In A Whirlwind.

by Chris Kamalski

The intense, yet deeply good, process that is CRM's Life Compass.

The intense, yet deeply good, process that is CRM's Life Compass.

Fellas:
Oh how I miss you guys. So much to catch you all up on.  We are in the middle of the Life Compass part of our apprenticeship year, which is the tool that CRM uses across its organization to help a person discern who they have been, currently are, and where they are headed leading into their future.  It is comprehensive, intense, and incredible. Our NieuCommunities director comes to visit in 2 weeks and that will lead to a series of conversations that will likely determine where I am with CRM in the future.  Tons of thoughts flying around, but I know for certain at this point that I will be with CRM for awhile, am going to be moving into some sort of full-time staff role with them, and likely that will start here or possibly in London.
Benefits of here: Seeing where this new relationship with Maxie goes (it’s going well, I like her!), established relational connections that can lead to sweet missional/partnership opporunities (continuing, deepening, and coming alongside the incarnational ministry among the poor out in Soshanguve that I have been working with all year long, particularly the NGO of health care workers that I provide spiritual direction/group therapy, etc with (there is a HUGE plot of land that could be developed to radically benefit multiple neighborhoods in Soshanguve), moving into a deeper teaching/spiritual direction/pastoral counseling role with Afrikaners through 3rd Place, and beginning to work alongside Maxie and her crew, who run a sweet service/justice ministry called Pure Hope that apprentices students in their gap year pre-university.  Seems like a possible ‘next step’ for me along the road, although maybe for an Interim period (at least 2010, maybe a few years?!?).
Benefits of London: Unknown at this point, as the ministry and community that I would join is not even established yet.  I am excited about this as a possibility down the road however, and for the first time in my life, felt a distinct sense of call and being drawn to a ‘place’ in the world upon passing through there in mid-January on the way down to Pretoria.  But there is TREMENDOUS upside to London within wider worldwide work at CRM down the road (and a larger role within the organization), the area in East London (Shoreditch) they would move into I LOVE (the intersection of the young cultural creatives that drive culture in the city, the rich financial district, and a HUGELY VARIED ethnic population including tens of thousands of Bengali Muslims, who are the least ‘reached’ (don’t like that word in some senses) population with the Gospel in the world at this moment, according to the Joshua Project (Google this, fascinating).  It’s the world’s capital, the 2012 Summer Olympics are there and so a huge renovation/restoration is taking place in that area of London, and it is one of the world’s university towns. Plus it’d be a 2 hour flight to southern Spain where a concentration of spiritual directors/counselors are beginning to form to care for + resource CRM (and other) staff throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia.
Benifits of Home: My established communities and families are here…I could begin some teaching within the Christian Education department at Biola (probably in the area of Spiritual Formation), I know this place…yet it feels like a sideways step for me at this point.  I would LOVE to pursue teaching opportunities at the university/seminary level, but maybe on the side at this point or during summers/interterms when I could fly in for awhile?!?  Obviously, people are the benefit (plus Southern California is the home base of CRM), the waves are incredible, etc….YET….
EXCITING: I am home in less than 2 months, which is crazy.  I will be home the week of Thanksgiving, and down in Southern California for awhile in early December.  I’ll spend most of December making the rounds to donors and friends/family just catching up on life, thanking people for my year spent in Pretoria, and beginning to cast vision for where my future is headed.  Post-Christmas CRM has invited me to represent them with a team at Urbana (the largest student-run missions conference in the world, held in St. Louis every 3 years), and then I’ll take a group of Eastside seniors/alumni to Passion 2010, the 4th time I’ve hosted students at the most incredible conference gathering I’ve ever been too (and a direct influence on why I am typing this email from the bottom of the world in South Africa).  I’ll help officiate a wedding for some of my old students (!!) in early January, then likely be a part of New Staff Orientation with CRM during mid/late January.  I’ll spend some of those months in further discernment of my next steps, clarifying the future, and solidifying a more permanent team of partners/donors who will support my next steps.  When/where/how/for how long/in what capacity I’ll go are still all tentative things right now…but this is likely where I’m headed.
I would LOVE prayer for this process, particularly relationally with Maxie. Everything feels fast-forwarded due to my leave date, plus the crazy fact that with her ministry, she is taking her crew of students to Uganda to do work there for a month just before I leave.  We are trying to not run ahead of this process, but it is truly hard.
I’m just trying to enjoy dating an African girl (!!!).
Praying for you,
Chris
Photos I’ve attached:
1. I’m dating an African girl! (Her name is Sarah Magdalene, everyone calls her ‘Maxie’)
2. Creative face of the girl…
3. Fun photo of all of my NGO hospice workers on a fun outing we had where we shot nice portraits of them to decorate the NGO office with…
4. Finding beauty in the arrival of Springtime here
5. What the (intense) Life Compass process has looked like these past few weeks
Prayer Requests:
1. Being present in every ‘Today’ between now and when I come home (getting harder).
2. Tangible next steps would be discerned and walked into with confidence and peace.
3. I would enjoy and get to know Maxie without forced pressure of our time limits.
4. Dreaming/vision/clarity about my future.
5. Protection against the attack of the Enemy (He has been poking his head around lately).

