Mothers are the heart and soul of the Orthodox Christian response to persons with disability. On my resource page I have a list of family blogs which include a number of them.
A mother is a window into heavenly Jerusalem’s maternal devotion to her children, which the Lord has revealed in Creation in our Mother the Church, Christ’s Bride, and the Mother of God, the Most Holy Theotokos, and every mother made in the image of God, especially the Orthodox Christian ones striving toward likeness to God in word and deed and more importantly in their very being, according to the fullness of the Faith, and their faith.
And here is the weblog of one of them, Alana, from Kentucky, entitled Morning Coffee, who shares with us her joys and struggles: http://morningcoffee.blogspot.com/
Thank you, Alana.
Published September 24, 2009
Christ , development , families , prayer , stories
A mother with a son who has autism has a blog on which she shares her story. The page “Words to Get Me Through” contains a number of Holy Scripture portions; she is of the Christian faith, though probably not Orthodox Christian.
The main point of sharing this is the personal nature of her story, and the Scriptures show that despite her struggles, she is grounded in faith. May the Lord lead her and her son and her whole family to the springs of living water, and make them springs along the way.
On November 6-7, 2009 the Orthodox Christian Association of Medicine, Psychology, and Religion (OCAMPR) is sponsoring a conference on caring for severely challenged patients at the campus of Holy Cross Seminary in Brookline, Massachusetts. The cost for non-members is $100. Student membership is $25, plus $10 for registration.
For more information: http://www.antiochian.org/node/20372 The website itself is not very informative on this matter, but the email addresses should yield results. See also http://www.scoba.us/articles/2704.html (the same info as above)
Here is a post by a web-based Orthodox Christian News Service, Directions to Orthodoxy, concerning the hearty approval North America’s Orthodox Christian bishops have given Focus North America to proceed with their effort to gather together and promote Pan-Orthodox philanthropic efforts in North America. Click on “Read more” at this web address:
Raphael House provides shelter, care, and support to homeless families in San Francisco, California.
Their children’s program is very intensive. Recognizing the traumas of these homeless children due to the various situations that have led their families to where they are, and that (from their website)
as a result of the difficult experiences they have endured, they often exhibit developmental delays, emotional and behavioral problems
Raphael House has provided a broad array of activities and services to address their needs.
To read more about their children’s program and the whole Raphael House ministry, see http://www.raphaelhouse.org/programs/childrens.html & http://www.raphaelhouse.org/index.html
Trinity Youth Services, in Colton, California, provides housing and opportunities for healing and growth to over 300 emotionally and behaviorally challenged youth. They also train and work with foster parents to provide a more permanent home for these children.
The effort was begun in 1966 through the vision of three Orthodox Christian priests from the Los Angeles area.
Trinity Youth Services is one of the Partner Ministries of Focus North America http://www.focusnorthamerica.org/ the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians United to Serve. Explore their website; perhaps the Lord will call you to participate or contribute to their work in some way.
http://www.trinityys.org/services.asp & http://www.trinitychildrensfoundation.org/
The WordPress Blog Incendiary http://incendiarious.wordpress.com/ in June published a post entitled Icons for the Blind.
A school in Lipetsk, Russia is constructing an house-church iconastatis designed for blind students. The icons are 3D, in bas relief. This follows a program initiative for the spiritual nourishment of the blind, directed by icon carver Roman Baturin.
Concerning Roman Baturin,
About two years ago [sic] the successful artist rejected earthly goods and began to lead an ascetic type of life. Having left his prestigious work, he returned to Nizhny Novgorod and began to carve 3D icons on wood for the blind.
At the beginning of 2006, an icon workshop was opened in Nizhny Novgorod for the creation of relief icons for blind people.
Read the whole story: http://incendiarious.wordpress.com/2009/06/26/icons-for-the-blind/
St. Herman Orthodox Church in Fairbanks, Alaska has supported a special needs orphanage in Russia since 2005. Here’s the full story, and details on how to contribute to this holy effort:
Here is a rough Google translation of a website of an orphanage from the city identified. I’m not sure if this is the one or not, but from a list I found, its the only one with a website:
The Savinska orphanage-boarding school with a rehabilitation orientation http://translate.google.com/translate?prev=hp&hl=en&js=y&u=http%3A%2F%2Fpages.marsu.ru%2Fworkgroup1%2Fsaveljeva%2Fcddi.htm&sl=ru&tl=en&history_state0=
Here:s the original web address in Russian: http://pages.marsu.ru/workgroup1/saveljeva/cddi.htm
If you are interested in adopting a child from a Russian orphanage, here is the site with the list and much more information: http://www.adoptionknowhow.com/russia/orphanages/mari-el or simply http://www.adoptionknowhow.com/