When I look over my life I am struck by how varied yet limited are my cultural experiences. Sure, I was reared in a black neighborhood and attended a predominantly, if not totally, black Episcopal church as a child. Sure, my childhood best friend was Hindu. Sure, I love Coltrane, Sam Cooke, John Mayer and Chopin all the same. Sure, I spent my collegiate years at an institution where it wasn't unusual to see a young man argue Capitalism's inherent ravaging of the Black family while wearing a European cut suit. Surely, America is a cultural kaleidoscope where seemingly contradictory ideals are meshed into one. But, my experience of God's cultural kaleidoscope is limited to America.
Sometime in December, on a Friday night, sitting around with my house mates, I listened to their stories of international travel and how it shaped and molded their socio-political and spiritual understanding of themselves and the world in transformative ways. I knew that that was something I wanted. I knew, more deeply, that that was something to which God was calling me. The next day, Saturday morning, I had to be at church to help the youth group prepare Christmas gifts for the families that come to the churches pantry. Walking into my office I saw a newly posted newsletter from the Episcopal Church of the USA that read, "The Young Adult Service Corps [the Episcopal Churches international service fellowship] is extending applications to January 4th."
I saw that newsletter as affirmation of the call I'd felt less than 24-hours before. And by the grace of God and the generosity of YASC I will be serving the people of Grahamstown, South Africa for a year at the Anglican Cathedral of Grahamstown. Here, you will be able to join on the journey with me as I track my adventures, the highs and lows, the lessons learned, the lessons unfolding, and fundraising progress. This blog will hold within it my personal discovery of self, my discovery of the people of Grahamstown, and the people of Grahamstown's discovery of me. I hope you will join me on this journey of discovery and keep me nestled in your prayers. I hope that I too will be forever transformed by the experience that lies ahead!