The atmosphere of especial joy and wonderful moments of friendship and knowledge, marked the fifth summer camp in our two holy monasteries, Bigorski and Rajcica. This time our guests were around forty children from Tetovo and Probishtip, who had the opportunity, just like the other kids of the previous shifts, to be introduced into, the basics of the Orthodox faith, the monastic everyday life, the sublime etic and importance of moral behavior, but most of all to listen about the virtue of love, goodness, and the spiritual joy, which should be the main characteristics of those baptized in the Holy orthodoxy. And the best opportunity to experience all that they had been learning and creating about these past few days, was the holiday dedicated to the Holy and glorious First Apostles, which as if overflowing springs of zeal, wisdom, love and unshakable faith, bestowed abundant blessing upon our dearest little guests
The visit to the city of Ohrid, of the ancient Ohrid churches “St. Panteleimon – Plaoshnik”, “St. John the Theologian – Kaneo”, “St. Sophia – the Divine Wisdom”, “ The Most Holy Theotokos – Peribleptos”, as well as “The Mother of God – Kamensko”, on the very day of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, was a great opportunity to broaden the circle of friendship, to share the experience and knowledge, the things seen and felt before, through the time spent with the young hosts from Ohrid, or you can say the next participants in the religious summer camps in our two monasteries. And as always, the citizens of Ohrid proved themselves as very hospitable people, receiving with great love, joy, and dedication their dear guests from Tetovo and Probishtip, then showing them around their beautiful city and even providing nourishment for them. A huge surprise they made to their guests was the stroll on the lake with the ship “Alexandria”, for which we are very grateful to his owner, Mr. Gilevski.
Being grateful to our Elder, Archimandrite Parthenius, who never fails to surprise and bring joy to the young ones, the children expressed their gratitude in various ways. Some of them even wrote these wonderful words:
Filoteja Atanasova, 9 years old, Probishtip
„Father Parthenius gently caressed us,
An endless love and joy he gave us
My dear friends don’t hesitate
This religious camp is great.
Rejoice, sing and play
And listen to what God’s to say.”
Aleksandra Naumovska, 14 years old, Tetovo
“First I want to thank Fr. Parthenius for this wonderful summer camp and these amazing five days spent here. Everything was just great, and I believe that every one of us felt so much love, peace, and tranquility, and would like to return here again. We liked most the socializing and the visit to the churches in Ohrid where we sailed in a ship. I express my gratitude to all those who put their effort to make our stay so unforgettable. Our hearts have filled with love that we intend to share and continue to spread it everywhere.”
Blagica Jovanovska, 14 years old, Tetovo
“Although it’s been just five days since I came to Rajchica, I feel as if I have lived here all my life, and that’s because of the people that surround me. The days went by so fast. And in a blink of an eye the time came for us to pack for home. As much as I wanted to see my family home, I also didn’t want to leave this beautiful place. From almost every angle of the monastery you can see the gorgeous lake. In the morning we went to the Liturgy. After that we had music classes and English course, and then breakfast. The daily activities were so well planned, that we didn’t feel bored, and still there was time for a rest. On Thursday, along with the other kids from the camp, we went to Ohrid and there we visited several churches and learned a little about the time they were built and the saint they were dedicated to. After that we had a wonderful lunch and went for a ship sailing on the Ohrid Lake. This visit of ours is because of the 1000 year jubilee of the Ohrid Archbishopric. Here I met some new female friends, and with them the days spent here were even more especial, but regretfully went by even faster”.
Nikola Nasevski, 11 years old, Probishtip It’s my first time in this camp and for that I’m grateful to our Lord and Fr. Parthenius. I visited for the first time the holy water spring where people go the first Friday after Easter, and that holiday is named Easter Friday – Balikli. It’s the feast me and my family celebrate. We also watched animated films about the Bible. Then on Thursday the fasting period ended and we took Communion. Later we visited the church which is being built thanks to the Bigorski Monastery, and the “St Elijah Church” in village Bitushe. Finally, a day before we left, we went to Ohrid and were totally impressed by the churches we visited. We also sailed on a ship which was so exciting and practically indescribable with words. The time spent here during this camp was so great that I would like to come here every year if there is a camp or visit this place with great love every available moment that I have”.