Archive for March, 2014

Stories of Young People from Russia with Disabilities

St. Dimitriy Tuptalo, Metropolitan of Rostov

Dmitry Antonov, a young man from Yenakievo, Ukraine, has created a Classmates group meant to tell the stories of people “who love live and want to live despite all the hardships.” It seems to focus on people with physical disabilites, but does not seem to be limited to that. 

It would seem that one would need to join Classmates for full access, but one can read the stories without joining up as well. To access this online group and their stories click on the links below.

Жизнь вопреки

English Translation (Life in Spite Of)

icon from blogul proiectului ‘theodialogia’

Friendship Community’s Heart Gallery: Impacting the world with capabilities

The Christian organization I work with has an art workshop and gallery where the people in our group homes who have an interest and aptitude in art are guided in expressing their gifts. The gallery displays- for sale- both their art as well as the art of a number of local professional artists.

I work with a couple of the people pictured at their website. I count them as friends.

Impacting the world with capabilities is a central focus at Friendship Community. They may not know it, but they have a sister organization in the country of Lebanon, begun by an Orthodox Christian named Nadim Shwayri. The organization’s  name is Al Kafaat, which is the Arabic word for 


Friendship Heart Gallery … expressing capabilities

The “Mona Lisa” is from the blog The Return of the Modern Philosopher
These websites can be accessed by the live URL’s in orange.

A glimpse of the creativity of Beth Hopkins

For one, Beth has a web blog: In Case of Fire, Use Stairs

Which begins, “Welcome to your Near-Beth-Experience”

A Post explaining the title: Entitlement

As the post explains, Beth has a disability. The post also reveals how she has retained a keen sense of humor not only in spite of the disability, but because of it!

The Most Holy Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary

She is also an Orthodox Christian. In this post she introduces a very important person in the Kingdom of Christ: Behold Your Mother: Getting to Know the Virgin Mary

(Who, when informed by the Archangel Gabriel that she was God’s chosen vessel to bear the Messiah, the Christ, responded, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” Is not, therefore, the Ever-Virgin Mary, the Theotokos,  not the true Ark of the new covenant? Without any doubt! Fittingly, we celebrate this event 9 months before Christmas on March 25th.)

Beth Hopkins not only goes to movies; she reads the book behind the movie, which is very important when you want to get behind Hollywood’s interpretation (distortion) of a literary classic. Here is her impressions of the Tolkien trilogy and the Hobbit: What I’m tolkien about: 3 lessons from the Lord of the Rings


facial hair

2. Cool people have facial hair.

<See example.

In this highly personal post, Beth reflects on marriage and her use a wheelchair, and realistically appraises the situation: Look At Me: Why Looking Past Disability is Toxic for Relationships

Her conclusion:

Looking past me isn’t good enough anymore. It’s time to look at me. This, everything you see, and everything you don’t, is part of who I am. The perfect person for me is someone who loves and accepts all parts of me: typical and different.

Let’s not settle for relationships where someone looks past, ignores, or avoids any part of who we are. Let’s start to dream of someone who looks at us intently, and loves what they see.

(Beth’s posts cover quite a variety of subjects- popular music, movies, mission, and reflections on aspects life in general. Well, perhaps not in general, as the subjects are usually very specific and rarely mundane. But as this is an Orthodox Christian resource page, the next three posts mentioned are her personal insights on the Orthodox Christian Faith.)

A reflection on Psalms 23 and her journey of continual repentance: He hath converted my soul

as well as her exultant Paschal celebration: Happy New Year She writes,

Being someone who hates to feel stuck, I crave-and relish-the feeling of renewal. And to know I have it, and to spend an entire day immersing myself in the knowing, is a beautiful thing indeed.

A Poem by Beth based on Psalm 103: dust and back again

Her personal introduction from her blog “In Case of Fire, Use Stairs:”     Beth Who?

On You Tube:

Tweets: Bethahop

On a friend’s blog, two posts by Beth:

1. a letter to her friend’s very young son Sim discussing life in a wheelchair: Letter to Simeon

2. a response to her friend’s post Dreams of What is Not:


One of the articles by Beth Hopkins published on the Huffington Post: I Don’t Need Your Faith Healing

The weblog of Girada Marius

From the Weblog of Girada Marius:

Vreau sa lupt!

Translation from Romanian to English: I Want to Fight! (I write using the nose, but I write …)

Girada writes with his nose because, in his words, he has “ a physical disability in the first degree.” 

For his story, see About this author

“I received an email from Ana Maria Gabu with whom I met in 2010 at the Literary Editor and wants to interview me which was published in a magazine in Pitesti and the AVA review Timisoara.” (English translation)

In the following post, he shares his joy of finally being able to visit Putna Monastery:


Translation: With God’s help I reached my soul Monastery

(Take note that the translations into English published here have been done through Google translate, and not by a skilled translator. The translations seem clumsy because that’s the best automatic translation devices can do.  One can be sure that Mr. Marius’ writings are smooth and polished in the Romanian language.)

If the translations have expired, use the following translation site for a translation into your language:

Google Translate (Romanian to English) COPY AND PASTE

Ian and Larissa

Ian and Larissa

Ian and Larissa’s story comes not from an Orthodox Christian website, but from a Protestant Christian site, entitled Desiring God. Ian and Larissa were in college and were in a serious relationship when Ian injured his brain in a car accident. It was a life-threatening injury, but Ian pulled through. But there remained damage to his brain functions. Would Ian and Larissa go forward with their relationship in this situation, and on what terms? Access the website and find out.

The Story of Ian and Larissa

There is more to the story, which continues to the present day, and it can be found in their personal weblog:

Pray for Ian

Picture from Radical Womanhood


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