Reflecting upon the words of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ: “'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me”, the college age students of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA prayerfully responded to our Lord’s call and offered themselves to serve as Mission Team Members of the UOC of the USA to the Ukrainian Orphanages during 2-17 June, 2017.
A great American Civil rights movement leader Martin Luther King Jr. once said “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity”. Keeping these words in mind, eleven missionaries under the leadership of His Eminence Archbishop Daniel, the Ruling Hierarch of the Western Eparchy of the UOC of the USA and Olga Coffey were commissioned by His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, a founder of the Church’s Mission program, to journey to the Church sponsored orphanage in Znamyanka, Ukraine.
This adopted orphanage houses special needs children ranging in age from 3-18. The team will be in Ukraine through June 17th. While in Ukraine they will spend time ministering to the children by providing them special opportunities such as field trips, physical therapy sessions, educational opportunities and Anointing Services. The main focus of the missionaries is to show the face of Christ to the children and help to improve their quality of life.
This year’s team in comprised of: Subdeacons Volodymyr Yavorskyi and Mykola Zomchak (St. Sophia Seminary, South Bound Brook, NJ), Andrew Powers (Protection of the Birth-Giver of God Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral, Southfield, MI), Ginny Ulbright (Sts. Peter and Paul UOC parish, Youngstown, OH), Julianna Leis (Sts Peter and Paul UOC parish, Carnegie, PA), Vitaliya Dokhvat (Holy Archangel Michael UOC parish, Baltimore, MD) and Very Rev. Taras Naumenko (St. Vladimir Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral, Philadelphia, PA), Deacon Paul and Mary Ann Cherkas, Janice Meschishen, Eleanor Kogut (Holy Archangel Michael UOC parish, Woonsocket, RI),
We ask that you keep this year’s team, the children and staff of the orphanages in your prayers. An update of the team’s activities will be available at the Consistory website (www.uocofusa.org) after their June 17th return. In addition, follow the UOC of USA’s Facebook page for the routine updates from Ukraine during the Mission Trip.