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OCMC News - The 2019 Trek4Missions Combines Two Epic Trails

by Fr. Martin Ritsi (Posted 7/12/2019)

OCMC News - The 2019 Trek4Missions Combines Two Epic Trails
The 2019 Trek4Missions will see OCMC Executive Director, Fr. Martin Ritsi, and OCMC Missionary to Albania, Fr. Stephanos Ritsi, hike two of the United States’ premier hiking trails in order to raise support for, and awareness of, Orthodox missions.

The trek begins with 4 days and 60 miles on what is noted as the most challenging mountaineering route in North America – the Sierra High Route. Our section of the route climbs over steep 12,000 foot granite mountain passes, wanders through spectacular glacier-carved alpine valleys, crosses rapid mountain streams, negotiates class 3 climbs, and stays higher than 10,000 feet above sea level. There are no trails. It is done with GPS, maps, sometimes ice axes and crampons, and requires advanced mountaineering skills.

“Lord, how good it is to be Your guest: the delicately scented wind, the mountains stretching to the sky, the waters reflecting like infinite years, the golden rays of the sun, the airiness of clouds.”
Akathist of Thanksgiving

The remaining 160+ miles of the trek will be on the John Muir Trail (JMT). The JMT is known throughout the world as “one of the most beautiful treks on earth,” with its high altitude peaks, alpine lakes, and scenic meadows. But that doesn’t come easy. There is close to 80,000 feet of elevation change. One 12,000 foot mountain pass is summited each day! The journey requires self-support (food and resupply locations are minimal), along with significant physical and logistic preparations. The trek will conclude with a Divine Liturgy on top of the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States – Mt. Whitney (14,505 ft). Of course we will still need to climb down and get back to civilization!

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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.
The Greek Orthodox Ladies Philoptochos Society, Inc.   The Archbishop Iakovos Leadership 100 Fund Incorporated