Thursday, September 13, 2007

It's a Small World

Imagine the music from that ride at Disney World begins to play (but don't picture the creepy little figures on the ride jerkily dancing about -- that'll give you nightmares. . . but I digress. . . ). Josh and I were pondering some of the connections we've made when meeting people here at the Seminary. I know I'll forget someone and some connection, but in case this sort of thing is of interest to you, here you have it. ***Edit: I meant to add that these connections are ironic since I did not grow up Southern Baptist, and here we are at a Southern Baptist Seminary!***

From our former church, Calvary in Danville, we were told to look out for friends from my high school youth group: Cassie Paddock and Jaimie Zaijek. I bump into Cassie all the time, and we enjoy a laugh over deep theological issues like the policies at the Covington pool, etc. I don't see Jaimie very often, but Josh had a class with her husband last semester, and the few times I have seen Jaimie and her cute little girl have been a delight!

From Maranatha, where we both spent our college days, we met up with Kevin McFadden last fall when we came t
o visit the school. Kevin told us that his roommate, Jason Erb (one Shooter to Carey!) was also a student, and was getting ready to get married. Who would he marry? My dear friend Andrea Nash! I had lost touch with her after college, but now we both take the same SWI class, and I really had this unbelievable deja vu thing the other night during class as we whispered something admiring about our professor. I am so thrilled to have Andrea back in my life. We go to church with Andrea, Jason and Kevin at Clifton Baptist.

Speaking of Clifton, the first night we visited (which was a Wednesday), the preaching pastor Tom Schreiner gave a greeting to Josh Waltz. He said he was glad to see him back visiting. I nudged Josh "I think I know him!" I hissed. When the service was over, my suspicions were confirmed. It was indeed the Josh Waltz I knew from MBBC, who was actually "Mr. Waltz" to me -- he was my English Composition instructor my freshman year. Side note: check out his blog, Waltzian Heresie
s. I guess it makes sense that a comp instructor ought to be a good writer!

One night after church, we were getting to know the couple sitting behind us, Tim and Jamie Gray. Josh said h
e was from northern Ohio (which is usually when people say "near Cedar Point? Cool!" and leave it at that, because there really isn't much else to know about northern Ohio!). Tim and Jamie said "where?!" They are also from northern Ohio and it turns out that the pastor's wife at Calvary in Tiffin (Josh's church where he grew up) was Jamie's volleyball coach and small group mentor in high school. The word I'd use to describe Tim and Jamie is faithful. Tim has multiple medical problems, but the richness of their communion with God is evident to the rest of the church body.

One morning during Sunday school I whispered to Josh "let's invite those new people to go out to eat with us". The new people were Jeremy and Rachel Kimble who just moved to L-ville from Wisconsin. We shortly discovered that our connection would not be Wisconsin, but Ohio. Jeremy had just finished up his M-div at the same school where our brother-in-law Lukas is a student. Josh asked "do you know Lukas Hafeli?" and in fact, Jeremy was the T.A. in a class Lukas was taking right then! Incredible.

Josh had gotten to know these super nice guys in our hallway, Kevin and Will. They have Greek together (2 semesters in a row), and we see them at Clifton pretty often as well. When Josh introduced me to them, he said "Will just came back from Kazakhstan -- he knows the Konings!" I don't know about you, but Kazakhstan is not the country you hear most about, so it was ironic no matter what that Will had been in Kazakhstan, but even more incredible that he knew the dear Konings, who have been missionary friends I've known since high school (I remember their oldest son as a baby). We'd just seen Otto a few days before we moved to L-ville because he was in the states recruiting at Urbana and then speaking at Calvary's mission conference. Amazingly enough, Will and Kevin were not familiar with the Pineapple Story, written by Otto Koning Sr. I am planning to have storytime with them in the future, after I get my book out of storage.

Is it a small world? In a sense, no. It is very big and diverse and only God knows all the people. But in another sense, the whole Christian community is just separated by a few degrees, and it should be that way. People who have ties to some of the people you knew here, ministered with there, prayed for during this, are people who have continued in the Christian faith. They have not fallen away. Connections like these should be cause for us not to consider ourselves in pride ("Well, I've been around,") but to humbly thank the Lord for His grace in our perseverance.

13 comments:

The Murray Crew said...

Lovin' all those connections. Let's go to Disney together, shall we? I think I'm going to blog soon about the Jesus Storybook Bible - can I link ya? It's been way to long since I've got a comment from you....what else are you doing at 5am - you better be on our blog reading about your favorite quadruplets! Just "Joshin'"!
jennifer

GloryandGrace said...

