3 Ορθόδοξες μοναχές δίνουν τη μαρτυρία της πίστης στη Γουατεμάλα, φροντίζοντας ορφανά. The Hogar Rafael Ayau Orphanage – Orthodox Church in Guatemala.

Τρείς Ορθόδοξες μοναχές ( πρώην ρωμαιοκαθολικές ) φροντίζουν δεκάδες ορφανά στη Γουατεμάλα, χωρίς μόνιμο Ορθόδοξο ιερέα, αλλά με δεκάδες επισκέπτες ( ιερείς και λαϊκούς ) που προσφέρουν εθελοντική εργασία.Δείτε στα αγγλικά τα νέα του ορφανοτροφείου του Αγίου Ραφαήλ στη Γουατεμάλα, καθώς και τη προσπάθεια αποκατάστασης της όρασης του μικρού Σέργιου από τη Γουατεμάλα. Να προσεύχεστε στο Τριαδικό Θεό να δώσει νέους Ορθόδοξους ιερείς στη Γουατεμάλα και σε όλη τη Κεντρική Αμερική.Να προσεύχεστε για τις Ορθόδοξες μοναχές της Γουατεμάλα, τα ορφανά παιδιά και για την αποκατάσταση της υγείας του μικρού Σέργιου, του οποίου τη φροντίδα έχει αναλάβει ελληνορθόδοξη ενορία της Αμερικής.

MAY 2009

There were many celebrations for some of the children, Andrea (11), Sarai (10), Astrid (16), Hugo (8), and Mother Maria too. On May 21st the big party was for Clara as she turned 15 years old. We started with mariachis at 5 am, a service in church at noon time, and the luncheon party with another band of mariachis. Clara was very happy since Kara Krueger and her husband Mike Fletch came from Ohio just for the event. Many years to these children!


The older girls have been attending classes through the Internet. The SOFIA seminary is directed towards Orthodox Christians in Latin America. Different Antiochian priests give the one and a half hour lecture on Tuesdays and Thursdays with interesting subjects as the life of the Saints and the Sundays celebrated during the Pentecostarion. The teenagers appreciate these classes very much as they are learning more about their faith.


Mother’s Day was celebrated in the school. Different groups of children prepared songs and played musical instruments. They gave nice loving cards to the Madres present. The same musical presentations were shown to Kara and Mike when they visited for Clara’s birthday, as the Matthew Krueger Foundations finances our music teacher!


Manuel Alexander (4) who lived at the nursery since he was a baby was transferred to Antigua as he needed specialized care. He will be taken care by the Catholic Franciscan monks at one of the best institutions in the country: Asociación de Obras Sociales del Santo Hermano Pedro. They take care of children who have different health problems and cannot walk.


Some of the older boys finished their school year ahead of time and went to the Monastery to learn how to handle fish, rabbits, the crops, and all that is to learn there. Cristian (13), Jonny (12), Rodolfo (11), Miguel (11), Erik (11), and Jorge Luis (10) like the open spaces and nature. May they enjoy their weeks there.


Cultural outings: to the Children’s Museum and to the archaeological Popol Vuh Museum. Parties to the children: the staff of Banco Granai amp Townson, Jonni Batch and his religious group.


Nuzta Calderón came as a volunteer missionary for a few months. She lives in Miami and is helping with the preschoolers. Her birthday was celebrated on the 22nd so she enjoyed this celebration for her.


Dr. Daniel Murphy and his son came to attend the dental clinic for two days. They came as part of a team organized by Dr. Vicki Anton-Athens to help children with foot problems, and performed surgeries at the Pediatric Foundation of Guatemala. Dr. Vicki invited everyone at the Hogar to a trip to the Pacific Ocean, we went to Aquamagic (lots of pools, trampolines, toboggans, etc.). By then, the New Jersey team was here and they also went to the ocean. What a fun and sunny day!


The New Jersey team came leaded by Father Stacey Richter of Saint Mary’s Orthodox Cathedral in Saint Paul, MN. Some of his parishioners came with the team, as well as the Witkowski Family from Wycoff, NJ. They painted the room for the niñas grandes with the little free time they had! So many useful donations that are sent, we thank them and their parishes. The Liturgy of the Ascension was celebrated at the Hogar by Father Stacey, who stayed one more day so he could celebrate this Feast among us. He went back to the States that same day and we thank him for all the trouble, it was so worth it.


