Sunday, August 19, 2007

it's a small world #1

It was bound to happen sometime, I just didn’t know when. Today was the day.

After enjoying a good breakfast hosted by one of the long-term missionary women here at Tenwek and attended by many of the other visiting folks (6-7 of us), I and the others went to the church service on the Tenwek premises. It was nice to be in a service in which I actually knew all of the worship songs and could fully understand everything that was said. Though the whole experience of traipsing through cultures other than my own is something I enjoy, I still find myself very glad for moments and people and experiences that feel familiar and known and easy to go along with (like finding another American—one who’d lived in DC, too, no less—next to me in the internet cafĂ© in the Addis Ababa airport). So, the worship service this morning was one of those refreshing moments.

The people leading the worship music were part of a short term team that had just arrived from the States, and their names sounded very familiar. Then they mentioned that they were from Pittsburgh and I became certain I know people who know them.

It was fun to chat with Greg and Rebecca Sparks after the service and confirm my hunch. Back when I worked for the
CCO and Messiah College, I helped book concerts for the campus. Some of my CCO co-workers encouraged me to bring the Sparks to campus, but it never worked out to do that. A few years later I heard of them again through another Pittsburgh-based friend (hi, Becky Wimer!). The Sparks also know people I know in Nashville. And, they’re artist types who also have a vision and passion for places outside the U.S. I’ve been quite surrounded by medical folks here. While I enjoy participating in conversations with those types, too, it was nice not to have to ask the Sparks what mestasiademiosis is. (okay, I haven’t really asked anyone what mestasiademiosis (mess-TAY-zhuh-DEEM-ee-oh-sis) is but it sure sounds like something that could be encountered in a hospital ;-) )

Anyway, it was fun to meet an unexpected bit of home today and fun that we just happened to overlap here at Tenwek for a couple days.


Anonymous said...

Very cool Kami that you had a connection at Tenwek!! So you got to meet the Sparks, but clear over in Africa, eh? The Sparks are with others from our church on a short term missions project at Tenwek Hospital. (Did you get to meet Chuck and Amy Bemm too?) Thanks for sharing! --Becky ;-)

Philip said...

Oh man! The sparks! Bash-n-the-Code! They were big when I was a teenager, had some funky music videos. I saw them in concert with Russ Taff once too. Small world indeed.