Orthodox Thought for the Day


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sowing seeds of love in the image of Christ

Beloved Readers, 

Sending you this special message to share how you can make an encouraging difference in the lives of Orthodox Christians in Kosovo, Serbia during the month of November.   

Our dear brother in Christ, Fr. Nektarios Serfes, is about to make a humanitarian trip to the area to distribute material relief and love in Christ’s Name.  He is set to travel on November 16, returning November 27, God willing, all things going well. 

If you’re new to the Ortho Thought readership, Fr. Nektarios (Boise, ID) is president of the Decani Monastery Relief Fund.  The Decani Monastery is located in Kosovo, Serbia. 

Sadly, the Christian populace of Kosovo and Metohija, Serbia know first-hand the meaning of HARDSHIP.  Rather than leave these Christians destitute, the Decani Fund comes alongside with practical and necessary assistance for an oppressed Christian population.  The fathers (monks) of the Decani Monastery are the conduit for distributing material help to the brethren there.  You can learn more about the fund here:   www.TheDecaniFund.org.  The Fund exists because of brethren who care and are good stewards of God’s bounty.

When Fr. Nektarios visits Kosovo, he takes as many material items as he can manage to bless the brethren there.  On his last trip he delivered seed packets and reported that 250 (all he had) were quickly and excitedly snapped up by families needing to raise food.  He said the seed packets were so well received and desired that he would like to take as many packets with him as he can gather for this upcoming trip.  So, let me ask--are there gardeners among us?  Do you have unopened seed packets at home?  Would you be willing to send seed packets to Fr. Nektarios so he can take them to Kosovo?  Note:  Please check your seed packet dates before sending.  The fresher, the better. 

  Seed packets are fairly lightweight, but have the potential to yield much and FEED people.  Consistent hunger and lack of nourishment is an on-going concern for the brethren…elderly, children, families.  Most of us cannot get our minds around what it would be like to live on two or even just one meal a day—and often a sparse meal at that.  Demand for assistance from local soup kitchens has increased and, sadly, the kitchens have had to cut back on what they can provide because food is either too expensive or not easily sourced.  So, sending seeds for growing food would be most welcome by the families who are served by the Decani Monastery Relief Fund and by the soup kitchens which are part of the Fund’s ministry.
Another useful item for this trip would be pocket sized laminated icons.  Fr. Nektarios visits as many people as he can when he travels in the area.  Whenever he meets someone, he gives the person an icon as an eulogia, i.e., blessing.  If you have laminated icons at home that Fr. can take with him and distribute, that would be another welcome item for ministry. 

Icon buttons for children would be nice, too.        

If you can supply any of these items as a donation, please send them to: 
Very Rev. Fr. Nektarios Serfes
Ss. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church
2618 West Bannock Street
Boise, ID   83702 
Finally, we are about to post the Christmas letter for the Decani Monastery Relief Fund.  We’re doing so now because it will take a few weeks of preparation in order for the blessing to appear!  You’ll understand more when you read it.  Please believe me when I say that blessing these oppressed Christians is a most worthwhile way to demonstrate both faith in and love for our Christ.  God sees this mercy and He will surely reward.   
God bless you, dear brothers & sisters!   
With heartfelt thanks & love in Christ,
Presbytera Candace 
Newly appointed board member
The Decani Monastery Relief Fund

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