Re: Meeting

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From: novela-harmon@bethel.edu
Date: Wed, Sep 13, 2017 at 7:17 PM
Subject: Meeting
To: grace-k-nelson@bethel.edu

I had my meeting with Alex today. Basically what he wants me to do is help edit his writing and watch for translation errors. That should be easy enough. There may be some other secretarial type stuff. Depending on how it goes, he may have me help him with research as well, although that will be all in Spanish, so that would be a bit harder. He said I should be familiar with the library and main bookstores, anyway. Honestly, if tonight was any indication, the main thing he is looking for is to have someone he can talk to and bounce ideas off. I can do that. I don't know much about the material yet, but it seems like it's helpful for him just to talk out loud to someone.

We met at Starbucks again and when we were done, he asked if I had plans, and if I wanted to go eat. It kind of caught me off guard. It seemed weird, but also not. I mean, why not? I'm going to be spending a lot of time with him one-on-one during the rest of the semester, so it shouldn't be awkward. I think something about the wording kind of threw me off. He might have used the word "dinner" and I associated "dinner" with "date," but of course that's wrong. Lots of adult business people meet for dinner not on dates, and of course that's what we are. I didn't have any plans, so I accepted, mainly because I didn't have a good excuse to decline.

I really hope I didn't make it more awkward than it needed to be. He was, of course, very polite and businesslike the whole time. We mainly talked about his thesis, although he asked me more questions about me, about what part of the US I'm from (he's never been to the Midwest except once briefly to Chicago) and my background. He was fascinated by the concept of homeschooling - why my parents chose it, the logistics, what my views are, etc. For a minute I almost thought he was going to switch his field of study to something like education methods.

Anyway, on the subject of my background, we started talking about my religious upbringing and my beliefs. I told him that I am a Christian, a Protestant, and that the church I tend belongs to a Baptist organization but the specific denomination isn't as important to me as the core beliefs and outlook. I was surprised that someone as educated, intellectual, and traveled as he was so ignorant of basic Protestant tenants and practices. Of course there is some small relation to what he's doing with his thesis, so he was very interested, and I felt that I couldn't adequately answer all his questions, which I felt a little ashamed about. I know his curiosity is just academic, but I also believe that anyone who really seeks truth will find it, and I though I saw a little truth-seeking in him tonight. So, while I took this job to learn more and make some extra cash, not I am thinking there may be a deeper purpose behind it.

Will you pray for Alejandro, that his desire to know about Christianity will deepen into a desire to know God?  And for me, that I will be able to answer his questions and have the right words to say to him? I have never really led anyone to Christ, which has been on my conscience, but I have never had an opportunity quite like this before, where my particular interests and knowledge might help open doors. I would love to see him come to Christ. I think he is Catholic, at least nominally, but I don't think he has any personal faith, so it would be really amazing if he would even take some steps closer to that, and I would love to be a part of it. 

Better get home now. Thanks, and good night.

Novela


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