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Re: Where did you come from?

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July 23, 2002 05:50AM
Christ is in our midst!

I loved reading everyone's journey into the Orthodox Church. Mine is a little unusual despite the fact I was baptized as an infant under the Orthodox Patriachate of Jerusalem. I consider myself a convert in the sense I discovered my historical roots and knew nothing about Orthodoxy. I will start with a family dispute that was between my pro-Orthodox paternal grandfather and his Latinized brother right before my baptism at the age of 4. My mother, who was baptized Orthodox but later became a Melkite(Uniate) and married in the Melkite Church, decide to end the dispute between the brothers by choosing to have me baptized Orthodox (Thank God). However, I was never brought up Orthodox or even knew what it was. I was raised Roman Catholic. My mother somehow or another convinced me that my first communion was in the Roman Catholic Church when in fact my first communion was immediately after my baptism! I recently corrected her on that while she paused for a while to think about that! During college, I became agnostic but I still thirsted for true Christian truths. When I was in college I would have loved to have met Orthodox Christians but I kept running into heretics and heterodox. I studied and focused on Islamic/Arabic studies which eventually led me to discover the Orthodox Church. Unfortunately, what the university taught in the classroom about Christianity barely referenced the Orthodox Church. My first reading of Orthodox literature was the book, "The Orthodox Church," by Bishop Ware. I bought the book at the university campus bookstore and I could not refuse not to buy it. It was as if it were saying "come and receive". One of the courses I took at college, Sociology of Religion, required that I set a class field trip at my Church. I personally did not have a Church but I did know where the majority of my families attended, the Arab Orthodox Church. This experience of a field trip ignited my journey into Orthodoxy. The pastor told the students who attend the Church about how thousands of evangelical Christians were becoming Orthodox. I was in awe. At that moment I told the pastor that I didn't think that the Orthodox Church evangelizes and that it was a protestant thing to do(lol)! Boy, did I have some learning to do then. Then the very same Church four years later witnesses the miraculous Weeping Icon which crept all around the world. Today, I am happy to say that I sit on the Parish Council and I am the Director of the Sunday School of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, the Home of the Weeping Icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary www.stgeorgecicero.org
I always give thanks to the Theotokos because it was her miraculous tears that brought me home. Amin.
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Where did you come from?

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