Thursday, August 09, 2007

A Letter Home

It has been too long since we were “home,” so we wanted to write an update and encourage everyone to write back. Pelagia and I pray for all of you, who have supported us in so many ways – with prayers and finances – at all the holy places Christ blesses us to visit here in Greece.

It was a long year of learning Greek for us – both the language and the culture. (Yes, it’s been one full year already!) But all the hard work is finally bearing fruit. Pelagia’s parents, Fr Joseph and Kh Sophia, visited us this month, and we were able to translate almost everything for them. With more hard work and God’s help, our Greek will continue to improve.

This summer, I have begun doing some translation work for Fr Peter Heers and his Uncut Mountain Press, which publishes Orthodox works such as “The Truth of Our Faith.” Now we are working on a collection of essays on ecumenism. A book of Fr John Romanides’ dogmatic lectures from the University here is also due out any time. There are so many important, spiritually enriching texts to translate into English! I hope I can contribute something. I am also doing some reading for my dissertation topic, which will begin officially in October. I hope to translate a Patristic commentary on the Gospel of St Luke or Acts as part of my program.

Meanwhile, Pelagia has found her niche as a handywoman. Primarily, she paints, but she also lays floors, fixes plumbing, does gardening, and whatever else she can find. She is gaining quite a reputation and the job offers are starting to pour in.

Unfortunately, as you may or may not know, things here are quite expensive – more so than the U.S. Due to various bureaucratic problems, I have yet to receive a scholarship, but I pray that one will come through in the next few months.

Work here is scarce for everyone, but especially for foreigners, so we are blessed that we have been able to find what we have. Pelagia has more job opportunities, but she needs a car to take advantage of them. Our goal, then, is to buy an inexpensive used car. I know we are all bombarded with requests for money, but if you can find it in your heart (and your pocket!) to make even a small donation, it would be an enormous help. We face a hurdle right now in trying to move into more self-sufficiency, as our savings become depleted. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Tax-deductible gifts can be made by writing a check to: "Holy Cross Orthodox Church" (please write "Seminary Fund" in the note field). It can be mailed to: Holy Cross Orthodox Church, Attn: Maria Meals, 706 Stewart Street, Yakima, WA 98902-4473.

Or you can donate through Paypal online by simply clicking the button on the right-hand side of the screen. It's safe and quick.

Thank you for reading the blog and being involved in our lives! And please keep the comments on the blog coming – it’s nice to get feedback!

Yours in Christ,

Gregory and Pelagia

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