The sixth summer camp has finished
Тhe 6th shift of the summer camps of love in the Bigorski and Rajchica monasteries ended in a beautiful and graceful atmosphere,. These days, our guests were about 30 children from Skopje, Kochani and Gostivar, whose serenity and pure love brought a new wave of joy in the monastery gardens. A little spontaneous friendship, but a lot of love with which our friendships became unbreakable; a little science, but yet, much more learning about the faith, the responsibility, the obedience, forgiveness, sincerity, kindness, patience and humbleness, about the prayer and the sweet fruit the prayer gives to us. About the mercy and the willingness to give a hand to the other. The acquired knowledge that they got in the monastery, should be applied outside the monastic gates. This is the most important lesson of this schools of virtues, for which we firmly believe that it leaves a very strong and profound mark in the children’s lives.
To be capable to peek in the inner soul of these thirty young people, we give you their original impressions in which they expressed their gratitude to our Abbot, Fr. Parthenius for the hospitality he has showed them:
Nishon Avia, 13 yrs. old, Skopje:
My impressions about this camp: I adored and enjoyed this camp a lot. It was very nice, we were close to nature, watched wonderful movies about Jesus, acquired new friends, learned about God and the prayer and I had a beautifully celebrated birthday, etc. From Monday to Friday, the days passed very quickly and in a cheerful manner. Now, I will tell you about everything: Monday-because we arrived then, we didn’t have activities, so we met the Fathers and the children and after that we rested.
Tuesday – We woke up at 6 o’clock in the morning, as it was meant for the future days. After half an hour we went to the church to pray to Lord. After the Service we had breakfast and because of my birthday we ate a cake. As the breakfast finished, we continued with cleaning the dishes and we were removing seeds from plums. We rested and went to service to pray, because that is very important. The next activity was having lunch and watching a movie. Before going to bed, the kids and the monks surprised me-they made me a cake and they gave me a beautiful icon from St. John. When the celebration ended, we went to bed.
Wednesday – Again we woke up at 6 o’clock and we went to Service. Every day, we did the same activities until the lesson time. We had lessons and after lunch we played football until we felt tired. Before going to bed, we watched a film and Fr. Metrophanes read us a story. During the day, we also played hide and seek and it was very interesting.
Thursday-We woke up, went to church, had lunch and we cleaned the dishes. After that we had music lesson and read about the Bible. Then we went to Service, had lunch and at the end of the day watched a movie. As they read to us about God, we fell asleep.
Friday-It was the last day. I had great time on this camp, thanks to God and Fr. Parthenius.
Brian Avia, 11yrs. old, Skopje:
These five days to me were wonderful. I am very much grateful to Fr. Parthenius for making this week the best for me! The biggest impression to me was when we were playing football and when one of the Fathers took the parrots out of their birdhouse. We got to learn a lot of things about God and St John the Baptist, etc. Always after the breakfast and the lunch we helped in the kitchen. Also we had singing and reading lessons. Every night before going to bed Fr Metrophanes was reading picture-books to us. I met new friends. With them we played hide and seek and play tag. The first day we were doing nothing, but after the second day the activities stared so I got to like the Monastery a lot. Again, I would like to thank Fr Parthenius for welcoming us because here I learned so many things and we had fun activities. I will never forget this camp.
Damjan Josheski, 11 yrs. old, Prilep:
When I arrived, we met each other and rested. The second day we listened about the history of the monastery and had a walk in the nature. On Wednesday we had a walk again but we also cleaned and played football. The most interesting time to me was when we were playing football but also, when we were learning some new prayers. On Thursday we repeated everything from Wednesday. That day I learnt how to play the piano a little bit. Friday was the day when we had to leave. My biggest impression was playing the piano and meeting new friends. I am very thankful to Fr. Parthenius and the other monks for welcoming us in the Monastery. Also very impressive for me was learning prayers and songs.
