St. Augustine–On Friday, June 12, the first Orthodox Mission Team of 2009 departed to Albania from the Archbishop Anastasios and Archbishop Demetrios Missionary Training and Administration Building. In addition to being the first Team to do its Orientation and Training at the new OCMC building, it is also the first OCMC Team of its kind to travel to Albania. OCMC Teams Director Andy Lekos said of this Team, “What makes this especially exciting is that this first Team was prepared to train the trainers and to serve with Long-Term Missionaries and current Mission Specialists, under the auspices of His Beatitude Anastasios, one of the honorees of our new building.”
The Church in Albania runs over 40 youth camps a year, and the goal of this Team is to uplift and train those who will be ministering to Albanian youth; although OCMC has sent Teams to Albania to actually run camps, this is the first time that a Team has worked to “teach the teachers.” Team Members have prepared Bible Studies and craft and music activities that can be used by the Albanian camp counselors to reach out to young people and to teach them important lessons from and about the Gospel. In Albania, where 70% of the country is still Muslim, these camps are valuable outreach tools for the Church.
Team Members will work with Mission Specialist Fr. Thomas Hopko and the Long-Term Missionary team already in Albania. Fr. Hopko will offer classes on teaching Spiritual Lessons, while Nathan Hoppe will do an orientation and coordinate the event. This collaboration marks the first time that short, mid, and long-term OCMC Missionaries will work so closely together.
Over the course of the summer and early fall, OCMC will orient, train, and send out 11 Teams for periods of one to three weeks to work in 8 foreign countries and Alaska. These Teams will work with the local Orthodox churches toward goals as diverse as Youth Outreach, Construction, and Healthcare.
If hearing about this Team makes you want to be part of the work of missions, it’s not too late to apply! The Romania Women’s Teaching Team, South Korea Youth Work Team, Zimbabwe Teaching Team, and the Tanzania Spiritual Odyssey still have openings. Contact the OCMC Teams department at 1-877-463-6784 or email@example.com or visit us at http://www.ocmc.org for more information.