OCMC Short-term Missionaries Report on Summer of Ministry
The summer is an especially busy season for the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC), as short-term mission teams are trained and then sent out to minister in other parts of the world. In 2013, teams journeyed to Alaska, Tanzania, Kenya, Guatemala and Albania, and several of the participants shared their stories on the OCMC's Website and Facebook page.
Jamil Samara, director of Internet Ministries for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, served on the Albania Mission Team in the early summer. On Day five of his blog diary, he wrote:
Thursday, May 30, 2013
My head popped off the pillow about 4 am, even before my alarm went off! I intended on waking up early, as today was a big day, and I needed to prepare for it. Andrew Otto and I were tasked with giving a presentation today in front of 100 teenagers in Berat, a nearby city. I'm not used to public speaking, so I like having what I'm going to say clearly written out and rehearsed. Over time, hopefully I will get better at it. I quietly got ready so I wouldn't wake up my roommate, Nick, and I came downstairs to work on the presentation and a lyrics sheet (for all of the songs that we've had to sing). We had some ideas about what to say in our talk, but I had prayed looking for guidance. When I woke, I realized that the message of the Gospel is so simple and I should just stick to that: God is love, Christ is love, and we are called to be love.
Short term missionary Tom Bundros wrote about his experiences during "The Most Excellent Alaskan Cruise," in which he and his wife joined a team ministering in Yu'pik villages. Afterwards, he reflected that the Yup’ik people value “doing” over “talking.” Although the communities were sincerely grateful that we were teaching (the “talking” part), our participation in the daily life of the people (eating, celebrating, mourning, working, relaxing, etc. – the “doing” part) was as important if not more so.