Disney and the Nations! Part 1

"Lord, how should I pray for our next Disney trip?" I asked. 

Ask and I'll give you the nations. "Well, ok, then....  Lord, give me the nations at Disney World!" 

(And then I'd sing...  You Said, Ask and I'll give the nations to you... that's the cry of my heart!  )

That was the prayer of my heart in the months leading up to our most recent trip to Walt Disney World Resort. 

I didn't even know what that prayer meant.  In all honesty, I was hoping it meant the Lord was going to roll out the red carpet and bless our little family with a room upgrade to Savannah View and a run in with Joe Rohde, an executive with Walt Disney Imagineering, and one of the masterminds behind Disney's Animal Kingdom and Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge.  We were planning to stay at my dad and Donna's Disney Vacation Club home property,  Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani Village, and I've heard he's around sometimes, so it was not that far fetched of an idea.

There we are on the Savannah.... well almost....  let's try again. 

Ok... now, you can see the Mitchell Party of Five, with that lovely giraffe in the background. 

As much as the The Lord calls us to lay down our lives, to pick up our cross, to turn the other cheek, He does often roll out red carpets as well.  And our entire stay at Kidani Village was one giant red carpet.  From the pool, to the food, to the animals right out the window, to the detailing in the room...  wow!  We were blessed beyond measure. 

What I didn't expect, however, is that the Lord might literally give us the nations while we were there. But that's exactly what happened!   

On arrival day, we played around the resort before heading to Disney Springs for dinner.  An avid foodie, Devin had looked up some Quick Service restaurants in advance that worked with our dining plan and highly recommended Cookes of Dublin, for its Irish American Cuisine.  It was a crowded Saturday evening, so I stood patiently outside and waited for a table to open up while Devin placed our order.  A group of men appeared to be finishing, so I politely asked if we could have their table. 

"Sure, but he is going to stay and work."  said one man.

"Is ok.  You can join me."  said the other. 

The kids and I sat down and naturally I asked, "So where are you from?"

"Saudia Arabia." 

And in that moment, I knew I had heard from the Lord, and I knew that He had heard me.  He was giving us the nations. 

We sat and talked with this gentleman through dinner.  In perfect middle eastern fashion, we shared food.  A few of his friends came and left the table from time to time.  Questions would go a little like this: 

"So in Palestine, where do you live?"  (them).

"Well, in Israel, we live in Jerusalem."  (us). 

"Oh, so in Palestine do you eat falafel?" (them).

"Yes, in Israel we eat Falafel... and shawarma... and sabich." (us). 

The conversation did turn a bit awkward for me when our food arrived.  I totally forgot that I had ordered Hog in a Box, which you can gather from the name, is pork...  in a box.  Muslims don't eat pork.  Neither do the Jewish people. 

I said, "Oh my goodness.  I ordered pork.  I am so sorry."  suddenly feeling bad that we had joined their table with an unclean food. 

He laughed, "Its ok if you eat it as long as I don't. I thought Jews didn't eat pork." 

So then I shared with him that I am Christian, so I'm ok with pork, though I don't eat it in Israel to honor the culture. 

"Some Christians don't eat pork."  Said the other man who stopped by. 

And he's right.  A lot of believers in the Middle East who met the Lord from either Islam or Judaism don't eat pork.  Its a weird idea for them...  like eating a cockroach.  No one wants to eat a cockroach.  And they don't want to eat pork, either.  Its not legalism.  Its just a gross idea for them, and I'm cool with that.  

We had a pleasant conversation about differences of beliefs and traditions, and places where we shared a culture and heritage.  I'll admit that there was a little bit of an odd tension.  Being Israeli, we just don't always know how others from the ME are going to respond to us.  These men were friendly and hospitable, and I hope they felt the same from us...  even with with my Hog in the Box, which was excellent. 

And thus, peace in the Middle East was forged around the table at Disney Springs.  And that was only our first night! 

More to come! 

Sometimes We Eat Sabich
I Ate Falafel at Epcot


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