Ongoing story – inside Duty Free area at airport
I travel about four times a year leaving from our local airport. Some years ago, I had a good story opportunity with three people selling jewellery in the duty free section. Each time I went through the airport I’d tell them more stories and eventually five people heard stories and they passed on the stories and scripture portions to their workmates.
That experience prompted me to actively look for more people who work long-term in duty free. It gives me something interesting to look forward to as I wait for my flight.
In 2015, I prayed that I’d meet more people and then went looking. I entered various stores and chatted with people and eventually I found a lady who’d worked 20 years at Duty Free. Over a two year period she has completed the Old Testament stories. It has taken that long because she is not always at work on the day I have a flight. However, her absence means that another lady has heard stories too. This second lady is a brand new Christian but she has never heard Old Testament stories.
Usually I tell two stories each time and she has the card that means at any time she could listen to more on the internet.
Today (January 2016) both ladies were there and their faces lit up when they saw me. I was surprised how much they remembered considering it had been between 7 and 9 months since they’d last heard a story. Today was the pair of “Plague of Hail” (Exodus 9) and Passover (Exodus 12). They were amazed that God kept giving people warnings and providing ways to avoid the judgement. They were also clear that the people had to 100% obey God and not change the conditions (i.e. not chicken blood but perfect lamb). When I asked the non-Christian what the story had to do with her she said, “I’d better hurry and believe because I don’t want to be like Pharaoh.” Her workmate is going to buy a colloquial Bible for her to start reading on her own. Hopefully in 10 months time I can start on stories of Jesus.
Would you get up early and get to the airport far too early hoping that a seeker would be wanting to hear more? I arrived at 7:30 a.m. not knowing if she’d even be there on the early shift. She was and alone! A great smile lit up her face and we had an hour. I revised the Adam and Eve and Abraham stories. After all, there is a large gap between each story. I didn’t remember that I’d previously told the Moses pair of stories and so retold them. We had a discussion about why God sent 10 disasters and didn’t just wipe out the Egyptians in one massive disaster. She understood that God was seeking to proclaim his name to the ends of the world. And as I said at the end, “This story in 3500 years old and today it has reached Kaohsiung airport and entered your ears. This story is for you too, to teach you about the Creator God.”
She wanted more and it seemed right to continue since I had more time. So I prepared the way for the Christmas story and told it. She had heard or read some of the miracle stories. She could clearly see that these proclaimed who Jesus was, God himself with us.
I decided to do something I seldom do —I used the 6 pictures of “Two Ways to Live” (like a ‘Creation to Christ gospel outline). Instead, of telling the final ‘death and resurrection’ stories in their entirety, I summarized some bits and told others. Somehow it seemed time to explain what a Christian is and how she could choose to follow him, “like some of the Egyptians did in Pharaoh’s day.” We looked at the links between the Passover and Jesus’ death and the ‘Day of Atonement’ and the tearing of the temple curtain when Jesus died. She understood and saw all these links.
I taught her to pray and she prayed her first prayer out loud – she was nervous to do so but said that just as a parent loves to hear their child’s first murmuring ‘Mama,’ so God loves to hear us even if it isn’t very coherent. Will she choose to trust him? I think so. The God who arranged for us to meet in the first place won’t fail to pursue her.
She has a Christian colleague and I wrote out a Bible reading program and suggested what version of the Bible to buy.
In January, I plan to arrive early again and tell her more stories of Jesus.