Orthodox College Students Have Amazing Choices for Real Break 2017

Orthodox College Students Have Amazing Choices for Real Break 2017

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It’s not too early to start thinking about Spring Break. Orthodox Christian Fellowship, OCF, Real Break 2017 is a great way to spend the week making a difference in the world.

Making a Difference

OCF’s Real Break aims to prepare college students to be socially informed Orthodox Christian citizens of this world, while directing their focus on the world to come, the kingdom of heaven. Built on a foundation of fellowship, education, worship, and service, Real Break provides students the opportunity to understand the true meaning of seeing Christ in the other – traveling to all parts of the world deepening their faith, serving those in nrealbreakpostereed, and cultivating relationships with like-minded peers.

You CAN Afford It

OCF has prepared several domestic and international trips for you to consider. Ther
e are places across the globe to choose from and OCF even helps you raise money to participate. Very rarely do students NOT raise the total cost of their trip. In fact, they usually end up raising MORE than the amount needed!

Real Break 2017

Below is a brief summary of each Real Break 2017 available. Click the date to learn more about each trip and to register.

Thessaloniki I

February 17-25, 2017 

Trip Description – Orthodox Christian college students will journey to Thessaloniki, Greece, in order to personally experience the living μαρτυρία (witness) and διακονία (service) of the Christian communities of Northern Greece. The host institution will be the historic Great Church of the Theotokos, that is, the Church of the Acheiropoietos, which was built in the center of Byzantine Thessaloniki in the fifth century. During Real Break Thessaloniki, the students will visit many of the region’s sacred sites and venerate the numerous relics and icons that have adorned them for centuries. This includes the churches and relics of St. Demetrios, Sts. Cyril and Methodios, St. Gregory Palamas, St. Theodora and St. David, as well as the churches of Rotunda, Haghia Sophia, St. Nicholas Orphanos and the Holy Apostles. Participants will also visit the Holy Monasteries of Meteora and Ormylia. Additionally, trip participants will have the opportunity to experience several outreach ministries of the Metropolis of Thessaloniki.

Project Mexico

March 4-8, 2017 

Trip Description – Since 1988, Project Mexico has been building safe, secure and weather-tight homes for some of the most impoverished families in Northern Mexico. Every home is constructed over the course of four days and built entirely with volunteer labor. Once complete, these homes are provided so that these families can build a brighter future for themselves and their children.

St. Innocent Orphanage is located near Rosarito, Mexico on a beautiful 16-acre ranch. St. Innocent Orphanage was founded in 1996, by Greg Yova, to provide a home for orphaned teenage boys. This home surpasses the basic needs of our youngsters and provides them with spiritual direction, a public education enhanced by private tutoring, athletics and extra-curricular activities and most importantly, tremendous amounts of love from all of the staff and volunteers.

The Project Mexico Real Break team will put Christ’s love into action by assisting in a project that will aid the orphanage and home building project. The goals of this trip are to love and serve a community, and to enter into a few days of fellowship, education, worship, and service with other Orthodox college students from across the United States.

Alaska

March 11-18, 2017 

Trip Description – The Real Break Alaska team will work alongside the community of St. John Orthodox Cathedral in Eagle River, Alaska on community service projects with the needy in the surrounding areas. In addition, participants will explore the greater Anchorage area visiting local parishes and experiencing Alaskan culture and life.

The St. John Orthodox Cathedral and fifty-five acres of church land are situated at the base of the Chugach Mountains, twelve miles outside of Anchorage; Alaska’s largest city. The facilities of the Cathedral include an elementary school, a guest-home, and a chapel, which is dedicated to St. Sergius of Radonezh. The Cathedral also hosts the annual Eagle River Institute of Orthodox Christian Studies and the St. John Summer Camp for teens. Next to the Cathedral is the St. James House, which offers a one-year residential program for young singles.

St. James House, a ministry of Saint John Orthodox Cathedral in Eagle River, Alaska, provides a one-year residential program where young, single people live in an extended-family setting and become better prepared to live in the world as faithful Orthodox Christian men and women. This is accomplished primarily through evening studies, household work projects, and participation in the liturgical and community life of St. John Cathedral, as well as their daily interaction with one another. The household itself is run by a resident family whose goal is to mentor the program’s participants in facing everyday challenges responsibly and with faith in God. The pastor and clergy of St. John Orthodox Cathedral also oversees the program by providing instruction and spiritual direction.

Thessaloniki II

March 10-18, 2017

Trip Description – Orthodox Christian college students will journey to Thessaloniki, Greece, in order to personally experience the living μαρτυρία (witness) and διακονία (service) of the Christian communities of Northern Greece. The host institution will be the historic Great Church of the Theotokos, that is, the Church of the Acheiropoietos, which was built in the center of Byzantine Thessaloniki in the fifth century. During Real Break Thessaloniki, the students will visit many of the region’s sacred sites and venerate the numerous relics and icons that have adorned them for centuries. This includes the churches and relics of St. Demetrios, Sts. Cyril and Methodios, St. Gregory Palamas, St. Theodora and St. David, as well as the churches of Rotunda, Haghia Sophia, St. Nicholas Orphanos and the Holy Apostles. Participants will also visit the Holy Monasteries of Meteora and Ormylia. Additionally, trip participants will have the opportunity to experience several outreach ministries of the Metropolis of Thessaloniki.