Joakim Temelkov, 10 yrs. old, Skopje:
This year, just like the previous one, I spent great time at the Monastery. We played football and could not decide who won. My favorite thing was when we were cleaning the dishes after the meals. In the evenings we watched movies with Dragan, who in my opinion, will certainly become a monk, of course if he wants to. I learnt that St. John of Debar made our church and I learnt about its history. Sometimes, before going to bed, Fr. Metrophanes read us stories and it was very interesting. This is my second time on the camp and I want to come again next year. I’m so grateful to God and to Fr. Parthenius for having great time here. Dragan was reading us parts from the Bible on a very quiet place, and of course I was listening to him with great attention. Again, a big thanks to God and Fr Parthenius for letting me spend great time here and meeting new friends.
Konstantin Temelkov, 14 yrs. old, Skopje:
My impressions about this camp are beautiful. I liked going to the services regularly and the cleaning after lunches. It was very nice when the monk was reading the Bible to us, outside, in the garden. In the evening hours we were watching Christian movies and when we were ready for bed, the Father read us interesting stories. We played football and we saw the spring with Holy Water. The singing lessons weren’t bad, but the ones of the previous year with Fr. Anatolius were better.
We venerated the Holy Cross. Fr. Cyril told us about the miraculous Icon and the history of the Monastery, how it was destroyed and then rebuilt. We learnt about the faith and the importance to love God. I want to express my biggest gratitude to Father Parthenius for allowing us learn some new things here and to attend this summer camp.
Jana Kovacheva, 12 yrs. old, Skopje:
It is not my first time being in the Rajchica Monastery and with each visit I am more and more happy. Girls from all over Macedonia come, and we hanged out together but also we got along very well. My heart always fills with joy when I see the sisters, but I am especially happy when I talk to Father Parthenius. Here, everything is filled with love and positivity. Big thanks to Father Parthenius for welcoming us on the camp. I have learnt some new praises and instructive stories. The sisters are giving me big inspiration to go on with my life. I will never forget these moments because they are one of the best for me, so far.
Mila Naskoska, 10 yrs. old, Skopje:
This is my second time attending the summer camp with my friends. Waking up early for prayer was not a problem to me. The frequent meetings with Father Parthenius, newly taught prayers and praises made my stay even more beautiful. The love, humility and unity that are present here, all these things the sisters managed to convey to us. I am immensely thankful because through them I become a better person and I thank God that I spent these 5 days in this paradise.
Elena Zdravkoska, 14 yrs. old, Skopje:
It is my first time attending a summer camp. I was amazed by the beautiful view, the wonderful, meek and tenderhearted nuns who cared about as if we are their children. The lessons, which, as the days passed, become more and more interesting, the services, were such salvation to my soul, the friendship and the atmosphere by itself…Until now, I did not know much about our faith, but here, in Rajchica I got new and interesting knowledge. I learnt about God, I learnt to forgive, to refrain in certain situations, to ask for forgiveness from God about the situations in which I think I was wrong and acted in a bad way. This for me was a wonderful experience. The five days spent here were like fairy tale, calm and full with humbleness. I thank to Fr. Parthenius with all my heart for enabling me and the other children, to attend this summer camp in the fairy tale monastery Rajchica.
The monastery Bigorski,
For St. John built,
In glory elevated,
To kindness dedicated.
By the Turks set on fire,
But today glorious
The Bigorski monastery
Long ago built.
Monks a lot,
The monastery attracts
Visitors a lot.
Joakim Temelkov, 10 yrs. old, Skopje
On a mountain, away from the cities,
There is, people, the Bigorski Monastery,
Built in 1020 by St. John of Debar,
He saw from the mountain light,
He saw a miraculous icon.
On that place, he decided to build a monastery.
When the Turks came, they destroyed the monastery
And they killed the monks here.
But the Turks have come, the Turks have gone,
Our people started to rebuild,
Thus the Bigorski Monastery again bloomed.
But difficult times have come again
And the monastery was set on fire again.
Years and years passed, and no one visited here.
But Father Parthenius came and restored the whole monastery.
For twenty-three years now, this is the largest monastery in Macedonia.
Konstantin Temelkov, 14 yrs. old, Skopje