Last week, I was driving home from work and listening to Christmas music on the radio and was instantly taken back to one particular evening in my favorite coffee shop in Southeast Asia. We spent a lot of time in this particular coffee shop, consuming more iced coffee, tea, and smoothies than we probably should have. Sometimes we would hang out there simply because it had air con, fans, and ice- a nice relief for the scorching heat and humidity. Other times, we would go there because we didn't have any other plans and just weren't sure what else to do.
One day, my teammates and I were just sitting there staring at each other, running out of things to talk about, when I finally suggested that since we spend so much time at the coffee shop, we should get to know the workers! I'm not sure why this hadn't crossed our minds before, but it may, in part, be due to the fact that the workers never spoke English to us so we assumed that they didn't speak any English. It turns out that they spoke quite a bit of English but had just been too "shy" to talk to us. We ended up building a friendship with them that was mostly based on laughter (those boys are hilarious) and would go to that coffee shop during the afternoon (when business was slow) specifically to hang out with them. We had shared a couple of random stories from the Bible which they thought were cool, but that was about the extent of that. One day, as a team, we decided that we needed to start praying more boldly and more specifically, rather than generally.
Shortly after making that decision, we were once again hanging out in our favorite coffee shop when, all of a sudden, "Silent Night" starts playing overhead. This was extremely surprising because 1) it was the middle of July, and 2) you don't hear songs about God in this country. The coffee shop workers are the ones who choose which song will play next as they typically just search different songs on YouTube. We excitedly ran up to the counter and I told the coffee shop boy, "Hey, I love this song!", and then asked him if he knew what it was about. He thought about it for a second and then proceeded to tell us that he thought the song was about "a boy breaking up with a girl." :) Trying not to laugh, I acknowledged his clever thought, and told him that I could tell him what the song was really about! We then got to share the meaning of "Silent Night", then the meaning of Christmas, which led into sharing the whole Gospel message. Our coffee shop boy listened intently
As we were heading home that day, my teammate, A, said she had been silently praying for a specific opportunity to be able to share with those boys just minutes before Silent Night (randomly, but not so randomly) started playing! God is so good and I can tell you without a doubt that He answers prayers. I learned to pray specifically, pray boldly, and have faith that God is big enough to answer prayers. This Christmas season, and even throughout the upcoming year (July, maybe?), I encourage you to pray for opportunities to share the story of Jesus' birth with someone who has not yet had the chance to hear!