Romania

March 10-18, 2017 

Trip Description – The Romania Real Break Mission is twofold: the first five days of the Mission are spent in Valea Plopului and Valea Screzii, Romania at the Pro Vita Orphanage founded by Father Nicolae Tanase, a priest of the Romanian Orthodox Church. The second part of the Mission is a two-day pilgrimage in Romania’s capital, Bucharest.

Both parts of the Mission offer something of great value for American Orthodox students. The Pro Vita Orphanage is an opportunity to come outside yourself to learn to love as Christ loves and give of yourself to minister to “the least of these” (Matt. 25:40): the joy-filled children of the Pro Vita orphanage, which houses over 400 orphans. Together with the orphans, Pro Vita also houses women in crisis pregnancies who find support at Pro Vita as an alternative to having an abortion and a safe place for their babies. Additionally, those abused or destitute also find a welcoming and supportive home in the Pro Vita village, where they’re integrated into the life of the community and the Church.

Our last two days of the Mission are spent on pilgrimage in Bucharest, giving American Orthodox OCF students an opportunity to experience an Orthodox country first-hand, venerate the Saints, and ask their intercession while visiting many of the beautiful churches and monasteries in historic Bucharest. This part of the Mission is also an eye-opening and enriching experience for American Orthodox used to being a tiny minority.

FOCUS Cleveland

March 13-16, 2017

Trip Description – FOCUS Cleveland’s St. Herman House is a men’s homeless shelter in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood. St. Herman House was founded in 1977 and became part of the FOCUS family on January 1, 2013. In addition to sheltering homeless men, the house serves 3 hot meals a day, 7 days a week to men, women, and children in the community. In 2016, they are on tap to serve 80,000 meals. St. Herman House also provides groceries and clothing to those in need. FOCUS Cleveland also operates a 75-acre cattle farm in Trumbull County, Ohio. Men residing at St. Herman House also work on the farm. The farm is currently being transitioned from a cattle farm to a sheep farm. Here, they also plan to have lavender fields, a berry picking ranch, and local honey from on-site beehives, for the surrounding community to enjoy.

Out of all US cities, Cleveland has the second highest rate of residents living below the poverty line at 36%. At a time when few to no services were available in the Cleveland area, St. Herman house was founded to meet the pressing needs of the underserved in this community. To this day, the St. Herman House continues to provide essential services, transforming the lives of many who come through their doors.

The Cleveland Real Break team will put Christ’s love into action by assisting in the day-to-day running of the Cleveland FOCUS center. The team will learn about the many forms of poverty and begin the fight against it through guided discussions and presentations by the FOCUS staff. The goals of this trip are to love and serve a community, to develop a better understanding of poverty, and to enter into a few days of fellowship, education, worship, and service with other Orthodox college students from across the United States.

Jerusalem

March 17-25, 2017 

Trip Description – OCF is offering the spiritual opportunity of a lifetime: a Real Break trip to Jerusalem. Real Break Jerusalem will afford team members the opportunity to walk the footsteps of Christ as well as visit historical and spiritually significant sites to the three Abrahamic religions. Team members will also meet the “living stones” of the Holy Land, the local Christian population. Orthodox youth from America will partner up with the local Orthodox youth in the Holy Land on a joint community service project, which will be decided by the representatives of both groups as the visit nears. The team will spend one week visiting Jerusalem, the Galilee area (Nazareth, Cana, Mt. Tabor), Bethlehem, Beit Sahour and Jericho(the oldest city in the world).

Pilgrimages will be made to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, the site of our Lord’s crucifixion and resurrection; the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the site of Jesus’ birth; the Orthodox Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth, where the Angel Gabriel announced the Good News to Panagia; Monastery at the Mt. Of Temptation in Jericho, the oldest City in the world; the Jordan River, the site of the Epiphany
Russian Monastery of St Mary Magdalene, Gethsemane; Church of St. George, Cana, Galilee the site of the first miracle performed by Jesus; and many more…

New Orleans

March 20-25, 2017 

Trip Description – With many families and individuals left without a home following the brutal storms along the Gulf coast, the Real Break New Orleans team will put love into action and build hope by offering relief to those affected by these natural disasters. This trip brings together OCF with IOCC and Habitat for Humanity, to provide an opportunity for college students to change a family’s life by building a home. Students need to be prepared for 4 days of hard work, as the team will be working outside. They will be doing anything from laying cement and building frames to roofing and painting.

The goals of this trip are to assist in building a home, witness firsthand the damage done by natural disasters, interact with families who have lost their homes, and enter into a daily life of prayer and hard work with other college students from across the country. Students will also have the opportunity to experience local New Orleans culture through food and music.

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