One of the things I’ve loved about living in Harrisonburg is all the connections. Yes, it’s sometimes inconvenient to run into Walmart just for milk, and see four people I know. But, it’s also fun to talk with someone at the gym whose mom worked with me, or finding out the woman selling me insurance has a son on the mission field who knows friends of mine from Perspectives.
There’s a thing Dutch people (in North America) do called, “Dutch Bingo”. It’s along the idea of ‘six degrees of separation’ which says each person on earth is connected to others by no more than six steps. Get a couple of Dutch people together, and we can find connections. I have a very dear friend here in Harrisonburg who is Dutch. And… her parents just happen to live within a mile of my dad in Grand Rapids, her mom is also a CRC pastor, her sister and aunt went to Calvin… Bingo!
Earlier this week I posted a Facebook comment on a friend’s wall. Someone else jumped in and introduced himself. Turns out he and his wife know someone I know from the D.R. And, not just any someone, but a gal who interned at the El Callejon Social Work site my first year there in 2008. The person who commented knows my friend’s family from Africa where they were serving in missions several years ago. My new friend and his wife and son live across the country here, but have been to visit Jarabacoa.
Last week I talked with a young lady who is considering going on staff with S.I. Her former Youth Director in New York put us in touch. The two of us had got know each other in… you guessed it, the D.R. I’m beginning to think maybe there’s a “Mission Bingo”! Since dominoes is played a lot there, perhaps D.R. Dominoes? Or, Six Degrees of Hudson Taylor?
To me, it was a small reminder of how our big God is right in this with me. In the past few days I’ve had to say goodbye to a lot of friends. I’ve got more of that in the next days. But, I’ve also met two new friends who are connected to me in some way because of the path I am taking. It doesn’t make the goodbyes less difficult, but it does give me hope –and even a feeling of excitement! – at how God is going to continue to provide relationships and community.
I am so blessed by the way God has been showing me He is truly able to do more than we can ask or even imagine. If He can ‘randomly’ connect me to Jarabacoa, California, South Africa and Virginia, through technology and a Princess Bride quote (love that movie!) what else does He have planned?! For me, as I leave, and also for the friends I am leaving. Yes, there’s no ‘new Kim’ to just step in and take my place, but there will be others who can share in the lives of those I love here.
And, just think of how cool it’s going to be to get to Heaven one day and see that great throng singing out praise to God! People we’ll recognize, yes. Even more, people we’ve never met, but somehow our lives helped someone, who helped someone else, meet Jesus, and so now they’re at the throne of God. No longer will there be tears – or even one degree of separation! It gives me goose-bumps!
Until that day, I want to keep my eye out for the amazing gift of God’s connections. Of His reassurance that He not only sees me, but is actively working out all things for my good and His glory. I invite you to join in seeing your own Dutch Bingo (or D.R. Dominoes or Six Degrees.) I think you’ll be amazed, too! All praise to God and to the Lamb! Holy, Holy, Holy!!