Things I Never Did for Summer Vacation


I am frequently impressed by the things done by youth these days  (yes, they do many positive things). When I was in high-school summer was job time. In college, summer was again, job time. Of course, I had no international connections at the time.

One of the youth from our parish, Ryan Erickson, is a student at the University of Chicago, active in the Orthodox Christian Fellowship (the college organization). This summer he is in Georgia (the one that is not to my South) where he is learning Georgian (an amazing feat to me) and assisting in hospital settings. He is a pre-med student. His trip is under the auspices of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship. There are many activities such as this available each year – one of my daughters went to Guatemala for Spring Break one year to help in an orphanage. Again, I am more than impressed by such youth – I am in awe.

I offer a link to Ryan’s website. Keep up with him and ask God’s blessings on young people whose idea of a summer vacation is serving others around the world.

About Fr. Stephen Freeman

Fr. Stephen is a priest of the Orthodox Church in America, Pastor Emeritus of St. Anne Orthodox Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He is also author of Everywhere Present and the Glory to God podcast series.



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5 responses to “Things I Never Did for Summer Vacation”

  1. fatherstephen Avatar

    The Photo is one of Ryan’s. It is of a Church built in honor of King David the Builder.

  2. Don Bradley Avatar
    Don Bradley

    “one of my daughters went to Guatemala for Spring Break one year to help in an orphanage.”

    Hogar Raphael, by chance?

  3. Fatherstephen Avatar

    Absolutely. She came back speaking more Spanish than the average student with a year under their belt. Gifted ear for language. She also became godmother to child there. What an incredible place.

  4. Ian Avatar

    Thank you for the information on Ryan and the link to his page.

    And yes, many young people put my wasted years to shame. He has my prayers.

  5. Don Bradley Avatar
    Don Bradley

    Small world. At my former parish in Pittsburgh there was at least 7 children that had been adopted from Hogar Raphael, with an extended network within 150 miles that included about 20 children from there. They have mini-reunions, as many of the kids are related.

    One of the nuns from Hogar Raphael visits my former parish regularly to raise cash. If any of your readers is feeling philanthropic and is seeking a worthy cause, they should take a look at this orphanage.

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