Georgia Gilman Bendo grew up with her nine brothers and sisters in North Carolina. Her parents had converted to Orthodoxy several years before she was born and thus she was raised in the faith. At Duke University she majored in Russian language and literature and was able to spend 6 months in St. Petersburg. She feels that this time in Russia together with visits to Greece during these years strengthened her in the faith and made her certain of her calling to work for the Church. She spent two years preparing for mission work after her graduation and arrived in Albania in 2004.
Since then she has been teaching English and an after-school catechism class at Protagonists Elementary School, a school started and operated by the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Albania. In addition to teaching, her work includes curriculum development for the English and catechism program, supervising the Albanian English teachers, translations into English for the Churchs website (www.orthodoxalbania.org) and taking part in a number of youth camps and conferences.
In January 2008 she was married to Theodore Bendo, who also works for the Albanian Orthodox Church.
On November 21, 2008, God blessed Georgia and Todi with a son: Vasili Thomas Bendo, was born on the Feast day of the Entrance of the Theotokos. He was 20 inches (51 cm) and weighed a healthy 8lbs 8oz (3.85 kilos). Vasili Thomas Bendo is named after St. Basil the Great, St. Basil of Ostrog (Montenegro), Vasili (Todi's grandfather), and Thomas (Georgia's great-grandfather).
Georgia needs your ongoing prayer and financial support in order to serve in Albania.