On his father’s side there have been many ordained ministers, though until his father they were not Orthodox, but his Father’s ministry is clearly a blessing. His ancestors must now be praying for him.
On my side of the family, interestingly, there have been over 50 Baptist ministers in our family’s time in America – many missionaries. Thus I calculate that it takes 50 Baptist ministers praying from heaven, for God to grant one Orthodox priest. But things seem to be quickening in this generation. Two of my daughters are married to Orthodox priests. One of them has a father-in-law who is an Orthodox priest (incidentally, his first visit to Romania included preaching to over 100,000). She also has a brother-in-law who is an Orthodox deacon. My family has been truly blessed as converts. My parents were received into the Church at age 80. God has blessed us with a flood of converts within my family and my children’s families.
And now, a “cradle” Orthodox Christian, whose father serves in an all-Russian Church in California. In very American (and perhaps non-Orthodox fashion) the news of his birth on Sunday morning was the occasion of applause in that all Russian congregation. I suppose America has an impact on us all, but I thought it bode well for the young Peter Alexis.
His parents are both fluent in Russian (hence the service in a Russian parish). My daughter, his mother, spent a year in Siberia to perfect her Russian when she was in college. Her husband is simply a genius at languages. Having taught himself Church Slavonic and from college Russian, become so proficient that my daughter says she can not equal his command of the language. He preaches in both Russian and English each service (and the sermons are different). He, like my other priest son-in-law, is a joy to my heart and an amazement of the goodness of God.
I have been Orthodox now for 10 and 1 half years. And in this short time God has accomplished so much – in the lives of my children. We have grown a parish from about 15 people to 150 people, established 2 missions from this Church, and, of course, become the author of this blog, which God has blessed beyond anything I ever imagined.
The Orthodox Church is the most welcoming, affirming Church I could ever imagine. Truly I am at home. I hope with great longing to visit Orthodox friends across the world. This September I will be in Israel for two weeks. Russia and Romania are very high on my lists as well.
I am the least of all God’s children, but He has blessed me beyond measure!