See this gorgeous couple. They are not us. They are a couple that we met on the train between Vienna and Bratislava. They had just flown up from their home in South Africa where they were escaping the tourist hordes. As their trip was impromptu, they didn’t have any real plans, so seeing us with our maps, they asked if they could tag along cause they had no idea where they were going.
They did not look like stalkers, so we said yes. Go with the flow, I say. Actually, I never say that, so I always keep a wary eye out on new acquaintances.
We were three minutes into our inaugural conversation when we broached the required question: Where are you from? When we said British Columbia, Aaron, a former pro-soccer player, said he has friends in British Columbia. They’re involved with a non-profit association for soccer players. This was starting to sound like a Christian outreach program we know about, and so we mentioned that we had friends involved in this organization.
You know what happened next. We both blurted out the names of those friends, and very soon discovered that Aaron was inspired to get into the ministry by the same pastor (Bob Roxburgh) who had performed our wedding service in Winnipeg almost 30 years ago. His soccer-playing buddies were Roxburgh’s sons, one of whom Dave taught Sunday school.
Just to play out the geographic links for you. We were born in Winnipeg. Aaron was born in San Francisco. Bob Roxburgh was born in England. All of us have roamed such that we could almost safely say combined, we have covered much of the globe. Aaron moved to South Africa, his wife’s homeland. We normally live in B.C., but now live in Switzerland. There’s a stretch of oceans, nationalities and decades between us, and yet somehow we were seated across the aisle from each other on a ride from Austria to Slovakia. What if we had chosen different boxcars?
I am not a big believer of coincidences – it’s nothing I can prove, but it was sure fun to trek around with these two. We don’t doubt that we will see them again.