Yesterday afternoon before our last delegation meeting I was in the UMW (United Methodist Women) office on the 11th floor of the Church Center talking to Christina. Tomoko San walks in and asked Christina if she will call the Salvation Army location at 14th street to see if they have a lost and found. What did you loose? I lost a small plastic bag with pearl earrings and a necklace. As Christina looked up the number I got out my phone for Tomoko San to call. Tomoko san English is impeccable, but she preferred that I call. So I left a message on three different numbers about the missing items and my phone number hoping someone might check and call me back.
On the way to the last event I said something like this to Tomoko san, I am so sorry to tell you this, but I think it will be a miracle if they have your jewelry! New York is a busy (translation dishonest) place and it is not likely that if someone found it they would turn it in. She understood and we agreed that her odds would be greater in a place like Japan.
In the morning I emailed one of the women whom I called the previous day. Around 6:30pm I checked my email on my phone and the woman at the Salvation Army emailed me back, Check the lost and found on the 8th floor of the Church Center. I think I saw what you are looking for there. I was in the back of a crowded room on the 2nd floor of the Church Center listening to a panel but I couldn’t sit in my seat knowing that her items might have been in building all along! I HAD TO run up to the 8th floor to check!!
The 8th floor was crowded with other folks listening to another panel and talking in the hallways, but I navigated through to the back room where the media registers during office hours. I looked around for something that looks like a lost and found. After searching a few cardboard boxes I found a box with a camera case, a folder or two, a hairbrush, and LOW AND BEHOLD, a small plastic baggy with pearl earrings and a necklace!! I almost screamed. Then I thought, WOW. There is hope for the world after all.
First of all, Tomoko san was not even sure where she lost her valuables. Second, there are thousands of women at this conference from all over the world and they are in and out of many buildings! What are the odds that a.) someone would find it b.) they would turn it in c.) the person they turned it into would put it in lost and found d.) it would not go missing from lost and found and e.) we would be able to find the lost and found!
After the panel I said to Tomoko san, “Do you know the highlight of my day?” “No, what?” Look what I found. Gasp, THANK YOU!… big hug! and we were both laughing. I told her about email and my discovery. We agreed, Never underestimate a group of women! and that It really was a miracle!!