Sara Hillis, Canada: My journey from witchcraft to Orthodoxy

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CANADA OF MY HEART

My Journey From Witchcraft To Orthodoxy

Sara Hillis, Canada

“The Illumined Heart” podcasts from Ancient Faith Radio with host Kevin Allen, featuring Sara Hillis, a musician and English literature scholar who became a witch priestess before encountering Christ and finding the Orthodox Church! Sara is now a parishioner of All Saints of North America Orthodox Church in Hamilton, Ontario.

Part 1 (May 30, 2008) | Part 2 (June 6, 2008)

Source:

http://www.orthodoxtoronto.ca/journey

http://www.orthodoxtoronto.ca/journey

ORTHODOX TORONTO

Recovering the Ancient Paths – Dennis L. Corrigan, USA

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Recovering the Ancient Paths

by Dennis L. Corrigan, USA

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2010/05/recovering-the-ancient-paths-dennis-corrigan/

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever”

The following is a revision of a letter (article) we wrote to the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel to explain our decision to withdraw from that organization in order to pursue our being catechized unto Chrismation into the Orthodox Church. We have revised it to make it more useful for a more general distribution by members of our congregation who may want to help in explaining our decision to families and friends.

The Carpenter’s Company is in the process of becoming a part of the Orthodox Church. This obviously means that we have had to withdraw from the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel which we did in early May, 1996. All this is actually the culmination of a journey which began for us in 1987 when the Holy Spirit commanded us to ask for the “ancient paths” (Jeremiah 6:16).

A Journey Begins

Our quest for the ancient paths did not actually get underway until June 17, 1989 when we began to meet every morning at six o’clock for prayer. We soon called it Vigil, the name given to the night office of prayer for over fifteen hundred years. We could not Continue reading “Recovering the Ancient Paths – Dennis L. Corrigan, USA”

Is There One True Church? ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* An Interview with Peter Jackson, a former Protestant missionary

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ORTHODOX HEART SITES

Is There One True Church?

╰⊰¸¸.•¨*

An Interview with Peter Jackson,

a former Protestant missionary

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2010/05/is-there-one-true-church-peter-jackson/

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

Peter Jackson—a former Protestant missionary and the translator of several books of Holy Scripture into the language of the Kogi people of Colombia, presently a student at Holy Trinity Spiritual Seminary—tells of his road to Orthodoxy. This is an Interview conducted with him on the pages of Pravoslavnaya Rus’ [Orthodox Rus’] by R. Sholkov.

* * *

RS: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

PJ: I was an Evangelical Protestant from birth. My family attended Baptist and Presbyterian churches, and my parents were firm believers in [the concept of] the “invisible Church,” i.e., [the belief] that there has never been a single church on earth which could call herself the one True Church; i.e., [a church] possessing the fullness of the Truth. All that was necessary was “to believe in Christ” and to attend that church which was “convenient.” But I could never understand why there were so many different so-called churches, all of which considered themselves to be Bible-based?

When I was 12 years old, our community was visited by some preachers who were doing missionary work in Colombia and translating the Bible for the Indians. Because I had always been interested in languages, I was attracted to this work. I was astonished [to learn] that there are thousands of languages in the world into which the Bible has not yet been translated.

I began to study Greek and Hebrew, in order to prepare myself for working in translating the Bible into such languages; and, at the university, I studied linguistics. Later, I joined the Protestant Mission of Bible translators (Wycliffe Bible Translators), in order to obtain a more detailed education.

When I was in training at Wycliffe, I became acquainted with my future wife, Styliana; now we have two sons, Nicholas and Benjamin. Styliana’s parents were missionaries in Colombia, when she was yet 5 years old. They preached among the semi-savage Kogi tribe. Her parents were very happy to receive our Continue reading “Is There One True Church? ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* An Interview with Peter Jackson, a former Protestant missionary”

Fr. Pierre Haab, Switzerland: His long journey from Roman Catholicism, Buddhism and Hinduism to Orthodoxy

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EDELWEISS OF MY HEART

Fr. Pierre Haab, Switzerland: His long journey from Roman Catholicism, Buddhism and Hinduism to Orthodoxy

Aviv Saliu-Diallo, Pierre Haab

Fr. Pierre Haab, a Swiss former Roman Catholic who was disappointed with his religion and was carried away by Buddhism, Hinduism and other screamingly “fashionable” Eastern teachings and who is now a subdeacon of the Orthodox Cathedral of the Exaltation of the Cross in Geneva, speaks about his conversion to Orthodoxy.

