A few months ago we wrote to you about an absolutely terrible situation one of our priests ended up in when he started serving in Buenos Aires. Fr Boris and Matushka Ksenia Gladyshev moved to Argentina from Russia, where they had a good life – because they felt called to serve. They were supposed to receive a small stipend, but things did not work out. By the time their Bishop John of Caracass appealed to us for help, they had been through poverty, debt, and even a life-threatening situation.
Glory to God, you did not let them down. You came to their rescue. Thanks to the generosity of people like you, we have collected $31K for the Gladyshev family.
In this interview Fr Boris and Matushka Ksenia talk about what it was like to feel so loved by wonderful people they have never even met.
FFA: What was most difficult about your situation?
Fr Boris: Our foremost goal was not to be thrown out into the street. I just want to forget that horror of expecting to be told to get out of the apartment. We had absolutely no money to pay for it. We borrowed money from everyone we could and there was nobody left.
Matushka Ksenia: Those who have moved, know how hard it is, especially if it is a far move. You lose everything and need to start from scratch. We have already been here 2.5 years, and we have accumulated stuff. Someone gave us a couch and a bed… You can’t up and move with this amount of things.
Every time when we would have money problems - when we would not be paid for three, four, five months in a row – there would always be a catastrophe… Someone would end up at the hospital, and barely survive… Then the money would come, and we’d start again for a couple of months. But when you know that in another month or two the cycle will restart, you cannot relax. You cannot live, you are constantly stressed, you cannot develop as a person.
Now that we know that a sum has been collected, that people have helped us, we are so thankful! I am hoping that the energy we spent on being anxious about our situation will be spent on something more positive and productive.
AP: How did your situation affect the parish?
Fr Boris: Parishioner could sense it. You can’t be joyous, you cannot smile when you are inwardly crushed. You might not even hear someone who needs help because you are dwelling on your own situation. People need personal contact with the priest, but in this situation it just might be possible, because you need to constantly think about where to get money to support your family.
Matushka Ksenia: We did not like to advertise our situation but after the story was published on the FFA site, we received words of encouragement and support from different countries. We were so touched by the moral and financial support! FFA sends us a certain sum every month, and now we can survive on this sum, and we know that it will last not just a month or two. All the money will be spent on rent and food, we don’t have any other expenses. We are not planning using the donors’ money on a Mercedes (laughs).
We are hoping to stretch the money for the longest time possible, so we will keep being as frugal as we were before, we will keep buying all our food on sale.
We are so thankful for the help! Our stress levels went way down.
Fr Boris: Saying ''Thank you'' does not convey all we feel in our hearts. The help we have received has been invaluable. We can now live and serve. Thank you!
Matshka Ksenia: Yes, thank you from the bottom of our hearts!