When my wife and I were Orthodox Christian catechumens in 1999 we attended an evangelism conference in Ligonier, PA, where we met many good people with hearts eager to share the love of Christ. One of them was Father Hector Firoglanis, currently a parish priest in Lancaster, PA. At that time he was about to enter his senior year at Penn State University, and in an OCMC article he describes how his desire to be involved in a short-term missions effort unfolded. Here’s the article, entitled The Witness of a New Missionary: http://www.ocmc.org/magazine.php?action=topic&id=5&sub=magazine#75 Here’s an excerpt, relating to the theme of this weblog:
Every Monday I accompany several seminarians to an orphanage, and on Thursdays we go to a school for mentally handicapped and abandoned children as part of the students’ outreach ministry training. At this particular orphanage in Durres, the children range in age from mere infants to four-year-old toddlers. At the school for handicapped children, the children live in very poor conditions with very limited care. We simply visit these children once a week to play with them, to hold the infants and to give all of them love and human contact.
And I would trust that the Seminarians in Durres, Albania continue these Monday excursions to meet our Lord Jesus Christ. (St. Matthew 25)
I just found another OCMC article from Fr. Hector which addresses this concern! Here it is: http://www.ocmc.org/magazine.php?action=topic&id=6&sub=magazine#95 He writes,
Visiting orphans, prisoners, and handicapped children, for example, is easy if done occasionally. But to do it every week consistently for a lifetime takes great commitment and discipline, and would be impossible to carry out without the true love of Christ in one’s heart. This love of the Church is quiet and is only noticed by the people who are being helped. For this reason, the people of Albania are coming to the Orthodox Church to discover the God of love, so that they too may worship Him.