And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
– John 12:32
The past month has been eventful. In early August Daphne, Peter and I loaded up a moving truck and drove out from British Columbia. Over the following twelve days we passed eight mountain ranges; followed the Oregon Trail; crossed the Columbia, the Platte, the Missouri, the Mississippi, the Ohio, the Monongahela and the Hudson; and spent good time with many dear friends and relatives. In late August, because of your prayers, we arrived safely at our new home in Jamaica Plain on the campus of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.
There’s so much to say about Holy Cross that I don’t know what to say. It’s good to be here. Our whole family has been welcomed warmly by a beautiful community. Classes are great, chapel is great, Massachusetts is great. But big moves are tough transitions, especially for small children. And my schedule keeps me busy.
It’s humbling to get to know the others in my cohort. I have classmates with rich and varied backgrounds, whose paths to seminary have been far longer and more challenging than our own. We’re among good people, and we’re learning a lot.
Daphne and I remain committed to long-term missionary service overseas with the Orthodox Christian Mission Center. That’s what brought us here. But it’s not why we’re here.
Why are we here? We were reminded by Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Archdiocese, in his homily at Great Vespers for the Holy Cross. We are here to take up the Cross of Christ and so learn to follow him. We are here to learn how to reveal the Cross in other places and other cultures, so that all people may see Christ lifted up and be drawn to him. And we are here because we find ourselves inexorably and inescapably drawn towards that “weapon of peace,” the Life-Creating Cross.
I have some scholarships and some student loans, but we are sustained by your prayers, your friendship, and your financial support. Your prayers kept us safe over the long and joyful cross-continent journey. We got to see many of you, and may have even slept in your home. Your support provides our sustenance and my education. Thank you.
If you would like to join our support team, please consider a monthly pledge. We hope to grow a core of supporters giving $35/ month, with several making smaller faithful contributions, and some giving more as they are able. You can call OCMC at I-877-GO-FORTH and ask for Finance. You can make a pledge online at www.tinyurl.com/ocmchargraves . Or you can write a check to “Orthodox Christian Mission Center” with “Hargrave” in the memo line and mail it to OCMC, 220 Mason Manatee Way, St Augustine, FL 32086 USA.
By your prayers, in the power of the Cross,
James, Daphne and Peter Hargrave