I'm interested in the Mary Kassian book you have listed on the sidebar - thoughts so far? And THANK YOU for your comment about "When Sinners Say I Do" - I think we should have a little coffee and reflection time after we're both finished (unless you already are, which is quite possible!) :)

Name: Karen said...

I love this "small world" thing in the Christian Community.

Thats how I felt about you--we know or know of so many people. I find Donette--and she check my blog and recognizes my name--her husband grew up w/my husband and my in-laws and hers still go to the same church.

Evan MacIntosh, being in your church and small group. Small World. You knowing Josh Waltz--he's our youth pastor (or was until he just took a church as teaching pastor in Colorado)

I think you knew Chromy's as well? Steve and Heather?

Oh, and Erbs, I met Jodi (she went to Pills) through online homeschool group and she recognized my name b/c she and my brother were really close at Pillsbury. Here you are really close w/her SIL Andrea? How small a world is this?

I liked that post! How fun! What a reminder that we are all connected through the body of Christ.

Hugs! Karen

Emily said...

That's neat and it gives me hope that when you say goodbye to someone youe might not be saying goodbye for life.

I wrote a new post if you would like to see it. I hope it's encouraging to you (it was for me to write it!)

Could you maybe check your myspace...this isn't quite the same as email, so I can't really talk to you like I would like to.

I love you and miss you terribly.

-emma♥

Gretchen said...

Jen -- why of COURSE you can link me! You are too sweet! Sorry about not commenting you lately. I certainly read your blog and check in on the 4 cuties! I know my mother-in-law checks it too. She said she checks it every day.

Grace -- that Mary Kassian book was for an assignment -- I actually think it is not being published anymore. She is a good writer, and I enjoy her clear style of writing, but I have to say that book bordered on dry. It was meant to be scholarly for the lay person, I believe. As for When Sinners Say I Do, I am only halfway through it, but I hope to be done over the weekend. We should have a chat and break it down!

Karen -- Ha ha! It's so funny, last night I was talking to Jason Erb and he said something about his sister meeting someone at Evan MacIntosh's church in Michigan. I said "who is it?" He said, "I don't know, someone she met through a blog or something -- Sharon? Karen?" I laughed -- I KNEW it was you! I could have added all those crazy extra things, but I thought I'd limit it to the connections I've made here at the Seminary.

Emma -- Of course I'll be better about checking my MySpace. I'm terribly sorry.

Sara Mincy said...

Love your new header!!! Perfect for you!

Gretchen said...

Thanks, Sar! My husband made it! It's Van Gogh (you probably knew that).

Morning Rose said...

My husband's family knows the Erbs from Camp Chetek. I remember meeting the Erb family at our wedding 15 years ago. I think there's a connection to the Erbs mentioned on your site.

grammy reese said...

ENJOYED READING ABOUT YOUR CONNECTIONS, ESPECIALLY THE KONING'S. WE ARE SOOOO HAPPY WHEN YOU AND MR. JOSH COME HOME TO DANVILLE FOR A VISIT. BUT GLAD YOU HAVE A LARGE CIRCLE OF FRIENDS IN L-VILLE. TAKE CARE. LOVE FRAN

Name: Karen said...

Gretch,

Yeah, I knew you were meaning SBC and Southern in particular.

What I find ironic--I, like you, did NOT grow up in the SBC. Nope, FUNDAMENTAL Baptist here. Maranatha, Pillsbury, Northland. So I love reading your Blog and Donettes and others and seeing how God has moved you all (and me too) to search out our faith & study theology. Then seeing where we are, knowing where we all came from!

Hugs!

Name: Karen said...

I want to know how your little sister Emily gets that little heart behind her name...Oh, thats just SO cute!

James and Christen said...

Hey, love your new blog look! Very nice.

Thanks for the long note recently. It was great to hear from you. I really appreciated your comments on the last blog about the sovereignty of God. I am continually challenged in regards to trusting His sovereignty.

Sharon's parents live very close to us. (Although her mom is still in the U.S. waiting for the arrival of baby Taylor.) That is actually how her and David met. Her parents had moved down here to work in the seminary and she came to visit for Christmas. David was here on a short term and waa-la!
So, now I am getting a chance to get to know them.
Could you email me your phone number. I have bought skype minutes and would love to call you sometime.

Love & Prayers, Christen

Emily said...

Karen. just type & hearts ;
without the spaces, and presto! it's a heart ♥!