This morning I went to Bethany to join the Russian Orthodox faithful of the Holy Land with the Bethany girls and Russian pilgrims. It was a moving, powerful experience and a testimony to our enduring faith in the Holy Land, seeing Russians and Palestinian Arab Orthodox Christians come together in the place were Mary and Martha met Christ before the raising of Lazarus.
Equally moving from me was hearing that after the service, my wife met with a woman from our village of Beit Jala who, as a young girl, went to stay and study at the school. She was ultimately able to study medicine in former Yugoslavia and is now a successful doctor in Bethlehem district. Through your prayers and labors, we will see more of these girls lead full, happy lives for generations to come.
As you prepare for Lazarus Saturday and Holy Week in your own churches and communities today, please do consider making a special collection. We are now able to take US donations through the American Commandery of the Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem.
Numbered among the Orthodox faithful in the Holy Land