Latest from the Order of St. Ignatius:
Project Mexico has three main goals: to operate St. Innocent Orphanage (a home for abandoned teenage boys in Tijuana Mexico); to build homes for poor families in Tijuana, who live in squalid dirt floor shacks; and to provide an opportunity for people of all ages, but specifically young people, to come and participate in the work itself and be blessed in the process. Operating St. Innocent Orphanage – taking care of the most vulnerable population of orphans in Tijuana – is a difficult task, but well known among supporters. You may not know as much about the homebuilding program, but The Order of St. Ignatius has also provided reliable support for the poor families in Tijuana in their times of need.
The end results of all of our hard work sometimes goes unnoticed for years, but be assured that we are helping to save lives on a daily basis, especially in the rainy season. Every winter, heavy rains are predicted for the regions of San Diego and Tijuana. Within a few days of the forecast, it is not uncommon to hear of children dying in the rain storms in Tijuana. Relentless downpours and powerful winds pound the area, toppling trees, shutting down schools, and canceling airline flights. Successive storms can include hail, torrential rain, driving winds, and lightning – making roads impassable and causing widespread power outages. When the media reports mudslides in California that wash away solidly-engineered homes built to strict building codes with the best construction materials possible, imagine what is happening on the hillsides of Tijuana, Mexico, where hundreds of thousands of people live in third-world poverty with only dirt-floor shacks for shelter. There, rain means the misery of being cold and wet, with nowhere to go to get warm and dry, and people – especially the young and elderly – die from the rains.
On April 7, 2013, His Eminence Archbishop Joseph inducted several new members into the Order of St. Ignatius at Holy Cross Orthodox Church in Yakima, Washington.
Bill Hinkle is a founding member of Prophet Elijah Antiochian Orthodox Mission in Ellensburg, WA, a member of the Order of St. Ignatius, and a graduate of the Antiochian House of Studies. Bill's varied history also includes a stint as the Minority Whip of the Washington State House of Representatives, a career as a firefighter paramedic, service as a county commissioner, civic involvement in boards and a leadership institute, and a career in health insurance. He recently launched a bi–monthly podcast with the Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) called "Our Life in Christ and in America." Antiochian.org spoke with Bill about the many hats he wears.
1. How long have you been Orthodox and how did you discover the Church? Tell us a little about your parish.
I told my wife on our first date that I wanted to know God, live a Christian life and find the Church, but wasn't sure how to do any of that. Almost 10 years later in 1999, we met Fr. George and Pres. Dianthe Livanos on a ferry dock in Port Angeles Washington the week before Thanksgiving. He had travelled from Canonsburg, PA and we were on vacation six hours from our house. We spent 45 minutes crossing the Strait of Juan De Fuca on a ferry talking about "the historic church" as Fr. George explained it to us.
Ten short years ago in Wichita, Kansas, a group of Orthodox Christians wanted to reach out to struggling moms who had chosen to let their babies live. In addition to praying for them, we wanted to provide tools to help moms take their lives in a positive direction. The Treehouse was born.
Today, we have celebrated 15,755 birthdays and helped change over a quarter million diapers! Our goal is to practice our Orthodox faith daily in everything we do at The Treehouse, teaching moms that they are not alone in their struggles. We want them to know that, when their world seems like a very dark place, they have somewhere to turn for hope. We provide them and their babies with positive Christian role models and basic necessities, such as diapers, formula and an inexpensive thrift store. We offer, too, educational classes to nurture our moms so that their babies can flourish.