by Renee Ritsi, illustrated by Cameron Thorp
In a faraway country in Africa, Mwangi lives in a small village where he helps his mother with their family. He yearns to go to school, where the world will open up for him. One day an Orthodox priest arrives in Mwangi's village, and everything changes . . . As an overseas missionary with the Orthodox Christian Mission Center for many years, Presbytera Ren e Ritsi tells this heartwarming story from the standpoint of her extensive knowledge of both African culture and Orthodox mission work. Mwangi tells a story of the hope Orthodoxy offers to people who have never heard the Gospel message. Illustrated by Cameron Thorp.
About the Author: Fr. Martin and Presbytera Ritsi and their children, Stephanos and Nicole, were sent as long term missionaries to Nairobi, Kenya in 1987 to serve the Eastern Orthodox Church. Presbytera (the Greek word for ‘priest’s wife’) taught English as a second language and public speaking at the Makarios III Orthodox Seminary in Nairobi; assisted with the archdiocesan finances; and offered women’s retreats in the archdiocese. The Ritsi family then served as OCMC missionaries in Albania. They helped to reopen the Orthodox Church there, which had been persecuted and closed for decades. Renee wrote a column for the archdiocese newspaper and children’s magazine and traveled to remote mountain regions to supervise the creation of a rural women’s health and development program.
About the Artist: Cameron Thorp, an award-winning artist, works as a freelance illustrator and designer. Cameron grew up in New Zealand and has spent his time in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Mexico as a missionary. He now lives in Asheville, NC with his wife and five children.
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