I had one of those very vivid dreams this morning. So vivid that now, a couple of hours after the dream, I still remember all the details.
I dreamed that I came to Church and saw a few people from the States that I knew well: our missionary Roxanne who now lives in the U.S. and other missionary couple Clarence and Sue, who also used to be coordinating and working with all the W&W teams in Ukraine for a few years. Clarence had come for a visit and I guess that triggered the dream.
I got excited that they are in Kyiv; we hugged, chatted, smiled, and enjoyed each other’s company. Then I looked to my right and another group of the U.S. guys and gals were sitting there – also who were in Ukraine for some time, way back when I was just a wee kiddo, and so I came over to them and chatted for a bit too. After some time, I realized that the entire building is filled with my friends with whom I’m separated by long distance between here and the U.S. and other countries where they came from.
My joy and excitement knew no bonds. I was so happy to see them all! Some of them I had a privilege to work with just a few years ago. Some of them knew me only as a 7-year-old kid. I went from one team to another, not believing my eyes that they are all here.
Finally, it was time for Church service to start, so I found a free spot next to a guy I thought I recognized.
“Hi!” I said, still reveling in the elation from seeing so many friends of mine.
He stared at me, his eyes big but no recognition shone in them. When he did not reply, I thought that maybe he doesn’t recognize me.
“I’m Zena!” I told him, hoping that the name would trigger some memories.
He looked at me, “I am a Nazarene Church leader.”
That’s all he said to me. He did not even say his name or smile. It was so weird. Then I saw him talking to his wife, waving his hand in a way to show indifference or disdain even, and he said, “They don’t even have beef jerky here.”
The desire to sit next to that odd guy vanished and I wandered away from him, looking for a quiet spot to think. Right around the corner, there was a sandy slope where I decided to sit down. A guy with long wavy hair was a few meters away from me, and although the hair was a good disguise, I immediately recognized Tim Green. I didn’t show it because I was still a bit hurt from the encounter with the “Nazarene Church leader,” but the long-haired guy came from behind and put his hands on my shoulders. I raised my head to see him standing above me.
He grinned back… and took off the hat with long hair – the haircut beneath the hat turned out to be his usual one. “Hi.”
After a couple of minutes, another guy came up to me, hugged me, and said “Hey, Zee. Heard what happened to you.”
“Hi, Dennis,” I mumbled against his shoulder, enjoying the hug and happy that I finally found him. Dennis Reed was a missionary (or a YIM member… not sure) when I was probably about 8 or 9 years old. We had many happy memories.
Yes, it was just a dream. But I just thought it was interesting. It was amazing to laugh with the members of one of the first Youth in Mission teams who came over to Ukraine way back in the very beginning of the Nazarene Church here, in Kyiv.
18 long (and yet short) years. I am so thankful that I had a real privilege to witness all 18 years of it. And one day, in Heaven, I believe there would be such a meeting when we all will get together and hug and smile and talk and share what amazing things God has done in our lives.
Until that day, I shall enjoy every bit of dreams like the one today.
(Yet, I am still a bit upset about that one guy… Who was he? Why was he there?)