amazing God-driven surprise.

“Can I sit here?  Is this seat taken?”

“Sure,” I said. “Help yourself.”

One of the jarring things you quickly learn in Hong Kong is that when you sit in a coffee shop or restaurant, your table is not your own.  Any space you physically don’t fill, is up for grabs.  So if there’s an extra chair at your table for two… you won’t be dining alone.

Now I’ve gathered that convention here would suggest that just because you’re sharing the same square foot doesn’t mean that talking to each other, let alone looking at each other, is appropriate. Whether at a table, in an elevator, or literally full-body-pressed together on the subway, talking seems frowned upon.  Sharing space and sharing conversation are two totally different things.  One is inevitable, the other seems radical.

But what do we know?  We’re new.  You sit by me, we’re going to get to know each other.  Worst case scenario… I get some breathing room back.

A couple months ago I started praying that God would put people next to me, intentionally. The day I first prayed that prayer, this guy asked if he could sit next to me.  ”Is this seat taken?”

“Help yourself.” I said.

What followed was a long conversation about life and work and priorities.  You know… light morning chit chat.  It was clear my new friend didn’t have a faith or a lot of others to talk to.  Our encounter felt orchestrated.

A couple days ago he emailed me and said he was sending in a year-end donation to help our new endeavor in Hong Kong.  I gathered that giving for him was a new exercise too.

Today the envelope arrived.  There was a little note of thanks and the hope that the conversation will continue, and a check.  A check for twenty-thousand US dollars.

I’m rewriting our fundraising strategy to include a heavy amount of coffee shop meetings with total strangers.

This encouraged me to no end and I hope it encourages you too.  God leads, God provides, and he’s at work in ways we can’t even imagine.  The money in this story is a great gift, but far more exciting is the life behind it and the story that is far from finished of how God is working in his life.

Matthew 6:21 – For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

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馬太福音 6:21 – 因為你的財寶在那裡你的心也在那裡。

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