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The theological reflections of an Eastern Orthodox convert and seminarian
:: St Seraphim, OCA::
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:: Orthodox Church of America::
[::..Blogs I Read..::]
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:: James' Paradosis::
::Fr. Joseph's Orthodixie::
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:: St. Vladimir's
(current school)
:: Torrey::
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:: Dictionary::
:: Boundless Webzine::

:: Saturday, April 28, 2007 ::

One Step At A Time…

I plan to go to South Africa this summer!

Of course, I am not sure how/if this will actually happen, and while the last 10 days of my life have been the most stress-filled and sleepless weeks I can remember, I know that it will all work out in the end.

Pretty stressed the other week, I wrote to my priest and told him that while I had been accepted to South Africa, I just found out that I did not get the grant from OCMC, and so I didn’t think I would be going. The idea of raising support was not so much daunting, but it required a stronger dose of humility then I could muster. I didn’t want to seem like some lazy mooch who asks money off of hard working people so I could go to another country. It just doesn’t seem right.

In slightly mitigated words, I wrote this to my priest back home. Here’s where the big difference between a good priest and a proud seminarian comes in: I wanted to stress and worry about it; he wisely told me “pray, fast, and seek God’s will.” Oh, yeah --- embarrassingly enough, the thought hadn’t even occurred to me. One of the things he recommended I pray was the akathist to St. Innocent. Now, if you have ever prayed the Akathist to St. Innocent, you know that it chronicles this great saint’s missionary endeavors among the Alaskan peoples. Try praying that and then deciding not to go on a missions trip --- especially if the thing stopping you is pride in asking for support!

So, I am going to South Africa. I have spent the last week doing no homework, but organizing myself, writing and sending letters (which takes more time then I would have thought!), and in all other ways trying to raise support to go to South Africa. I called my parents and told them: I don’t think they’re too supportive, especially of me writing letters of support, and my mom told me that it is a rather foolish leap of faith.

Well, perhaps it is foolish, but I am in too deep now to stop. Pray for me, please. I’m willing to do this, and I’ve worked pretty hard to get thus far, but it is not by my efforts or desire that it will all work out. It is by your prayers, and especially the prayers of St. Innocent, that I will go this summer. May he also pray for me!

Forgive me,


Glory to God!

:: 1:30 PM on Saturday, April 28, 2007 [+] ::

:: Tuesday, April 17, 2007 ::
So Much At Once

A few months ago, I applied for a grant to go to South Africa with OCMC. I found out last night that, while I got into the program, I got absolutely no grant money. That leaves me with less then 8 weeks to raise $4,500 from a church 3,000 miles away. I’m pretty sure at this point that I will just drop out of the program; I said I would do it, and I sent in a down-payment, but it seems better to cut my losses.

Of course, the main problem is now I have no idea what I will do this summer. Mostly, I want to be in California and at my home church rather then way out here in New York. I would like to do a CPE unit, but it is too late to apply to most programs, and I live near none of them.

On the brighter side, I find myself strangely accepting of the idea that I won’t go to South Africa, much as I had earlier found myself strangely accepting the idea that I would go to South Africa. This does not mitigate the great disappointment, but rather I am surprised at my own attitude: it is outside of my hands, and I am alright with that. Glory to God for all things, really. There is nothing I can do either way.

I may still try and do it, scrambling to raise funds by writing letters asking for donations, but I do not think I have the time before the money is due.

So, if you remember, pray for me. Not so much that I get to go to South Africa, but that I am able to do something productive and good this summer, be it in the States or abroad. Glory to God for all things!

Forgive me,


Glory to God!

:: 6:22 PM on Tuesday, April 17, 2007 [+] ::

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