Greetings from Oregon and Washington!
What is wet and windy, but beautiful all over? The Pacific Northwest! On October 24th, I finished my East Coast travels and flew out to Portland. From now until December, I will be traveling in this breathtaking area. The Pacific Coast is rugged, rocky, and dotted with shipwrecks from bygone years. It is a true frontier!
Here in the Northwest, I am 2,700 miles from Guatemala, but I still keep in touch with the priests there. So I want to update you on what is happening down south. On November 21st, Metropolitan Athenagoras will hold a three-day planning conference to create a roadmap for the next five to ten years. Metropolitan Athenagoras is the Greek bishop for all Central America and the Caribbean, so the scope of this meeting goes beyond just Guatemala. It will take place in Mexico City and will include priests from throughout Central America. This is a big deal! Two of the Guatemalan Priests will attend (Fr. Mihail and Fr. Evangelos, whom can see here), and Fr. John Chakos will attend in his capacity as a missionary specialist through the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC). I can’t wait to hear from these priests after the meeting!
Another exciting development in Guatemala is a new medical clinic! Construction began on the clinic this year, and the plan is to finish in 2015. It is funded through the help of a special NGO called One World One Community, which aims to assist the Orthodox communities in Guatemala and throughout Central America. There will be opportunities to serve at this clinic in the coming months. Do you know someone who has skills to offer?
OCMC is organizing a short-term medical team for August 17th, 2015 (info here) as well as a construction team for July 26th which will serve on the coast of Guatemala (info here). Consider applying for a team, or help spread the word to others!
As for myself? Any updates on this crazy guy named Jesse? Well, on a personal level, I am feeling drained from all the traveling. It is a joy to spend time with so many incredible people, and to see how God is working in parishes across the U.S. At the same time, it’s exhausting. Please pray that I will be able to pace myself well, and that I will take time to just «be» and enjoy things like the Pacific Ocean! 🙂 On a practical level, I am getting much closer to my goal for raising support. At this moment I am 70% funded, which is exciting! As you know, I am focusing on building a team of monthly supporters (e.g., $25, $50, $100 per month). The monthly support is beautiful because it allows everyone to become a part of this missionary journey. A young kid in Washington D.C. really touched me when he said «I want to give you my allowance.» Now he supports me at $5 per month, which is awesome! I do hope he has some money left over for candy. 😉 You can become a monthly partner through my page at OCMC. Thank you for your generosity!
As I’ve said before, I am so inspired to have you on this journey with me. At times I feel tired or alone, but I am nourished by your prayers. Some people are praying in the East, others in the West, and some abroad (Egypt, England, Australia), but all are standing together. Thank you! Onwards together, to Guatemala!