We are waiting on only one more illustration before the completion of the children's book, "St. Paisios the New in Sinai." We have begun work on the next children's book, "St. John Klimakos and the Ladder of Divine Ascent."
We plan to have the above design embroidered at the ends of linen headscarves. We are currently working on some other new designs as well.
The central motif comes from the St. Catherine Sarcophagus behind the iconostasis. The border and end designs are inspired by Sinai illuminated manuscripts.
Our resident artist/iconographer is working very hard to put together a collection of fine pen-work art representative of Sinai that can be used for book illustrations. We are extremely grateful to her.
We are beginning the translation of the Sinai Synaxarion from Greek into English. We are presently budgeting $500 a month for this.
We also will need to purchase 100 ISBN numbers so that we can begin publishing under the Studion Ministries name. This will require around $600.
There are no other important expenses and anything received beyond this will go directly to St. Catherine's Monastery to help them during these difficult times.
Update: Because of the extreme financial need of St. Catherine's right now, all money is going to meet their needs. We are waiting on the ISBN's and the translation is continuing without payment.
The 2020 Bedouin Embroidery Project was our third annual project employing local Bedouin women originally organized by Father Moses of Sinai. For the first two projects, we left material to be sewn and embroidered, and picked up again at a later date to be transported and sold in the US. For our third project, by far our largest yet, we chose to have the finished items donated to the St. Catherine Monastery bookstores. This allows the initial donation that benefits the Bedouin women and widows, to then be magnified in value and directly benefit St. Catherine's Monastery. This year's project was tote bags. We hope to have a different and more diverse range of items 2021 to donate to the monastery bookstores.
In addition to this project, we providentially met another one of Father Moses' previous Bedouin seamstress/embroidery groups as we walked up to the trail-head leading to St. John Climacus' Cave. Their work was so incredibly beautiful, we bought as much as we could and brought it back with us to be sold here. We are presently listing these items in the Studion Ministries Store. It is our hope to purchase much more from these women in the future, and attempt to more broadly sell their items here in the US.
Though the coronavirus is interfering with our plans, and certainly will interfere with the St. Catherine Monastery Bookstores' ability to sell these donated Bedouin sewn and embroidered items, at least these women, who already live on the edge financially, had some income that might help them get through this current crisis which has stalled their local economy that heavily depends on tourism.
We were blessed to travel to Sinai this year while the coronavirus was barely more than a rumor in China. We got to see the new mixer for incense-making that with generous help and donations, we were able to fund the purchase of, in addition to other incense-making equipment and fragrance oils. And we were able to learn the art of incense-making by hand. This was an incredible experience. We hope to bring incense back during our next trip to sell through the Studion Ministries store.