Conversations take my soul to a whole new life. Especially if they involve stories. I am a lover of stories which is why I think I would have fit in with the Israelites or the early church. All they did was tell stories, it seems like. That is what I want my life to be.
Of course, conversations took place between Tim and I, which brought us to a new level of connection. Life-changing as those conversations were, this blog will be about the conversations of people whom I met randomly on my trip.
Steven – husband (#1): Well, the setting is in a Mystery Theater Show, one of those shows that reminds me of Clue. You watch the action take place and you, at your table, are supposed to guess who did it. This is a great show, because it is funny, suspenseful (me being the drama queen), and last of all, but best, it contains a meal. Food and I go together like peanut butter and jelly. So during the course of the meal, all the people at my table were talking, Tim’s parents, I, Tim, a couple from Tampa, and a couple from Orlando. We all start chit-chatting and come to find out the man from Orlando is going to seminary and he is a counselor from a correctional facility. He works with people deeply affected by addictions and drugs. He was talking about how he desires for people to see Christ in all that they do. He wants to be an advocate for change in the area of counseling because he felt as if counseling will not do what it was designed to do without an acknowledgement of Christ’s redemptive work. Pray for Steven as he is studying seminary. Pray for his wife with her legs, she had some type of leg issue. Pray for the other couple at the table who was really quiet. Pray for their faith because they recently became believers.
Insight during the trip: Tim and I were sitting in the hot, hot sun at Universal and we were enjoying our fast-melting Dippin’ Dots. I was just sitting there baking under God’s creation and I remember just thinking that I wanted to have conversation with these people. I wanted to enjoy others more than just ride a ride. I wanted to stand in line and wait for God’s heaven to be brought to earth.
Crowd of people (#2): Well, this group of people were amazing. A Muslim family from Michigan, who were on vacation celebrating Father’s Day. A Christian family from Ohio just coming to enjoy the great Florida weather as well as to partake of Disney World. Both families had 3 girls. The setting for this group was by the pool at our resort. It was Wednesday and the Degroots and I had chilled all day because of our long day at Universal the previous day. We weren’t doing anything but then that night, the resort put on a karoake night, which I don’t like to sing for. I don’t know why that is, maybe because it reminds me of American Idol, which I think is the demise of Western society. However, the singers were not that good and the dancing was horrific. So Tim decides to take it to a whole new level and performs “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee-gees. Amazing. Utterly amazing. Sorry no videos were shot. But all this led to a great conversation about everything from the giftirngs of Tim’s charsimatic character to the best vacations to take. It was a montage of laughter and stories that made me yearn for a family of my own. Pray for the Muslim family, who need to see the way to Jesus. Pray for them to take what they have learned in their faith and apply it to following Jesus. Pray for the family from Ohio, blessings of life in Christ to continue. Pray for their upcoming mission trip.
John, husband, father of 8, all around hard worker (#3): Well, setting: in line for Suess’ Trolley Train Ride, at Islands of Adventure. Tim and I were having our usual banter of non-sense, when all of a sudden, topics changed to meaningful. We started talking about pastors who have worked hard with amazingly long hours and odd jobs on the end to make ends meet while studying for a full-time load of classes as well as a wife and kids. Then the guy in front of us, a huge guy from Michigan, overheard our conversation and said that he had been doing all those things for a few years now. He said that he was tired at fast but then started to see the benefits of his sacrifice. He also told us about his wife, who runs a daycare for 20 kids every week. Hard working family. They deserve their vacation. Wow. Did I mention they have 8 kids? They put my laziness to shame. Wow, I want to work hard like that. He is also trying to start his own business. Pray for blessings in John’s life in all that he does. Pray that his children will be able to be just as hard working as their dad is. Pray for him to be able to find more room for God in his life.
Ok, so I am going to spare you the rest of the stories. But here are the other people we met that you can pray for:
(#4)Lady in Cat in the Hat ride which we also saw again when she was in front of us with her 8 year old son in Poseidon’s Fury. Pray for her frustrations with life recently.
(#5) Lady above’s sister and her two young daughters who work for the U.S. government in Ecuador – amazing stuff there. Pray for them to catch a glimpse of God.
(#6) Two girls who sat in front of Tim and I while we were in the Eighth Voyage of Sindbad. Notice the “d” at the end of Sin (what is up with that). They were funny. It seems like God has been preparing Tim for youth ministry a lot because he was able to relate really well. Interesting stories came from that conversation. Pray for them to see God in their lives.
(#7-15) Tim and I were at the pool hanging out again, when we started playing with a kickball that we found. We kept pegging each other in the head. Great fun. Then all these kids started joining us. It was so much fun. We didn’t want to throw the kickball at their heads so we took a beach ball and started hitting it in the air. But all these kids had parents and they started talking to me for some reason. It was great. The people from group #2 were back with their kids. That was great to see them again. But there was this kid named Zane who was so full of life that it was contagious. He had many stories to share about his day at the Magic Kingdom. It was great. He told us about how he met Jack Sparrow and got to fight with a sword with him in the street in front of all those people. However, the amazing part came when I got to meet Zane’s grandfather who was from Mississippi. He is a shipworker named Tom. Amazing stories came out of this guy. He told me about how he feels that the church should love more like people have been doing through the efforts to help rebuild what Hurricane Katrina destroyed. He said that he was frustrated with the way the church was doing things lately. He wanted to see more lives being changed and wanted to see more homes being shared as well as people helping out and building things for others in need. He told me about mission trips he had been on to Brazil, Honduras, Guatemala. Amazing stuff. Very strong man of God. Pray that he keeps the faith and finishes strong (that was his prayer for me).
All these conversations have opened up my eyes. But one thing I wrote in my journal that is a cry of my heart:
“I want to be a professional conversationalist, showing people how to share their lives, not just with words but through realness and authenticity that transcends a conversation but leads to changed lives.”