A wonderful serendipity – a spontaneous encounter

In July 2008, Martin and I went to Vancouver to the Annual Bard of the Beach Shakespeare Festival to see our second Shakespeare play Comedy of Errors which as usual was excellent and absolutely hilarious. Large marquee tents are erected where the plays are performed. Sitting next to us were two Singaporeans and we became engaged in conversation with them. They were part of quite a large group of university students who were in Canada for 6 weeks. They were such delightful young people and there was an immediate rapport between us. In our conversation, SuLing asked us about Canadian houses – how much they cost and what were they like inside. She went on to say that in Singapore the majority of people lived in apartments and that only the very wealthy owned houses. I asked them what their plans were and she said that five of them were going to rent a van to go to the Rockies which meant that they would be passing through our town. So I invited them to come for lunch before they continued their journey. SuLing was so excited at the prospect of seeing inside a Canadian home. As planned five days later they turned up at our home, all holding their cameras and I told them they were free to take whatever photos they liked.

They were such beautiful young people, polite, uninhibited, enthusiastic and wonderful ambassadors of their country. When they entered our front door, the two girls in particular squealed with delight as their saw our staircase and they wanted to have a guided tour around our house. They took so many photos even of photos on the wall, ornaments etc and they OOHED and AAHED at everything. When they saw the huge king size bed in our master bedroom they were laughing and crying out with delight. It was such fun and such pleasure seeing all their reactions. They were so appreciative and were asking questions about everything.

Then we sat down for our meal and for the interest of Brits, I did a simple meal with a variety of salads, ham and Cornish pasties and of course trifle for dessert explaining that it wasn’t typically Canadian. We didn’t know if they followed any religion or not but before starting the meal, Martin told them that we were Christians and that we always thanked God for our food and that we wanted to thank Him as well that we had met at the Bard on the Beach. They all agreed enthusiastically and YiHan sitting on my right was expressing his approval and agreeing with Martin as he prayed. Their eyes nearly popped out of their head when I brought in the trifle and of course they had to have more photos.

It was obvious that they were very delighted to be in a Canadian home and kept on expressing their gratitude but I can tell you that Martin and I had so much more joy and pleasure by seeing their excitement. It was to us a more clear example of the truth of the bible statement, “It is more blessed to give than receive.” Over the past 2 years SuLing and YHan have kept in contact with us and we have subsequently learned that they are committed Christians. Some of these photos are ones that they took and forwarded them to us.You might note that in a few of the photos Mark Kyslik is present because he arrived at our home for his weekly piano lesson just as they were leaving.

These are some photos taken when we had the great privilege and joy of having these 5 Singaporean university students in our home for a meal. When you see these photos, I am sure that you will understand our pleasure of entertaining such young vibrant people in our home. Their joie de vivre is expressed in every photo. Every time I see their photos, I thank God for bringing them into our lives.

    Our new Singaporean friends sitting at our dining table

    The same group but including Martin

    Martin serving the ham

    Kevin, Jesse and Grace at the Table

    SuLing and Grace

    Trifle is a new experience for Jesse and her friends

    Jesse and Kevin with their Bowls of Trifle

    Now YHan, Suling and Jerry with theirs

    Photo taken of our friends on the our stairs including Mark

    Looking out of our House

    Outside our House Just Before They Leave for the Rockies

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About Grace Gouldthorpe

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