Η χαρά μας είναι μεγάλη όταν βλέπουμε τα έργα αγάπης της Ορθόδοξης Ιεραποστολής.Όταν βλέπουμε τη φροντίδα για κάθε πλάσμα του Θεού, σε κάθε γωνιά του πλανήτη. Και είναι πολλοί αυτοί οι άνθρωποι που έχουν την ανάγκη μας. Γι’ αυτό και η παρουσία της Ορθόδοξης Εκκλησίας δεν έχει χαρακτήρα προπαγανδιστικό, προσηλυτιστικό, αλλά χαρακτήρα Λειτουργικό και αγαπητικό. Ένα μικρό ορφανό της Γουατεμάλα βρίσκει φροντίδα μέσα στην αγκαλιά της Ορθόδοξης Εκκλησίας. Και πόσα άλλα εκατομμύρια προσμένουν σε κάθε γωνιά του πλανήτη… Σήμερα Γουατεμάλα, χτες Ρωσία και Ουκρανία, προχτές Ινδία και Ουγκάντα, παντού σε κάθε χώρα της Ορθόδοξης Ιεραποστολής . Η Εκκλησία μας, ως σώμα Χριστού, πρώτιστο καθήκον έχει, μέσα από την Ησυχαστική και Μυστηριακή της ζωή, να προσφέρει Αγάπη και Ιησού Χριστό σε κάθε άνθρωπο που το επιθυμεί.
Sergio Valaam is named after a Guatemalan saint. Part of his name also can be translated into the Mayan word for «jaguar.»
This child may need all the blessings heaven can send – and the strength of that jungle animal to make it in this world.
Five months ago Sergio was abandoned in a wicker basket on the doorstep of the orphanage of San Rafael run by Orthodox nuns in Guatamala City. He was just a day old.
«Before, these mothers would give these children up for adoption,» says Mother Inez, but a new law passed last year put adoptions into the hands of the government, and babies no longer can be adopted outside the country.
«So we have a little basket at the orphanage – which is a 150-year-old orphanage – and with a tradition of a little basket at the door,» she explained.
Mission doctors believed that the child had a tumor destroying his right eye and that without quick intervention he will soon be permanently blind.
But at Allegheny General Hospital, Dr. Eric Happ, a specialist in orbital tumors, has a different but still very serious diagnosis – a rare hereditary cornea problem. The windshield of his eye is completely clouded over.
«Unfortunately, he has a developmental problem there, and it’s a very difficult situation because it’s not easy to fix,» says Dr. Happ, but he also plans to consult with corneal and pediatric specialists in town to see what can be done – possibly a transplant.
«Luckily, the left eye looks normal and appears to react to light normally,» he said.
Last night the child arrived at Pittsburgh International Airport with his guardians who are still overwhelmed by kindness.
«Such a big blessing – to do this thing is not easy and it has been so fast,» reflected Mother Inez.
Last year, Demetria Pappas was part of a group from the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church in Mount Lebanon visiting the Guatemalan orphanage.
Saving Sergio’s sight has become a personal mission.
«He was such a vibrant little baby. In my heart I was like, ‘Why can’t we just take him to America and have the surgery?'»
The women are determined that when Sergio returns to the orphanage he will be a little boy with two bright eyes.
If you would like to help, send your donations to:
Sergio Valaam Fund
c/o Holy Cross Philoptohos
123 Gilkeson Rd.
Pittsburgh, Pa. 15228
Ο Θεός να ευλογεί τις Ορθόδοξες μοναχές της Γουατεμάλας, που με τη συμπαράσταση των Ορθοδόξων Εκκλησιών, φροντίζουν 150 ορφανά. Ο Θεός να αυξήσει τη μοναχική τους αδελφότητα και να φωτίσει δωρητές για την αποκατάσταση του ματιού του μικρού Σέργιου.
Τα νέα από το Ορφανοτροφείο της Γουατεμάλας για τους μήνες Οκτώβριο και Νοέμβριο 2008.
Our dearest Claudia and Maria Jose finally left with their adoptive parents. Claudia is living in Indianapolis and Maria Jose in Seattle. May the Lord keep them joyful and loving as they always were here at the Hogar together with their beautiful families.
The New Jersey team arrived for a week leaded by Father Paul Pappas. As part of the team, Harriet Stratis came she is the Treasurer of the Foundation Friends of the Hogar based in Chicago. It was good to talk to her and share many ideas concerning the Foundation. The team had a wonderful pizza party and they set up a carnival with customs, games, and prizes. The children had fun! The team also changed some rugs at the nursery and placed some colorful plastic mats for the delight of the babies. We deeply thank them.
Mother Ines attended the Virginia Farah Foundation meeting in Phoenix, Arizona. She was very happy to know about what is happening in many Orthodox projects around in the world. We thank the Foundation as they are supporting the construction of the new hogar at the site of the Monastery.
