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OCMC News - 2009 Spring Healthcare Appeal Letter
by Kenneth Kidd (Posted 4/9/2009)

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Dear Name Merge,

Help the Church as it emanates Christ’s love to its people.

Let me share a story about medical missions that has inspired me for over 20 years and continues to drive much of my commitment to Orthodox missions.    In 1988, an Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) Mission Team traveled to western Kenya to build a medical clinic in the small village of  Chavogere.  The team shared that on one afternoon, standing in one spot they could see the Holy Spirit at work in so many beautiful ways:  the walls of a new medical clinic climbing higher and higher;  a crowd of men and women under a big shady mango tree receiving catechism;  and  a long line of people – perhaps 400 or 500 strong -  snaking around the work area and waiting to see the OCMC health care providers who had set up an outdoor clinic.

In this village there was no running water, no electricity, no paved road, no bus stop, no school, no clinic, and no established church community.  But it is here that the Holy Spirit was working through the hearts and hands of these faithful servants, inclusive of not only medical professionals but people from all walks of life, so that the Church might reach her people.   Today, Chavogere, Kenya, with the help of OCMC and its faithful supporters, has running water, electricity, an Orthodox Church and school, and a bus stop.  This is just one example of how Orthodox medical professionals and volunteers are responding to Christ’s call to ‘make disciples of all nations.’  In only the past few years, health care teams such as this have served over 3,000 of our brothers and sisters in developing countries around the world.

Today we ask for your assistance as OCMC develops similar initiatives to reach our brothers and sisters in northern Uganda with medical care.  This June an OCMC Health Care Team will travel to the Gulu region of Uganda to serve as part of an ongoing health care ministry. This region of Uganda has been stricken by one of the longest running and most forgotten civil conflicts in the world which has displaced over 1,400,000 people (80% of them being women and children).  It is a place where poverty is rife, household incomes and health indicators are lower than the Ugandan average, and where only 16% of deliveries are attended within health care facilities. Gulu is a place where just a few Orthodox clergy and a few thousand Orthodox parishioners are living their faith and being a witness to the love and goodness of the transformation of the Gospel.  Many have lost more than one family member, been victims of abduction by armed rebel militias, and endured many other hardships. 

Past OCMC Health Care Teams to Gulu have been ambassadors of our Orthodox faith, set up mobile clinics, and treated illnesses.  As much as these medical teams have been able to assist the people of this region, so much more could be done with the appropriate medicines. 

We ask that you prayerfully consider becoming a part of this Health Care effort with a gift to support the purchase of medicines that this team will utilize as part of their medical witness to this region.  OCMC needs to raise $5,000 to offset the costs of medicines for this team.  Your gift goes a long way in providing for this need.  For example, a gift of $450 can purchase between 500 – 700 treatments, including antibiotics, antihelminthics, analgesics, topical steroids, rehydration salts, vitamins and other general medical supplies.  With your gift you will be participating with the team as they minister in Gulu and help the Church to reach her people.  Any money raised over and above the goal will be utilized by OCMC as it continues to coordinate initiatives like this in Uganda and throughout the world.

This team needs medicine.  Without proper medicines they cannot treat people who are ill with water-borne diseases, malaria, post traumatic stress disorder and acute respiratory infections (which have increased by 30 percent in the last two decades).  Once again, your support is vital.  I invite you to share your love and concern for the people of Gulu by offering a gift to enable OCMC to continue this work.

Thank you for your continuous support of Orthodox missions.

Respectfully yours in Christ,

 

Dr. John Demakis
OCMC Board of Director
Health Care Chairman

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     St. Augustine, FL
     United States
     32086


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missions@ocmc.org

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Prayer for Missions

God of truth and love: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Hear our prayer for those who do not know You. That they may come to a saving knowledge of the truth, and that Your Name may be praised among all peoples of the world. Sustain, inspire, and enlighten Your servants who bring them the Gospel. Bring fresh vigor to wavering faith; sustain our faith when it is still fragile. Continually renew missionary zeal in ourselves and in the Church, and raise up new missionaries who will follow You to the ends of the world. Make us witnesses to Your goodness full of love, full of strength, and full of faith for Your glory and the salvation of the entire world. Through the prayers of all the missionary saints, Have mercy on us and save us. Amen.
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