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OCMC News - OCMC Missionaries Safeguard Precious Relics During Alaskan Earthquake

by Orthodox Christian Mission Center (Posted 1/24/2018)

OCMC News - OCMC Missionaries Safeguard Precious Relics During Alaskan Earthquake
After tsunami warnings triggered by an magnitude 7.9 earthquake, OCMC Missionary Fr. David Rucker, Fr. Ioasaph, and V. Rev. Innocent Dresdow keep the relics of St. Herman safe.

Last week a major earthquake struck off of Alaska's coast. The next day, we received the following message from Fr. David and Mat. Rozanne Rucker, who are serving as OCMC missionaries in Alaska:

At 12:32 AM (Alaska Standard Time) Mat. Rozanne and I were rocked awake by the earth trembling and rolling. The 7.9 magnitude quake took its time playing out, followed quickly by the blaring of Kodiak's tsunami warning sirens. This is a familiar sound since every Wednesday at 2 PM the warning system is tested. But we had never heard it in the middle of the night with snow blowing about in the gusty, icy winds. We and the rest of the St. Herman Seminary community grabbed our evacuation bags and took off for the designated evacuation facility, Kodiak High School, located on high ground. After making sure our students were all accounted for and the relics of St. Herman had also been moved from Holy Resurrection Cathedral to the high school, we prayed the prayers we memorize for such a time as this—the genuine Vigils in our lives.

It is now 5 AM as I write to you, having assisted in delivering the relics of St. Herman back to the Cathedral and settling in by the stove in our seminary apartment, apparently safe and sound for another day. The Lord has given us another day to be healed and to participate in the healing of others. School and seminary classes are canceled for the day as the community recovers from the scare and a sleepless night. At least for a few days, the people of Kodiak will contemplate how weak and vulnerable we are and how much we are dependent upon God as our refuge and strength.

Many of you wrote, texted, or called so quickly to make sure we were safe. Thank you for your prayers and love. We are safe--not because Kodiak was spared and we and our belongings are physically intact (for which we are extremely grateful!) but because we still believe that the "safest" place to be in all the world is in the center of the will of God, regardless of external circumstances. Your prayers and support make it possible for us to be right here, in the center of His will as best we can determine, obeying Him in Kodiak where He has called us. Glory to God for all things!

We are incredibly grateful that Fr. David and Mat. Rozanne were safe and that, by God's grace, they were there to care for our Alaskan brothers and sisters and safeguard the relics of St Herman.

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Prayer for Missions

God of truth and love: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Hear our prayer for those who do not know You. That they may come to a saving knowledge of the truth, and that Your Name may be praised among all peoples of the world. Sustain, inspire, and enlighten Your servants who bring them the Gospel. Bring fresh vigor to wavering faith; sustain our faith when it is still fragile. Continually renew missionary zeal in ourselves and in the Church, and raise up new missionaries who will follow You to the ends of the world. Make us witnesses to Your goodness full of love, full of strength, and full of faith for Your glory and the salvation of the entire world. Through the prayers of all the missionary saints, Have mercy on us and save us. Amen.