* * *

—Can you tell us a few words about your family, education and the story of your conversion to the Orthodox faith?

I was born in an under-developed, impoverished, hungry country where the sky is permanently overcast with dark clouds—of course, in the spiritual sense. I am speaking of Switzerland, and especially of the city of Geneva—the center of world freemasonry and finances, the stronghold of obscurantist heresy, and a materialistic megalopolis that is enjoying the lulling, stable comfort that easily protects it from the numerous everyday tragedies of humanity.

My parents raised me in the Roman Catholic faith that they had inherited from their ancestors, for which I am extremely grateful to them; they implanted the fundamentals of Christian Revelation in me from childhood—namely faith in God, the doctrine and the necessity of prayer.

We were a practicing Catholic family. We attended Mass on Sundays and major Church feasts, and prayer was a part of our daily life (at least it was so for the first ten years of my childhood). My father, a journalist, devoted his professional life to the protection of the oppressed and justice. As far as my parents are concerned, they did their best to provide the continuity of religious education in our family.

As for the Church, though in my case the more precise name was “Papism”, the situation was different. As a child (in the 1950s) I felt comfortable in that religious environment; for example, I had no problem with prayers in Latin. Although for me faith was “the faith in obedience,” I used to ask many questions, and the adults—my parents and priests—were unable to answer them. And if they did answer me, they did it with a smile and condescendingly, thinking that I was trying to get to the core of the matter too seriously. They gave me to understand that performing the morally required duties was enough for me. And I decided that I would get the answers to my questions later through my independent, in-depth research and analysis of the primary sources, where the morals come from. Judging by my childhood memories, I always had a thirst for truth.

So I was waiting for some changes, when, at the very dawn of my youth, a crucial event happened in the West—a real revolution in Papism (which is still going on today). I mean the Second Vatican Council of 1962. Over a short span of several months (or, in some cases, two to three years) a whole set of rules which had been shaped in the living daily reality of Western Christianity for Continue reading “Fr. Pierre Haab, Switzerland: His long journey from Roman Catholicism, Buddhism and Hinduism to Orthodoxy”

My Journey Through Lutheranism and Calvary Chapel to Orthodoxy – Patrick Keenan, North Dakota, USA

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USA OF MY HEART

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My Journey Through Lutheranism and Calvary Chapel to Orthodoxy

by Patrick Keenan, North Dakota, USA

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

My Journey Through Lutheranism and Calvary Chapel to Orthodoxy

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

My parents brought me to Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church for Baptism as an infant. Somehow, someway a grace entered my life that has resided as long as I can remember. The quest as to who He is and how I should know him has been a lifelong pursuit.

It was an evening in 1966. Our modest North Dakota apartment housed my Mother, Father and myself. Dad was at the family Drive-In. Mom and I decided to watch NBC’s Saturday Night at the Movies. It was a Rock Hudson Movie called ‘The Spiral Road’. Rock’s character was an Atheist Doctor in a south pacific Island who had fallen in love with a Christian nurse. She asked Rock why he didn’t believe in God, to which he replied something like:

‘because at one point I challenged God to show himself to me. I told God ‘If you are there- strike me down!’ He did nothing and that is why I do not believe.’

Well the next day, of course, was Sunday morning. Our Redeemer’s was a large Church with a huge wooden cross hanging on a rock wall behind the pulpit. As I recall, the Continue reading “My Journey Through Lutheranism and Calvary Chapel to Orthodoxy – Patrick Keenan, North Dakota, USA”

Sister Matthaia Osswald, Germany: My great adventure in search of the Truth – A Roman Catholic nun discovered the fullness of the Truth in the Orthodox Church

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EDELWEISS OF MY HEART

My great adventure in search of the Truth

November 2008

Sister Matthaia Osswald , Germany 

A Roman Catholic nun discovered the fullness of the Truth in the Orthodox Church.

