An Orthodox Experience by Christopher Mayor, Boston, MA
Its tough to fit all of my positive and memorable experiences from this trip on one page. This trip definitely gave me a new perspective on how other parts of the world perceive the faith. We escorted bringing the relics of St Elizabeth with us and we were treated like family as if we have known fellow Belorussian Christians for many years. One of my favorite parts was definitely getting to spend time with people in the orthodox community from America that helped strengthen my faith and also helped expand my relationships within the Orthodox community. I did a lot of things for the first time such as directly venerating relics, trying Belorussian food, seeing a new church get consecrated, getting interviewed, presenting in front of seminarians, and a ton of other things. One of the most memorable experiences was visiting the orphanages, it definitely gave me a new perspective on life and how blessed we are to live like we do in America. It was a blessing to see where the money that was our Russian Orthodox parishes raised went to and how happy it made the orphans. It was amazing to see how our parish can impact communities around the world. When we saw the kids’ expressions of how happy they felt with the animals in the petting zoo and playground we had helped sponsor for them it just brought me to tears. It gave me motivation to appreciate the things I often take for granted. This trip helped me grow in my faith most importantly and I will never forget the experience from it.