Five Questions: The Manuel Family

Welcome to MyOrthodoxFamily.com! Tell us who you are. 

Hello! My name is Diaconissa Elizabeth Manuel, and my husband and I are Orthodox missionaries in Guatemala and Southern Mexico. My husband Dn. Thomas teaches at the small seminary in the mountain village of Aguacate. I assist with the music ministry. We are currently living stateside since our return earlier this year for the birth of our baby Vasili. We hope to return to the mission field when it is safe to do so! Some of my hobbies include baking, chanting/music, hiking, reading or listening to audiobooks, and playing with Vasili! My husband enjoys running, listening to podcasts, also reading/audiobooks, playing Catan, teaching about the faith, making people laugh and also playing with Vasili!

What do you most enjoy sharing? What do you feel most called to share? 

I enjoy sharing a glimpse of our lives in the mission field. Since weโ€™re not currently living in Guatemala, I have been sharing joyful moments of our son Vasili, as well as encouraging quotes or funny photos/memes.

The world of social media is complex. What do you see as difficult and as redemptive about sharing your journey in this way? 

There is so much negativity in the world of social media. It is easy to find yourself โ€œdoom scrolling,โ€ a term that has gotten more attention during the pandemic. It is when you are constantly reading negative news as you continuously scroll as if there is no end. I hope to share some light and positivity so that someone can pause and see something happy and perhaps breed more positivity.

What is your earliest, distinctly Orthodox memory? 

This is a tough one since I was raised Orthodox. I think it would have to be something Pascha related. Eating a Pascha meal at my Godmother’s house or being in church playing with the wax of my candle on Holy Friday.

What do you hope will be the mark you leave on the world as you pass through it? 

I hope to be able to serve God and my neighbors the best I can.

@ocmcmanuels

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