I Owe You an Explanation

Hey Friend,

As I sit here in my incredibly boring philosophy class, waxing poetic and philosophizing and such, I realize I owe many of you an explanation… I am taking a year off of school. I am putting colleg eon hold. I am disrupting the safe societal order that I have so comfortably cozied up to. I am going to tutor in Richmond instead of pursuing my goals as an actor and teacher in the university setting.

So, if you’ll have it, I’d like to humbly offer the story of how I got here:

I was supposed to be in New York City. I was supposed to be attending the New York Film Academy’s One Year Film Acting Conservatory on one of the largest talent scholarships they have ever offered. But, as always, God had other ideas and His ideas always seem to be much better than my own. As I made preparations for my move to the Big Apple, I felt a strange darkness where there should have been great joy. I asked my Heavenly Daddy about it and He made it clear to me that University (of any kind) was not a part of His plans for my next year. He asked me to trust Him… and so I did.

On March 29 as I sat in this very same incredibly boring, offensive, and infuriating Gen-Ed philosophy class, I began to pray and was prompted to visit chatrichmond.org (I recommend you visit too). I soon found that CHAT hosted interns to live missionally in the North Church Hill area as teachers and tutors. I immediately emailed the founder of CHAT, asking if he would consider hiring an undergraduate into the graduate intern program; he responded saying that he had never been asked that before, but I was welcome to apply. It was the last day to apply, and I needed to fill out a standard application, find two references, write several short essays, write one full-length essay, and send in a five minute video of myself teaching… and I had five hours to turn it all in. Now isn’t that just the way?

But God is faithful and I managed to get it all in on time. After several phone interviews and hours of prayer, I was officially accepted as a CHAT After School Tutor for the 2014-2015 school year. My duties during the next year will include tutoring, one-on-one discipleship of a high school girl, assistant leading a small group and Bible study, aiding students in maintaining a profitable entrepreneurial project, leading visiting college groups, and participating in summer camp leadership. Most exciting, I have the opportunity to teach a two-hour theatre class every Friday to 30 or more Church Hill Academy students.

I am ecstatic. I am nervous. And I need your help. I will be living as a full-time missionary, fully supported and funded by those that love me, believe in my teaching ability, and want to bless the lives of high school students in North Church Hill. The goal is to raise $1,000 a month for living expenses. I realize how much that is asking of the ones that I love, but I believe in what I am going to be doing. I believe in the organization that I am serving. I believe that God has blessed me with a unique group of friends that comprise a beautiful blended family. If you feel called to give, to partner with me in this next year, I ask that you email (thomasmf@dukes.jmu.edu), call, message, find a carrier pigeon, or send a smoke signal. If you cannot give, but still wish to stay updated, keep reading this blog, shoot me an email, or send over that carrier pigeon we talked about earlier.

I am fully sold out to this cause. I am ready and excited. And I am slowly learning that it’s ok to ask for help, that it is natural to need the people around you. I need you, I’m counting on you, and thank you.

Until next time!


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