I Was Malnourished In My Church
A. Tell us a little bit about yourself before the conversion
I was Catholic in El Salvador. One of two sisters. We came to USA in
1981, I was 15 years old. Graduated in 1986, I wanted to be in sports, specifically softball. Then I started working and forgot all about school
and never went back. I had my first child in 1989, a boy, then another
boy in 1994. In 2009 I got divorce. I remained Catholic and raised my
family as Catholics. I married my husband who was from Mexico. However as he grew up he still doesn't go to church to this day.
B. How did you get introduced to Orthodoxy?
I met a friend at work who is Coptic Orthodox and we began talking. He was
very involved at church. I thought he was Muslim at first, then he explained
how similar our religions were. He found out I was not going to church
anymore, and he proudly talked to me about his church, his activates, and all
about the length and what’s involved. He gave me the name of the church in
Irvine, Ca, and said he went to the early one and I went and I wanted to
surprise him. Then I met Fatima and we became friends. I asked he to help me
and she did. This was February 2017. And I have been going ever since. I
reached out to the priest of the church for more guidance and Bible study. So
for four months we met every week and I learned a lot about the Bible and how
the Bible is represented in the liturgy. I also was not familiar with the culture.
All of this was unknown by my friend. I continued to go and learn and he later
found out and was excited that my desire came from me and God, not because
Since I have been going to church I have a lot of friends from outside, so they know and think I have become a fanatic, but it’s not important to me. God will use me when he is ready.
C. What attracted you to Orthodoxy?
It is similar to my Catholic upbringing. I felt the catholic choice was not feeding me enough. I found the knowledge and learning I was getting from orthodoxy fed me greater than I had ever been fed before.
D. What were some of the hurdles you faced in your conversion?
The only thing I struggle with is the language. However, it’s not really a hurdle as I can go to an English church and not be fed, but I come here and I feel the depth. I did attend an all English Orthodox Church named St. Paul, but I feel more at home and familiar with my current church, St Marina.
E. What would you like to say to the youths in the Orthodox church?
To stay with them. To be available for them. That no matter what age you get to, here is your home. There will be people that will tell you that, their religion is better, or religion is old fashion, or out of date. It’s not true.
F. What would you like to tell someone who maybe considering Orthodoxy?
I would love to invite them to come with me. To be with me and learn together and discover it together.