As a child I grew up in a Christian household and attended many different parishes from Methodist to Catholic, but primarily non-denominational.
In high school I had the desire to become a missionary, which led me to Nepal when I was twenty. I was there for almost three months and I worked at a hospital, led a children’s Bible school at church, and helped an American missionary family who lived there. As much as I fell in love with the humanitarian side of things, I also left the country with a broken heart, because I saw how the effects of becoming Christian also meant to become Western.
I returned to the U.S. looking for a church that felt like home. Within just a couple months I moved to Newberg, OR and started attending George Fox University. My roommate, Anna Sophia, was an Orthodox Christian. Any time we spent time together, it always evolved into us sitting on the floor in the living room eating chocolate and discussing religion, spirituality, and Orthodoxy.
I attended Holy Week in 2017 and everything changed in those days. I saw the truth, holiness, and reverence I had been seeking. I started attending Liturgy each week, but there was a part of me that still wasn’t sure, so I also attended other church services.
The next year was difficult as I began deciphering where I wanted to belong and at one point had even decided I would not be Orthodox. However, when western Easter of 2018 came around I was dismayed by the services I attended at a Protestant church for their lack of reverence for the most important of times. I returned to the Orthodox Church in Holy Week of 2018 and was baptized on Renewal Saturday of 2019. I am so grateful to have found my home.