All in a day's work (by Petra Nemansky)

Article Date: 06/07/2009 13:48:09

A Czech customer had the time of his life, and it was great that we could be a part of that! What a great God we serve.

It’s 11am and the London shop is getting busier by the minute. Navita, our missionary from Pakistan is helping a local pastor to put a book table together for an event in his church. Another staff member is busy pricing what seems like an endless number of cards - a job only for the very patient indeed! Mateus, who is originally from Guinea Bissau but who has travelled extensively and is subsequently fluent in an impressive number of languages, is involved in a deep theological conversation with a couple from Italy. And I myself am balancing a large number of books in my arms, trying desperately to find a spot for all these new titles that have just come in.

Suddenly the phone rings, and as I hurry to answer it I trip over two children who are entertaining themselves by picking up coloured balls from a display bin and throwing them around the shop. Nobody hurt, I hurriedly gather the books that went flying and try to get back on my feet, only to come face to face with two customers who have watched me do my acrobatics with puzzled looks on their faces. I welcome them as naturally as possible and ask them if I can be of any help at all. Hesitantly the woman shares in very broken English that they are looking for a shop where they would sell Christian Backing Tracks. She explains that they have just two days to spend in London, that her brother desperately needs the music for his church but doesn’t speak a word of English and that she can’t help him look any further because the rest of her family is waiting for her somewhere in the City. From her accent I gather that she is Czech and therefore suggest that we simply continue our conversation in the Czech language (thankful that my parents insisted to talk to us in Czech when growing up - even though we lived in the Netherlands). The two people are flabbergasted and are even more overwhelmed when they hear that this is a Christian Bookshop and that we have the very resources they are looking for. With tears in her eyes the woman tells me that four years ago they bought a very cheap ticket to London which they were not able to use until now. They had wanted to spend their two days in London buying resources for their church, but didn’t know the City at all so just wandered around till they decided to come into our shop and ask for help. And now they found not only the items they wanted, but also someone who spoke their very own language! For them it certainly was a confirmation that we serve a God who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine. And for me it was a very nice encouragement to be in the right place at the right time.

That day our Czech visitor spent four hours in the shop and came back the next day to finalise his purchases. He had the time of his life, and it was great that we could be a part of that! My language skills were certainly put to the test that day! What a great God we serve.
Keywords: London shop, Czech, visitor, customer, experience, testimony
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