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Dear couple across the table,

I arrived late to Wine School at Whole Foods and the only empty seats were across from you. I sat down and, because I was late, got just the remnants left on the cheese and cracker plates. You were already delving into your snacks and soon the first wine was passed around to taste.

Not going to lie, I felt a bit awkward in the beginning – I knew only one person, and the folks that sat around me were in an entirely different life stage, making it hard for me to jump in on conversations.

But then you mentioned a recent trip you took and how rude folks were in not helping you lift your luggage into the overhead compartments, and I jumped in with a similar tale about my experiences on Italian trains. We clicked.

Before I knew it I was telling you both about my trip to Italy and how it was made possible because I was already living on the continent in Budapest. I talked about my work with the global church and how I felt a deep call to holistic refugee integration work and would soon be moving to Greece to pursue this further.

Your reactions stunned me. I don’t know exactly what I expected.. I guess a bit of hesitancy given all the preconceived notions that I had in my own head about wealthy, retired Caucasians in Dallas, TX. Instead, what I got was nothing less than ecstatic support for my calling and me.

You both related to my faith language in a way that was reassuring without being pushy about your own beliefs, saying that I was blessed to have found my calling so early in life and that you hoped I always had the strength and ability to follow it.

You then continued and gave me advice about the top things to do in Dallas during my short trip here and even passed along your phone numbers in case I needed anything. It was so sweet.

Your outpouring of love and support meant the world to me, especially coming from total strangers.

I won’t forget it.


All the best,