Thursday, February 28, 2008

Finding Peace in a Blind Hope

Today, I am filled with hope.

Last fall, a prospective student named Mary Ann came to visit. With a pairing of my experiences working in the Admissions office last year and my recent return from South Africa, I was asked to serve as her hostess during her stay on campus. So I obliged, and invited her to join me for the evening at a friend's house.

Long story short- she's amazing. We had some great conversations about the process of choosing a seminary, of course... but we also had the chance to talk about things that go much deeper than that. About our shared passions for Africa and the important work needing done there. We share similar insights not only theologically but practically in how we as "Westerners" should go about playing the roles we are called to in some of these ministries.

At the time, she was working to fundraise and prepare herself for a year of living and working in Kenya. As a result of the political messiness going on over there, she has now been asked by the church she was to be working with not to come. As can be imagined, this is incredibly disappointing, and has since led to frustration as she waits with great anticipation for what may be next.

There are hopeful potentials that have come up for her in the past couple of days, and she could use prayer in the next weeks (months!) as she, along with her contacts and UMVIM, work out where she will be placed. It is an exciting time, and I am pleased that God allowed for our lives to collide in the way they have that I might be able to hear her story. To, in some ways, live vicariously through it, and be able to support her. I know my short time in South Africa was one that changed and molded me into who I am, and I desire for her to answer the call of Africa that has similarly been placed on her heart. Who knows... maybe someday we'll even be able to serve together? God works in mysterious ways, and the fact that we've been in contact this long reminds me that stranger things have happened.

Please pray for Mary Ann through her discernment and for her anxiety as she searches for answers in the next couple of weeks.

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