The Journey Approaches

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May 8th 2007
Published: May 8th 2007
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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 JonathanMark, Guylaine and JonathanMark, 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.

Additional photos below
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2007 Theological Student Interns2007 Theological Student Interns
2007 Theological Student Interns

To get us ready for our internships, we attended an orientation conference in Toronto in January. From left, Mark Whittall, Nicholas Hatt, Janice Lowell, Bill Mous.

8th May 2007

Godspeed to all the Whittalls as you set out on your missionary voyage. Looking forward to seeing all of your pics. It is a wonderful opportunity - enjoy!
21st May 2007

Nice spot!
Sounds like a great opportunity. I have been further south to Mauritius, Reunion and Madagascar - and if the Seychelles is anything like those idyllic locations, you and the family should be in for a treat!
22nd May 2007

Have a wonder-filled time!
Hi Mark How good to hear from you! I leave for Malawi in 13 days, so have some idea of how much excitement/harried-ness you may be experiencing. I have such good memories of MOC time spent together. May you and your family have a joyous and inspiring time together.
3rd June 2007

beautifull family
what a beautifull family you have there! hope your having fun down there big guy!

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