Greece's last two centuries have been unsteady - economic crises, political instability, German occupation, civil war, prosperity, corruption, the debt crisis. Four centuries before, its citizens were under Ottoman Turkish rule.
"Many times in our history, we have these problems - and bigger problems - but we make it," said Kordis, who has been painting Byzantine icons on the domed plaster ceiling of the new St. Sophia Church, one of six artists ensconced amid figures of the Virgin Mary, Christ, and the Apostles.
"I don't worry," he said, nodding slightly and flashing a knowing smile.
Since arriving in Philadelphia in late January, Kordis and his crew have spent every morning and evening (except Sundays) hand-painting murals of saints high up into the window-lit dome of the almost-finished church. Their work is to be completed before it opens to worshipers on Palm Sunday.
The artists have kept tabs on news back home on their lunch breaks, followed by siestas, before returning in the evening to paint by spotlight. They have heard what has been consistent in the months leading to this week's bailout: public reaction conveyed as violent, despondent, or just plain grim.
Protesters have marched in downtown Athens; riot police have deployed tear gas; buildings have been torched; academics and economists have warned that the remedy - loans with deep spending cuts mandated by Germany and foreign creditors - may kill the patient - Greece and its cash-strapped citizens.
But Kordis stood Wednesday afternoon in the unfinished sanctuary near Valley Forge, unconvinced Greece was on the precipice of destruction.
"It's not so bad a situation," he said. "News exaggerates things."
Besides, the Greek penchant for drama runs deep, even in good times.
"If we don't have a drama," he said, laughing, "we invent one."
Kordis is not among those most directly affected by spending cuts: civil servants, labor unions, the elderly on pensions. Business is strong in the highly specialized world of Byzantine icons, with jobs and academic lectures on tap in the months ahead.
But he does feel that the latest so-called rescue is anything but a true solution. Greece remains heavily burdened to foreign creditors while financial experts say its economy will nose-dive under further austerity measures that take cash out of citizen-consumers' pockets.
"I feel a little bit angry," Kordis said in a tone that was anything but, his hands comfortably at rest inside his pockets. "I feel it is too much. It feels like a punishment. It's not fair."
Politicians created Greece's bloated patronage state with borrowed money and should be held accountable, he said.
The latest bailout keeps Greece from defaulting on debt payments due in March, which will stave off a feared domino effect of panic across eurozone economies and the global financial sector.
It also keeps Greece from returning to the ancient currency it ditched a decade ago: the drachma. Under that devaluation scenario, Greeks and their import-heavy economy would plunge toward impoverishment.
But the loans carry big conditions, including cuts to the minimum wage and pensions, in a country without great economic diversity and already in a years-long recession with sky-high unemployment.
Many fear it is just a matter of time before crisis conditions return yet again. The Greek economy will shrink more, and default may yet again rear its ugly head.
Kordis, however, remained quietly defiant.
As the others stood on scaffolds above him, painting with hues they had mixed by hand through an ancient concoction of egg yolk, wine, and pigments, he assured me that all is never lost in Greece. Its long, glorious, and troubled history is proof of an uncommon staying power in the face of herculean obstacles.
"Greeks are very, very strong people," he said. "They know how to fight. How to survive."
Contact staff writer Maria Panaritis at 215-854-2431, email@example.com, or on Twitter @panaritism.