I just emailed a version of this to my family, friends, and donor base, and thought I should share it here as well…

We are in the middle of the Life Compass part of our apprenticeship year, which is the tool that CRM uses across its organization to help a person discern who they have been, currently are, and where they are headed leading into their future.  It is comprehensive, intense, and incredible. Our NieuCommunities director comes to visit in 2 weeks and that will lead to a series of conversations that will likely determine where I am with CRM in the future.  Tons of thoughts flying around, but I know for certain at this point that I will be with CRM for awhile, am going to be moving into some sort of full-time staff role with them, and likely that will start here or possibly in London.

Benefits of South Africa: Seeing where this new relationship with Maxie goes (it’s going well, I like her!), established relational connections that can lead to sweet missional/partnership opporunities (continuing, deepening, and coming alongside the incarnational ministry among the poor out in Soshanguve that I have been working with all year long, particularly the NGO of health care workers that I provide spiritual direction/group therapy, etc with (there is a HUGE plot of land that could be developed to radically benefit multiple neighborhoods in Soshanguve), moving into a deeper teaching/spiritual direction/pastoral counseling role with Afrikaners through 3rd Place, and beginning to work alongside Maxie and her crew, who run a sweet service/justice ministry called Pure Hope that apprentices students in their gap year pre-university.  Seems like a possible ‘next step’ for me along the road, although maybe for an Interim period (at least 2010, maybe a few years?!?).

Benefits of London: Unknown at this point, as the ministry and community that I would join is not even established yet.  I am excited about this as a possibility down the road however, and for the first time in my life, felt a distinct sense of call and being drawn to a ‘place’ in the world upon passing through there in mid-January on the way down to Pretoria.  But there is TREMENDOUS upside to London within wider worldwide work at CRM down the road (and a larger role within the organization), the area in East London (Shoreditch) they would move into I LOVE (the intersection of the young cultural creatives that drive culture in the city, the rich financial district, and a HUGELY VARIED ethnic population including tens of thousands of Bengali Muslims, who are the least ‘reached’ (don’t like that word in some senses) population with the Gospel in the world at this moment, according to the Joshua Project (Google this, fascinating).  It’s the world’s capital, the 2012 Summer Olympics are there and so a huge renovation/restoration is taking place in that area of London, and it is one of the world’s university towns. Plus it’d be a 2 hour flight to southern Spain where a concentration of spiritual directors/counselors are beginning to form to care for + resource CRM (and other) staff throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Benefits of Home: My established communities and families are here…I could begin some teaching within the Christian Education department at Biola (probably in the area of Spiritual Formation), I know this place…yet it feels like a sideways step for me at this point.  I would LOVE to pursue teaching opportunities at the university/seminary level, but maybe on the side at this point or during summers/interterms when I could fly in for awhile?!?  Obviously, people are the benefit (plus Southern California is the home base of CRM), the waves are incredible, etc….YET….

EXCITING: I am home in less than 2 months, which is crazy.  I will be home the week of Thanksgiving, and down in Southern California for awhile in early December.  I’ll spend most of December making the rounds to donors and friends/family just catching up on life, thanking people for my year spent in Pretoria, and beginning to cast vision for where my future is headed.  Post-Christmas CRM has invited me to represent them with a team at Urbana (the largest student-run missions conference in the world, held in St. Louis every 3 years), and then I’ll take a group of Eastside seniors/alumni to Passion 2010, the 4th time I’ve hosted students at the most incredible conference gathering I’ve ever been too (and a direct influence on why I am typing this email from the bottom of the world in South Africa).  I’ll help officiate a wedding for some of my old students (!!) in early January, then likely be a part of New Staff Orientation with CRM during mid/late January.  I’ll spend some of those months in further discernment of my next steps, clarifying the future, and solidifying a more permanent team of partners/donors who will support my next steps.  When/where/how/for how long/in what capacity I’ll go are still all tentative things right now…but this is likely where I’m headed.

I would LOVE prayer for this process, particularly relationally with Maxie. Everything feels fast-forwarded due to my leave date, plus the crazy fact that with her ministry, she is taking her crew of students to Uganda to do work there for a month just before I leave.  We are trying to not run ahead of this process, but it is truly hard. I’m just trying to enjoy dating an African girl (!!!).

Prayer Requests:

  1. Being present in every ‘Today’ between now and when I come home (getting harder).
  2. Tangible next steps would be discerned and walked into with confidence and peace.
  3. I would enjoy and get to know Maxie without forced pressure of our time limits.
  4. Dreaming/vision/clarity about my future.
  5. Protection against the attack of the Enemy (He has been poking his head around lately).
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