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Published: March 20th 2005
Our Friend in the Dining Room
This lady does everything right. When she is on duty you know everything will be in place, all will be exactly as it is supposed to be.
We talked with a very interesting pastor from Maldova at breakfast this morning. He attended the conference of the European Baptist Union and also the EBU dedication service last night. Maldova is an agricultural country of rolling hills and valleys about the size of Maryland. He said there are no mountains in his home country. The Baptists in Maldova have a sister relationship with one of the states in the deep south in the U.S. but formerly they were partnered with our home state of Maryland. He had visited Maryland in the past and had fond memories of the cooperation with churches there.
We were joined by two other men, both from Russia. They said that under Communism Baptists were always suspected of being American spies. He did not say so, but I expect man yAmericans viewed him as a potential Russian spy when he visited the U.S.. I guess paranoia knows no political boundaries.
He told us a story an American told him. The American was an officer on a U.S. aircraft carrier. On a tour in the Med they often came close to a Russian carrier. He said one morning they were coming close to the Russian
carrier and almost every sailor came to the deck with camera and field glasses to see the Russians. The American said, “When I looked at the Russian carrier through my field glasses, guess what I saw? I almost the full crew of Russian sailors on their deck with their camera and field glasses doing exactly the same thing we were doing. I realized at that moment, they are not our enemy, they are humans just as we are humans.” One of the best parts of our time here is getting to know people from all over. We hope they will tell us about their home countries and we are seldom disappointed. What a great social studies lesson. To hear about Maldova from a native, to learn of Russia from a Russian, to hear Polish history from a Pole. And all this today was before 8:30 in the morning. What a pity our high school students do not all engage in a year of foreign study while kids from other lands travel to the USA to learn of us. Think of the increase in foreign language study and learning and of the jump toward international peace that would happen when we all realize the humanity of people from every nation on earth.
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