Kristo amefufuka! Christ is risen!
Just after Pascha 2010, I arrived in Tanzania as a brand-new Missionary with the Orthodox Christian Mission Center. My job assignment seemed clear: learn Swahili, work at the Church office in Mwanza, help with OCMC Teams and Archdiocese youth programs.
By God’s mercy, with your prayers and loving support, I did these things. But I found myself deeply underqualified for other assignments and expectations. Within months, I realized that I desperately lacked a solid theological education. Six years have passed, and now we’re off to seminary!
Springtime is bright here in Abbotsford, British Columbia. Trees are in bloom and strawberries are in. A lush and brilliant summer awaits. Peter is now three years old, and Daphne has been working in Home Health as a Registered Nurse for over two years. Our time near Daphne’s family, and with Holy Nativity Antiochian Orthodox Church in Langley, BC has been richly blessed.
We are eager to return to service as long-term OCMC Missionaries, and grateful for my opportunity to study for a Master’s of Divinity at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, MA.
When we visited campus, we rejoiced to encounter a place where Christian families are nurtured as they prepare for ministry in Christ’s Holy Church, both in North America and overseas. We were grateful to witness students’ fervor for global outreach and service. We were awed at the prospect of living and studying in such a place.
Classes start in three months.
We have to pay for school.
I’ve received a partial scholarship. We pray (and work hard where we can) that Daphne will be granted a US work permit, a Massachusetts nursing license, and a job while I study. She also needs to spend significant time on campus raising Peter (and more children if God wills) and participating in the spiritual formation available to seminary wives.
With a scholarship and possible work for Daphne, plus student loans, many of our expenses can be covered. We trust in our good God’s providence. If this is his calling, then he will provide the means.
We ask you to work with God in providing the means for my education and for our life at seminary. First, we beg your holy prayers. Without your prayers, and without the Holy Spirit’s continued work in all of our lives, all the resources in the world will be for nothing. With your prayers, however, anything is possible.
We also ask for financial help. OCMC has approved our missionary account to receive donations towards tuition and other expenses. While on the field, God used you to provide all our financial needs, mostly through small donations. Most supporters made long-term commitments between $25 and $50/ month. Some of our most faithful and loving supporters gave $5 or $10/ month. Others were able to give significantly more, or to make one-time donations.
Please consider renewing your previous pledge, or making a new commitment.
You can give online by clicking “Support” on our webpage at http://tinyurl.com/ocmchargraves . You can call OCMC toll-free at 1-(877) GO-FORTH or 1-(904) 829-5132, and press 4 to make a pledge. Or you can write a check to “Orthodox Christian Mission Center” with “M: Hargrave” in the memo line, and mail it to: OCMC, 220 Mason Manatee Way, St Augustine, FL 32086, USA.
Funds not used for school will be applied to field missionary service. By receiving funds through OCMC, we are committed to a minimum three years’ missionary service. (Our intention is to serve much longer, God willing until retirement.) If we do not return to OCMC service for at least three years, we are obliged to repay funds disbursed from our missionary account.
Thank you, dear friends, for walking and praying with us this far. We owe very, very much to your love, friendship, encouragement, and prayers. We hope to have you alongside us also in the years to come.
Truly he is risen! Amefufuka kweli!
James, Daphne and Peter Hargrave