Diocesan College Student To Serve on OCF Real Break Mission Team

JOHNSTOWN, PA -- [National ACRY] In keeping with the missionary spirit of the ACRY, Nathaniel Choma, a  student at Kent State University, will be joining a team of Orthodox College Students on an Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) sponsored Real Break short term missionary trip to Romania from March 22-29, 2014. The student team will travel to Valea Plopului, a remote village about 70 miles north of Bucharest, Romania. This community takes care of about 220 orphans, handicapped children and children from families with financial hardships. The orphanage is a ministry of the Pro Vita Association, an Orthodox, non-profit, non-governmental organization.

The association receives no help from the Romanian state. It is the families in Valea Plopului who support these children. Because these villagers earn their living through agricultural activities and small crafts, their incomes are extremely small. Unfortunately, despite their goodwill and desire to help the children, the adults are often not able to offer the children an appropriate healthy meal.

With the income from the selling of religious objects (icons, painted wooden crosses made in their workshops) and some limited donations, the orphanage has managed to acquire two peasant bread ovens, some animals, and two cars needed for the transportation of basic food supplies, construction material, and agricultural produce. Students on this trip will work on maintenance projects at the orphanage as well as interact with the children who live there.

Nate, who currently serves  as the  ACRY Ambassador, is looking forward to this opportunity to not only do the work of God in the name of the ACRY, but also to join other Orthodox college students from all over North America to serve those in need and deepen his relationship with Christ.

His Grace, Bishop Gregory, who currently serves as the Episcopal Liaison of the Assembly of Canonical Bishops of North and Central America to the Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) Campus Ministry, at a recent meeting of Diocesan Youth Workers expressed his deep gratitude to Nate for taking on this laudable work in the Name of Our Lord. His Grace has asked  that the members of the ACRY and the faithful of the Diocese  join him in supporting Nate's efforts and offer whatever financial and moral support possible.

Diocesan faithful, friends, parishes and organizations are kindly asked to help Nate reach his goal of raising $2,000.00 to cover his costs for participating. Those who wish to support his efforts are asked to send their donations to:   

Deborah Samilenko
22 Nicole Drive
Milford, CT, PA 06460

All checks should be made payable to National ACRY with the following written in the memo field: RB 2014 - Nate Choma

Donations may be received through March 1, 2014.

NOTE:  DIOCESAN COLLEGE STUDENTS: THERE ARE TWO MORE SPACES AVAILABLE ON THE REAL BREAK ROMANIAN TRIP.  Contact Donna Elias at the North American OCF Office at donna@ocf.net for more details.

Click here  to learn more about Real Break Romania 2014

The Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) is the official collegiate campus ministry program under the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America. Its mission is to support fellowships on college campuses, whose members experience and witness to the Orthodox Christian Church through community life, prayer, service to others and study of the Faith. The OCF headquarters is located in Brookline, Mass and supports over 300 local university chapter across the U.S. and Canada. In addition, OCF provides a variety of thoughtful and innovative programming, including regional training, annual conferences, and domestic and international service learning projects.

The OCF Real Break program provides an alternative to the "traditional" Spring Break . It exists to provide the most authentic experience possible, modeled as a full Christian lifestyle, which includes fellowship, prayer within community, witness and service. OCF organizes both domestic and international trips to give College students the opportunity to serve those less fortunate and to do something "real" for themselves and for God. OCF's Real Break has been running since 2000 with over a thousand students participating in these life-changing trips. Past trips have included: Mexico, Guatemala, Jerusalem, Constantinople, Raphael House, St. Basil Academy, Greece, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Romania, Buenos Aires, Alaska, and more.