Four people, all doing different things, working with different organisations, just happen to meet in a hotel lobby in Bucharest.
Frank Lautenschlager is the Europe Area Director for Wycliffe Bible Translators and was attending the European Evangelical Mission Alliance conference in order to better understand the way in which the Eastern European mission movement is developing. His wife, Uschi works part time as an HIV educator in Africa, but was at the same conference in her other capacity as Frank’s assistant. I have just started with Global Connections in the UK and was attending the conference partly to get a better grasp on a part of the world I don’t understand and partly to use my facilitation skills in helping to move the conference forward. Mark Datson works with Samaritain’s Purse, coordinating their operation Christmas Child programme and was in Romania as part of a longer trip to Eastern Europe to meet partners.
Wind the clock back a couple of decades and all four of us were working in Bible translation and literacy work in Ivory Coast. After a long day of meetings, Frank, Uschi and I were relaxing with a glass of something cold and refreshing, when I noticed someone come into the hotel lobby wearing an England rugby shirt. After a few seconds, I realised that it was Mark.
Four people, who worked for the same organisation, in the same African country, all those years ago, just happen to bump into each other in a hotel lobby in Romania.
Perhaps it was just a coincidence. Or perhaps our heavenly Father wanted to give us a pleasant couple of hours of nostalgia and catching up. You make up your own mind.