From Ohio, the Shaver and the Olivieri families came for almost a week. The Shavers are in the process of adopting Maria Isabel. The Olivieris are interested in adopting two of the children at the Hogar. Both families went to the CNA (National Council for Adoptions) for follow up. We pray these adoptions happen for the benefit of the children.


Mr. Alan Russell and his wife Christie came for a week to work with the older girls at the woodshop. During the last weekend in May, they held an open house to show the wooden products they have made. Some of these products will be manufactured by the girls so they learn more and earn more money for their personal bank accounts. They worked hard that week, so the last night Mr. and Mrs. Russell were in the country, they kindly invited the girls to TGI Fridays for a nice and huge meal. (TGIF, you got it: Thank God I’m Forgiven!) We thank them for their constant love and support!


Mother Maria attended a Seminary organized by the Liberty Fund in Arizona. The subject was about the relationship between religion and economics.


Mother Ivonne gave a conference in Dante Alighieri’s Society regarding the Importance of the Mushrooms in Guatemala. Some of the teenagers also went to the conference which ended up being interesting for them.

( http://www.hogarafaelayau.org/cgi-bin/news/print.pl?article=187 )

The last month of the year school at the Hogar! Children studied hard for all their final exams and reports. Thank God, all of them moved to the next grade. The closing school activity was nice, the children prepared with their teachers some songs, shows, and played their musical instruments. Mother Inés and the teachers gave the children their school certificates and awards. At lunch, a cake was given in honor of all the teachers. What a nice party that night at the comedor, the children danced to the music of High School Musical that they like so much. May they have a nice month in July, their only month for vacations. We appreciate and thank the love and education our teachers give to our children, they are truly mothers and educators.


The National Day of Russia was celebrated in Barcelo Hotel so Mother Ines, the nuns, Tatiana Berestova, Reina Marroquín (21), and Rolando Torres (18) attended the diplomatic reception. The Ambassador of Russia to Guatemala constantly visits the Monastery and through him, two scholarships were given to Reina and Rolando who will be studying for five years in Moscow. They will study Engineering for Computers and will be traveling with Mother Ines and Mother Maria to Moscow on July 1st. The nuns will place them and introduce them to some people and monasteries in Moscow before returning. May God protect their trip and keep them safe while studying in Russia.


The nuns were invited by the Russian Embassy to the gala presentation of the Moscow Circus in Guatemala City. Awesome!


Guadalupe (21) who is studying beauty school in Universidad Galileo decided it was time for her to move on away from the Hogar. The last thing we told her: God is always with you and this will be your home if you need us. We wish her the best and will pray for her.


Unfortunately, we did not have a priest for Pentecost, the Feast of the Monastery. Nevertheless the older children went to the Monastery where the Vesperal Service for Pentecost was celebrated by the nuns. Many friends of the Monastery and some of the children came and a delicious fish lunch was served afterwards.


Benjamin Logan from Kentucky came for a month to the Hogar. He has been helping very much. He painted the rooms for the woodshop, music room, and art room. Besides he was always happy with the little boys, in the pool or just playing. We thank him for all the hard work!


The Cincinnati team leaded by Father Steven Kostoff and Presbytera Deborah Kostoff came for a week. They helped with many things like painting the new room for the woodshop, moving the heavy woodworking machines to a new room, and gardening. The best event was the Divine Liturgy celebrated at the Monastery, after seeing the grounds the team was taken to Antigua. A nice outing was to take the prep school students to a plant nursery, later on the McDonald’s snack was inevitable. The highlight was that the team went to the Moscow Circus. Thanks to the Russian Embassy all the children had a free entrance and only the adults paid their admission ticket (courtesy of Kara and Mike from Ohio.) Another awesome event for all of them! The final event was a pizza party given by Zac (Anastasia Kostoff’s husband.) The children ate a lot of pizza, we thank Zac!


