Questions and Answers

One of the first questions about this trip that everyone has asked me is… what will you be doing there?  And I've definitely asked myself the same thing.  Both of my letters of interest (to Cornerstone Assembly in Pretoria and to The Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas of Japan in Johannesburg) stated that I was looking to fill whatever needs they might have, and that I would be willing to serve in any way, given my particular skill set.

As I wait for their responses (I'm hoping to hear back by the end of the month - yay!), I wonder what either community might have for me to do.  What will be filling my hours instead of emails and phone calls about bankruptcies and foreclosures?  Am I knowledgeable enough to teach anything?  Will building relationships be enough to constitute sharing Christ's love?  Is there a skill that I should be working on that might be useful?  My list of questions could go on for pages.

I was praying about this on the way home from an out of town trip this past weekend and remembered two things.  First is the idea of being a bridge.  As I paid the toll to use one of the roads from San Jose to Sacramento, I was reminded of the importance and value of connections; they get you places that would take much longer otherwise (if getting there without them is even possible).  I've always been good at keeping connected with people; whether it be through writing countless 5:30am emails, to being the one to try and arrange dinner plans, to never feeling like too much time has passed between phone calls - I naturally want to facilitate connection (mind you, I have not always gone about this in the right ways).  I really hope God will use this inclination of mine; ultimately to connect people looking for hope to Christ, but more practically to build bridges between communities and the churches around them, and also between Protestant and Orthodox churches to some extent as well.

And secondly, I was reminded of Gideon.  You know, the young man in the Bible called to save Israel…  He had practical skills; he found himself threshing wheat each day, but that wasn't what God chose to build upon.  He also felt unqualified to do what God asked him to, but was reassured numerous times that his doubts about his own skills and abilities had little to nothing to do with God's intent.  The story of Gideon was the first one in the Bible that I chose to really study and I often come back to it for words of reassurance.

Anyway, I hope to do some good.  I hope some of my natural abilities can and will be used, and I hope God has a bigger plan to share with me as things unfold.  Let's just say, I'm hopeful.

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