Sure, the world is a really, really, really big place, spanning many oceans, several continents, hundreds of countries, countless bodies of waters, trees, roads and so on… but sometimes, it takes a few encounters to remind you of just how small it can be too. Yesterday morning, Will and I woke up craving a hearty breakfast, and our neighbor had introduced me to a coffee shop just a block away, and I had noticed they made bagels. I had an instant craving for their bagels, so we decided to go withdraw some cash (a ton of places here in Melbourne are ‘cash only’ — more on that in another post :)) and satisfy our bellies! The bank is right next door to us, and right across the bank was a gentleman sitting on a bench with a Duke (University) hoodie on, which caught Will’s attention (he’s a big fan of college basketball). We struck up a conversation with him, and turns out he’s from good ole Pennsylvania – not far from where my parents currently live! He moved here in the 70s to teach high school and has married a wonderful Australian woman and created a life for himself here. His wife was a complete sweetheart, and we talked about everything from traveling to sports to chocolates ;) it was a lovely conversation, and we exchanged contact information and parted ways.
Then, just this morning, we were at church, which is held in the Athenaeum Theatre and seats several hundreds of people each Sunday, and Will picked a row and we sat down and started getting settled, reading the brochures for this week’s church news, etc. A few minutes after sitting down, I noticed two individuals sitting behind us talking with an American accent, and smiled to myself. A few moments later, the husband and wife sitting next to us introduced themselves and are also American – from Texas! Just recently moved to Melbourne in July (just like us), and were on the exact same visas as us. *small world alert*! It was such a nice time chatting with them and sharing similar experiences. During church, they have a small amount of time where you can meet those around you, and when I spoke to the individuals behind us (the ones whose accents I heard), they said they were also from Texas – which caught the attention of the couple next to us. We laughed and bonded momentarily before the service continued.
Not to mention, on Friday afternoon after lunch with Rachel, I walked into a clothing store nearby my apartment complex, and struck up a conversation with the girls who worked there. One of them had family who lived in the U.S. and told me of her adventures there, as well as how she had an American family who lived down the street from her that always celebrated Halloween and decorated their house like a haunted house. And lastly, today, while grabbing some coffee on my way home from the grocery store, the sweet Aussie girl who rang me up asked where in the U.S. I was from, and I said Virginia (which, sometimes saying that here can be totally fruitless, as some people have not heard of VA), and her eyes lit up and said that she had family scattered throughout Virginia, mainly in Virginia Beach.
Seriously, what are the chances that in the span of a weekend, we have met so many people who are from or have ties/connections to the U.S.? To me, there is no coincidence with anything in this world — circumstances like this are totally and completely God! So, thanks, God for helping us to feel a little bit more at home and at ease in this brand new place. Thanks for bringing these individuals into our lives to remind us that You’re at work in our journeys here, that we aren’t alone, and to continue trusting You, as we know “…that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). It’s weird to describe it like this, but it was a comforting experience. Melbourne has been full of (good) surprises and we’re excited to embrace every bit of it :)
We’ve changed our Healesville Sanctuary trip to next week, so be on the lookout for an obnoxious amount of photos next Sunday! ;) my hope is to update before then though. (judging by my current behavior, that’s not likely HAH, whoops).
Love you guys. Thanks for letting me do this mushy post! :)