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OCMC News - National Ladies Philoptochos Helps Grow the Worldwide Orthodox Church with Grants to the OCMC

by Orthodox Christian Mission Center (Posted 2/27/2018)

OCMC News - National Ladies Philoptochos Helps Grow the Worldwide Orthodox Church with Grants to the OCMC
Thanks to the generous support of the National Ladies Philoptochos Society of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North America, several priests serving in mission countries and two short-term Orthodox Mission Teams were able to share the Faith around the world.

Philoptochos shares in the daily ministry to our brothers and sisters in Africa and Southeast Asia through the Orthodox Christian Mission Center’s Support a Mission Priest (SAMP) program. In 2017, Philoptochos donated $36,000, enough to sponsor 60 SAMP priests for a full year.

The SAMP program not only assists priests and deacons, but now includes two bishops, too! His Grace Bishop Neofitos (Kongai) and His Grace Bishop Athanasios (Akunda) both graduated from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, MA. As priests they were sponsored by the SAMP program for many years, and SAMP continues to support them now in their ministry as bishops in Kenya. His Grace Bishop Neofitos writes, “You cannot imagine how many souls you are saving through your efficient effort to make sure the needy priests receive support. For us in the Diocese of Nyeri and Mt. Kenya, the last two years have been years of abundance of blessings! We have seen the true light and have received the heavenly blessings through our brothers and sisters. Truly with God all things are possible!”

Philoptochos also provided $25,000 in grants for Orthodox Missions in 2017 to support two OCMC short-term medical Mission Teams to Guatemala and Indonesia.

Dr. Cheryl Johnson was part of the Indonesia Mission Team that volunteered at the RSU Theotokos Orthodox Hospital in Medan. She notes, “There is a lot of diabetes and hypertension in Indonesia, probably from their carbohydrate and sweet-laden diet. We talked a lot about the importance of diet and medicine.” She experienced just what it means to spread the gospel to all nations by offering her skills as a medical professional. Cheryl affirms, “The important part of the short-term mission is to bring together Orthodox Christians in the US and Orthodox Christians across the world.”

Nicholas Manuel traveled on a Mission Team to the village of Aguacate in northern Guatemala to volunteer at the Fr. Andrés Giron Clinic on a health care outreach. The team treated 228 villagers over a five-day span. Nicholas was assigned to take each patient’s vitals: “Within this process, I was able to hold every patient’s hand. Each encounter helped me see and understand the person in front of me as they were and where they were coming from. I believe it is through each hand that I encountered Christ within the other person.”

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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.