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OCMC News - Settling Down and Celebrating Pascha in Korea!

by Niko Birbilis (Posted 6/4/2019)

OCMC News - Settling Down and Celebrating Pascha in Korea!
OCMC Missionary Pres. Jen Moore, with her and Fr. Chris' two children, dying Easter eggs as the family prepares to celebrate their first Pascha in South Korea. Please continue to pray for the Moores as their ministries in South Korea take shape and grow.

Earlier this year, we shared an update from the Moore family – they had just moved to South Korea and settled down in the city of Ulsan. There, Fr. Chris had been serving at St. Dionysios of Zakynthos Orthodox Church. They recently shared another update, and this is an exciting time to hear from them, to see how the family has been doing in adapting to their new rhythm of daily life.

Four mornings each week, their two sons go to preschool. This gives them the chance to gain Korean language exposure, as well as to have time to socialize with Korean kids. They also get to participate in field trips and special programs, which keeps things exciting and engaging for them.

While the children are in preschool, their parents likewise go to school as well. Weekday mornings are a good opportunity for Fr. Chris and Mat. Jen to work on learning Korean. Thankfully, a Korean priest, Fr. Jeremiah from Chuncheon, was able to help them find a nearby Multicultural Family Center which offers free Korean language classes.

While learning a brand-new language can be very difficult, it’s an invaluable part of many missionaries’ journeys. Speaking through translators can only get you so far in connecting with the people, so all the hours going into language-learning are hours well spent. In a recent update, Fr. Chris shared that he finally felt confident enough to attempt the whole Great Litany in Korean during a church service – so it sounds like his lessons are going well indeed!

In addition to their classes, they start and end most days with church services. A few parishioners manage to join them on some days, so it's a joy and a blessing to worship together throughout the week.

Along with this glimpse into their daily life, the Moores also shared their experience of Holy Week! They were able to celebrate these most beautiful services with Fr. Antonios, the rector of the parish, who traveled from Seoul to join them. They also participated in the various local Holy Week traditions of the parish: they stayed after liturgy with many of the parishioners to arrange flowers on the bier and in the church, and Mat. Jen and the boys helped the local parish women dye eggs for Pascha. And not only did they have the blessing of experiencing these activities with the local Korean faithful, but they also witnessed Greeks and Russians working together with them. Orthodox Christians from all over the world, working together, was a beautiful and encouraging sight.

Looking forward, the Moore family has a lot of work to do, and so they ask for all of us to support them. They have some specific prayer requests:

  • "Our parish is like any parish," notes Fr. Chris. "We celebrate our accomplishments and strive to be with people and to encourage them through hope in Christ, in the midst of their trials and difficulties. Please pray that we can learn how to love more deeply."
  • Fr. Chris is working on a website for the church, which will help the church be more public and communicate better.
  • Recently they met with Sunday School teachers to plan the curriculum and to talk about how to grow the children in our Christian Faith. This is a work in progress, and the Moores hope to build some consistency.
  • Language, language, language. It’s a huge need, please keep praying!
  • Growing in Bible literacy: Fr. Chris also shares, "We desire to see the people of our parish grow deeper in their knowledge of God and His Word! Please pray that we can find a time and format for Bible study/reading that suits our busy people."
  • They've started choir rehearsals after Saturday evening services. Please pray these rehearsals will help the parish to offer beautiful hymns to our Lord and to come to services with hearts full of joy and praise.

We thank Fr. Chris and Mat. Jen for sharing all of their updates with us, and for giving us a glimpse into their first few months as missionaries in a new environment. Please pray for them and their work, and consider offering a recurring donation to sustain them. Missionary work is the work of the whole Church, and so we're all in this together!

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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.
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