After 4 months of prayer and organizing and being patient, I've decided to do a little update. My last post was at the end of January and at that point I was waiting on approval from the Orthodox Church in Johannesburg for me to come and serve; that waiting lasted until the end of March…
Being relatively new to the hierarchal church structure, I'm not used to endeavors like this taking so long to be approved or having to go through such formal processing. That being said, waiting 3 months for a response was a "growing pains" kind of experience for a girl full of so much excitement and desire.
I got the news on the eve of my birthday that the church in Johannesburg did not need my assistance; this was a bit heartbreaking but did not crush my spirit completely. I took a moment to set aside what I had envisioned my year to look like during my three month wait and then stepped forward seeking out other options. Even that very week, through a lucky missionary contact I made with our safari tour guide on my first trip to SA, I was able to connect with a lovely couple based in Rustenburg (a city about 3 hours from JHB) who had a position open at an accredited Assemblies of God seminary. I Skyped with them, met with my priest and prayed, concluding that while I was very grateful to have made the connection, that working at the school was not the right move for me.
At this point I was fighting discouragement and sought out the counsel of my priest. He reminded me that with such life altering things as this that it is wise not to press forward without a clear green light from the Lord. I also had the chance to sit down with my former pastor for coffee and he reiterated the exact same thing to me. Neither man's advice discouraged me, but rather they gave me comfort, for the things that God sets in motion, He brings to completion in His time.
Fr. Chris also suggested that we contact the Bishop over Pretoria/JHB and clarify my intent a bit. From the response we were given just before my birthday, it seemed that there could have been a little miscommunication about how my trip would be funded; I intend to support raise and I think they were under the impression that they would need to pay me to come… Long story short, with a few emails things were straightened out and His Eminence gave me his blessing to begin planning my trip to come and serve!