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Well this week we had some interesting experiences in service. I was supposed to visit a call of mine over the weekend but he was in Cartagena for work related reasons. So he had told me to call him on Monday morning and we could meet that evening. I called him and we made an appointment for 8pm at his home. This man lives in an area of Murcia called El Royo where there is a strong presence of immigrants. It is about a 20 minute walk from our house. Now let me give you some background info so that you can better understand what happened on the call.
This man that I visited on Monday was first contacted in street work by two Spanish sisters in the French group. He received a tract and provided his phone number. The sister who spoke to him told him that she would have her husband Rafael who is French contact him and set up a time to visit him. A few days or so after this initial contact Rafael and I happen to be preaching in the neighborhood so we decide to try to visit the man who was contacted in street work. Are you still with me? Ok, good. Remember we have never seen what he looks like. So we visit the apartment and find a man whom we assume is the man who was contacted in street work. We tell him the purpose of our work and speak with him about a better hope for the future that we can all look forward to. We are invited into the home and we sit down and spend about 10-15 minutes there. The whole time we are under the assumption that the man that we are speaking with is the man that was contacted in street work named Mactar. As is typical here there are many different men living in the apartment. During our visit we notice several coming and going but we remain focused on the one who let us in. As we are preparing to leave we mention that we would like to stop by again to discuss more. The French brother turns this call over to me to follow up.
Ok, now back to Monday with the appointment at 8pm. Leading up to this appointment I have been speaking to Mactar throughout the week trying to set up a time to meet. Kanicia and I arrive at the apartment at around 8:05pm and we are greeted by an African man at the door. We tell him that we are looking for Mactar and he tells us that he is not there but will be back shortly. We are invited in and the man takes a seat next to us and asks us what we are doing. Well, this African man does not speak French or English but only Spanish and Bambara and Wolof. So we pick the easiest language and explain to him what we are doing in Spanish. The man is Muslum but respects other religions. He is from Senegal and is named after Moses in Arabic. He tells us about things that are concerning him and about his life. We are able to read to him Isaih 65:21, 22 on our mobile in Spanish since we weren’t carrying a Spanish Bible. After about 10-15 minutes another man comes into the apartment and we don’t recognize him. We introduce ourselves and he takes a seat next to us. So now I am witnessing to the first man on my right in Spanish and Kanicia is witnessing to the second man on her left in French. After some time I am starting to wonder where Mactar is because we had an appointment at 8pm and it’s already 8:30pm or so. The second man is Muslim as well and he explains how things are difficult here in Spain and that he’s been here for 8 years. At this point I figure that Mactar won’t be showing up and I’m ready to leave. So I ask the second man if he knows when Mactar will be coming back. He says “I am Mactar!” We couldn’t believe it and we all had a good laugh! Let me explain how this happened. Apparently when Rafael and I first went to the house we met with a man but he was not Mactar. We thought he was but we were wrong. He was just another person living in the house. So I had never actually seen Mactar. I thought this man that came afterwards was not Mactar because he didn’t look like the man I had first spoken with. Mactar was expecting to meet with the husband of the Spanish sister who he met in street work who is from France. So he was likely expecting a white middle aged person to meet with him at his home. Instead he saw a young African-American couple. So he didn’t think that we were there for him. So after laughing at the situation we got everything cleared up and realized that the people that we were both looking for were right in front of us the whole time!