RealityBites in the Costa del Sol

Last month Anne and I celebrated thirty years of marriage. We wanted a break and so we booked a holiday with Club La Costa World which is located in Fuengirola on the south coast of Spain. Truth be told we got a fantastic discount of 80% which made the gig very affordable.

We had a wonderful time relaxing by the pool and visiting Grenada and Ronda but we had to pay our pound of flesh! We had to spend four hours of the holiday listening to a skilled and persuasive salesman who waxed lyrical about the delights of time shares in Club La Costa. To be frank I was dreading this phase of the holiday but it turned out to be the best moment of our time in sunny Spain.

Frank (not his real name) picked us up in his posh car and took us to a restaurant on the resort. He asked Anne about her work and she told him about working with traumatised asylum seekers as a therapist. Anne asked him about his life and he explained that he had been a soldier in Afghanistan for many years and still suffered sleepless nights mulling over the horrors of war. Anne was delighted to find out that Frank was fluent in Pashtu and Farsi! Frank looked 'emotional' as we probed him about his life and work experiences.

Frank then asked me about my work and I told him a bit about RealityBites. I told him about Randy Lewis and his baptised imagination – employing thousands of autistic and disabled people at Walgreens. I told him several heartwarming 'faith in action' stories and he seemed delighted and intrigued.

When we got to the sales pitch both of us were struck by the endless references to luxury hotels, meals, massages and the 'five star' treatment. We explained to Frank that we had no wish to live in this kind of luxury 'story'. He told us that he had never met anybody who had a well-thought out critique of his pitch. I told him the 'parable' about the rich man who spent all his holiday complaining about the shoddy 25 year old malt whiskey in his luxury suite. He smiled and told me that all of his customers were like that!

I then outlined the consumerist 'way of life' and told him that we didn’t live in that story! He paused reflectively and told us that he had never met people like us before!

He told us about one of his clients who offered to fight him (bare knuckles) and if Frank won the 'punch-up' he would automatically sign up for the time share 'deal'! Frank contended that many of his clients were rude and 'nasty' people. He told us twice that it was an honour and a privilege to meet us! He confided in us that we were the only clients who had ever taken an interest in him! I was astonished to hear him saying this.

In the final moments of our time together he said something quite odd. He blurted out – "Muhammed didn't come back from the dead but with Isa (Jesus) it was different! He has no tomb". I was then able to talk to Frank about my conversion to Christianity from atheism and the good news of the resurrection.

It's amazing what goes on in the Costa del Sol. It's not all beers, sunbathing and sangria!


Brilliant story Rocky!

Such an opportunity, when we Brits are on our jollies, as we constantly face the 'hard sell' tourist traders and our first response could be a straight "No". You've inspired me mate.

Yes you have inspired me to Rocks! Great post. Kayster

Thanks Arthur for these reflections. I was particularly struck by your insight about never missing an opportunity to tell an appropriate story which can spill the perfume of Christ… I really like that point and it invites us into a wonderful world of imagination and exploration. Often it is difficult to talk to secular people about God but it isn't that hard to tell a story. Thanks for that insight.

That is an awesome story Rocky. Really warming actually, at so many levels. Looking forward to meeting Anne in Australia soon. Onya mate.

Great stuff, Mark. One of the keys to evangelism is staying attuned to the Spirit's promptings and never passing an opportunity by to tell a story (- crafted following the great leads you have given us all)!

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