Dr. Margarita Paz de Ramírez is one of our great volunteers. For four years now she has helped with the school’s coordination. Since the beginning of our work at the Hogar, she has been the head microbiologist and clinical laboratory. She turned 50 years old so she was celebrated with a nice party. The staff brought a mariachis band for her. It was very nice to share with her husband Gustavo, her two sons Pedro Julio and Daniel, and her parents Drs. Julio Paz and Ana María de Paz. We pray that Dr. Margarita continues to help us with the usual love and patience that she shows to everyone.


Tatiana went back to New York, she will return at the end of July to continue with the iconography at the Monastery. Safe trip and stay in NY!


Miss Christell Bessonices a volunteer from the Embassy of France in Guatemala paid a visit to the Hogar. She wanted to see how this orphanage works for the benefit of Guatemalan children.


Michael and Helen Young from Indianapolis came for a week just to be and share with the children. They treated the children that had good grades to eat pizza in a local restaurant. They brought many shoes and socks that were sent to them by some donors in Chicago. We thank all of them!


The last week of the month, the older boys returned from the Monastery. They will continue to live and study at the Hogar until they graduate from grade school and are ready to move to Ak Tenamit in Rio Dulce to continue with their high school education.


Mother Ines’s birthday was celebrated, as well as her sister Olga (Lila), and our farewell for Reina and Rolando going to Russia. Our two volunteers from Universidad del Valle Rubí and Ana María who are working with our children gave a huge and delicious cake for the party. Many members of the Ayau family and friends of the Hogar gathered around the children to share a cooked meal of pig meat that was kindly donated by Alejandro Hildebrand in memory of his wife and our beloved donor Mamush Musa (Memory eternal!)

Bon voyage to Madre Inés, Madre María, Reina, and Rolando!!!

( http://www.hogarafaelayau.org/cgi-bin/news/print.pl?article=188 )

Sergio’s Update


Greetings. Please click the link below and read article on page one and page 14.

from the Hellenic Voice Newspaper

Thank you for your attention.



God bless.

Sergio is doing well and is so loved.

I am down to only 6 drops of medicine for his eyes every day. Our next appointment is next Thursday at the Cleveland Clinic.

The doctor wants to remove his stiches on June 1, 2009. This is very exciting and we think Dr. Traboulsi is a miracle doctor.

Please read the article that was in the National Herald Easter edition. Please see page 13.

God bless you.

In Christ,




To everyone who has been supporting baby Sergio with prayers and donations, here is a recent photo of his smiling face. He had a successful corneal transplant last Friday at the Cleveland Clinic. After many discounts, the bill for the surgery came to $12,000, which is considered a bargain. The aftercare is intensive, with hourly eyedrops and frequent check-ups by the doctor, but Sergio is taking it all in stride. The doctors say that he can already see light and shadow with his new eye. With proper therapy, he will gain better vision. In the photo, you might notice that Sergio’s hands are contained. This is to prevent him from scratching his eye. Thank you for your help in bringing this about. Please continue to keep Sergio in your prayers for a complete healing.




Demetria Pappas says about her mission trip…»I wish that everyone can find Gods’ Grace in all mistakes…keeping the presence of the Holy Spirit in your heart/mind 24/7 is a difficult task to do especially when you are not a priest or nun or someone who is dedicated and obedient to GOD 24/7…But when you ask and challenge yourself to hear or see what to do in times of confusion and hardship…you find the best in others…you endure the betrayal of false friends…you feel the affection of children. That is when you live…

On Decemeber 6th..Sergio spoke to me with his face and eyes..Helpless in his world with noone but God(and the Hogar)–he was still happy…not knowing what he had ahead of himself…His sweet spirit affects all of us..The little mistake on his eye was Gods’ grace in his life…

( http://www.hogarafaelayau.org/cgi-bin/news/print.pl?article=189 )


This entry was posted in America, Guatemala, Γουατεμάλα- Guatemala, Ελλάδα - Greece, Λατινική Αμερική ( Central and South America ) and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to 3 Ορθόδοξες μοναχές δίνουν τη μαρτυρία της πίστης στη Γουατεμάλα, φροντίζοντας ορφανά. The Hogar Rafael Ayau Orphanage – Orthodox Church in Guatemala.

  1. Παράθεμα: Πρώην εγκληματίες προστατεύουν ορθόδοξο Μοναστήρι στην Γουατεμάλα « Orthodox Mission-Ορθόδοξη Ιεραποστολή


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