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OCMC News - Help Support Mission Priests Affected by COVID-19 for GivingTuesdayNow!

by Niko Birbilis (Posted 4/22/2020)

OCMC News - Help Support Mission Priests Affected by COVID-19 for GivingTuesdayNow!
A priest of the Metropolis of Singapore, continuing to pray and serve in self-isolation amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the rapid spread of COVID-19, we’ve all had to make major changes and sacrifices in our lives. We can no longer go to church in person, we can only see friends and family online, and many of us have lost our jobs. As hard as we have all been hit, we also need to remember our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world, many of whom have been hit even harder. While we may be socially isolated these days, it’s more important than ever to come together in unity and solidarity.

To help each other work through these trying times, nonprofits around the world are coming together for a SECOND global day of giving and unity! In addition to the regularly scheduled GivingTuesday in December, GivingTuesdayNow has been planned for May 5, 2020 in response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19.

OCMC has a number of ministries around the world being affected by COVID-19, but for GivingTuesdayNow, we want to focus on one of our hardest-hit programs: Support a Mission Priest (SAMP). Over 300 priests serving in the mission field around the world rely on SAMP to support them. Life has gotten much harder since the pandemic started spreading, and so they’re relying on us to come together and help them all the more.

Archbishop Alexander of Nigeria reports that, like most of our churches, theirs have had to close down as well. Unlike our churches, however, most of the communities in Nigeria are rural, and so they lack internet access. Where we could at least watch the Paschal services online, isolation for the Orthodox faithful of Nigeria has meant true isolation, without a way to remotely attend the services. And with the isolation, the local markets have closed, and parishioners have not been able to bring food and resources to their priests. They will all be relying on us to help pull them through.

Likewise, Metropolitan Konstantinos of Singapore has reported that the churches in his diocese have all had to close. This makes life very difficult for the priests and the Orthodox faithful. The Metropolis of Singapore also has few sources of funding, and so they really rely on OCMC's SAMP program to support the priests.

Thank you all for the support you already give. For GivingTuesdayNow, we are hoping to raise another $2,000 over the next 2 weeks to support our SAMP priests! Please pray for them and consider contributing whatever you can – your donations will go a long way.

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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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