Two friends sat down facing one another at a small wooden table by the rainy window. The barista came moments later with two saucers and their brimming counterpart coffee cups. Setting them down, the three politely exchanged smiles before she turned to leave. They relaxed as the rain pattered the sill.
“So,” one began while stirring his coffee. “You said that you had news.”
“Yeah, actually… I’m going to be going on sort of a mission trip… for a while.”
“For a while, Tyler?” he said with suspicion. “How long is a while? Is the shop okay with you taking leave so close to the holidays?”
“That’s the thing,” Tyler began with a nervous undertone. “I actually, uh, I gave my two weeks notice a couple of days ago.”
“Seriously? You’ve been working there for so long though, and that with good pay, I mean, really good pay. Why would you do that?”
Tyler didn’t look up from his coffee for a moment. He formulated the words in his mind before finally speaking. He knew Jake long enough to know where this conversation was going.
“Do you remember when we talked with that missions pastor a couple of weeks ago? Do you remember when He talked about the Horn of Africa, and the Somali people?”
“Well, yeah,” Jake answered hesitantly.
“God’s really been gripping my heart about this. I’ve decided that I’m going to go to Africa and reach out to Somalian pirates.”
“You’re joking,” arms folded. “How do you intend on doing that?”
“Somali pirates are notorious for taking hostages, right? There’s a ministry in the Horn of Africa that will take young men and set them up with a boat. They’ll then sail up the Somali coast and wait for pirates to take them captive so that they can minister the Gospel to them… You could say that it’s kinda like a reverse captive audience.” He chuckled slightly, Jake didn’t.
“What about your career, your plans for school and stuff?”
“Yeah, but what’s that in light f the Gospel and getting people saved?”
“Well, yeah, but you can get people saved here in the States too can’t you?”
Tyler nodded and looked out the window. A train of pedestrians, shielding themselves with umbrellas and hoods, were walking past the coffee shop. “Yeah.”
“Okay then,” Jake unfolded his arms and satisfactorily rested his hands on his cup.
“I mean, yes, you can get people saved in America, that’s true. But Jake, it’s not about me and what I can get away with, it’s about getting people saved.”
There was a tense silence for a moment.
“So you’re going to throw all your plans away for what? What are you going to accomplish?”
“Nothing. Don’t you get it? This isn’t about me, bro! This is about them hearing about Jesus!”
“Like they deserve it. They’re pirates!”
“Like you or I deserve it!” Tyler shot back nearly shouting with hands raised. At that moment they both turned to see an old man staring at them from across the room. He quickly went back to reading his paper as the two dropped their voices and leaned in.
“Look, man,” Jake began, “I’m just trying to save you from throwing it all away when you don’t have to. Think about this: you could be tortured… or killed.”
“But Jake, don’t you think that if we sacrifice to the Lord then he will reward us when he comes back? Don’t you think that the reward is worth the sacrifice?”
“Of course I do.”
Tyler suddenly felt a response deep inside his heart. “Then come with me.”
“What?” Color drained from his face.
“Come with me. If you really believe that it’s true then come with me.”
Jake opened his mouth to speak, but then dropped his gaze into the murk of his coffee. “I…”
“You say that you believe it. Okay then. Now, let me show you that I believe it. I know that I don’t have to do this… but if I don’t, then who will before it’s too late for them?”