Orthodox Thought for the Day


Monday, August 28, 2017

Hurricane Harvey--Providing Relief

From the IOCC (International Orthodox Christian Charities) website:

IOCC is closely monitoring the progression of Hurricane Harvey as it continues to impact Southern Texas and Louisiana. IOCC staff remains in contact with partners, including members of national and local VOADs (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) and expresses concern for the well-being of the people in the path of the storm.
Additionally, IOCC is activating its Emergency Response Network, the Frontliners, to deploy in the coming days to help the people affected by the storm with emotional and spiritual care and conducting needs assessments. Even after their deployment, IOCC’s work to clean and rebuild homes will continue into the weeks and months following the storm’s devastation.

How Can You Help?

IOCC continues praying for the safety and well-being of those affected by this storm. Your gift to our Hurricane Harvey Response Fund will help us to react quickly and effectively to conditions in Southern Texas and Louisiana as they unfold. Your help will provide immediate relief, as well as long-term support through the provision of emergency aid, recovery assistance, and other support to help those in need.

To make a donation, visit:


Pres. Candace

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

What's happening in Kosovo these days?


from the Russian meaning literally

destruction or devastation

(usually referring to a town or country).   

On behalf of the Decani Monastery Relief Fund
+ Very Reverend Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes, President
If you knew someone was suffering under a pogrom, would you step in to deliver the person? Would you make an effort, because if you turned a blind eye or deaf ear, someone’s suffering would intensify? What if death would result without your intervention?
Sounds drastic, doesn’t it? It is. What if the intent of the pogrom was targeted at members of your family? Today, members of Christ’s Body, our Christian family, are suffering a pogrom in Kosovo. An on-going pogrom—now in its 20th year! Hard to believe, isn’t it? Imagine living with both deprivation and Christian persecution in various forms for two decades running. It is no small thing.

Is suffering intensifying in Kosovo & Metohija? Yes! Could death result without intervention? Yes! Has death already occurred? Yes! The pogrom in Kosovo has taken various forms over the years. The express purpose has been to demoralize and drive the remaining Serbian Orthodox Christian population from their native province.

Terror is the Game

The on-going pogrom includes various forms of terror—physical harassment and harm, unexpected deaths. Property damage. Destruction of homes, leaving some homeless and others now living in shipping containers. Destruction of 160 churches and monasteries in the region, some dating back to the 12th century. Vandalizing and desecration of 400 cemeteries in the area. Theft of vehicles, farm equipment and farm animals. Unexpected loss of utility services (electricity—often resulting in food spoilage, lack of light and water service in some areas). A growing scarcity of food. High gas prices. Lack of medical services—only two hospitals in the region are allowed to serve the Serbian population—and they are very poorly equipped as of this writing. Most pregnant women opt to take the long ride to Belgrade (a 6 hour drive away) in order to deliver a child safely.

All the above are deplorable circumstances, DELIBERATELY inflicted on the Serbian population by the current Albanian majority to drive them out of Kosovo for good! 

aka Ethnic Cleansing

Marko Djuric, Republic of Serbia Director of the Office for Kosovo & Metohija, recently reported, “We should also bear in mind the fact that two-thirds of Kosovo’s pre-war Serbian population remain refugees and only about 120,000 still live in Kosovo and Metohija in poor economic conditions and political isolation while over 200,000 now live in central Serbia.” He also pointed out that over 80,000 houses and apartments in Kosovo are now used by other people, and together with security problems, are the biggest obstacles preventing the Serbs’ return to Kosovo. Those who do return may find bullet holes in their homes along with routine harassment by their Albanian “neighbors.”

How the EU Spends Money in Kosovo

It’s interesting to note that the European Union has invested the ethnic Albanian population in Kosovo with 60 billion Euros to date. However, for the Serbian population of Kosovo—NOTHING.
Serbs previously driven from Kosovo, who then want to return, face obstacles as noted. Is it any wonder why the ethnic Albanians continue to push for their ouster? Thus, the long-standing, intensified pogrom continues.

Neutralizing the Assault

One of the more effective tools used in the pogrom is the lack of available food. Lack of food is the greatest concern right now. The Decani Monastery Relief Fund is routinely tapped for assistance in providing food. With your help we will continue to source and provide needed food for the oppressed population. Most often this requires us to travel outside the province to source provisions. This is just one of the many ministries the fathers of the Decani Monastery provide for the brethren.

Funds received by the DMRF are applied in these ways:
• Routinely providing staple foods for families and monasteries
• Providing farm animals and farm equipment
• Providing food for six active soup kitchen ministries in the region
• Providing needed medical supplies and equipment
• Providing funds to help cover utility bills for families and monasteries
• Providing a hot lunch for students (a necessity during cold seasons)
• Providing firewood to heat homes, schools & monasteries during cold seasons

Overcoming Evil With Good

You can relieve those who are suffering a spiritual pogrom thinly disguised as a physical one. Yes, this pogrom is physical and needs are acute. Even so, the Christians recognize the true battle is spiritual as it is in every place where Christian persecution exists. Now is the time to save the brethren by your prayers and your material support.
The Decani Monastery Relief Fund exists for this purpose. With your support, we will let the brethren know, TANGIBLY, that they are not forgotten by God. His people remain the lifeline for their support during these times of crisis and uncertainty.

You CAN Provide Deliverance--TODAY!

Help us meet this crucial need, please. Let the persecutors be put to shame by the loving care these Christians receive from you! There is a genuine need—there is a pogrom in progress and you can be deliverers in Christ’s name through the Decani Monastery Relief Fund. Your generous response will speak volumes to the hearts of suffering Serbian Christians. You cannot know the depth of their need or their appreciation when they find there is a way to cope with these on-going hardships. Assuredly, God knows and will reward everyone for their generous and loving deeds.
Donations can be made on-line via Paypal on our website: www.thedecanifund.org
Or by mail: Decani Monastery Relief Fund
c/o Very Reverend Nektarios Serfes
2618 West Bannock Street
Boise, ID 83702
You will receive a receipt for your gift.
The DMRF is a tax-exempt charity. For those who might be wondering, the DMRF runs “lean.” We have no paid staff, all who serve the Fund do it voluntarily. We are a “no overhead” organization. All the proceeds given to the Fund go to Kosovo to meet needs there. So, the money you give yields maximum effect.

The Love of God will Reign in Kosovo
Because You Care

Unless we see with our own eyes we may not realize the severity and its effect when food runs short. But I assure you, the situation is critical and the DMRF will help with whatever means God provides. Your gift today will nourish people physically. In doing so, you will save this now Christian minority population from a severe humanitarian crisis.
We ask, too, that you remember and sustain the brethren of Kosovo and Metohija spiritually through your prayers. They pray for you, too—their benefactors!
God remember your love and reward it eternally in His Kingdom! Thank you!  Peace to your soul!
Humbly in our Lord Jesus Christ,
+ Very Reverend Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes
Who always prays for you!