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Saturday, May 11, 2013

The treasures we receive

3 months ago, I made the following announcement:

Principal/priest/monk Br. Rob (a man of many hats) has been named Director of Formation for the entire monastic order. This means he will be moving back to West Park, NY come May. Everyone is excited about this development, albeit with a degree of sadness about seeing him leave South Africa. Rob first stepped foot in Grahamstown in 2004 and has provided counseling, stability, and stress-relieving comedy ever since.

Did you notice the words “come May”?

In what seems like no time at all, Br. Rob has reached the end of his Grahamstown tenure. He left on Thursday, and is probably arriving in JFK airport as I type this (Friday AM, EST). Rob’s final three months were as inspiring and Christ-glorifying as always, and I look forward to seeing what comes of his journey back in the states.

Rob’s last school day was Wednesday. The school threw him a surprise party.

After 3 group performances, the children all sung a Xhosa hymn entitled “God be with you till we meet again”.


I agree with Br. Rob in that Holy Cross will only get better from here. Barring a huge setback, I wouldn’t be surprised if the school truly becomes an even brighter ‘beacon on a hill’; a well run, authentic, loving community where children truly cross the gap and exceed expectations -emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. I’m already making guesses on which of our current students will be future stars (and to be clear, they already are), and I can hardly wait to see what happens long-term. It is a blessing to be a part of this organization.

Now, it’s about to sound like I’m completely changing the topic, but these are two sides of the coin that was this wonderful week.

I’d like to introduce you to a man I had met before, but got to know much better this past week.
Pictured in this 'Bishop and YASC sandwich' is Stacy Sauls, a man who is passionate about serving the poor and vitalizing the church. This Christ-instilled passion eventually led him to his current role as Chief Operating Officer of The Episcopal Church. I was touched that Stacy would take time to visit us at the end of his trip to South Africa, and that he would truly consider it a highlight of his journey. His insight on mission, serving the poor, finding your treasure (see next paragraph), and self-identity were all gems to receive…not to mention his ability to make people laugh.

Stacy defined the work of the Church as finding what your treasure is and giving it away. It occurs to me that this describes the overarching story of the Monastery and school, in addition to being a proverbial compass for future endeavours. 

Stacy also reemphasized something I’ve become quite aware of in recent years: The church should be mission-focused in all it does. A Christian, by definition, is a person on a mission. We should be far more passionate about living out our beliefs. I believe such dedicated, inspiring, and ruthless leadership would do a great deal in breathing life into the church. I encourage you to be more embracing of the terms “mission” and “missionary”, and for you to discern what your treasure might be. In the act of giving your treasure away (notice the word “act”?), I have faith you will further grow into the full stature of Christ.

Have a blessed day, everyone :)
-Your friendly neighborhood missionary

1 comment:

  1. hey Cameron! how great for you that you get to meet and live with, be acquainted with, acknowledge the contributions of your role models, folks you admire. That can be rare thing. Thanks for sharing the kids, as always, and their voices. xoxo