OCMC News - 2009 Lenten Appeal Letter
His Eminence Metropolitan Jeronymos shares the light of Christ with a young Orthodox boy in Tanzania.
I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, that you should be for salvation unto the ends of the Earth. (Acts 13:47)
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Greetings in the Name of the Lord!
We, as Orthodox Christians, are blessed to partake of the salvation made possible by Christ’s Glorious Resurrection. It is during this time of Great and Holy Lent that we prepare our hearts to “… receive the light from the everlasting light, and glorify Christ, Who has risen from the dead.” In response to Christ’s loving and sacrificial gift, we have a tremendous opportunity to share His light with all of our brothers and sisters around the world. Please prayerfully consider a donation to OCMC this Lenten season, so that the light of God’s Word may shine in all places.
Your gifts of prayer and financial support for missions helps to illumine places like West Bengal, India - a region where 80% of the population is Hindu and where hope in Christ is greatly needed. One of the priests serving in this region, Fr. Mokios, serves four villages around Kolkata but is no longer welcome to visit his home village just a few miles away, where most of his family lives. Prior to becoming an Orthodox Christian, Fr. Mokios was a Hindu priest in the village. The members of his village were outraged when he became an Orthodox Christian. They threatened Fr. Mokios, his wife, and his children, because by accepting Christ he had defiled the village Hindu temple. The village insisted that his extended family destroy all of the furnishings in the temple and refurnish it with their own money. Though Fr. Mokios’ heart suffers because of these circumstances, he finds strength in Christ and perseveres to share Christ’s truth with all who are willing to hear. Ostracized and challenged in ways that are incomprehensible to most, Fr. Mokios and his fellow witnesses to the Faith call upon us, their Orthodox Christian family, to assist them with their ministries.
Your response to missions helps North American Orthodox Churches to send Missionaries and Mission Teams to preach, teach, baptize and serve around the world. They raise up and train Orthodox clergy; and enable priests in some of the world’s poorest countries, like India, to minister to, and touch the lives of thousands of people. They fund ministries that allow the Church to emanate Christ’s love to those in need.
I pray that you will be given strength for your own Lenten journey and that you are blessed with many opportunities to pray for, give to, and serve Christ’s Church as it strives to ‘be a light’ for those seeking Christ. May this Lenten season be a time of renewal and spiritual growth for you and your family.
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Martin Ritsi