Please help others experience the thanks and joy that comes from a life of faith in Christ with your support of the ministries of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center this thanksgiving!
“Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
In a matter of minutes, their lives were turned upside down. Everything they had worked long and hard for was gone. Their homes, their livelihood, their safety- they had been robbed of each one.
As I neared the village of Nakabosan in the Turkana region of Kenya where we had baptized over 100 people the previous year, I wondered how things had changed for them. Before my return visit, I heard that just a few days after the mass baptism, a neighboring tribe raided their village and stole their livestock. Several people were wounded in the attack, and some even lost their lives. Those that escaped had to find shelter elsewhere.
I was worried that the people would feel resentment or anger against God. They had only newly embraced Him, and then suddenly been made to suffer! Did they blame God? Had they abandoned their new faith?
The answers to my questions shocked me! When the village elder, Salale, spoke to me, I was amazed to hear that this tragedy has only strengthened the people’s faith and trust in God. The love of Christ has brought them together in ways that never happened before. Before, they shared a tense and uneasy relationship with another village, Loupwala. Now that both villages have embraced the Orthodox faith, they have formed a bond of mutual love and harmony. Salale and his people call this a miracle!
While talking with Salale, I sensed the tremendous spirit of peace and joy within him. By the grace of God, the village has changed terrible circumstances into a beautiful way to grow spiritually. They are able to see beyond their hardships to the blessings that God showers upon them, to the depths of their very souls. Their gratitude to God is overwhelming.
This spirit of gratitude, of thanksgiving, is in itself a gift from God. Embracing Christ has brought this spirit out in Salale and his people. They radiate a sense of inner peace because of it and rejoice even in the midst of their difficulties. How beautiful it would be to share this gift with the whole world!
This Thanksgiving, as a supporter of Orthodox missions we ask that you join with OCMC to bear witness to the joy that comes from knowing Christ with a gift of $50 to $100. Through your prayerful offering you will partner with us to bring Christ’s message of peace, joy, and hope to those who do not know Him. Please keep Salale and his village in your prayers, along with all of OCMC’s ministries.
Fr. Martin Ritsi
PS - One time donations are extremely helpful but an annual pledge of $20 to $50 per month could help make an even longer lasting impact on the Church's mission ministries around the world.