|Orthodox Outlet for Dogmatic Enquiries||Missionary labours|
The Christian Mission works in the most unusual places, and salvific Grace visits those who have been called to eternal glory, wherever they may be.
Some time ago, the Nuns of the Sacred Monastery of the Nativity of the Theotokos (Pelaghia) received a letter with an enclosed cheque for $50, from an unknown prisoner in Florida, USA, signed C.S. (he has signed with his full name, but we are only quoting his initials here).
Their surprise - as would be anyone's surprise, upon reading that letter - was not attributed to his noble gesture, but rather to the zeal and the love that he expressed, as well as to the "Scriptural" form of his writing.
We know nothing more about his life, other than his confession that 14 years ago, he had been baptized Orthodox. We are quoting this very interesting letter by our imprisoned American brother, herebelow:
«And in those days, Mariam arose and travelled to the highlands in haste, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. And it came to pass, that as soon as Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mariam, the infant leapt inside her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and cried out with a loud voice and said: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!» (Luke 1:39-42).
Dear Brethren in Jesus Christ our Lord,
«Grace be with you, from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ» (Ephesians 1:2).
On this day, I thank God and our Lord Jesus Christ especially for this favour, this opportunity that was given to me, to send my humble gift worth $50. It has been years since He granted me this; that is, to have joy and love in my heart so as to send gifts to Monasteries, Churches, Missions for the poor, to ministries for the imprisoned etc. - especially with whatever has to do with Orthodoxy. He was the One Who bestowed upon me the honour of receiving the Holy Chrism and becoming an Orthodox Christian on the 29th of June 1994 and ever since then, I have been incessantly thanking the Lord our God and our Lord Jesus Christ His Son, for now being a member of His only true Church, Faith and Teaching.
I know absolutely nothing about your Monastery; however, the way that He led me to find it was more than enough for me to understand that He wanted me to send you a small offering, a "tithe". I am hoping that you can make use of this cheque and are able to collect this gift. I am asking you to kindly inform me in regard to your Monastery. My best friend Joyce found your address on the internet, guided by our Lord, and with the faith-filled heart for Him that she gave us, we immediately obeyed her and with joy sent it to you. I pray and hope that in one way or another, she will be there with you and that she will provide you with any help you may require, so that you may use her whenever He wills it.
I need to tell you that it is not permitted for me (as a prisoner) to receive wooden icons, sanctified oil and similar items; only books, paper icons and greetings …
It was He (the Lord) Who magnified my humble faith to begin with an Orthodox Christian Ministry for the imprisoned 4 years ago. Today, including your Monastery, 33 more have been added to my list. I am kindly requesting you to let me know if you have received the gift. I do not know if you are a Monastery with Nuns or Monks, but I do beseech you to keep me and Joyce and our family in your prayers.
With all my love and my prayers for you to Him, I say:
«All the saints greet you. May the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. Amen.» (2 Cor.13:13-14).
Sincerely Yours in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Article published in English on: 24-4-2009.
Last update: 24-4-2009.