Among the wonderful things that have happened to me since I moved to Toronto two years ago are that I got a job at World Vision Canada and I met Melinda Estabrooks, a former employee of that organization and someone whom I have come to greatly admire for her courage and leadership. What Melinda and I have in common is our love for interviewing. About a year ago, I interviewed Melinda in her role as a supporter of World Vision’s POWER OF HER initiative, and it was then that I discovered her passion for social justice and equality.

Fast forward to summer 2019: Melinda turned the tables and proposed to interview me as part of a circle of women exploring the subject of Advent on See Hear Love.  I felt humbled to be asked, but when I learned that the other three guests all had experience with preaching and pastoring, that’s when humility deepened to nervousness. What could I possibly contribute alongside these strong women of faith? Despite that Advent was embedded in my Catholic tradition growing up, I’m not sure I fully understood its meaning beyond knowing the story of God’s angel announcing to Mary that she would give birth to the Saviour. 

In pondering how Mary would have reacted to the angel’s news and how she must have felt in the months leading up to Jesus’ birth, I recalled my own experience of a pregnancy and birth where the biological father was absent. Where I might have succumbed to fear or a sense of abandonment, I was buoyed by a profound sense of gratitude to the Creator for the amazing gift, which gave me hope that my baby and I would be taken care of. 

As we enter this season of expectancy, I’m grateful that See Hear Love is guiding us to consider the role of hope in our lives. When the challenges of our journey could cause us uncertainty or fear, our faith gives us hope to keep moving forward.

Judith Slivinski