The Fund for Assistance – ROCOR – February 2015

You helped the brotherhood find a new way of preaching the Gospel… through their garden

Our favorite example of your generosity is the expanding farm at Holy Cross Monastery. Thanks to your kind help, the brethren are now able to supply nearly 75% of own vegetables and 90% of their own own eggs. There’s fresh goat milk every day from Pascha to Thanksgiving.

As a result of growing their own food and getting much better nutrition, their grocery bills have shrunk, and their health has improved, so much so, that visitors have commented on how much healthier they look! And they use organic and sustainable farming practices.

“As a frequent visitor to the monastery I have long been concerned for the monks’ overall health and well-being due the uncertain quality of the food they were able to buy.  The recent significant improvements in the monastery’s agricultural production have contributed to a noticeable improvement in their health. Glory to God!” –  Innocent 

But that’s not even the best part. Here’s what’s absolutely amazing: Hierodeacon Sergius – the head farmer at the monastery – says farming is impossible without help from neighbors.

“When we work with our neighbors here in West Virginia, they are coming into contact with Orthodoxy. Even the local Farm to School director visited us hoping to establish a relationship between the monastery and our local school children. That’s really exciting. Of course when they come, they will hear us speak about farming from a Christian perspective including topics such as: Creation or Repentance, i.e. working the earth as repentance (drawing close to God) instead of trying to create Utopia on earth.”

Christ’s Gospel is so full of references to agriculture. When one of our neighbors was helping me in the garden this summer, he asked me how many seeds to plant. I said, “He who sows sparingly, reaps sparingly.” He was amazed at that response. It was like a light bulb went off in his head. The Gospel came alive for him. …He put down as much seed as he could.

– Hierodeacon Sergius

And if it hadn’t been for you, the monastery would have probably ceased to exist three years ago. Glory to God for you – our generous donors!