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.
Fr. Maximos is an Orthodox priest in Nigeria who was the recipient of a scholarship granted to him through OCMC. The scholarship allowed him to study theology through the Saint Stephen’s Certificate Program and to gain a top-notch theological education while studying in his own country, all with the blessing of his metropolitan.
Sara Staff, Marketing Coordinator for the Orthodox Christian Mission Center, recently had the opportunity to speak with Fr. Maximos about his experiences. He expressed how thankful he was to receive a theological education. He mentioned the difficulty of defending truth in a world with so many opinions. He stressed that this is why knowing the traditions of the Orthodox Church is so important. To teach truth, you must know what has been passed down, even with all the ups and downs of the Church. He acknowledged the blessing of being able to learn about Orthodox history, tradition, and theology so that he is better equipped to share those truths with people in his own country.
He was honest about some of the challenges his people face that make it difficult for them to accept Orthodox Christianity. There are deep roots in other faith traditions, many people are uneducated, and it is often hard to relay the necessity of going to church services when it interferes with other impending daily tasks. Fr. Maximos now has a greater ability to confront these challenges knowing the mindset and teaching of the Orthodox Faith through the education he has received. He is passionate about sharing the truths of Orthodoxy with the Nigerian people.
Fr. Maximos hopes to soon begin work on a Doctor of Ministry. He is very thankful for the opportunity that the OCMC has given him to learn about Orthodox theology. It has enabled him to more effectively teach the people of his country and understand their spiritual needs. OCMC is humbled to be a part of his story.
Over the past month, OCMC has raised almost $20,000 to support theological training abroad! We are grateful for the generous hearts of those who have helped this effort through prayer and/or financial means. The funds will go to support theological training institutions like the Makarios III Seminary in Kenya and the Resurrection of Christ Orthodox Seminary in Albania. We pray that the Lord continues to bless Orthodox seminaries across the globe as they train future priests for the service of Christ’s Church.
Photo: Fr. Maximos was able to study theology through the Saint Stephen’s Certificate Program thank to a grant from the OCMC. He shared that with this training, he feels better equipped to share the truths of Orthodoxy with people in his own country.
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