Some students of the School of Psychology of Universidad Francisco Marroquín came to pass some new tests to some of our children. We thank them as this is a great help for them.
John Messick from Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Clayton, Wisconsin and his friend Wade came to the Hogar and spent the night. They went on a bicycle trip from Cancun in Mexico to Panama. They gave a talk to the children and it was very enlightening to them to participate in this great adventure.
The Virginia Team leaded by Father Constantine Paulakos and Antonia Chelpon came for a week. The children had their teeth cleaned and we appreciate this important contribution to their health. Father Constantine needed to leave for the weekend, so Father David Rucker from OCMC came to celebrate the Sunday liturgy. We appreciate this effort in order to celebrate the liturgy as he was here only for the weekend. The team bought pizza and coca cola to the children on the last night. (Thank God they had their teeth cleaned!)
Elisa turned 14 years old so we celebrated with a cake and a surprise dinner.
Tatiana Berestova and the other iconographers from Russia are back at the Monastery painting more icons. Their icons are amazing!
Our dear Adriana (9 years old) was at the hospital most of the month. They have been testing and treating her for a problem in her blood. May the Lord heal her. She has been anointed and has received Holy Communion thanks to the priests visiting. We ask for your prayers for Adriana.
On November 8th many beautiful memories came back. One year of the consecration of the church at the Monastery. Time flies and we thank God for all of His blessings.
Employees from Prensa Libre (a local newspaper) came to bring their project «Cobijas de Amor» an early Saturday morning. They brought warm blankets and clothes for the children. Once here, they went out and bought cakes to give to the children. We thank their support as they have always been very kind to us.
Dear Father Matthias Moriak from Saint Gregory Palamax Orthodox Church in Seaford, Long Island, came for ten days. The children went to the confession with him and he celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Hogar and at the Monastery. Six baptisms of children at the Hogar and one from a girl of the parish were celebrated, glory to God! We thank him for continuously coming to support us here.
Christine Parlamis from New Jersey and her dad Michael Parlamis came to visit for four days. Christine has always been a great supporter of the Hogar, but especially of the niñas grandes and señoritas. It was wonderful to have them among us.
On November 14th we celebrated a raffle sponsored by the Teffel Foundation and with benefits for the Hogar. Two prizes were won. The first prize was an amazing bronze sculpture named «Maternity» made by Luis Carlos and won by our dear donators Luis Samayoa and his wife Clarita. The second prize was a beautiful paint made by Mónica Serra and won by our dear collaborator Antonio García. We thank the support of all the people who bought the tickets and to the Teffel Foundation for their constant love and support throughout the years.
The Christmas Educational «Leo» Party of Prensa Libre was celebrated with an amazing show for the children. It was an active celebration with a great participation from the children.
The team from Illinois came leaded by Father James Ellison and Carol Akers. A small group of six missionaries but very active with the children. Basil taught some self-defense techniques to the older children. A Divine Liturgy was celebrated at the Monastery in the midst of scaffolding. We thank them for their support.
The group of friends of Radiopolis celebrated a wonderful Christmas party for the children. They brought jumping inflatables and lots and lots for candies in the piñatas. Lots of food too and a beautiful Christmas present for each of the children. We thank them for their constant love and support.
On Friday November 21st, Guadalupe and Reina graduated from High School. What an incredible occasion for the nuns! A great party was celebrated after the Divine Liturgy on Sunday the 23rd. A nice lunch was prepared for Guadalupe and Reina, included also was Rolando who graduated a week before in a private school. The band of mariachis and the firecrackers was the delight of adults and children. The three graduates plan to go to college. Big is God!
Our dear Margarita Paz de Ramírez great volunteer helping the school received the 2008 Scientific Researcher Award by Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala. She has been researching the activity of medicinal mushrooms. We congratulate her and wish her the best in her investigations.
We have been having problems these past months with the distribution of water to the missionary quarters, and the technicians have been here to try to fix the problems. We appreciate the patience the missionaries have had coping with no water at all. The problems are almost solved thank God.
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Το εντυπωσιακό είναι οι συνεχείς επισκέψεις προσώπων και μικρών Ορθοδόξων ιεραποστολικών ομάδων στο Ορφανοτροφείο για διάφορες εργασίες και η ανιοτελής προσφορά τους. Ο Θεός να τους ανταποδίδει μύριες ευλογίες. Και είναι αξιαγάπητο και βαθειά ανθρώπινο πως χαίρονται αυτά τα πλασματάκια του Θεού τις σχολικές επιτυχίες, τις απλές χαρές της ζωής. Ας ευχαριστήσουμε τον Θεό γιατί έχει ακόμα ανθρώπους Του που διακονούν σε έργα Αγάπης. Ας είναι ευλογημένες οι μοναχές του Αγίου Ραφαήλ Γουατεμάλας και όλοι οι συνεργάτες του έργου.