My new nurse is named Maya. She is a mother of twin boys and is from Russia. She and her family moved to the US from Moscow in 1992.
I spent the summer in Moscow and St. Petersburg in 1997. Although it's been 15 years since I ate the heavy pumpernickel bread or cheese stuffed blinis, I recall much about my time there. I remember the White Nights Festival when everyone in St. Petersburg took to the streets to celebrate the never-ending day. I love the humble people who welcomed us into their homes to serve us borscht or tea, pouring their offering to us in reused styrofoam cups. I especially enjoyed the history I gleaned while visiting the summer and winter palaces.
My first year of college was a tough transition. I immersed myself in Russian literature and historical books (my friends referred to the Russian professor as my boyfriend since I seemed to follow him every where. They also mocked my thick tome titled "The Last Tsar.") I honestly thought about leaving college after my first semester and returning to Russia as a missionary.
In 1997 I could not have predicted how my experiences and interests would create a bridge of friendship with a complete stranger in 2012. Prior to our Russian conversation, Maya was an efficient nurse who inquired about my aches and pains. But now she is eager to talk to me about my time in Russia using the few Russian phrases I recall. And she listens when I share that this pregnancy's success and the healthy babies can be attributed only to God and his provision.
I'm hoping for more conversations with Maya and more chances to cross the cultural bridge in order to share about God's love for her. Perhaps, just maybe, God has a reason for me being here in the hospital at this time under the care of a nurse from a country I once visited and for which I have a deep love.