The timing was perfect, right when she was walking back from class. I called Mandy to wish her “Happy Birthday!” I even sang it to her in her language! She was surprised that Ellei and I had remembered. But she was even more surprised when she hung up her phone and found us waiting for her next to her dormitory!
She was giddy with excitement. We handed her a card and a photo album of our times together during the last month since we met her. Mandy must have hugged us three times each. She kept repeating, “I love you so much!”
I think she's finally convinced! We keep telling her we just want to be her friend. Each time we've hung out with her, she's planned outings as if she's our personal tour guide. And she's always brought friends who want to practice their English. We've seen beautiful parks and museums, and toured her campus. Now she's finally catching on that we really do like her and want to be friends…
The very next day Mandy called us, eager to see us again. So Friday night she joined us for a simple dinner…and she came alone! With just the three of us and no distractions, she was able to open up. We finally got to see the real Mandy – she started sharing her thoughts and feelings, her dreams for the future. And we didn't even have to try very hard, we just kept naturally bringing God into the conversation.
I can't wait for the day Mandy gets to know Jesus personally! I know she is a person of influence. She is a leader on her campus, a member of the student union, and a radio broadcaster for her campus. (And, thankfully, her English is excellent!)