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First Family Mission Team Returns From Albania

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October 5, 2011

Garrison, New York - “...If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him” (John 14:23)

This past July, a unique groundbreaking international Orthodox Christian missionary effort took place—the first Family Mission Team traveled to Albania. The team was a collaboration between the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Center for Family Care (CFC) and the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC), and part of a new family ministry initiative of the Orthodox Church of Albania. Families from America and Albania participated in “One Family in Christ” Family Camp led by the CFC’s Resource Coordinator, Panayiotis Sakellariou, and by OCMC short and long term missionaries.

The purpose of sending the Family Team was to offer a “family witness”—while sharing the Orthodox faith and growing as a family in Christ—and to answer the call of the Church of Albania to begin its own family ministry. Albanian leaders plan to build on this camp experience and the family resources that we provided, to create a strong foundation for their new family ministry. Team leader Panayiotis Sakellariou said, “We thank God for providing for all the families and granting success to our camp efforts, and we are grateful for everyone’s support and prayers. We pray this first Family Mission Team will be the beginning of an ongoing missions endeavor that gives families the opportunity to share their love of God and of neighbor, and to grow in their faith.”

“One Family in Christ” Family Camp consisted of 65 parents and children of various ages. The camp included parent, couple and children programs; family activities and Olympics; outreach endeavors and local excursions. In particular, team members presented on the following topics: Church of the Home, Child Spiritual Development, Parenting Skills, Social Networking, the Journey of Marriage, and Family Ministry.

For further information on this mission team or the involved agencies, contact the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Center for Family Care at 845-424-8175 or familycare@goarch.org or Orthodox Christian Mission Center at 877-463-6784 or missions@ocmc.org.

Contact: Rev. Fr. Constantine Sitaras
Center for Family Care
Tel. 845-424-8175
Email: familycare@goarch.org