In a good way!
Because we have friends that were missionaries in Africa (Kenya and Tanzania) for many years (decades?), we’ve been checking with folks that we meet (here at the African Inland Mission Center) if perchance they have met these dear friends of ours. Mind you, they served under a different mission organization and Africa is pretty darn huge, but still – you never know what paths might have crossed. So far we’ve only met one (who had been a teacher at Rift Valley Academy) that had a good recollection of our friends (or of their kiddos!). So imagine our delight and surprise when we discovered an entirely unexpected connection while enjoying dinner at one of the residents’ home.
“So where are you folks from?” asked our sweet hostess.
“Well, we’ve been on the road for the last 17 years, but we raised our family outside of Philadelphia.”
“Oh, we have family in the Philadelphia area. Where about were you?”
“We were in Bucks County, near Doylestown.”
“My – I think that’s where Les’s sister lives. What town is she in, dear?”
“I think Ginger lives in Jamison now.”
“Wait – Jamison? That’s where we lived! And are you talking about Ginger Smith*?
“Yes, that’s Les’s sister!”
“Her son married my best friend’s daughter!”
“Yes! Leslie and Pete. We were at their wedding!”
“Well, so were we!! Oh my, this is crazy – and so very sweet! I had no idea that Ginger was raised in Africa!”
The conversation flowed easily for the rest of the evening as stories upon stories were shared. Needless to say, the most dramatic story was of Les telling of his encounter with a 16 ft. python in a sugar cane field. It wasn’t a “Oh look, there’s a python up in that tree. Let me kill it” story. It was an “I’m going to die if I can’t kill this beast that is rapidly wrapping himself around me” story.
Now THAT’S a story!!
We’ve loved meeting so many retired missionaries, and hearing how God is continuing to work in Africa and around the world! And we especially love when our different worlds so happily collide.
What a blessing to be here!
*Names have been changed..just because we thought it was a good idea! You just never know these days, right?