We left our hearts in Fiji ( Pacific Islands Greek Orthodox Church )

In February 2020 Michael Jones from Eagle River, Alaska led a labor crew to continue construction of the Church of St. George in Tonga. Flight from Los Angeles to Tonga had a 6 hour layover in Fiji, so Fr. Meletios, Dean of Missions in Oceania, invited the group to briefly visit to the Orthodox community in Saweni, close to the Monastery of the Dormition and St. Tabitha Children’s Home.

Below is an account of their short but impactful stay taken from his blog at www.OrthodoxyForTonga.com

We were met at the airport by one of the native Fijian nuns, Sr. Anisia, along with one of the boys from the Children’s Home named Matthew. As soon as we stepped outside we discovered what a paradise we’d come to. Palm trees and beautiful flowering plants fill up every space that isn’t paved for a road or sidewalk. The sun is warm, the air is clear. What a difference for the five of us coming from Alaska & Colorado, where we left behind snow and ice only the day before!

As Sr. Anisia piloted the orphanage minivan down the “wrong” side of the road (as far as Americans are concerned, that is) I spoke with Matthew, who is 15 and has lived in the orphanage for 10 years. He told me the names of the villages we passed as we chatted. His English is quite good, considering he probably has few interactions with native English speakers. I found out that Matthew and I share a common love for the “Beautiful Game” – soccer! Before too long we turned onto an unpaved side road and Matthew pointed out the St. Tabitha Home and Holy Trinity Church as we drove up to the small Monastery of the Dormition of the Theotokos, perched atop a small hill. The monastery is home to three nuns at the moment; our guide, Sr. Anisia, and Abbess Melani are the two Fijian nuns, as well as Sr. Thecla from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who is in Fiji for a few months painting frescoes in the small monastery chapel.

Liturgy was already in progress when we arrived, so we left our things in the van and quietly walked up the steps to the house-turned-monastery. The chapel is half indoors and half outdoors, with a covered porch off the right-hand side. Many of the children stand near the nuns, whose chanter stand is positioned just outside one of several large, arched openings that separate the “indoor” portion of the chapel from the porch. We received lots of shy smiles from the children – who range in age from about 5-15 years old – as we took our places in the few open chairs toward the front of the chapel [ … ]

Read the full story here : https://orthodoxpacifika.com/2021/06/21/we-left-our-hearts-in-fiji/

Michael’s story ( https://orthodoxpacifika.com/2021/06/11/michaels-story/ )

( https://www.facebook.com/OrthodoxPacifika )

Πεντηκοστή Ύμνοι από τα νησιά Φίτζι ( βίντεο )

Donations for Orthodox Christian missions in Pacific Islands

( https://orthodoxpacifika.com/donate-now/ )

This entry was posted in Australia, Αυστραλία, Αλάσκα-Alaska, Αμερική, Ελλάδα - Greece, ΗΠΑ - USA, Νέα Ζηλανδία, Νέα Ζηλανδία, Φίτζι - New Zealand,Fiji,Samoa,Tonga, Οικουμενικό Πατριαρχείο - Ecumenical Patriarchate, Φίτζι - New Zealand, Ωκεανία, Samoa, Tonga, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to We left our hearts in Fiji ( Pacific Islands Greek Orthodox Church )

  1. Παράθεμα: The Teacher’s Tale ( Orthodox Mission in Fiji ) | Ορθόδοξη Ιεραποστολή -Orthodox Mission -Mission Οrthodoxe – Misión Ortodoxa – Missão Ortodoxa – Missione Ortodossa – православная миссия- Misiunea Ortodox

  2. Παράθεμα: The Orthodox Christian Faith in Pacific Islands ! Η Ορθόδοξη χριστιανική ιεραποστολή στα νησιά του Ειρηνικού Ωκεανού ! | Ορθόδοξη Ιεραποστολή -Orthodox Mission -Mission Οrthodox


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