She has the tough job - managing everything at home while I'm away!
Every journey has a dual nature. There’s the journey outwards, traveling to distant lands, encountering different cultures, making new friends and going to places that you’ve never been before. And then there’s the journey inwards, the inward itinerary that takes you to destinations within yourself, some of which may be familiar, and some of which may also be places you’ve never been before. It’s the mirroring of the outward and the inward journeys that makes traveling such a unique and rewarding experience.
Though my trip won’t actually start for another six days, in many ways the journey began for me two years ago when I left work to begin studies in theology full time at St. Paul University in Ottawa. When my wife Guylaine found out that there would be internships as part of the program, her immediate reaction was that I should try to get an internship somewhere interesting! So last fall when Kevin suggested that I might want to apply for the Anglican Church of Canada’s international intern program (official title: TSIIP - Theological Student International Internship Program - yes it’s a bit of a mouthful), I didn’t need much convincing, and neither did Guylaine and the
Mark, Guylaine and Jonathan
I'm really pleased that my family will be able to join me when school finishes in June. That way it will be an adventure for all of us.
kids. Jonathan, aged 13, and Michelle, aged 11, are already avid travellers, and both readily agreed that they were willing to give up their soccer this year to live somewhere else for the summer.
The idea of the internship program is to give theological students who have completed two years of training towards ordination a chance to increase their awareness of global concerns, to gain a cross-cultural experience, and to learn more about and increase their commitment to the mission and ministry of the Anglican Church throughout the world. The Anglican Communion had its origins in England but today it is a global communion, the third largest Christian denomination in the world, with most of its members in the developing world. Now, often students from Canada who go on these internships end up living in some of the poorest countries in the world. How is it, you might ask (and many people have asked me this), that I get to go to the Seychelles, a group of idyllic islands near the equator in the Indian Ocean, that has a reputation as a tropical paradise and a high-end tourist destination?
The simple answer is that I put down on
She'll be joining me once school is finished. Doesn't she look like she's ready for the beach!
my form that I would like to go some place where my family could join me, and Clementina called me up to ask if I thought the Seychelles would be okay. I thought for about 10 nanoseconds and then said the Seychelles sounds great! But there is also a broader context. There is a history of cooperation between the Diocese of the Seychelles and the Anglican Church of Canada. I’m the third student that I’m aware of that will have done an internship in the Seychelles, and there are Sechellois and Sechelloise who have come to Canada for theological studies and for internships. Last year, the first woman priest was ordained in the Seychelles, and the homily at her ordination was given by a woman from Montreal who had supervised her internship in Canada. It will be an honour for me to become a part of that sort of on-going relationship.
And so you can see that even though my outward journey is about to begin, my trip is just one more page in an unfolding story. So I better go start packing.
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