A Life Changed By Icons – Vasily Tomachinsky, USA & Germany

http://heavenonearthorthodoxy.wordpress.com

HEAVEN ON EARTH – ORTHODOXY

A Life Changed By Icons

by

Vasily Tomachinsky, USA & Germany

Source:

https://journeytoorthodoxy.com

https://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2015/10/a-life-changed-by-icons/

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

—Please tell us about your background and your journey to the Orthodox Church.

My name is Cliff (Isaac in Orthodox Baptism) Gardner, and this is my background. I was raised in a Protestant Southern Baptist family. We were in the military; my father was in the U.S. Air Force. I have four brothers, a family of five boys, and we moved all over the world. We lived most our lives in America and then in Germany, where I was as a teenager. No matter where my parents moved, they always found a Southern Baptist church, including in Puerto Rico, where I was born, and Germany, where our German pastor was Southern Baptist!

I grew up in Miami, Florida where my mother was from, so we moved back to Miami after my father retired from the Air Force. Miami is where I went to high school. It was when I was in the high school that I felt called to be a missionary. I wanted to be a Protestant missionary/Bible translator in Indonesia. So I went to a Bible school in Chicago called the Moody Bible Institute—a famous Bible school. I studied Bible-Theology/Greek; it was at Moody where I first started to interact with people from the Muslim world. I was very attracted to working with Muslims. I ended up going to the University of Illinois at Chicago where I studied linguistics, Middle East studies and Arabic. This is how I met my wife Marilyn.

She was raised in Pakistan, as her parents were Baptist missionaries for over thirty-five years there. She went to nursing school in Chicago. She was a nurse and I was a linguist, and we met back to back in an Indian restaurant.

“I was amazed by the worship, the liturgy, and the icons.”

We first moved to Pakistan in 1986 where I taught English to Pakistani government employees. Pakistan was Marilyn’s home, and we were involved in a Protestant church there. Then we moved to Egypt in 1989, where we lived for seven years; this is where I first encountered Orthodoxy. I don’t think I ever met anyone who was Orthodox before I moved to Egypt. I had an Egyptian friend in Chicago, so I had met one Oriental Orthodox person before. But when I moved to Egypt, I was an English teacher and I started to meet Coptic Orthodox Christians, who were very amazing and very faithful. One of my colleagues, an English teacher, was Orthodox. She was always fasting and I didn’t understand why. She said that she fasted over two hundred days of theyear. And I was so surprised. I was amazed at the Coptic Orthodox faith. They are minority religion in Egypt but they have amazingly strong faith. I used to take trips to visit the monks of Wadi Natrun in the Scetis desert of Egypt. I was even able to take my students to meet with the former Pope Shenouda III.

Every time I would go to the monasteries I could not believe their deep faith. All of the people in Egyptians churches go out to the monasteries for instruction, learning, prayer, spiritual information and guidance. I remember one monk from Deir al-Surian, a Syrian monastery, who said to me: “You don’t know it but you are really Orthodox.” I was sure that this was what he would say to the Protestants he liked.

I remember that I was amazed by the worship, the liturgy, and the icons. The Continue reading “A Life Changed By Icons – Vasily Tomachinsky, USA & Germany”

I knew right then, in that second… – Trudy Ellmore, USA

http://usaofmyheart.wordpress.com

USA OF MY HEART

I knew right then, in that second…

by Trudy Ellmore, USA

Source:

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2010/05/i-knew-right-then-in-that-second-by-trudy-ellmore/

JOURNEY TO ORTHODOXY

My family of origin is Roman Catholic, the faith I practiced until I was 18. My love of God was deep and personal. There was never a time in my life when God was not present, even in my earliest memories. Yet, when someone witnessed to me and asked,

“Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? If you haven’t, you’re going to hell”

my reaction was one of panic. I turned away from my childhood church to a non-denominational fundamentalist church to allay my fear of damnation. There I met my first husband. After our marriage, we became involved in a Southern Baptist church where we both were baptized by immersion.

Following my husband’s death after 26 months of marriage, my infant son and I returned to my hometown. Thinking all Baptist churches were alike, I joined an American Baptist church, where I met my current husband, who was attending Seminary with the intention of pastoring in the Baptist denomination. We served the church for 5 years until he transitioned to higher education fundraising.

For the next 20 years, it was in the American Baptist denomination where my faith and love of God was nurtured and grew deeper and deeper, where I taught children and adult Sunday school classes, counseled children for Continue reading “I knew right then, in that second… – Trudy Ellmore, USA”

“Sie müssen es erfahren, weil sie es nicht wissen” – Die Konversion von George Lesier zur Orthodoxie ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* German

http://romancatholicsmetorthodoxy.wordpress.com

ROMAN CATHOLICS MET ORTHODOXY

“Sie müssen es erfahren, weil sie es nicht wissen”

Die Konversion von George Lesier zur Orthodoxie

Quelle:

http://www.impantokratoros.gr/719C84C8.el.aspx

Unter diesem Titel veröffentlichen wir den Brief von Fr. Catherine Lesier, durch den sie ihren Dank für den Beitrag unseres Klosters zur Konversion ihres verstorbenen Ehemanns zur Einen, Katholischen und Apostolischen Kirche, unserer Orthodoxen Kirche, ausdrückt.

