Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
On a recent visit to Africa I spoke with a woman who had recently been baptized. Through a translator she shared how Christ had impacted her life, “As a Christian I see people differently. I recognize that all people are my brothers and sisters in Christ and that we are all members of one community. This has benefited my relationships with all people, even within my own family.” This is the power that the Holy Spirit has to transform lives. As people come to know Jesus Christ, anger can become joy, fear can become peace, and hate can become love. This joy, peace, and love can then have a profound impact on the lives of others as well.
We begin a new life in Christ when we emerge from the baptismal waters. This is one reason why Christ’s last command to His disciples was to, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.”
The transformation of individual lives works toward the transformation of the world into a place of hope, a place of compassion, and a place of understanding. This was Christ’s longing for humanity, and it remains a driving call for all those who count themselves as members of His Church.
We ask that you prayerfully consider helping share the hope and salvation of life in Christ with those in the world who have yet to receive it, by supporting the ministries of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) with a gift of $50, $100, or more.
The ministries of the OCMC have been working toward this ultimate vision of the Church for over 20 years. Currently, OCMC works to share the Gospel in the following ways:
There are 16 long-term missionaries serving in Albania, Romania, Moldova, and Tanzania, offering a living witness to Christ by working with youth, providing education, offering health care, evangelizing, and caring for the poor.
In 2011, 13 short-term mission teams of volunteers from across North America will serve growing Orthodox communities in 9 countries by building churches, offering health care, providing catechism, and ministering to youth.
Nearly 400 priests in 20 countries receive regular support in order that they can dedicate their lives to ministering to the people in the communities where they serve.
Many of these priests receive their theological training at seminaries assisted by the faithful of North America through the OCMC.
Numerous ministries (like water wells, substance abuse programs, food distribution, and orphanages) that address both the physical and spiritual needs of people in some of the most economically challenged regions of the world also receive support.
Thank you in advance for prayerfully supporting this most vital work and for helping the Church to welcome our brothers and sisters around the world into the open arms of Christ.
We pray that you have a blessed Lenten Season and that you will be filled with the light of Christ this Pascha.
Fr. Martin Ritsi