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Possible missionary opportunities for a linguist in Africa?


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#1 Fyodor Vaskovsky

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 01:39 PM

Dear Fathers, brothers and sisters,

As some of you may know, I am a translator and a linguist, and a good one, in fact. It has long been my dream to come to Africa one day in order to help the Orthodox cause on this troubled yet blessed and hopeful continent. I can't do anything about this desire, even though I now have three small children (the youngest being a newborn baby) and some health problems (backache). I know these dreams won't come true soon, if ever, but still I wonder if there is any opportunity for me to offer my help as a language specialist to the Orthodox communities in Africa?

I know that OCMC sends missionaries but this is only for US citizens. I also know that SIL International and Wycliffe missions work to provide Bible translations in tribal languages and they need translators and researchers but they are mainly Protestants, so I am not sure whether it is right for us Orthodox to work for them. Anyway, I would feel much better if I worked for an Orthodox mission. I also anticipate that the answer might be "There's so much work to do at home, in Belarus, why go to remote lands?", although I cannot fully apply my linguistic skills here. The problem is, there is hardly any worldwide organization that supports and promotes missionary work, and jurisdictional borders seem to impede mission as well.

What would you advice me? Should I leave the vain hopes and pipe dreams or...? Maybe you know how it is done (contacts, useful websites, other...)?

#2 Michael 'Anthony' Cornett

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Posted 30 June 2011 - 05:29 PM

The Alexandrian Patriarchate has a handful of wonderful missions that aren't through OCMC. The ones I am most familiar with are those in the Congo/Zaire. I first read about it in the book, "Apostle to Zaire: The Life & Legacy of Blessed Father Cosmas of Grigoriou".

Here is a link to some wonderful updated videos of the missions in Kolwezi: http://orthodoxmissi...-kolwezi-congo/

The numbers it lists are amazing!

This is a very active Orthodox diocese, with 105 parishes, 40 priests and over 2000 youth attending its ecclesiastical schools, and its own ecclesiastical radio station among other things. It baptizes an average of 1200-1500 people a year.



#3 Fyodor Vaskovsky

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 03:45 AM

Thank you for sharing this amazing blog with me! Yes, the number they relate are impressive, indeed! This is what I meant. If there is so much success, I was sure they must have other missions beside OCMC. The problem is, Orthodox mission opportunities don't get enough publicity. Where do all those white people in the photos come from? How did they make it to Africa? Personal contacts? Yes, for some of them. They may have simply written to the respective dioceses, received formal approval of their bishops - and the receiving bishops - and lo and behold - they're in Africa. However, given the amount of paperwork and administrative issues that a bishop normally faces, this is a long way if we speak of recruiting greater numbers of people for missionary work in Africa, Asia, South America, etc. If their bishop belongs to one jurisdiction and the receiving bishop - to another, the process gets even more complicated. Do you know of other ways to apply for missionary work, like: fill in the blanks on our website, we'll contact you, tell you what to do and settle all formalities? Then, as you serve, we will support you by raising funds, helping with accommodation, insurance, travel expenses, etc. Okay, this last sentence was an exaggeration, I must admit :)

Are there, basically, any Orthodox missions, which facilitate this process, like Protestant missions do? Are they online? How can one poor little linguist like me contact them?

Edited by Fyodor Vaskovsky, 01 July 2011 - 03:47 AM.
typos


#4 Michael 'Anthony' Cornett

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 05:43 AM

You may need to use Google Chrome's browser to translate, but this link should do you well: http://www.iersyn.gr/

#5 Fyodor Vaskovsky

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 07:51 AM

Yes, I'll have to brush up on my Greek, obviously! Thank you for the link, appears to be useful...

#6 Ryan

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 01:57 PM

Does OCMC really have such a strict policy of only sending US citizens?

#7 Michael 'Anthony' Cornett

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 03:13 PM

I can't speak for the policy of OCMC, but I would imagine that they make good use of the local citizens of the missioned (is that a term?) area, as well. There is a young adult & career group that meets at our house on a monthly basis, and we have started to build the idea of raising finances and awareness for a missions priest. After reading the book of Fr. Cosmas, I immediately wished to support his group's efforts. However, when you are looking to raise awareness to an american parish who isn't totally accustomed to supporting missions, even if it is half greek, it seems best to use an organization that has ample support material for handing out. OCMC is an organization that does this well. Granted, Fr Cosmas's group puts out a wonderful newsletter on a semi-regular basis, as well. Things are a little easier raising money and sending to a US organization when in the US compared to routing money to a Greek bank.

#8 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 03:41 PM

Does OCMC really have such a strict policy of only sending US citizens?


No- there are Canadians that also have served as missionaries with the OCMC.

In Christ-
Fr Raphael




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