Don’t Sit Next To Me On A Plane

Fourteen hours is a long time to be on a plane. I wanted to be sure to ask for an isle seat at check in but my luggage was too heavy (this was on the way up). So in a crazy rush I’m putting some of my stuff in another team member’s suitcase, I forgot to ask the for the isle seat. As usual I was stuck in the middle, to my left was Quinn, a young man traveling to the Ukraine and I did not get the name of the friendly man from Latvia. I introduce myself as a missionary and Quinn introduces himself as an agnostic. I tell Quinn, “Oh, you should not sit next to me.” Witnessing comes natural and this day was no different; Quinn was polite as I shared my stories and photos of past missionary trips. He was on his way to visit an orphanage and to teach the children to play the ukulele; I tell Quinn, “Oh, you are already doing God’s work but don’t realize it.” What an example of a wonderful young man and a beautiful heart.

He was tired and wanted to get some sleep so he purchased a option opposite of Red Bull this product is called Dream Water. imageI hated to be the one to break the news to him that perhaps this was a placebo, he agreed but drank it anyway.

Quinn and I are facebook friends and he is being used of God in a loving outreach to these young orphans.

The gentleman to my right was desperately trying to explain that the dream vacation on the Greyhound bus was a disaster. So bad the experience that he had to rent a car half way through the trip. He said, in broken English that the bus was dirty and old and that no one should get on this bus. I had no idea that Greyhound offered excursions to people from Latvia. I shared with him that most people drive to see the Grand Canyon. He was sadly disappointed and I almost offered to write a letter of complaint to Greyhound but quickly came to my senses.

On the way back we had a short layover in Istanbul, of all the millions of people I noticed a young man in a green shirt without arms.

I asked for a isle seat and was granted the request. The doors to the boeing 777 were locked and I looked over at my friend Jane with a smirky smile, “I have the whole roll to myself.” Just as I settled in comes the armless man with a companion. “We will sit here,” they tell me.  I answer with a smile, “okay but you just ruined my trip home.” They sit and we have a wonder conversation about missionary work.

The young man without arm is a refugee from Afghanistan and is being escorted by a representative from the United Nations to Oregon. Instantly the young armless man and I hug with our eyes, he was so friendly and sweet. I ask him if he lost his arms in the war and he smiles and said that he was born that way. His companion was unaware of this and was surprised to find out. When the food cart was about ready to come down the isle the guy from the UN asked me in a kind way if I could sit at the window. No, no, I just want to be here, then he says that there is an isle seat just a few seats back. I look back and see this really good looking man with his equally beautiful girlfriend and say that guy is too big and no, that is not going to work for me. Then it hits me like a ton of bricks this guy eats with his feet and he is going to knee me not elbow me. I looked over as his big toe was changing the the monitor and said “I will move back.” They were both happy.

I go to sit next to the god with his goddess girlfriend  and explain the situation to them, then the witnessing. I tell them about the meeting with the demon possessed girl and this gets their attention. The young man’s name was Joe and he said that his parents were devout Catholics that attended daily Mass. He on the other hand was angry at the Catholics and stated that he would never return. I bravely told him that his parents are praying for him and that God will answer their prayers. He and his girlfriend were gracious and I probably put them to sleep.

I know that everyone I met I planted a seed. To Quinn the seed of servanthood for God, to the armless man, a seed of welcome to America, to his companion a seed of love. To the Joe and his girlfriend a seed that just needed watering.

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