With the days remaining in 2016, and in honor of Christ’s Nativity, help share the hope and healing of the Orthodox Christian Faith with the world.
Dear Brothers and Sister in Christ,
I know a place where the most common "illness" is malnutrition.
It's in the bone-dry wilderness of Kenya, where we work with the Turkana people.
Think about it. There are a lot of diseases in East Africa. The Turkana people suffer those diseases as often as other places in Africa. But hunger is so widespread, Turkana people are more likely to be hungry -- so hungry that it's medically called a disease -- than sick.
But there's good news too.
Many Turkana people are becoming Orthodox Christians. When they hear about the Holy Trinity and the Son who died to conquer death by death ... they get it!
Little Orthodox churches are popping up in the desert. Tribesmen are training to become priests and deacons. People are flocking to Divine Liturgy -- the same service you and I know so well. The music and language are different. But it's the same Liturgy!
The problem is poverty and hunger.
That's why I'm writing to you this Nativity Season. While you celebrate the birth of Christ, I hope you'll remember our brothers and sisters in Turkana and help them overcome their poverty -- and keep Orthodox missions going strong.
Will you consider sending a special Christmas donation this year? Your gift will help so many people!
As a supporter of OCMC in the past, you know how important this work is. Your gift will make it possible in 2017.
I've enclosed a special Nativity bookmark. I hope you'll use it in your Bible or prayer book -- somewhere you'll see it regularly.
I want it to remind you of the glorious birth of the Son and what that means for you. And I want you to think about and pray for the Turkana people as they struggle to survive.
Maria Linderman of Ohio visited the Turkana people with a recent OCMC Mission Team. She describes it:
We were warmly met by the Turkana with smiles, handshakes, and then to our delight, singing, clapping, and dancing. Before I knew it, we were swooped up in the midst of them, holding hands, and dancing.
This is despite living in severe drought and extreme poverty. It was heart wrenching to see small children drinking yellow-brown water. In one village, we found three young girls who had dug a 6 x 6 foot water hole since early morning with two tin cans in hopes it would rain.
I've been there many times. Maria's account is absolutely accurate.
You can help these dear people! You can unite with them through your kindness and generosity.
Your giving will help train priests. Equip churches. You'll also provide sources of safe water and the food they so urgently need. Because God cares for their souls and their bodies!
Will you give today?
The Turkana people need someone like you to stand with them. So do many others. Because that's how God builds His Church. Through YOU.
Thank you for your sacrificial giving this Nativity Season.
Fr. Martin Ritsi
P.S. Please -- say YES to Turkana people and others around the world seeking God this Christmas. Please send your gift today. Your gift is tax-deductible for this year if you send it by December 31.