November 29, 2011
November 16, 2011
November 14, 2011
In 2011, over 135 Orthodox Christians shared their faith through loving service as part of an OCMC Orthodox Mission Team. They witnessed baptisms, healed the sick, strengthened the church, and brought smiles to the faces of children. They answered the call to make disciples of all nations. Is 2012 your time to share in this journey of faith?
OCMC is pleased to announce 2012 Orthodox Mission Team opportunities. Next year, team members will have the opportunity to share the Orthodox Christian faith by offering evangelism, catechism, healthcare, construction, and youth ministry in 9 countries around the world (including a first-time team to Mongolia). 2012 Mission Team dates and opportunities include:
Kenya – Teaching (3/2/2012)
Share the Gospel and teach the Orthodox Faith in Lodwar.
Uganda – Healthcare (6/2/2012)
Offer health services to the people in the Jinja region of eastern Uganda.
Mongolia – Teaching (6/5/2012)
Proclaim the Gospel and share the Orthodox Faith with Mongolian catechumens as part of a historic first Team to Ulaanbaatar.
Guatemala – Youth Work (7/5/2012)
Offer a youth camp program, “Tren de Chocolate,” for the children at the Hogar Rafael Ayau Orphanage in Guatemala City.
Moldova – Youth Work (7/10/2012)
Participate in a youth camp outside the city of Orhei.
Romania – Youth Work (7/19/2012)
Participate in a youth camp outside the city of Cluj. Families with children are welcome.
Tanzania – Teaching (7/22/2012)
Teach the Orthodox Faith and experience the culture and zeal of Orthodoxy in Tanzania, by being a part of a teaching team in Mwanza.
Korea, South – Youth Work (7/25/2012)
Teach English at Orthodox youth camps in Chuncheon and Pusan.
Alaska – Youth Work (8/11/2012)
Travel to Kodiak Island and participate in a youth camp program in Old Harbor, Alaska. Families with children are welcome.
Alaska – Youth Work (8/11/2012)
Travel to Kodiak Island and participate in a youth camp program in historic Ouzinkie, Alaska. Families with children are welcome.
Moldova – Teaching (9/11/2012)
Teach and inspire Orthodox Church leaders in Orhei, Moldova and strategize on ways to bring the youth back to the Church.
Tanzania – Healthcare (10/1/2012)
Be part of a holistic outreach of the Orthodox Church of Tanzania, by offering health care to those who have limited access to medical care.
Tanzania – Teaching (12/5/2012)
Teach the Orthodox Faith and experience the culture and zeal of Orthodoxy in Tanzania, by being a part of a teaching team in Bukoba.
Please prayerfully consider your participation on an Orthodox mission team in 2012. Visit http://www.ocmc.org, or contact OCMC Teams Director Andew Lekos by phone at 1-866-463-6784 ext. 140 or by e-mail at email@example.com for more information or to apply.
November 11, 2011
November 2, 2011
“That’s the smell of real Africa!” These were the words of a fellow passenger as we stepped off of the small plane. What struck me initially was not the smell, somewhat reminiscent of my grandparent’s farm in rural Minnesota, but the completely exotic landscape. Lodwar is located in northeastern Kenya in what is basically a large desert with several small mountains, black and grave, in the distance.
But I was not here to survey the geography or admire the scenery. The purpose of our team was to teach. Surely God had been working among the hearts and minds of the Turkana since the beginning, but in 2007 Orthodoxy began to be part of their religious makeup and take root and grow. Today there are three native Turkana priests serving thirteen communities. In Lodwar the Liturgy is celebrated in a roofed building built with the help of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center, and in other places it is celebrated in the open air on whatever is available for the priest to set down an antiminsion.
On the evening that we arrived in Lodwar, we were immediately greeted with what felt like hundreds of children grasping for our hands and giving us hugs. Three members of our team, who had been to Lodwar previously, were greeted by old friends with joyous shouts and the rhythmic jumping that is characteristic of Turkana people. I had been on a Mission Team before, and had experienced the warmth and hospitality towards strangers that is somehow lacking in much of our modern Western society, but I was unprepared for just how authentically joyful the congregation was to see us.
The joy and excitement continued throughout the week. We began our day with Orthros, and the rest of the day was filled with lectures about the Orthodox faith and spiritual life and crafts. It was during this time that we realized that their joy and excitement to see us and share their lives with us was only matched by their enthusiasm to learn. At times when we would share stories from the Bible about God’s immense love for us, they would clap and—literally–shout out for joy.
I felt that we were not only a teaching team but a learning team as well. During one of my lectures entitled “How God Works in the Church Today,” I asked the congregation to share how they have seen God work in their lives. As a Westerner, I was expecting that their experience would be much the same as my own—in times of doubt or trouble I turn to Scripture or the writings of the Saints and take comfort and advice from their words. What I heard was completely different—many stood up and shared how they had seen visions that told them to reform their lives or even come to the Orthodox Church. None had read their way into the faith, but instead had found solutions to their real problems through visions. Afterwards, when I spoke to one of the Turkana priests he told me that, due to illiteracy, there was not the same emphasis on the texts as in the West. This is just one small example of the complexity of the task of mission work among non-Western people.
After nearly two weeks of teaching, learning, worshipping, and sharing, it was time to leave. We departed—with singing, dancing, jumping, and shouting. Amidst smiles and tears, we were brought to the airport where I was able to catch the last smell of real Africa before the airplane would take me back to the routine life of my last year at seminary. The examples of love and service that I witnessed will follow me for the rest of my life and what I learned will guide and inspire my future ministry in the Church.
November 1, 2011
October 28, 2011
October 25, 2011
by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Center for Family Care
This past July, a unique groundbreaking international Orthodox Christian missionary effort took place-the first Family Mission Team traveled to Albania. The team was a collaboration between the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Center for Family Care (CFC) and the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC), and part of a new family ministry initiative of the Orthodox Church of Albania. Families from America and Albania participated in “One Family in Christ” Family Camp led by the CFC’s Resource Coordinator, Panayiotis Sakellariou, and by OCMC short and long term missionaries.
The purpose of sending the Family Team was to offer a “family witness”-while sharing the Orthodox faith and growing as a family in Christ-and to answer the call of the Church of Albania to begin its own family ministry. Albanian leaders plan to build on this camp experience and the family resources that were provided, to create a strong foundation for their new family ministry. Team leader Panayiotis Sakellariou said, “We thank God for providing for all the families and granting success to our camp efforts, and we are grateful for everyone’s support and prayers. We pray this first Family Mission Team will be the beginning of an ongoing missions endeavor that gives families the opportunity to share their love of God and of neighbor, and to grow in their faith.”
“One Family in Christ” Family Camp consisted of 65 adults and children of various ages. The camp included parent, couple and children programs; family activities and Olympics; outreach endeavors and local excursions. In particular, team members presented on the following topics: Church of the Home, Child Spiritual Development, Parenting Skills, Social Networking, the Journey of Marriage, and Family Ministry.
For further information on this mission team or the involved agencies contact the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Center for Family Care at 845-424-8175 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Orthodox Christian Mission Center at 877-463-6784 or email@example.com.
September 26, 2011
Hear About the 2011 Tanzania Teaching Mission Team
50 Goddard Ave
2011 Tanzania Teaching Team Member Jordan Zanetis will be speaking at the Holy Cross Missions Meeting at the Archbishop Iakovos Classroom Building, Room 110 in Brookline, Massachusetts on 09/27/2011. Please contact Jordan Zanetis by phone at 615-668-4054 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.