Sunday, March 05, 2006

Friends Before, and After, Russia 2005

Way back in the '70s I was the wife of a United Methodist minister, teaching in a Lutheran school, which is very near to the Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Richmond, Virginia.

Enrolled in third grade that year was a nice little English girl, from London, and her father was a United Methodist student at the Seminary. She and her sister with their parents visited in our home several times, and after that year returned to England.We sometimes had Christmas cards, but Rachel became only a memory.

This year, 2006, I attended a missionary Convocation in northern Virginia, about our work in Russia. There were 100 attendees from distant US places--Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio--and of course there were 30 or 40 persons from Russia. We listened to progress reports and needs of Russian schools and churches, most of which had to be translated into English. And I spoke to a tall young lady with the Russians. When she asked where I lived, she told me she had lived in Richmond years ago. She was Rachel's sister, who had returned to London where she was educated, and is now a United Methodist pastor of a church in Russia. She brought to the Convocation greetings from English Methodism, via Russia, to us. She told of new experiences and needs and travels, but the same old Story about Jesus.

Different people, different religions, different places, different ways of life, all gathered together in one place, to worship together as One in the Spirit. I like to think I was a missionary as a third grade teacher. And that's the way God works...

1 comment:

Barbee' said...

This is the second time I have visited your blog and read this experience in your life. It is touching and so true about the weaving together the threads of different people's lives. Reminds me of the story of the child who couldn't understand "why" of so much in life. As he talked, his grandmother worked on her embroidery. It looked a mess of knots, and long stitches, and loosely dangling ends of threads. She showed it to the child and said life is often like that work in her hands, but with trust in the unseen pattern it could turn out so - and she turned the piece over to show the "finished" side where a beautiful flower could be seen.

I especially have enjoyed your last paragraph. It is Beautiful, too. Keep up the good work. You never know who might be reading what you write. Thank you for taking the time, and I know from experience that it can take a lot of that.

Sincerely, Barbee'