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Real Break Thessaloniki II - Friday (3/17/17)

For their final day in Thessaloniki, the Real Break crew had the opportunity to visit multiple ministries that aim to serve local communities.

After celebrating Pre-Sanctified Liturgy, they visited the Greek Children's Village orphanage and Apolytrosis' Christian Hope School, witnessing the family the community has formed.

This was followed by their visit to Faros tou Kosmou (Lighthouse of the World), a ministry that has gained international recognition for its unparalleled service in the Roma community of Thessaloniki.

The day ended with the Akathist service at the host Church of Panaghia Acheiropoitos, a beautiful way to end the trip.

(Photos and commentary courtesy of Orthodox Christian Fellowship)

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The day started off with celebration of the Presanctified Liturgy, led by our host Priest, Fr. Spyridon
In Thessaloniki, we followed the "Buddy System"
In Thessaloniki, we followed the "Buddy System"
In Thessaloniki, we followed the "Buddy System"
We were honored and privileged to hear about the Greek Children's Village orphanage directly from those who run it.
We were invited to support the orphanage through purchasing homemade gifts and other items to take home.
We were also invited to see the very homes where children are brought in to live.
Group photo outside the Greek Children's Village orphanage
After visiting the orphanage, we had the opportunity to see their school in session, the Apolytrosis' Christian Hope School.
Inside the classroom setting, we were very graciously received!
The young students work very hard in this setting
In one classroom, students performed a couple of beautiful and exciting pieces for us!
Children of the Apolytrosis' Christian Hope School performed a piece they have been fervently practicing for Greek Independence Day (March 25th, Annunciation)
Fr. Spyridon praises the children for a job well done!
Seeing a classroom at the Apolytrosis' Christian Hope School
The Principal of this great school served each and every one of us personally.
A group photo together at the Apolytrosis' Christian Hope School.
As children completed their school day, we made a tunnel just for their exit (and enjoyment!)
Fr. Athenagoras shares with us the wonderful fruits his community in Thessaloniki is bearing, especially among the children.
From Left to Right, Fr. Jonathon Bannon, Fr. William Bennett, Fr. Athenagoras Loukataris, & Fr. Vasileios Flegas.
A number of us gathered together with Fr. Athenagoras for a farewell shot.
Our Bus Driver Vasilios (Bill) took made navigation around small streets look so easy!
At the close of the day, we celebrated the Salutations to the Theotokos
Say Yes to the Thess!