2017 United States Youth Work Team
Traveling From: 7/5/2017 to 7/15/2017; Team Cost: $1000*
AHKIOK, ALASKA -- Help the Protection of the Theotokos Church in Akhiok, Alaska strengthen its youth ministry efforts by planning and leading a camp program for children and teenagers. This Team has been asked to teach the Faith through lessons, discussions, sports and craft activities that will strengthen the faith and bring awareness that church does not “entertain” as society expects.
The 2017 Akhiok Alaska Mission Team will lead with a camp program, and be a witness of Orthodoxy, working side by side with elders and adults in the community to empower the youth to live as Orthodox Christians in these socially challenging times. The camp will incorporate lessons on the Faith, living as Orthodox in this world, a Christian understanding of social media, as well as arts and crafts, music and sports. An objective of the camp will be to empower the youth to live as Orthodox Christians in these socially challenging times.
Situated in Alitak Bay about 98 miles southwest of the city of Kodiak, Akhiok is the most remote village on the island. The original village of Kashukugniut was occupied by Russians in the early 19th century. The community was originally a sea otter hunting settlement. In 1881, residents relocated to the present site at Alitak Bay. The community's Russian Orthodox Church, Protection of the Theotokos Chapel, was built around 1900 at the site of an earlier structure. Residents of nearby Kaguyak relocated to Akhiok after the 1964 earthquake and tsunami destroyed their village. The City was incorporated in 1972. Akhiok enjoys a strong Orthodox faith-based community. Akhiok is an Alutiiq (Russian-Aleut) village dependent upon fishing and subsistence activities.
It has been over two hundred years since the Orthodox Christian Faith was proclaimed on the shores of Alaska, and for this reason, it is often considered America’s Holy Land. The presence of Orthodoxy in these villages can be traced back to early Russian missionaries whose witness has contributed to the faith in these villages. Orthodoxy has become central to many of the native Alaskan cultures.
The Church faces many challenges as she continues to maintain an Orthodox witness and proclaim Christ while equipping a new generation of future believers and leaders to know and live their faith. OCMC Mission Teams work in partnership with the OCA Diocese of Alaska to provide catechism to the faithful, offer youth ministry to foster their growth and involvement in the Church. Discover Alaska’s unique Orthodox heritage by participating in an OCMC youth team to Alaska.
All members should be prepared to share and teach the Orthodox Faith. Family participation is welcome. Youth workers, church school teachers and camp counselors are encouraged to apply!
Dates: July 5 – July 15, 2017
Cost: $1,000 (+airfare)
Travel – Members make flight arrangements (round-trip) to Kodiak, Alaska: meet in Kodiak, Wednesday, July 5 for orientation; travel to Akhiok on Saturday, July 9 and return to Kodiak on Friday, July 14; return home July 15. OCMC will provide a travel itinerary for Kodiak/Ahkiok. Airfares are not included in participation cost.
Fund raising - Each Team member is responsible for the participant cost and airfares. Team members raise funds to cover the cost of their participation. Participants are encouraged to let others know that they will be sharing in the work of missions through their tax-deductible donations, and invite others to participate through prayer and financial support. The cost includes room and board, local transportation, orientation costs, ministry expenses, excursion and materials.
OCMC relies solely on gifts and offerings from churches and individuals for support. If you would like to contribute to this ministry mission project, we welcome you to do so and are grateful for your support. This is optional and for that reason it is not included in the participant cost.
Share in a journey of faith… Orthodox Mission Team members are challenged to view the world with God's eyes and seek how He wants to use them to fulfill His plans. This cross-cultural experience, combined with outreach, offers participants a life-changing learning experience. This experience is about people, culture and missions. It is also about prayer, for you and others; it is about God, those you serve, and about yourself, as you serve Him.