He looked African to me, but it probably isn’t appropriate to go up to a black man in Milwaukee and say, “Are you from Africa?” Now there’s a recipe for evangelistic success! However, having been to Africa as a 13 year old, I usually can recognize a West-African when I see one. So, although my mind told me that approaching him on this basis alone would not be wise, I couldn’t let it go; I had to talk to him. I approached.
Please don’t take this wrong, sir, but you look like one of my best friends from Benin, West Africa.
As he opened his mouth, my mind was instantly flooded with fond memories of my Christian friends singing praises to God, the mesmerized faces of the children watching my yo-yo tricks, preaching the gospel to a village that had never previously heard, all this as he said,
Benin! that is my home country; I live there!
We had a reminiscent conversation about all the things I love about West Africa; I even practiced my broken french a bit. I was able to invite him to visit a church in his home neighborhood; I pray that God will lead him to go and see my friends there. We said goodbye, but since that time our conversation has had a profound influence in my heart. As we walked to another store that day, my eyes filled with tears for the people of Benin and their need for the gospel. It was almost as though God sent me a man of Macedonia, begging me to come over and help.