I wanted to share a quick update on the 3rd quarter as well as our ministry plans between now and the end of the year.
In August, I was blessed to participate in the New Candidate Orientation at OCMC. There are times when the prayers of others feels like wind in your sails—this was one of those times! It was a long week for me personally—I participated in all the training, helped lead a fair amount of it, and was present in the “down time” to connect with our new missionary candidates
It was also exciting to be with these two couples in this landmark moment of their lives. You can imagine the questions you’d be asking if you actually planned to uproot your life and move across the globe next year—"What does it really mean to be a missionary today?" "How will we actually raise between $30-40K a year?" How about expanding our family…and raising our kids…and a million other questions.
Personally, it was also a joy to connect with my co-workers at OCMC, especially the missionary department—there is so much good will within our team, and I’m just grateful to play a role in it.
Fr. John Chakos is the OCMC board president emeritus and is our team leader in Guatemala. Here is what training in the 21st century looks like: Fr. John Chakos skypes in to teach on inculturation (how we translate the the Gospel so that it's truly Good News--not just into another language, but also into another culture—not only with our words, but also with our life).
Fr. John also updated us on the ministry in Guatemala. In the past decade a group of indigenous Mayans (like, tens of thousands in about 130 communities) have en masse, joined the Orthodox Church. Fr. John shared how, during one 10-day trip, he performed:
• 153 chrismations,
• 50 baptisms, and
• 20 weddings!
He said that in the presence of such dramatic growth, there is great need for clergy. There are only five priests and eight students at the new seminary. The opportunities are not spiritual alone, but also physical. The church runs a small medical clinic that has helped thousands of people, with some coming from as far away as seven hours. Pick a major city seven hours from you—now imagine traveling there to visit a clinic!
How can we make sense of these stories that are so different from our everyday experience? I noticed that stories of dramatic growth are often preceded by a small group of people quietly and faithfully seeking God for a long period of time. What’s happening in Guatemala is no exception but the fruit of decades of intercessions. I hope this story of what God is doing in Guatemala will inspire us to faithfully intercede for our context.
Here is our ministry plan for the end of the year: There is a lot of happening, and with all of it, I’d be grateful for your continued partnership in prayer.
First, on Thursday Kriss and I leave for Montenegro—I’m presenting on Missionary Resiliency at a conference for 100-150 missionaries, and we’ll be present for individual counseling as requested. Then in the first week of November I’m giving a workshop (also on missionary resiliency) at OCAMPR.
I’d love to be able to send you a postcard from our trip. Add your address to this form and we’ll get as many mailed as we can:
If you’d like to pray with us on this upcoming trip, the best way is to join our prayer team. On this upcoming trip, we’ll let you know of our prayer requests and ask how we can intercede for you as we visit holy sites. After that, you can unsubscribe at any point (we work hard to respect your phone by only sending about 3-4 text a month).