Orthodox Christian Mission Center - Make Disciples of All Nations
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OCMC News - New Beginnings

by Alexandra and Jospeh Sima (Posted 9/30/2011)

Dear Friends,

All the Glory to God for another Ecclesiastic New Year!

This New Year marks many firsts for our family. It is the first year of our marriage, the first year of our missionary candidacy, and the first year of building support for our upcoming long-term in-field mission. These are very exciting times.

The ink on our New Candidacy Training Certificates was not yet dry when we, along with our daughter Lora (a senior in high school), journeyed for most of July to see family, friends and childhood parishes. It was the first time, as missionary candidates, that we shared the powerful message of the Great Commission, to “Go therefore and make disciples of ALL the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

Our travels took us first to New York City where Alex was born and raised – and still has family and friends. Our sincere appreciation goes to Rev. Fr. Vasilios Bassakyros and the parishioners of St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Manhattan, who at very short notice welcomed us to provide information about our mission work at his parish’s fellowship hour immediately following Holy Liturgy. St. John’s is near and dear to Alex and her family as, for several generations, it is where they worshipped and celebrated many of the Holy Sacraments. What a joy it was to be able to share our faith and spiritual journey with such a beautiful parish. Thank you, Father Vasilios.

The next leg of our trip brought us to Erie Pennsylvania, Joseph’s hometown. There Alex and Lora met many of Joseph’s friends and family for the first time. We are so appreciative to Joseph’s home parish, St. Nicholas Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Church, and their new priest, Rev. Fr. Donald Valasek. Here, too, we were generously welcomed upon short notice to share God’s beautiful message of discipleship at their coffee hour. It was such an honor to meet parishioners who knew Joseph when he was a boy and who worshipped with him and his family. Thank you, Father Donald.

Our pilgrimage ended in Indianapolis, Indiana at the home of our dear Orthodox friends, the Haidars, who through their family food business support the work of missionaries and a mission church in Indianapolis. They provided us with great encouragement, and sent us home with their prayers and great food. Thank you, Katherine and Samer.
It was wonderful to see new places and family as well as old friends and parishes; it is always great to return home and to the routine of our prayer lives. We praise God for His blessings, seen and unseen and for the newness of our lives in Him.

We wish you all a beautiful New Church Year and look forward to meeting and sharing this message of discipleship with the many more communities and individuals the Lord will grant as our support team. Thank you for helping us continue His love story.

In His Service,
Alexandra and Joseph

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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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