It was getting to be the end of summer; you remember summer. That time period just before the unbearable heat. On this particular morning I decided to treat myself to a little heaven in a coffee cup: a Peet’s vanilla latte. After ordering I noticed that I recognized the barrista as one of my students from somewhere between a few and several years ago. His name was Alex, and he was also able to identify me as his former history teacher.
After we greeted each other, he noticed that I was wearing my Rancho De Sus Ninos t-shirt that I had received a few months earlier when I journey south with our 7th graders on the annual Baymonte missions trip. “No way,” he said, pointing to my shirt, “I remember Rancho. That was a life changing experience.” The cashier had overheard us talking and now joined in the conversation.
“What’s Rancho?” she asked.
“It’s an orphanage that I visited when I was in middle school,” Alex replied.
“I would love to do something like that,” she said, “but I am not involved in any church.”
An opening, and I leaped into it: “My church builds homes down in Mexico a couple of times a year, and I don’t think you have to go there to go on the trips,” I interjected. She looked interested in what I said.. Unfortunately I haven’t made it down to Peet’s due to all the busyness of the beginning of school, running all over Northern California to keep my son involved in soccer, Back to School Night, and a dozen other responsibilities (or excuses!).
This encounter made me pause and reflect. Two things became readily apparent. First, Baymonte is making an impact. Sometimes when caught in the mundane details of teaching, it is tough to remember that our commissioning for this job comes from God and that this is a calling, not simply a means to pay the bills. As Alex demonstrates, Baymonte’s trip can be “life changing.” The second takeaway is a challenge. As I walk around Scotts Valley and Santa Cruz County, I need to keep my eyes open for divine appointments. I am trying to follow the prompting of the Spirit as I meet people because you never know if the next conversation that you have might just be life changing.