Wir wählen den obengenannten Titel, weil es sich um einen Ausspruch George Lesiers selbst handelt, mit dem er seinen Schmerz um seine Landsleute zum Ausdruck brachte – er selbst war Franzose – und weil wir glauben, daß diese Veröffentlichung auch denjenigen helfen möge, die die Gnade des Heiligen Geistes noch nicht kennengelernt und gekostet haben.

Die Konversion von George ist selbstverständlich ein Werk der Göttlichen Gnade. Es ist die Antwort Gottes auf seine unschuldige Absicht in seinem persönlichen geistlichen Kampf, der nichts anderes war, als ein Ausdruck der Erwartung seiner Vereinigung mit der Heiligen Kirche. Es ist ohne Zweifel die Frucht der Liebe und der eindringlichen Gebete seiner frommen Frau und der geistlichen Väter und Brüder, die genannt oder ungenannt im Brief von Frau Lesier erwähnt werden.

Der Beitrag unseres Heiligen Klosters liegt im Wirken der göttlichen Vorsehung in ihrem Neuen Marmara Metochion in Chalkidiki in den letzten Jahren.

Wir glauben, daß George, wie er es erbeten hatte, sein Taufgewand rein bewahrt hat und nun in der Gnade Gottes ruht. Er tritt für seine Familie, seine geistlichen Brüder aber auch für seine Landsmänner ein. „Sie müssen es erfahren, weil sie es nicht wissen”, sagte er, wenn er auf sie Bezug nahm. Er wünschte sich, daß sie wenn möglich alle die Gnade des Heiligen Geistes kennenlernten, die er selbst intensiv nach seiner Heiligen Taufe erlebt hatte. Von jetzt an sprach George aus seiner Erfahrung. Deshalb war er so überzeugend und wurde sehr akzeptiert in seinem kleinen Familienkreis und von seinen Landsmännern, die ihn kennenlernten.

Wir beten, daß Gott seiner Seele bei den Gerechten Ruhe gewähren möge, und wir bitten ihn, daß er bei Gott für uns, die wir ihn geliebt haben, beten möge.

N. Marmaras, 15.03.93

* * *

Mein Ehrwürdiger Altvater Georgios, segnen Sie mich,

Ich weiß, daß Ihre Zeit kostbar ist, deshalb bitte ich Sie um Verzeihung, wenn ich Sie nötige, der Lektüre meines Briefes etwas Zeit zu widmen.

Ich persönlich danke Ihnen für den Beitrag der geistlichen Werke des Metochions von Neu Marmara. Besonders danke ich Ihnen und allen Vätern Ihres Klosters, die Sie meinem Ehemann George geholfen haben die Orthodoxie kennenzulernen und im Alter von 65 Jahren getauft zu werden. Ich glaube wirklich, daß ich ein Wunder erlebt habe, denn in den zwanzig Jahren meiner Ehe hatte ich es mit einem sehr schwierigen Mann zu tun, besonders hinsichtlich religiöser Angelegenheiten.

Als ich nach unserer Hochzeit – glücklicherweise heirateten wir in der Orthodoxen Kirche – von einem Beichtvater hörte, daß es ein schweres Vergehen sei, daß ich einen Andergläubigen geheiratet hatte, und sicherlich nannte er ihn sogar einen Häretiker, war ich erschüttert und begann die Last der Verantwortung und der Schuld zu spüren. Der Geistliche schlug mir vor, Continue reading ““Sie müssen es erfahren, weil sie es nicht wissen” – Die Konversion von George Lesier zur Orthodoxie ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* German”

“They must learn, for they do not know” – The conversion of French George Lesier from Roman Catholicism to Orthodoxy

http://romancatholicsmetorthodoxy.wordpress.com

ROMAN CATHOLICS MET ORTHODOXY

“They must learn, for they do not know”

The conversion of French George Lesier from

Roman Catholicism to Orthodoxy

Source:

https://www.impantokratoros.gr/root.en.aspx

https://www.impantokratoros.gr/Conversion-Orthodoxy.en.aspx

With this title we publish the letter of Mrs. Catherine Lesier, by which she expresses her thanks for the contribution of our Holy Monastery for the conversion of her reposed husband to the One, Catholic and Apostolic Church, our Orthodox Church.

We used the above title, because it consists of the saying of George Lesier himself, while expressing his pain for his countrymen, himself being French, and because we believe this publication would also help those who have yet to know and taste the Grace of the Holy Spirit.

The conversion of George, of course is by nature the work of the Divine Grace. It is the response of God to his innocent intention, in his personal spiritual struggle which was but an expression of his anticipation for his union with the Holy Church. It is without doubt the fruit of love and of the hearty prayers of his pious wife and of the spiritual fathers and brothers, who anonymously or otherwise, they are referred to in the letter of Mrs. Lesier.

