The time of year when today’s passing thoughts birth next year’s curriculum,
When the flies remind us that DC was built on a swamp,
When yesterday’s midday walks shift into evening,
For the fragrance of Jasmine flowers and lack of sunburns,
When alarm clocks are respected, then dismissed, then dishonored,
A time of audacious dreaming.
What a time to be alive!
Summer Pace and Seminary
As of today, I am exactly half way into 3 weeks of morning and afternoon Seminary courses over Zoom. I’ve managed to get to know my classmates better, even as many of us second year Doctoral students discuss the weirdness of never having been on campus. After this summer, I will have just one more year of classes before I start preparing for my thesis.
In order to put myself in a summer frame of mind, I’ve created another spreadsheet (!). It includes daily fields for:
- Scripture focus
- How I’m pursuing joy that day
- Prophetic theme of the day
- Audaciously dreaming about the future
- Significant things from that day
In addition to helping me *mostly* keep track of the date and day of the week, I’ve actually really enjoyed how this tracker has kept me expectantly seeking God while having more time to listen at a slower pace.
Starving for the Nations
In late May and throughout June, I have been starving for books. I’ve devoured just about anything I can find on the History of World Christianity. Around this same time, I’ve gotten handfuls of dreams/images related to Southeast Asia and parts of Africa. In transcribing these dreams, I’ve been overcome with the same spiritual hunger that fades when I switch tasks. As someone who wants to do contextual theology and Nonprofit Foundation work within the Christian educational sector in Southeast Asia, East Asia, and Africa later on, I decided to take this hunger seriously.
At first, I was terribly confused. “Lord, am I being drafted into missions?” But something about the timing felt off. After tracing the themes of prophetic words I’ve gotten lately and dreams from the past 6 months, and a handful of captivating research, I happened to find a 1 year Masters graduate program at the University of Edinburgh on World Christianities. This program would allow me to do a deep dive into current research before writing my thesis for my current Doctoral degree program. Who knows? I could see myself staying longer. Studying in Edinburgh would confirm the many prophetic words I got throughout late April and May with scenery of different parts of the UK, and dreams I’ve had about going into a season of rest and study. I also have found a friend who studies in a similar context in the University of Glasgow, and have received several offers to crash at people’s homes as necessary when/if I move.
As of now, I’m still reading and dreaming with the Lord to get more insight on how to write my application essays (due in September). I’ve got quite a bit of clarity so far, but God loves to layer details. I am learning to trust that God will provide financially for dreams as big as this. If accepted, I would start not this year, but next school year (AY 2022-2023). In discerning next steps, I’ve been especially grateful to ask my seminary classmates located in Japan and Sri Lanka about the educational sectors in their nations, and get their feedback on what it would look like to empower local theologians to create their own schools within their own cultural frameworks (vs. the legacy of colonialism still embedded in many Christian schools abroad). They were excited and agreed that my desire was both useful and timely.
As a plus, a future in Southeast Asia and Africa would put a remarkable twist on my Kindergarten aspirations.
It’s interesting to examine how my goals for this year have changed in the last six months. In January, I had just found out about being accepted into the Emerging Prophets program out of Glasgow. My potential 2021 calendar in January (left) was the byproduct of needing to figure out how to conceptualize all these changes. In the end, due to pandemic/teaching tiredness, I decided to forego one of my courses that I was hoping to take in April. I also wasn’t ultimately able to attend a conference, due to COVID travel restrictions. However, due to the faithfulness of God, both of these changes were for the best. If I study outside the U.S., I will be able to gain the 12 extra credits I need to graduate my doctoral program here without needing to run myself ragged. I also ended up needing the time I would have spent at the conference to finish seminary assignments that got added last minute.
Without being very sure how much time left I have in the U.S., I’ve chosen to make time to visit my Dad, step-mom, aunt, sister, mom, and brothers in August. I’ll also get to visit my friend and step-dad in July! Overall, doing less and focusing on community more was the amendment my 2021 plans needed.
Personal Prophetic Themes this month:
- God teaching me about how to end things well
- Outside of time with God
- Call to oceans, sea creatures
- Fruitful vineyards
- Intimacy with Jesus
- Jesus holding my hands open
How you can Pray for Me
- Clarity and alignment on applying to University of Edinburgh
- Trust in God for all the details