I usually know when my phone is going to ring. Maybe it is Natasha or Pastor Sasha outside, letting me know that I should come out and meet them. Or maybe Anya is calling me to make sure I am safe. Actually, those are the only two reasons my phone rings, and when Im not expecting a call, I dont even bother to keep my phone on me.
Tonight, my phone started ringing unexpectedly. Even though numbers of key people are programmed into my phone, every number always shows up as unknown. As I looked at this unknown number, thought began racng through my head, who is this? is there an emergency somewhere? did I do something wrong?
I picked it up, and Pastor Sasha urgently greeted me. "Alissa, I need you to listen. I have to tell you important information."
Oh lord, I thought to myself. Am I getting deported? Do they not need me at the English Club anymore?
He continued, "Do you understand that you must listen?"
"Da, ya paneemiyo." (Yes, I Understand)
"Ok, tomorrow at English Club you have an important task. A beautiful girl will come. Her name is Marta. She is 15. You must be her friend. This is important. Work hard to be her friend."
A wave of relief and slight comedy came over me. I was ok, and I was up to this task. And no one is dying.
"She might invite you to her home. She might invite you to visit with her. Work hard to be her friend. We need her to come to church. Her mom said she doesnt have many friends. She is depressed. But she is interested in English. She is interested in being your friend."
Oh wow. The pressure is on. I told Sasha that I understood, and that I was ready to work hard to be friends.
"Ok. Alissa. This is important. Good bye." Typical Sasha communication: Abrupt, intense, and careful, yet slightly funny as he was being intentionally dramatic. I love it.
Sometimes unexpected phone calls can bring terrible news, but sometimes they can bring a bit of humor and a challenge. This one brought a challenge of prayer and friendship. Tomorrow I will aim to make friends with a beautiful girl named Marta.
Lets hope it works out.