Thursday, May 24, 2012

Cunningham-Hargrave Wedding Update




Dear friends,

You shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
- Acts 1:8

Greetings from British Columbia. On Sunday, Daphne and I begin our life together as husband and wife. We will be married by Daphne's parish priest, Father Michael Gillis, together with Father David Rucker from the Orthodox Christian Mission Center.

Today we commemorate the Ascension of Christ. A week from Sunday the Church remembers the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

In these days, then, we have witnessed the Resurrection of Christ, and are preparing to bear that witness to the end of the earth- to all people, in all tongues.

What a perfect moment for missionaries to marry.

We are looking forward to spending our lives together, side by side in service of God with the Orthodox Church in Western Tanzania. 

It's going to be a good, good life. But good things are never easy. By our God's faithfulness, through your prayers, we look forward to facing together all that life brings. 

Pray for us!

By your prayers in Christ,

James Hargrave, and Daphne Cunningham



James Hargrave
Orthodox Church in Tanzania
Holy Archdiocese of Mwanza
PO Box 1113
Mwanza, Tanzania

+255 782 356 817 (Tanzania)

htttp://jhargrave.ocmc.org

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

St. Dimitrie Post - Floyd and Ancuta Frantz


Greetings, and I hope that this finds you well and in good spirits on this most beautiful and blessed of days.
Just a few lines today, something happened in Bucharest the other day that I  wanted to share with you.
On Friday I was passing through Bucharest on my way to Tanzania, and stopped by to visit a fellow trying to start a counseling center. He invited me to an AA meeting, and so I went along. What I wanted to share about is that the meeting we went to was being held in a church, and who was there but Fr. Iacob, a priest who had been to our training program in Cluj. It was his parish, and he had  invited Alcoholics Anonymous to have meetings in his church. This is wonderful news for me, to see the good that came from his visit to Cluj. Before these priests from Bucharest and other cities started coming to our program, AA was considered to be a cult by most of them, and they would not send their parish members to the meetings. Given that there are only a few counseling centers in Romania, AA plays an important role in helping alcoholics to recovery, and can be an important resource for the parishes that have members who have drinking problems. 
Well, I was very much uplifted by this event, and wanted to share it with you. Today I am in Nairobi, with Fr. Andrew Harrison from Chicago, and long term missionaries Felice Stewart and Marie Bober. We will travel to Tanzania this week and begin our training with the priests from the Bukoba region of the country. I look forward to the journey and to the work which is in front of us. I do hope for your prayers, with the belief that that they are helpful to our efforts.
I will close for now by wishing you a most blessed and Christ filled day. May our good and loving Lord give you every good thing from His heavenly treasures, joy, peace and a sense of his divine love for all of us.
  
And I do thank you for your interest in our work, please do keep us in your prayers, we all need them.
In His Love,  
One Day at a Time,  
Floyd & Ancuta Frantz, OCMC Missionaries to Romania
As as a final note, please remember that as OCMC missionaries we are 100 % reliant upon your financial support to continue our work through OCMC. Please consider a small gift so that we can continue to do our Lord's work.
If you can make such a donation, send it to:
OCMC
220 Mason Manatee Way
St. Augustine, Fl. 32086
and please mark the donation "STDIMITRIE/ROMANIA so that we can use the funds directly for the St. Dimitrie Program.
Online and credit card donations are also possible by contacting OCMC, or visiting the web site at www.ocmc.org.
And please feel free to pass along our email to others who you believe might be interested in our work here in Romania.
If you would like to contact us through email, please use: Stdimitrie@yahoo.com for myself and the St. Dimitrie Program, orAncutafrantz@yahoo.com for Anca and the Protection Center.
I am also shedding my dinosaur skin, and Twittering. If you too do Twit, just hit the link and it will put you over to my page.
Please also go to the Orthodox Christian Mission Center web site at www.ocmc.org to read online about our missionary activities here in Romania.
We do thank you for your interest in our work, for your support, and most of all for your prayers.

In His Love,
One day at a time,
Floyd & Ancuta Frantz, OCMC Missionaries

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Great News from James Hargrave!


Dear friends,

Kristo amefufuka! Christ is risen!

