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OCMC News - How Your GivingTuesday Donations are Helping in Albania!

by Niko Birbilis (Posted 12/10/2019)

OCMC News - How Your GivingTuesday Donations are Helping in Albania!
His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios of Albania was quick to get involved in the relief efforts and demonstrate that our faith is one that's manifest in service and love for our neighbors.

For this year’s GivingTuesday fundraiser, we initially aimed to raise $5,000 to aid the earthquake relief in Albania. Thanks to you all, we actually raised $30,000! Thank you so much!

It’s always been important to His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios that theological education be not just an academic exercise, but rather a way of life. In leading the Albanian Orthodox Church, His Beatitude has always kept helping the poor and afflicted as a focus of theological education and Christian life. Consequently, the students and staff of the Resurrection of Christ Theological Academy near Durrës were immediately called on to serve the people nearby whose lives have been painfully disrupted by the earthquake.

As soon as the catastrophe hit, people of the Church were mobilized to prepare and distribute food, and the Church opened the doors of its properties to those who needed shelter. While things are calmer now, at the Shen Vlash Monastery they are still hosting over 100 people who are unable to return to their homes. They’ve delayed classes at the theological academy for another week, in order to accommodate the people.

With the generous support you all sent, they were also able to invite Dr. Maggie Hock to work with earthquake victims and train staff on how to be supportive to trauma victims. Dr. Hock is a Doctor of Psychology who works internationally with missions and with the U.S. Department of Defense, State Department, and NATO to provide therapy and psychoeducational programs. She will be a huge help for all those now struggling in Albania.

Archbishop Anastasios writes that “Church without mission is a contradiction in terms.” The quick response of the Albanian Orthodox Church proved that His Beatitude takes this statement seriously. The speed with which you all helped us to raise 600% our original goal also proved this. These past 2 weeks, we saw how much good can be accomplished when the Church comes together to help those in need.

Thank you all so much for your help!

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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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