Posted October 17, 2014 in MH Raleigh NC:
Notes From Near and Far: MH Raleigh

by Theresa Davis.

One interesting thing that happened in our house recently was the visit of two Orthodox nuns from Minsk, Belarus.

They wanted to come to raise money by selling some beautiful wares—real icons containing crushed semi-precious stones, hand-made silk priests’ vestments, and every other liturgical item that the East can think of. They e-mailed people in the Raleigh area asking for a place to stay, and several people suggested us.

Without looking at the dates, we just said yes—only to discover that they were coming for two weeks! Three meals a day for fourteen days! This part was very daunting. When it’s just the two of us, Echo Lewis and me, we often just do pick-up meals.

However, we needn’t have worried. As people heard about the Sisters coming and about the phenomenal work they do, they brought us food and even made some of the meals.

The Sisters work with prisoners and mentally handicapped children and adults, many of whom are victims of the Chernobyl nuclear plant explosion. So, of course, we expected them to be at least middle aged. Instead, two young (ages 25 and 31) exceptionally good looking, English-speaking women in white habits appeared at our door.

It was amazing for us to watch God’s love and Providence for these Sisters. Although they are not organized American-style—they "organized" their visits to various towns and parishes at the last minute—every parish they approached to sell their wares opened to them.

One couple who had been asked to host them in their village told us that they had at first resisted, but that when they saw these nuns in their white habits and sweet faces, they realized what a privilege they were given.

And one of our friends whom we invited to have dinner with the nuns and us bought three of their icons and gave them a $5,000 donation! The nuns were so stunned they couldn’t say thank you. So were we.

As it turned out, we like the couple who hosted the Sisters, came to realize that we were far more on the receiving end of their time here than we had ever dreamed possible.


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