And greetings from Gainesville, Florida. I am here for a few days, preparing for the OCMC Board Meeting in St Augustine early this week, and then a return to... Canada.

Yes, Canada. Plans have changed a little. Instead of flying back to Tanzania next week, I'll spend the summer in British Columbia. When I return to Africa later this year, I will be traveling together with my wife.

Daphne Cunningham and I are getting married on Sunday, May 27th in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Surprise!

Let me back up.

Daphne and I met in November of 2009, at her parish in Langley, BC. She is from the nearby town of Abbotsford, and spent part of her early twenties in missionary service, in North Africa among other places. Daphne returned to Canada to pursue a degree in nursing in order to go back to Africa as a long-term missionary. When she and I met in 2009, she started paying attention specifically to the work of the Orthodox Church in Tanzania. We kept in touch.

Last year, I asked Daphne to consider joining the short-term medical team that the Holy Archdiocese of Mwanza hosted during the first half of October. To my delight, she came.

Those two weeks of clinics were very intense. (Read more about the experience here: http://rjhargrav.wordpress.com/2011/10/23/st-james-2011-update/ .) I found myself saddled with unexpected responsibilities, in addition to the tasks I'd anticipated. One of the few constants during those days was Daphne's presence at my side. We knew how to support and encourage one another, as if we'd known each other all our lives. Working together- facing the world side-by-side- seemed natural and simple and good. With Daphne beside me, I was more my own self.

So at the end of those two weeks, when Daphne announced to the group that she was applying for long-term missionary service in the Holy Archdiocese of Mwanza through OCMC, I was happy.

Daphne had been considering missionary service in Africa for years. It was evident that she was called to this task. And, just as I was interested in her, she also took a liking to me. After the work of the Team was over, during our excursion on the last day, the two of us had several long conversations and decided to pursue a relationship. It was clear from the beginning that if the relationship went well we were both looking at marriage.

It went well indeed. In February 2012, as I returned to Florida, Daphne was also in the state for interviews at the mission center. During that time she was able to meet much of my extended family. We received affirmation from all sides, and once again being with Daphne seemed more natural and more real than being without her. By the end of the month, we knew for sure that we were ready to be married. And soon.

After the wedding and honeymoon, Daphne hopes to complete the missionary training process with OCMC. After some time developing a support base in the Pacific Northwest, we intend to return together to Tanzania. As we settle into our home there, I will continue my work with the Holy Archdiocese of Mwanza as Daphne begins learning language and culture. It will be a new life for both of us, and we are excited.

The coming months will be very busy. We'll do our best to keep you posted, but you might not hear much until after the honeymoon. Daphne and I are grateful for your prayers, your encouragement, and your generosity.

As a missionary couple, our expenses together will be somewhat higher than mine have been as a bachelor. God is good, and we are not overly anxious about money. But we will need to increase our support level in order to return together to Tanzania. We are looking for about thirty parishes, families and individuals to make new commitments to giving between $10 and $100 / month, as they are able. And we are asking current supporters to continue giving as they are able.

If you would like to make a pledge of support for Daphne and me, you can do this in several ways. You can make out a check to OCMC with "Hargrave" in the memo line, and send it to: OCMC, 220 Mason Manatee Way, St Augustine FL 32086, USA. You can call 1-877-GO-FORTH and ask for the finance department. Or you can go to http://jhargrave.ocmc.org and click on "Support Missionary."

Thank you again for your prayers, encouragement and support. I'm very happy to finally introduce you officially to Daphne. And we, together, look forward to deepening our relationship with each of you.

Amefufuka kweli! Truly he is risen!

By your prayers in Christ,

James

PS I have been invited to contribute monthly blog posts to "The Sounding" on the Orthodox Christian Network ( blog.myocn.com ), and for the March posting I wrote a bit about how Daphne and I found each other. You can read it at http://blog.myocn.com/missions/is-god-enough-for-you.html .










James Hargrave
Orthodox Church in Tanzania
Holy Archdiocese of Mwanza
PO Box 1113
Mwanza, Tanzania

+255 782 356 817 (Tanzania)

htttp://jhargrave.ocmc.org