A Mission Trip, Our New Mission Church And Shadrack And Kibbles are Stars

16 07 2008

We drove Vera to the Nashville International Airport this morning for her flight to the Orthodox Christian Mission Center in Jacksonville, Florida.  She is training this evening and tomorrow for her overseas trip to Romania.  Friday morning , her team will be flying to Romania.  They will be spending three weeks working with older youth in camps.  Vera has been working hard for several months raising support for this trip.  She has put a great deal of her salary as a part time teacher towards her trip. Her parish, St. Elizabeth the New Martyr Orthodox Christian Church of Murfreesboro, Tennessee gave her about half of her support.  We have all sacrificed to make this mission trip a reality.  Vera is no stranger to missionary work.  After her sophmore year in college –she spent 8 weeks in Ukraine.  Then after she graduated from college she taught school in Ukraine for 10 months.  Vera married a a young man from Ukraine. The marriage became a bitter pill and her sorrow led her to learn about the Orthodox faith.  We were so impressed with the way her life changed during her search about the Orthodox faith–that we took the journey with her.  We were all chrismated in 2006 at St. Elizabeth Orthodox Church.  We will hold a prayer vigil for Vera and her team and for all the Romanian young people at the youth camps.  May God’s protection and peace be with each of them.

Several posts ago, I wrote about a new mission starting in Clarksville, Tennessee.  We have gone back and forth these past two years between the Orthodox Community at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky and St. Elizabeth in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.  In May we made our final decision to be a part of the new mission.  We have been praying for Western Kentucky and the Clarksville area ever since our journey to the Orthodox Faith began three years ago.  Jim took St. Herman of Alaska as his saint. ( You can read about St. Herman in my archives listed under the Orthodox faith. ) Many years ago while we were students at a Bible college–Jim desired to do mission work.  He is now 61 years old and that prayer is finally realized.

Fr. Peter  must have been working hard on the mission while he was in Iraq because when he came back to our community at Ft. Campbell, he had some very organized plans.  He already had a barebones budget ready.  There was already a community center in mind for the mission.  We had an official business business meeting.  Then someone told him about a chapel that might be available.  He checked into that and we had another business meeting.  This week the church that owns the chapel voted to let us rent their chapel.  So we will have a place to worship that is already a little church.  We are so excited.  The name of our mission church will be called: The Protection Of The Virgin Mary Orthodox Mission. We will be under the Orthodox Church In America. As far as I know now–there are only 4 Orthodox Christians in our Western Kentucky  town.  Now as we share about our faith, we can direct them to a mission within 30 miles of our town.  This is a wonderful answer to prayer.  And I almost forgot to add that Fr. Peter, who is being transferred to Ft. Knox, Kentucky will have no military obligations on the weekend.  His family is not moving from the Clarksville area.  So he will drive home each weekend and be our priest until a full time priest is assigned to our mission.

In the past three years we have seen people from all walks of life become Orthodox.  We have seen people who have had no church background at all seek out the Orthodox faith.  Likewise, we have witnessed  older people from different Christian backgrounds– learning about the Orthodox faith.  At St. Elizabeth several older couples were chrismated.  Their ages averaged between 60 to one man who was about 83.  Through newspaper ads–people found the Orthodox faith in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.  Now we are looking for the same kind of response in Western Kentucky and the greater Clarksville, Tennessee area. 

Jim is learning how to work behind the altar with Fr. Peter.  He has finished two Sundays so far. Fr. Peter gave him a three page single spaced list of instructions.  I had never realized how much responsibility goes into helping a priest.  Last Sunday after church, we went to get a snack and just enjoyed talking for a couple of hours.  We laughed as we remembered what a hard time Jim had with me when I was Lutheran.  We had a period in our marriage when we went our separate ways with our faith.  Jim went to a Baptist church and I went to the Lutheran church.  Jim did not like liturgical services at all.  He would give me lectures occasionally that I needed to be by his side.  I learned much about liturgical worship during my years as a Lutheran.  Now we are a team.  I never dreamed I’d see the day my husband would be working behind the altar to assist a priest.  God has been so faithful to draw us together these past three years to worship as a married couple in the same faith. So thanks be to God for our little mission church!

And now a little side note to a recent blog about Shadrack and Kibbles.  Shadrack, the dog, was found after being gone for 10 days.  Kibbles, her friend, was very sad.  Tomorrow they both become stars as the newspaper will be taking pictures of the two dog friends and will write a nice article about them.  I’m looking forward to reading that article! What a happy ending to what could have been a very sad story.

God bless each of you!




5 responses

19 07 2008

Prayers to your daughter for a safe trip!
I’m glad you found a Church, it is something I have long struggled with!

19 07 2008

frugal trenches,
I just got word that Vera and her team are safe in Romania. I have to say that I really miss her. She came home to help me with my breast cancer ordeal. We have grown very close these past 7 months. Vera will most likely be looking for a long term job overseas so I’m going to have to get used to her not being with us. Anyway, we are glad she has this opportunity.


27 12 2008


It’s wonderful…we must learn to really carefor our neighbors, to really love each other!

I am from Romania.

1 01 2009

M. Vass,
I’m so pleased you found my site. My daughter really enjoyed her time in your country. Thanks for stopping by.


7 08 2009

What a wonderful and heartfelt web journal. God bless.

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