A few days ago I was invited to go and speak to the San Fernando Kiwanis, and when I was there I met a man who immediately came up, gave me his card and said, “I would love to speak more with you about your non-profit.” When I arrived home he called and invited me to attend a lunch yesterday that was for entrepreneurs. I graciously accepted his invitation and went.
While I was waiting for him to arrive I received a text message from him sharing that he was stuck in a parking garage and couldn’t get out, and that I should just stay and enjoy the lunch. So, I did.
I sat down and two men came and sat beside me. We started in with the normal conversation, “Hi my name is Gina. I was invited here today as a guest, and I’m very pleased to meet you!” The men introduced themselves and then when we were done I looked to the man sitting across from me and asked, “Where are you from? I know you are not from around here.” The man smiled and said, “No, I’m from South Africa. My family and I moved here a year ago.”
The man sitting next to me then asked, “Why did you pick America?”
“Because, America is the land of the free and home of the brave. America is where my family and I can do and become anything that we want to be. We can worship the way we choose. We can own a business or we can be employed by one. We can purchase a home that is our name, and we can walk around the neighbor without fear of violence. ”
As he spoke his smile kept getting bigger. The excitement in his voice was contagious, and then he continued… “I sit in an office with those who were born in the United States of America, and each day I get to listen to them complain about the country. The economy, the lack of this or the lack of that, and I want to stand up and say, ‘STOP IT! You live in a country where people roam free, and if you want to see what living in a depressed country is like, please… come visit Africa.'”
When the lunch was over, I opened my purse and pulled out a verse I was given when I was 17. I had attended Church camp, and one night we all sat around a bonfire, and the Youth Pastor handed each of us a piece of paper. Our instructions were to open the paper after he counted to three and then read the verse out loud. The verse reads:
Now the people became like those who complain of adversity in the hearing of the LORD; and when the LORD heard it, His anger was kindled, and the fire of the LORD burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp. Numbers 11: 11
When we finished reading it the Youth Pastor threw a substance on the fire that made the fire grow tall and each of us jumped back in fear, and all he said was… “Don’t ever complain about the blessings that God gives you… You don’t want to kindle the LORD!”
As I was walking back to my cabin that evening I looked at my girl friend and said, “Oh, now I see why parents only count to 10 when they’re upset. The Number 11 belongs to the Lord!”
ONWARD TO BUYING A FIRE EXTINGUISHER!