Smiling with Glenda at Panera

When I began blogging a year ago last January I was not prepared for the kindness exchanged, the encouragement offered and the connection I would make with likeminded writers of faith.

I found a remarkable thing this past week when I met one of my ‘imaginary’ (virtual) friends for a cup of coffee.  She just happened to be coming to our fair city where, it turns out, she and her husband lived for over 15 years.  
What joy I experienced when I met Glenda Childers–a true sister friend–in person. (Glenda lives in Chicago and blogs at GG Notes on the Journey. Oh, watch that space, I might add)

I think we pretty much clicked from the get go–had a Jesus connection in our heart and spirit that just filled me to the brim.

We listened to each other’s stories (hers were way better…………) prayed together, talked about our children, her daughter’s upcoming wedding, our faith walk since we came to know Jesus, heart kinda stuff.

One story in particular that touched me was the tale of how Glenda’s mother came to the Lord.  Glenda and her siblings were raised in Vietnam where her parents were missionaries.  

Missionaries? To Vietnam?  How’d they get there?

Then she told me about the little tiny church where her mother took she and her brother to the baby nursery because she wanted them to be raised differently than she had.  Glenda’s mother, Hallie, never went inside the church–she just sat in her car in the parking lot, waiting for church to be over.

When Hallie came in to pick up her babies–Glenda remembers she might have been 18 months old, her brother slightly older–the women working in the nursery noticed Hallie was pregnant.

Throughout the months she came and dropped off the children, Hallie never darkened the doors of the church.  The nursery women finally decided to make steps to welcome her in. Turns out no one was going to give her a baby shower so the church ladies threw one for her. It was attended by over 50 women, probably ALL of the women in the church, where they no doubt ate cake and drank cups of coffee.

Hallie and her husband wanted to do something nice to thank the church so they decided to have their children baptized at the little church.  Turns out they didn’t baptize children, but dedicate them, asking parents to ‘raise them in the ways of the Lord.’
Glenda’s father confessed, “I don’t even know how to do that!” and the pastor responded with a personal visit to their home.  Both Hallie and Glenn received the Lord on that visit, beginning a walk with God that touched many lives.  They eventually ministered in Vietnam for over ten years and Glenda’s dad started a church back in the states as well. 

Glenda told me over our cups of coffee that her soon-to-be-son in law was visiting  their home a few weeks ago.  He asked Glenda’s dad how many people may have received the gospel because of their  ministry in Vietnam. He estimated 40,000 people.

Forty thousand.

Glenda almost fell out of her chair. She had no idea.

I told her of my little small group dream I had……the one where I share God’s word with women right where they are and love and care for them and serve them coffee.  How we’re starting next week and there’s only one woman signed up.


I realized then that all it takes is one person being touched by love over a cup of coffee that can change the world…

I’m ready.

How about you?

Linking with the dreamers at Jen’s and Laura’s 
and with the Soli Sisters this week.
(Apologies to Glenda who was busy speaking at a retreat and unavailable for comment if my facts aren’t all straight!)
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