LATIN AMERICA OF MY HEART
The Chakos Family
Fr. John and Presvytera Sandy serve as missionary specialists, a role that involves spending part of the year doing direct field work in Guatemala and part of the year in the United States, where they build awareness, speak on missions, and provide consultation. When in Guatemala, Fr. John serves as a teacher and guide for the communities and as the field leader for the long-term missionaries. The first of the long-term missionaries to Guteamala, Fr. John has been serving in the communities since 2011. Pres. Sandy provides work opportunities to the Mayan women by training them in sewing and garment making. She has created Mayan Artisan Studios (MAS) to enable the women to sell vestments and liturgical adornments to customers abroad.
Jesse has been serving for four years in Guatemala where he lives in Aguacate in the department of Huehuetenango. Jesse uses his training as a seminary graduate to teach and preach in the parishes in Guatemala and Southern Mexico. Two of his main responsibilities are teaching classes to the eight Guatemalan seminarians and preparing Spanish-language Orthodox educational materials. In addition, he assists in coordinating visiting mission teams. While in Guatemala, Jesse also is continuing the online ministry that he began during his initial travels to Guatemala in 2012. Jesse created this website (Mayan Orthodoxy) for the joy and inspiration of the Church.
Archimandrite Juvenal Repass
Archimandrite Juvenal Repass is a priest and monastic of the Diocese of Alaska, Orthodox Church in America. In his service in Guatemala, he draws on his years as a teacher at both St. Herman’s Seminary in Alaska and St. Tikhon’s Seminary in Pennsylvania to provide training and guidance in Orthodoxy for the people of Guatemala.
In 2014, Jennifer participated in the pioneering work of the initial music ministry team sent to Guatemala. She combines years of experience in the classroom as an educator along with her formal theological studies from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology to serve and assist the Orthodox Church in Guatemala and Southern Mexico in developing, formalizing, and setting patterns of liturgical music. Her efforts also include mentoring and equipping choirs and leaders in the church so that they can inspire and teach the hymns within their respective communities and beyond. Additionally Jennifer assists in producing publications for use by indigenous clergy, catechists, and lay leaders as well as assisting with the seminary program in Aguacate.
Answer Christ’s call in YOUR life
“How can I join a mission team to Guatemala?”
To join a short-term mission team to Guatemala or do mission work in other countries, click here to contact the teams department at OCMC. You also can view a list of all current mission teams offered through OCMC. See the list here.
“How can I come to Guatemala as a long-term missionary?”
The Mayan communities have very specific needs that require missionaries with theological training, medical training (dentists, doctors, nurses, etc), or a background in translation and linguistics. Candidates who are fluent in Spanish are especially encouraged to apply. If you are interested in becoming involved in Guatemala as a long-term missionary, please click here to inquire with the missionary department at OCMC.
[Photos of the Chakos family, Fr. Juvenal, and Jennifer Rice are used with the permission of OCMC.]