Four years ago, the first OCMC mission team to visit the Mayan Orthodox Christians in the highlands of Guatemala elicited this poignant response from the late Fr. Andres Giron: “Now we know that we are not alone.” Since that time many teams have arrived offering their musical, catechetical, medical, dental, architectural and construction skills to the rapidly growing membership of this indigenous church. As a result, tens of thousands of our Mayan brethren now realize that they are part of the Great Church of Christ, which is to be found in all parts of the world. Yet another very concrete expression of this truth was made real by the visit (July 1-6) of my Holy Cross parish mission team to the Fr. Andres Giron medical/dental clinic in the remote border village of Aguacate. Patients came from as far away as 7 hours on the flatbed of a pickup truck to receive medical attention. Also, the life of a two year old feverish child, who was convulsing and near death, was saved by the rapid response of our medical team, led by Robert Kirschner, our project director and Dr. Alexis Megaludis-Politis our medical provider. Others who participated in the team’s effort were Kassiana Politis (medical intake and pharmacy), Lia Dennison and her daughter Lillian (eye testing), Alexa Megaludis (medical intake and dental assistant), and Dr. Willie Manteris (dental work).

Dr. Manteris assisted by Alexa offer dental care.

Another important feature of the outreach was the videography of Manny Politis and his assistant Johnny Chakos, which will highlight elements of the compelling history and life of the village, as well as the impact of the clinic on the lives of its residents. Presbytera Alexandra and I, together with long-term missionary Jesse Brandow, served as interpreters. This mission of mercy not only made real the Gospel imperative to love our neighbor, it reflected the love and generous support that our Holy Cross parish has for those in greatest need. At times like this the convicting words of Christ come to mind: “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of these My brethren, you did it to Me”  (Matthew 25:40). May we always see the face of Christ in those who lay claim to our love.

Donation of soccer balls for all grades to village school.

Holy Cross mission team members.

Patient intake begins with photo and number for the clinic’s data base system

Dr. Alexis treats patients with loving care.

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