As I shivered at the edge of the pool, I glanced at the clock.
Only 5 more minutes of Mommy & Me swim lessons. In freezing water.
I noticed a woman and her children sit near our things, as I bemoaned my decision to struggle with my toddler in the water for two weeks of lessons.
I live a tough life.
We toweled off and my toddler kept saying, “Hi” to the lady I had noticed.
She spoke softly and sweetly to my daughter in a language that sounded like Russian.
“Where are you from?” I asked making conversation.
“Uzbekistan,” she answered in clipped English.
I nodded my head, as if I knew the exact location. “How long have you been in the US?”
“Eleven months,” she replied.
“Your English is very good. Did you move here for a job?
“No, how do you say, we are Christians and we faced persecution,” she answered as she patted her little boy’s head.
It was a surreal moment. Standing in the heat, watching my kids splash in the kiddie pool while talking to an escapee from the former Soviet Union. A persecuted Christian.
5 minutes from my house.
She shared some about her life. Her husband was a Pastor and arrested and later deported for his crime: preaching the Gospel.
“Did you face violence?” I asked.
I will never forget the look that crossed her face, she nodded, and tracked her children with her eyes.
She said a hundred things in that moment without uttering a word.
We exchanged phone numbers.
On the way home from the pool, I told my older kids about the conversation. My voice quivered as I shared her story.
“Mom, do you remember the Sunday School lesson we had a few weeks ago on the Persecuted Church?”
“That was the country I prayed for,” she said excitedly.
I don’t know why I met her. I don’t know if we will develop a relationship or what the future holds.
I do know that I don’t regret those swimming lessons and I am convinced that God stepped in.
Our families are meeting for dinner tonight (Friday) and I hope to share more . . .
You can read Part Two of this story here.
Part Three to this story is here.
Part Four is here.
And, you can donate to them here:
Food for the Soul:
Proverbs 16:9, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.”