Celebrating Twenty Years of Sending Missionaries

By Father George Liacopulos,
OCMC Board Member

In 1981, I was blessed with the opportunity to visit Mount Athos as a pilgrim. During that visit, I remember asking a monk to teach me how to pray. Instead of offering me a long-winded and detailed explanation he simply said, "Your whole life should be one long prayer to God."

Hundreds of faithful have served on short-term
teams, increasing numbers of believers are com-
mitting themselves to long-term service abroad.

ver since the time of that conversation, I have realized that the words of the Athonite monk perfectly apply to the work of our Mission Center, since one of our goals is to inspire others to transform their lives into one long evangelistic outreach to people for the glory of God. The current evangelistic revival has infused a growing number of Orthodox Christians in America with a deepened awareness of, and commitment to, mission and evangelism.

Many of our parishes have hosted priests from other countries and have heard American missionaries speak about overseas accomplishments. OCMC bulletin boards and pictures of missionaries adorn many church community center walls, and several parishes have included a special line item for mission in their church budget. Mission and evangelism as a total way of life has also been inspired by the many tapes, videos, CDs, brochures and books that are being viewed and read by the faithful across the country.

My personal hope and prayer is that future generations of church historians will look back upon our generation as a time when God used the Mission Center as a cataIyst to inspire countless numbers of believers to embrace mission and evangelism as a total way of Iife.

(Posting date 17 August 2006)

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