The contribution of our Holy Monastery lies in the divine functioning providence of its New Marmara Metohion at Halkidiki. of the last few years.
We believe that George, as he requested, kept clean the robe of holy baptism and now he reposes in the glory of the Lord. He intercedes for his family, his spiritual brothers but also for his, of the flesh countrymen. “They must learn, because they do not know” he would say when he referred to them. He wished that they all knew, if possible, the Grace of the Holy Spirit which he intensely lived with his holy baptism. Finally George was speaking from experience. For this he was very convincing and he became greatly accepted within his narrow family circle and by his countrymen that came to know him.

We pray that God rest his spirit with the Just and we ask him to pray to God for us who came to love him.

* * *

N. Marmaras 15-3-1993.

My honourable elder George, bless.

I know your time is precious, for this I beg you to forgive me that I make you spend a little time reading my letter.

Personally I thank you for the contribution of your spiritual work at the New Marmara Metohion. I especially thank you and all the fathers of the Monastery, for helping my husband George to come to Orthodoxy and be baptized at 65 years of age. I truly believe I have lived a miracle, because in my twenty years of married life, I had to deal with a very difficult man, especially in religious matters.

When after our wedding – fortunately we married in the Orthodox Church – I learned from someone spiritual that it is a heavy misdemeanour that I had married a heterodox and even as he called him a heretic. I was shaken and I started to feel the weight of my responsibility and guilt. That Spiritual one suggested to me that I should help him get to know Orthodoxy and perhaps if Continue reading ““They must learn, for they do not know” – The conversion of French George Lesier from Roman Catholicism to Orthodoxy”

Video – Nicaragua: An Orthodox Mission on the “Black River”

http://americaofmyheart.wordpress.com

AMERICA OF MY HEART

Nicaragua: An Orthodox Mission on the “Black River”

The Impossibility of Aloneness: When Christ Found Me in the Himalayas – Joseph Magnus Frangipani, Alaska, USA

https://conversionstoorthodoxy.wordpress.com

CONVERSIONS TO ORTHODOXY

The Impossibility of Aloneness: When Christ Found Me in the Himalayas

By Joseph Magnus Frangipani, Alaska, USA

Printed in Issue 24 – Death to the World

Source:

http://deathtotheworld.com

http://deathtotheworld.comthe-impossibility-of-aloneness-when-christ-found-me-in-the-himalayas/

DEATH TO THE WORLD

I’m an Orthodox Christian living in Homer, Alaska and experienced Jesus Christ in the Himalayas, in India.

I listen to the heartbeat of rain outside…

Cold, Alaskan fog blowing in off the bay, emerald hills now that autumn is here and summer chased away into the mountains. But a milky white fog spreads over the bay like a silken ghost. I used to visit Trappist monasteries, back when I was Catholic, at the beginning of high school, and searching for a relationship of love. I read plenty of philosophy then to know that knowing isn’t enough, that having a realization in the mind is entirely different from experiencing a revelation of the heart.

I spent two birthdays in the Himalayas…

Traveling along gravel roads that drop deep into icy gulches where the Ganges river rages below not yet packed with the filth and mud and newspapers of villages, not yet carrying remainders of Indians in her current, I found Christ found me. It’s a difficult and strangely compelling atmosphere to confront oneself, – – India, – – sandwiched with black corpses, white snow, pagan fires and virulent animals.

I took a bus north from Delhi. It was crowded, tight and cramped, flies buzzed between my face and the windows smeared with brown slime. It’s so Continue reading “The Impossibility of Aloneness: When Christ Found Me in the Himalayas – Joseph Magnus Frangipani, Alaska, USA”

Latin America: Peoples in search of Orthodoxy

http://latinamericaofmyheart.wordpress.com

LATIN AMERICA OF MY HEART

Latin America: Peoples in search of Orthodoxy

by

Metropolitan Athenagoras of Mexico

Thirteen years ago, when I undertook the (then newly-established) Holy Metropolis of Mexico with only three priests and three mainly Greek-speaking communities, in Mexico, Panama and Venezuela, I would never have expected, let alone conceive the miracle that is unfolding today for our Orthodox Church in Latin America. We all lived the miracle of Cuba, when Fidel Castro’s government undertook the construction of the Sacred Temple of Saint Nicholas in Havana and officially received Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who officiated the inauguration of that Holy shrine in January of 2004.  In the decade that passed, we experienced the propagating of our faith in the states of Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, etc… just as we experienced – and continue to experience – the continuing drama of the people of Haiti, after the catastrophic earthquake of last January.  A drama which unfortunately will heal, only after several years have passed.

cuba_orthodox_children

Orthodox children of Cuba

Greece became acquainted with Christianity and lived its own Pentecost around two thousand years ago, through the Apostle Paul and the other Apostles.  Greece is the most blessed country in the world. And this is because – as I point out to our priests – whichever stone you lift, underneath it you will find the relics of a Saint, a Martyr, a holy man, a fighter for the Orthodox faith…  We, however, in Latin America are living our Pentecost today.  For us – with the Continue reading “Latin America: Peoples in search of Orthodoxy”