Alex Goodwin serves as the Communications Director at the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) in St. Augustine, Florida, where he lives with his wife and two children. Alex has participated on multiple mission teams to Africa. His duties at the Mission Center include broadening awareness of, and participation in, Orthodox missions among the faithful of North America.
In Guatemala there are hundreds of children and young adults hungry to learn more about their Orthodox Christian Faith. A short-term OCMC mission team has been invited to offer a summer Church school program for two communities outside Nuevo Conception in southwest Guatemala to teach basic Orthodoxy. If you have a heart for youth or teaching, please prayerfully consider joining this team which will serve from June 15th to the 28th, 2016.
Traveling From: 6/15/2016 to 6/28/2016; Team Cost: $1175*
NUEVA CONCEPCION, GUATEMALA — Provide a Church school program for two communities in southwest Guatemala. Introduce basic lessons of the Orthodox Faith for youth who are eager to learn more about their faith. This Team, which is part of a long term initiative of the Orthodox Church in Guatemala, will teach and uplift youth in communities near Nueva Conception.
The 2016 OCMC Youth Team to Guatemala has been invited to lead summer Church school programs for youth (five to fourteen years old) in two local Guatemalan parishes outside of Nueva Concepcion, Willy Woods and Malaga. The Team will prepare a five-day curriculum, introducing the Sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist and some lessons on Church History. Additionally, Team members will introduce Bible stories, the lives of the Saints and icons in their lessons. Another hope is to teach the girls hymns of the Divine Liturgy and to teach the boys how to serve in the altar. Parents, local catechists and parish leaders will be present to assist and also learn. The Team will also visit other Guatemalan parishes.
Decades of civil war have taken a toll on the people, economy and health care system of Guatemala. Additionally, Mayans have endured greater poverty, less education and health services than other people groups in Guatemala. Over the last two decades the Church has grown to include a large number of Guatemalan communities that numbers in the thousands of people. There are several dozen communities, but only five priests who travel for miles to minister to their parishes. Because of the newness of the faith, many of the faithful know very little about the church.
The Church in Guatemala is in a period of growth. Over the last two decades, a large number of communities began a spiritual journey that has brought them to Orthodoxy. Catechists travel every two months to attend a catechist seminar to learn more about the Faith. Work with the Orthodox people of Guatemala and the OCMC missionaries to Guatemala, helping them establish the Orthodox Church and strengthening Eucharistic communities while supporting social projects that promote self-sufficiency.
Applicants with a working knowledge of Spanish are encouraged, but not required. A special request for applicants with experience working with youth, altar servers or those knowledgeable in Church music are encouraged to apply.
Travel – Members make flight arrangements: a one-way domestic flight to Jacksonville, FL (JAX) Wednesday, June 15 (by 4 pm for orientation). Team Members are to fly on the itinerary schedule that OCMC provides for the international flights: depart from JAX for Guatemala City, Guatemala on Friday, June 17, and return home from Guatemala City, Guatemala on Tuesday, June 28. Airfares are not included in participation cost.
Fund raising – Each Team member is responsible for the participant cost and airfares. Team members raise funds to cover the cost of their participation. Participants are encouraged to let others know that they will be sharing in the work of missions through their tax-deductible donations, and invite others to participate through prayer and financial support. The cost includes room and board, local transportation, orientation costs, ministry expenses, excursions and materials.
Share in a journey of faith… Orthodox Mission Team members are challenged to view the world with God’s eyes and seek how He wants to use them to fulfill His plans. This cross-cultural experience, combined with outreach, offers participants a life-changing learning experience. This experience is about people, culture and missions. It is also about prayer, for you and others; it is about God, those you serve, and about yourself, as you serve Him.
The Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) is an official agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops, and supports our sister ministries under the Assembly. The Orthodox Christian Missions Center (OCM) is the official missions agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States it is OCMC’s mission to make disciples of all nations by bringing people to Christ and His Church.
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