Serving in Guatemala
On April 21st, I flew into Guatemala to begin my two years of mission work. I currently am living in Nueva Concepcion, a hot and humid city close to the Pacific Coast. My primary task in Nueva Concepcion is to study language and culture for six months. In October or November, I plan to move into the mountains of Huehuetenango to minister in the rural villages that have converted to the Orthodox Church under the Ecumenical Patriach. Please continue participating in this work through your prayers and support. For regular updates, sign up for my email newsletter (www.bit.ly/1wUfFhK). To support me visit my financial support page (www.bit.ly/1CzCKPb). You also can contact me at any time by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm so grateful to all of you who are praying for Guatemala! Sending my love to all of you from the Pacific Coast of Guatemala!
Jesse's full biography:
Jesse has lived throughout the United States but still finds his home in Michigan, where his parents and one brother live. Raised in the Orthodox Church, Jesse was inspired by his family to pursue a life of ministry. His father, Gerasimos, was born in India to missionary parents and now serves as a deacon; his mother, Abigail Lydia, is an artist and iconographer in the Church. For Jesse, the love of ministry and mission work drew him to Latin America.
Jesse first fell in love with Latin America in high school, where he befriended students from Mexico who had immigrated to Michigan. Through these friendships, Jesse felt the call to attend seminary and do ministry in the Spanish language. He attended college at Thomas More College in New Hampshire and, in 2009, he briefly traveled to Guatemala as a short-term missionary through OCMC.
After college, Jesse attended seminary, studying at both St. Vladimir's Seminary and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. In 2012, he returned to Guatemala—this time for a full summer—where he traveled with several indigenous Orthodox priests along treacherous mountain roads to minister in the Mayan villages. After finishing seminary, Jesse worked as a lay hospital chaplain in Reading, Pennsylvania, where he used his knowledge of Spanish among a majority-Hispanic population.
Now, through the continuing support of people throughout the United States, Jesse has returned to Guatemala as a long-term missionary. His love for Latin America fills him with hope that the ancient seed of Orthodox Christianity will not be merely transplanted from other cultures, but will sprout with fresh roots in the soil of the indigenous culture. Offering his theological training and his talents as a writer and photographer, Jesse will play a small part in the growth of an authentic—and beautiful—Mayan Orthodoxy.