Pack your bags and go!

At our November 17 Theology on Tap, Gillian Kantor and David Kantor discussed how they left their secure jobs in Toronto and, in a leap of faith, became full-time volunteers for World Youth Day 2008 in Australia. Almost as soon as they heard the call to help in Australia, David and Gillian were faced with fear and doubt. But they overcame those fears, did tremendously valuable volunteer work, and learned a great deal about trust and simplicity.

The Kantors first concern was their jobs. Would David have to give up his successful career as an Environmental Engineer? Through dialogue with his boss, David negotiated an unpaid leave of absence. His employer supported his call. For Gillian, it was even easier. Her boss at Salt + Light TV has been the director of World Youth Day in Toronto, so he understood her call to go.

The Kantors second concern was money. They would not earn anything while in Australia. Gillian and David sold their car and found a friend to live in their house. They saved thousands of dollars by reducing non-essential expenditure -- such as movies -- and were surprised by the amount of money they saved. (Editor's note: There are many exciting activities here on the Faith Connections web site and they are almost all free!) They also accepted the generosity of friends. At first, Gillian found it hard to accept generosity, but they soon realized that it was necessary if they were to follow their calling.

The Kantors were also worried about losing connections with family and friends. Gillian had to miss a best friend's wedding, but she reconnected with her newly married friend upon her return. In Gillian's words, "it is more important to be there for the marriage than the wedding." This was easier to accept when they reflected upon the advice of their parish priest: "remember God is God and we are not;" God would take care of their family while they were away.

The Kantors also worried that they might not have fully discerned God's call. Did he really want them to go, even though it seemed so difficult and so many sacrifices had to be made? Their leap of faith proved to be right. They have friends and memories that they will cherish throughout their lives, and a new baby on the way!

So if you hear God's call, pack your bags and go!

(by a Faith Connections volunteer)

You can watch a short excerpt from the Kantor's talk: