Update 27/02/2010 :[OCMC] Visit MyOCN.net for Coverage of OCMC Mission Team to Kenya


[OCMC] Visit MyOCN.net for Coverage of OCMCMission Team to Kenya

We have witnessed the hand of God at work here in northwestern Kenya. These are the only words that I have to describe the time we spent among the Turkana of Lupala deep within, what the people here call, “the interior”.

Over the past few nights, we’ve been camping under the stars within the homestead of Fr. Zachariah (the Orthodox priest from Lupala who hosted us). During the day, the heat reached well over 100 degrees in the shade.

Broken shards of clay and coarse sand were the only thing that filled Lupala’s nearest river. Though we provided food, many of the people (team members included) had very little to drink on the second day. The team had to pump and purify water from a borehole near the dry river simply to sustain ourselves.

We held our normal sessions while in Lupala, but Fr. Martin supplemented these teachings with a video about Jesus, which he displayed on a white sheet through a projector attached to his laptop. It was the first time many of these people had ever seen a movie.

The bonds between the team members and the people of Lupala formed quickly. We played a Turkana version of capture the flag; and learning that Stephanos and Alexandria were engaged the people performed a symbolic Turkana ceremony of betrothal. We began and ended each day with song and dance.

Today, however, we truly witnessed the Holy Spirit at work. In the morning, Fr. Zachariah asked that we join him on a journey to a nearby village. The reason for our visit: to ask the village magician (who serves like a chief) if a church could be established there. Apparently, among the Turkana you cannot gather the people of a village without permission from the local magician.

This particular village was situated on the other side of Lupala’s dry river. We were able to drive across this very river the day before; but this morning it flowed with water that came up to our knees. Water has followed the team where ever we have gone. The Turkana have seen this as a great blessing.

Carefully, we crossed the water on foot and hiked for another half hour to meet with this magician. As we approached we prayed that God would lead us and that He would open this man’s heart. Fr. Martin, Fr. Zachariah, and Fr. Vladimir spoke with him for several minutes while the team looked on. He said that he was happy that we had come; and that he knew we had been sent by God.

Fr. Zachariah warned us that this magician might want something before agreeing to the establishment of a church. The Holy Spirit, however, had preceded us and with no conditions the magician gave his permission to gather the people of his village. Fr. Zachariah will soon return to this village to begin evangelizing people, who until now, have not known Christ.

These are but a few of the things that we have seen while among the Turkana. Please continue to pray for the strength of our team as we conclude our mission.

http://www.myocn.net/index.php/OCMC-Kenya-Travel-Blog/OCMC-Kenya-Travel-Blog-Day-7.html )

OCMC Kenya Travel Blog Day 8

Today we stayed in Lodwar – the largest city in Turkanaland; and the city where we have been staying when not camping in the interior. We conducted our normal sessions with the adults at St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church; and Niko and Alexandria taught over 100 children who also attend school there.

In our time here we have heard many stories of how the faith has worked in the lives of individual people. Today was no exception. One man, who was in the midst of great personal struggle, did what we all do in such trying times – he began to pray. These prayers led him to the Church where he wept uncontrollably after emerging from the Baptismal waters and seeing the icon of Christ on the Crucifix. In that moment he experienced peace because he knew that he was not alone in his suffering. To this day he gets emotional when seeing the cross.

Another woman received Baptism after being diagnosed with tuberculosis. At that time in her life she was also struggling with alcoholism. In the faith she found strength to overcome both life threatening diseases. Feeling that our team was going to be speaking in Lodwar today, she traveled 60 kilometers (about 36 miles) to be with the team. A stranger even gave here 200 shillings so that she could make the journey.

These are but a few of the stories we have heard about people who have experienced real change in their lives through a relationship with God. They have found hope in the face of struggle. They have made peace with their enemies. And, they have discovered new ways to love their neighbors.

It has been an honor to have heard about these journeys of faith while experiencing our own and to have felt God’s hand guiding us along the way. Tomorrow is our last day with the Turkana and we will make our last post. Hopefully, we will all be able to share our favorite memories from this amazing trip.

( http://www.myocn.net/index.php/OCMC-Kenya-Travel-Blog/OCMC-Kenya-Travel-Blog-Day-8.html )

Ma da ni Christoi! (Greetings in Christ) – these were the words that began a day for which the members the 2010 OCMC Mission Team to Kenya had spent months preparing. Finally, after days of travel we were able to share the message of love, hope, and fellowship that we had journeyed thousands of miles to deliver.

In 99 degree heat, under a shade tree on the bank of a dry river we shared Christ with our Turkana brothers and sisters. Through the skillful translation of a Turkana interpreter (which on this day included Fr. Vladimir, Fr. Makarios, Fr. Zachariah, and the catechist Anthony Fr. Martin offered words of thanks and greetings. This was followed by a presentation by Fr. Vladimir Aleandro about Christ’s love for us and the importance of prayer. The theme of prayer was carried on by Matushka Susan Aleandro in her time with the women. Stephanos Ritsi also shared with the women the importance of love in the Christian life by reflecting on his own personal journey of faith. Fr. Martin and Chris Zaferes spent time with the men discussing Christ and scripture while Alexandria Polychronopoulos and Nicholas Tzetsis taught the children by telling stories, coloring pictures of icons, and showing them how to make crosses out of popsicle sticks and thread. Following a common meal with the people Alex Goodwin offered a few brief words on the Creed. Song and dance was woven into the fabric of the day. We even felt the sprinkle of rain during our sessions. We thank God for this profound blessing and for the time we spent with our new friends. Tomorrow we will celebrate the Liturgy and continue our program with the same people. We know that you are with us in prayer. Please know that we, and the people of Turkana, are with you also.

Today was our last day with the Turkana of Lokichar. We celebrated the Liturgy together and communed from a common cup. It was a powerful reminder to the team of the universality of the church. The words shared by team members today reflected the deep sense of family that has been growing as we’ve spent time with these gracious and beautiful people.

As we left our new found brothers and sisters, many of whom were hearing the Orthodox message for the first time, we sang and danced as one. The question of how we can continue to help the Church grow beyond Lodwar and Lokichar has come often as we’ve reflected on the mission. Perhaps answers to this question will be revealed as we travel into the interior of this remote region tomorrow. For two days we will camp with the people of Loupala. Again we will teach and be taught, and again we will celebrate the Liturgy. We look forward to posting our experiences upon our return. Until then “Ajok i noi” (thank you) for your continued prayers.

Reverend Hierarchs, Reverend Fathers, Deacons, Monks, Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Greetings in the name of the Lord! Please remember to visit www.OCMC.org or www.MyOCN.net for in-depth coverage of OCMC’s first mission team of 2010 to Kenya.

Blog updates, videos, and photos will be posted daily as this team works to share Jesus Christ with the Turkana  people of northern Kenya (internet availability permitting).

Please remember this team,and the people of Kenya, in your prayers. Thank you.

In Christ,

Alex Goodwin

Communications Director

Orthodox Christian Mission Center

The Mission Team Has Made It to Kenya!

Opportunities Remain on 2010 OCMC Mission Teams

2/15/2010

Opportunities still exist to serve on an OCMC Orthodox Mission Team in 2010.

Volunteers for teams traveling to South Africa, India, Madagascar, Romania and Alaska are needed.

The team to Romania will offer a youth camp, while the other teams will focus on teaching and catechism.

Please prayerfully consider offering a living witness to Jesus Christ by serving on one of these teams.

Clergy are especially needed.

Contact Andrew Lekos by phone at 1-877-463-6784, or by e-mail at teams@ocmc.org for more information. You can learn about all of OCMC’s 2010 mission teams or apply online at http://teams.ocmc.org.

( http://www.ocmc.org/resources/view_announcement.aspx?AnnouncementId=53 )

Souper Bowl Sunday Rallies Efforts of All the Saints

Baltimore, Md. (IOCC) — While millions of people watched their televisions with imploring shouts of «Who dat?» for the New Orleans Saints in the Super Bowl, Orthodox Christians joined together as saints of the Church to help the poor in their local communities and around the world through support for the mission of International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) in the «Souper Bowl of Caring» on February 7, 2010.

The «Souper Bowl of Caring» utilizes Super Bowl weekend to mobilize young people to fight hunger and poverty. Young people collect monetary and food donations during the week leading up to Super Bowl Sunday and then give them directly to charities of their choice.

This year many Orthodox Christian parishes also collected or assembled hygiene kits for use by IOCC in programs that serve the needy around the world. IOCC made an appeal for the kits following the earthquake in Haiti. The kits will be used to assist survivors of the earthquake and will also be available for use in response to disasters and situations of need throughout the world.

«Each year we assemble ‘Gift of the Heart’ hygiene kits. This year we appealed to the local community and support from two churches, two schools, and involvement by the local University of Connecticut chapter of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship, allowed us to assemble 502 hygiene kits on the Souper Bowl of Caring Sunday,» reported Fr. Marc Vranes of Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Willimantic, Connecticut.

Started in a church in South Carolina, the Souper Bowl of Caring includes participants of all faiths. IOCC, the official humanitarian aid agency of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA), has been encouraging Orthodox Christian youth to participate in the service activity for the past twelve years.

Fr. Dan Kovalak of Holy Cross Orthodox Church in Williamsport, Pennsylvania invited his parishioners to join in the Souper Bowl efforts «to ‘give flesh’ to the Gospel reading for the day and manifest the love and consolation of Christ to those in desperate need.» The parish took a special collection for IOCC, assembled health kits, and collected canned goods that were delivered to an outreach center to help the hungry in their local community.

Those who wish to help are encouraged to continue assembling hygiene kits for shipment to Haiti and other areas of need around the world. Information on assembling hygiene and other kits is available on IOCC’s website at www.iocc.org/kits.

The hygiene articles are just one of several types of kits that are collected by IOCC through the «Gift of the Heart» program that is coordinated by its partner, Church World Service (CWS). IOCC and CWS are members of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.

Media: Contact Mark Hodde at 410-243-9820.

Parishioners of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana assembled 1,000 hygiene kits following liturgy on Sunday, January 17. «The ongoing suffering of the survivors of the earthquake in Haiti, who lack shelter, water, food, medical care and basic hygiene, is tremendous. We continue to respond to this suffering with the love of Christ.» Photo courtesy of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church

Clean-up buckets filled with household cleaning supplies and hygiene kits donated by St. Luke Greek Orthodox Church in Broomall, Pennsylvania are readied for shipment at the warehouse in New Windsor, Maryland. Tens of thousands of hygiene kits have been received from Orthodox Christians since the January 12 earthquake in Haiti. IOCC staff photo

A boy with disabilities who survived Haiti’s January 12 earthquake cradles a blanket and hygiene kit he received from Church World Service and International Orthodox Christian Charities, members of the ACT Alliance. He is part of a group of disabled Haitians who are receiving special attention from ACT Alliance members, including a shipment of wheelchairs, crutches and walkers recently shipped by IOCC. Photo by Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance

( http://www.iocc.org/news/2-17-10-souper-release.aspx )

ΔΗΜΟΣΙΕΥΟΥΜΕ ΤΙΣ ΠΑΡΑΠΑΝΩ ΕΙΔΗΣΕΙΣ ΓΙΑ ΤΟΥΣ ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΟΥΣ ΧΡΙΣΤΙΑΝΟΥΣ ΤΗΣ ΑΜΕΡΙΚΗΣ ( ΗΠΑ ) ΚΑΙ ΚΑΝΑΔΑ.

ΑΛΛΑ ΤΑΥΤΟΧΡΟΝΑ ΤΙΣ ΔΗΜΟΣΙΕΥΟΥΜΕ ΓΙΑ ΝΑ ΔΟΥΜΕ ΠΟΣΟ ΠΙΣΩ ΕΙΜΑΣΤΕ ΣΕ ΟΡΓΑΝΩΣΗ ΑΠΟ ΤΙΣ ΕΚΕΙ ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΕΣ ΕΚΚΛΗΣΙΕΣ.

1) ΟΥΤΕ Η ΕΚΚΛΗΣΙΑ ΤΗΣ ΕΛΛΑΔΟΣ ΟΥΤΕ Η ΕΚΚΛΗΣΙΑ ΤΗΣ ΚΡΗΤΗΣ Ή ΤΗΣ ΚΥΠΡΟΥ ΟΡΓΑΝΩΝΟΥΝ ΕΤΗΣΙΩΣ ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΕΣ ΙΕΡΑΠΟΣΤΟΛΙΚΕΣ ΟΜΑΔΕΣ ΓΙΑ ΝΑ ΔΙΑΚΟΝΗΣΟΥΝ ΓΙΑ ΜΕΡΙΚΕΣ ΜΕΡΕΣ ΣΕ ΚΑΠΟΙΑ ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΗ ΙΕΡΑΠΟΣΤΟΛΗ, ΟΥΤΕ ΚΑΝ ΠΕΡΙΟΔΟΥΣ ΕΟΡΤΩΝ Η ΔΙΑΚΟΠΩΝ. ΥΠΑΡΧΟΥΝ ΧΙΛΙΑΔΕΣ ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΟΙ ΝΕΟΙ ΚΑΙ ΝΕΕΣ ΠΟΥ ΘΑ ΜΠΟΡΟΥΣΑΝ ΝΑ ΒΟΗΘΗΣΟΥΝ ΕΘΕΛΟΝΤΙΚΑ, ΑΛΛΑ ΤΟΥΣ ΕΧΟΥΜΕ ΣΕ … ΑΝΑΜΟΝΗ. ΟΙ ΝΕΟΙ ΘΕΛΟΥΝ ΔΡΑΣΗ, ΕΘΕΛΟΝΤΙΣΜΟ, ΠΡΟΣΦΟΡΑ, ΑΛΛΑ ΔΕΝ ΤΟΥΣ ΔΙΝΕΤΑΙ Η ΔΥΝΑΤΟΤΗΤΑ.

2) ΟΙ ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΕΣ ΕΝΟΡΙΕΣ στην Αμερική ΕΤΟΙΜΑΖΟΥΝ ΚΟΥΤΙΑ ΥΓΕΙΟΝΟΜΙΚΟΥ ΥΛΙΚΟΥ ΣΕ ΠΕΡΙΠΤΩΣΕΙΣ ΚΑΤΑΣΤΡΟΦΩΝ, όπως της Αϊτής. ΣΗΜΕΡΑ, ΔΕΝ ΕΙΝΑΙ ΠΟΛΛΕΣ ΟΙ ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΕΣ ΕΝΟΡΙΕΣ ΣΕ ΕΛΛΑΔΑ ΚΑΙ ΚΥΠΡΟ ΠΟΥ ΛΕΙΤΟΥΡΓΟΥΝ ΕΤΣΙ, δίνοντας τέτοιες ευκαιρίες προσφοράς στα μέλη τους.

Είμαστε, μόλις, λίγες μέρες πριν την Εβδομάδα Εξωτερικής Ιεραποστολής και υπάρχουν αρκετές εκατοντάδες Ορθοδόξων ιερέων που προετοιμάζουν την ενορία τους για τον έρανο και για την Εβδομάδα Ιεραποστολής, αλλά όχι όλοι και παντού.

Ο π. Ιωνάς από την Ταϊβάν ζητάει λαμπάδες και βαφή για τα αυγά, ενόψει του Πάσχα.

Θα μπορούσαν για παράδειγμα, κυρίες, νέες από πολλές ενορίες να ετοιμάζουν ρούχα για τους ντόπιους ιερείς ή για τους ψάλτες, να ράβουν ρούχα για τα παιδιά των Ορθοδόξων σχολείων , να ετοιμάζονται κουτιά με φαρμακευτικό και υγειονομικό υλικό από φοιτητές και μαθητές.

Να ετοιμάζουν και να στέλνουν λαμπάδες ή ότι άλλο έχουν ανάγκη τα ιεραποστολικά κλιμάκια και να  τα αποστέλλουν  όταν και όπου υπάρχει ανάγκη, να γίνουν οι Ορθόδοξες ενορίες πιο δραστήριες, να δίνουν ευκαιρίες στα μέλη τους για να προσφέρουν εθελοντικά- όχι για τουρισμό.

This entry was posted in America, Αμερική, ΗΠΑ - USA, Κένυα-Kenya, Ταϊβάν, Taiwan, Orthodox Christian Mission Center and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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