I am writing this from Dubai airport in the early hours of the morning and, given that it’s the early hours of the morning, it is likely to be less than entirely polished. But it’s about time that I say something about what’s been happening in my life for those who are interested.
In a previous post I mentioned that I was trying to find a way of trying to stay in Europe legally, at least for a few years in order to get more of an Orthodox formation. The problem was that my residence permit for the Netherlands was linked to the Cistercians so that the moment I became Orthodox it would no longer be valid. And, as anyone who knows anything about the Dutch immigration scene knows, trying to get a residence permit is not simple, especially when one doesn’t fall into the right categories. I won’t go into all the details, and in fact some interesting study options emerged which I may still be able to pursue in another form. But by about a month ago it was becoming increasingly clear that I would need to go back to South Africa – and, quite frankly, I was also beginning to think that that wasn’t such a bad idea after all. This is tied up with various things which I won’t mention here, but the actual decision to go back was taken quite suddenly in order to be present for a job interview in Cape Town this week. And that is why I am now sitting at Dubai airport in the early hours of the morning. Needless to say this last minute decision has made life quite chaotic recently, and the future is still unclear and so posting is likely to be sporadic until I know what’s happening and can get a bit settled. But I would appreciate your prayers!
Linked to this, and ultimately more important, is the fact that leaving Europe meant that I could actually proceed with becoming Orthodox – which also happened very suddenly in the end. On the weekend of 4-5 September I went to Paris and Father Boris Bobrinskoy received me into the Church. Despite the last minute arrangements, it was deeply joyful and I was, and continue to be, overwhelmed by a sense of gratitude, of rightness and of deep peace. God has been very good, not least in the people whom he has brought onto my path, and I must learn to trust that He will continue to do that.