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During the summer months, between vacations and the usual sort of neighborhood activities Alosha Riddle, invested a bit of time and energy helping others this year. But, before we go any further, we need to get to know Alosha. He emigrated from Russia to the United States four years ago at the age of twelve. That first year, with a very limited knowledge of the English language, he entered Middle School and along with the expected course load he participated in the English Second Language Program (ESL). Since that time, he has become so proficient that he has earned a place on the Honor Roll. While working on his studies he was invited to participate in a special program offered through his High School called "Foundation for Peace". During the summer, students and teachers would work together in the Dominican Republic to build a school in an impoverished village. So in July, Alsoha along with some classmates and teachers set off to give some children a school of their own.
Daylight - What did you gain from your experience this summer helping to build the school in the Dominican Republic?
Alsoha - I gained a lot of experience, being in a different culture and being away from home. It was hard
work. We began building the walls of the school with cement blocks. They were very heavy. Every time we made a line to pass the blocks or the cement to where the work was being done, the young children would get in the line and take our place. Everyone wanted to help. I made some new friends this summer.
Daylight - Would you recommend our readers to follow your example?
Alosha - Yes, it makes you feel good to help others and to see that you have accomplished something. It is much better to get out and help others than to stay at home. You can choose a mission trip or a roject and just do it. It was helping others that made the trip so enjoyable.
Editors note: Alsoha Riddle lives in Westfield, New Jersey and serves as an Altar Boy at Saint John the Baptist Russian Orthodox Church in Rahway. If you would like to get involved helping others, consider these resources:
Contact your Priest for information on local projects or missions trips within your Deanery or Diocese
The Orthodox Christian Mission Center at www.ocmc.org offers both long and short term mission opportunities
International Orthodox Christian Charities www.iocc.org offers opportunities to respond to needs locally and globally.
Orthodox Christian Fellowship www.ocf.net offers college students the "Real Break" an alternative to the usual Spring break
Foundation for Peace at www.foundationforpeace.org organizes church, civil and school groups for humanitarian work in the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Kenya.