Childhood and adolescence.   

I was born in 1961 from Protestant parents, in a town in South Germany. We lived in a suburb which had earlier been a separate village and later was integrated into a municipality. There was only one Roman Catholic family, the rest of the inhabitants being Protestants. The daughter of this family, whom I used to like very much, was in my class at the elementary school. I still remember very well that I was strictly forbidden to visit her, because they told me that it would be embarrassing for our family if anybody learned about such a thing. During the following years there was a growing tolerance on this topic. Even though the majority of the inhabitants were Protestants, with the passage of time the “Catholic” population increased and more Roman Catholic communities were created in the town.

My parents did believe in God but they would not practice their faith, for example they would never go  to church on Sundays, we would not pray, at least not together or before the meals and the topic of “God” was not discussed in our home.
However, in my grand parents’ house lived an elderly Evangelical deaconess, who earlier had been a kindergarten teacher. She was like a light for me. Every time I would visit my grand parents I would use the occasion to “disappear” and visit this nun. She would always talk about Jesus; about His miracles; how repeatedly and in different ways He had helped her; about paradise, heaven and the angels. And she would pray with me. Time with her seemed to flow very fast! I was always sad, every time I would hear a voice telling me: “Where are you again? Come quick”! My grand parents did not take kindly to the fact that I would be so long with the “pious aunt”.

One evening when I was four or five years old, I was lying in my bed thinking how terribly tiring it must be for Father God that He cannot take time off to relax. He must always stay up worrying about the people and be careful that nothing bad happens to them. I made all kinds of suggestions to Him such as for example, if He could alternate with His Son, or with the angels. Finally, I told Him, that I wished so much to help Him and that it would not bother me at all, if every now and then I stayed up all night, but neither would this help the people. On one hand these were very childish, all these thoughts of mine, but on the other hand I meant them and me never forgot, even though in the following years they faded entirely into the background. Afterward my schooling started. I became busy with other things.

Of course I never doubted the existence of God, but His existence had no importance for me and my life. It was as if they were two separate things that had no relationship with each other. All my adolescence was influenced by the fact that I always wished to be like the others (Something that I never succeeded in as I was always marginalized, which possibly was due to my exterior unpleasant appearance.) I tried everything the others did, smoke, go in the evenings to the bars, smoke marijuana, listen to rock music etc. I was then Continue reading “Sister Matthaia Osswald, Germany: My great adventure in search of the Truth – A Roman Catholic nun discovered the fullness of the Truth in the Orthodox Church”

Which Came First: New Testament or the Church? – Fr. James Bernstein, WA, USA

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USA OF MY HEART

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Which Came First: New Testament or the Church?

by Fr. James Bernstein, WA, USA

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

Which Came First: New Testament or the Church?

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

A convert to Christianity from Judaism, Fr. James was a teenage chess champion whose dramatic conversion experience at the age of 16 led him to Christianity, and is also one of the founders of Jews For Jesus. His journey led him directly to the Orthodox Christian faith, and his journey is recounted in his book “Surprised By Christ,” the story of a man searching for the truth and unable to rest until he finds it. He is the priest at St. Paul Church in Brier, WA.

╰⊰¸¸.•¨*

As a Jewish convert to Christ via evangelical Protestantism, I naturally wanted to know God better through the reading of the Scriptures. In fact, it had been through reading the Gospels in the “forbidden book” called the New Testament, at age sixteen, that I had come to believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and our promised Messiah. In my early years as a Christian, much of my religious education came from private Bible reading.

By the time I entered college, I had a pocket-sized version of the whole Bible that was my constant companion. I would commit favorite passages from the Scriptures to memory, and often quote them to myself in times of temptation-or to others as I sought to convince them of Christ. The Bible became for me-as it is to this day-the most important book in print. I can say from my heart with Saint Paul the Apostle,

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).

That’s the good news!

The bad news is that often I would decide for myself what the Scriptures meant. For example, I became so enthusiastic about knowing Jesus as my close and personal friend that I thought my own awareness of Him was all I needed. So I would mark verses about Continue reading “Which Came First: New Testament or the Church? – Fr. James Bernstein, WA, USA”