Across the United States and Canada, mission team participants with the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) are gearing up for a summer of activity and ministry. Fourteen teams, each with a different purpose, will serve in ten different countries during the second half of 2012.
Roberta Sardell, a member of St. Stephen Antiochian Orthodox Church in Campbell, California, has participated in three mission trips. "In 2008 I was in Alaska, chiefly in an isolated village called Tatitlak on Prince William Sound, snowed in, in October," she explains. "In September of 2009 I helped lead retreats in Romania, touring monasteries and the painted churches of Bucovina. July of 2011 found me in the heat of Lodwar, northeastern Kenya. In each case I was blessed with talented Christian team mates; I was blessed meeting Orthodox brothers and sisters in other countries. I went as a teacher, a catechist, but I was educated in different cultures, different lifestyles, and how the Holy Spirit convicts people around the world."
OCMC's website  describes the Mission Teams: "Since the construction of a stone church in remote Kenya, Mission Teams have built churches, homes, schools, and a medical clinic. They also have conducted medical, teaching and other outreach programs."The team member's mission begins the moment OCMC notifies him or her of a spot on the team. Members have to raise funds to cover the cost of participation and travel, and they also must set aside time for pre-field training and orientation. The trips themselves vary in length but are usually several weeks from start to finish, and the locations are time zones away, in countries like Korea and Tanzania.
In May, a teaching team will minister in Albania, and in June and October, healthcare teams will offer medical services in Uganda and Tanzania. The first team ever will travel to Mongolia, and volunteers will run youth camps in Guatemala, Albania, Romania, Korea, Alaska and Moldova. A construction team will help build a church in a remote village in Kenya, and later in the year, teaching teams will again minister in Tanzania and Moldova.
Many of this year's teams are nearly filled, but there are still openings for missionaries. Mission Teams Director Andrew Lekos has traveled on teams to Ghana, Mexico, Uganda, Alaska, Argentina, South Africa and has visited various mission sites in other parts of the world. He is available to answer questions at: firstname.lastname@example.org .