Glory to Jesus Christ! Utukufu kwa Yesu Kristo!
This email update assumes that you’re already familiar with who I am and where I’m going. If you’d like some more background on my preparations for long-term OCMC missionary service with the Orthodox Christian Diocese of Mwanza in Tanzania, please visit http://jhargrave.ocmc.org and click on “Biography.”
The beginning of autumn finds me in Cincinnati, Ohio where the weather has turned brisk and the long sleeves are coming out of the suitcase. September has been extraordinary. Since last month’s update, I’ve spent time with fifteen different Orthodox Christian communities– parishes, OCFs, and a monastery– across the Southeastern United States. I have seen the work of saints. The Diocese of the South and the Metropolis of Atlanta bear living witness to the finest traditions of missions and evangelism from the apostolic era to the present day. If you want to know what missionary work looks like, just talk to an Orthodox Christian in the South. (The Antiochians, from what I’ve seen at Holy Resurrection in Johnson City, TN, are also doing a mighty fine job)
These examples have been a great encouragement in my own efforts. Thank you to everyone who has hosted, welcomed, fed, and encouraged me. The memories you’ve shared are a daily blessing.
October will see my efforts shift into a slightly different mode. I will continue working to raise up a team of 40-50 committed parishes, families, and individuals praying daily and faithfully giving $20 – $100 monthly in support of all aspects of my training and ministry. These travels are taking me to Ohio and Southern California, but the hectic itinerary will slow down a little as I spend more time on language study, hands-on training, and following up with the considerable network of new (and old) friends who have asked to stay abreast of my progress.
Here’s a progress update on the support raising: As of October 1st 2009, I know of twenty partners who have pledged long-term monthly support of my work. Forty-five additional donors have made one-time gifts. And beyond that, 335 parishes, families and individuals have asked to be kept in the loop. God willing, each of these is praying daily for God’s constant presence with me and with the Church of Tanzania. In order for my missionary service to be sustainable long-term, I’m praying for thirty more monthly financial partners by the first of November.
If you are ready to make this commitment, there are several ways to pledge monthly support. First, you can pledge online with your credit card at http://jhargrave.ocmc.org . Second, you can call OCMC at 1-877-GO-FORTH to set up electronic funds transfer. Third, you can contact me directly and we’ll work out a plan.
Thank you again for your prayers, encouragement, friendship, and support. I thank my God daily for you. Please stay in touch.
By your prayers,