Here is a list of our OCMC missionaries, with brief descriptions of their ministries, that I gleaned from the OCMC website. Please print this page, stick the printout in your prayer book, and do pray regularly for our missionaries.
Anastasia Pamela Barksdale: Anastasia Pamela Barksdale will utilize her training and experience to serve the Church of Albania by studying intensive language acquisition and cultural assimilation, serving as a resource person and trainer for the National Children’s Office, developing high-quality children’s curriculum and programming, and assisting His Beatitude Anastasios and the OCMC Missionary Team as opportunities permit.
Georgia Gilman Bendo: Georgia’s ministry is to teach English as a Second Language to elementary school children. She is now in her fourth year at Protagonists Elementary School, which is run by the Orthodox Church. In addition to teaching English, she also leads after-school catechism lessons with some of the students, translates articles for the Church website from Albanian to English, and helps organize other youth activities in the church.
Nathan and Gabriela Hoppe: Nathan teaches at the Holy Resurrection Seminary in St. Vlash. In addition, he and Gabriela plan and conduct childrens’ camps throughout Albania and in Kosovo.
Melanie Linderman: Melanie Linderman teaches English to the second and third year students who are studying to be catechists or priests at the Holy Resurrection Seminary in St. Vlash. She has an advanced special class for the professors and staff who teach at the seminary. She also teaches English to the priests at the Metropolis and has a weekly discussion group for advanced students to practice “everyday” English in her home. Additionally, Melanie works with a fellow Albanian teacher to broadcast an English-learning program on the “Radio Engalia” radio station in Tirana.
George and Pauline Russell: George runs AMTEK, a joint American/Albanian company that specializes in web design and consulting. AMTEK focuses on serious Albanian businesses that want web sites that represent their companies inside & outside Albania. The proceeds from the company go to support a soup kitchen. Pauline directs the Protagonist Elementary School, a ministry of the Albanian Orthodox Church. George and Pauline also coordinate short-term mission trips and help conduct English language camps.
Floyd and Ancuta Franz: Floyd started and directs the St. Dimitrie Program, an education and alcoholism treatment program, through the Orthodox Church in Romania. He works both with the homeless and disenfranchised, as well as directly with parish priests. Currently Floyd is training and working with priests in three dioceses, Cluj, Craiova, Lasi, as well as priests from the Republic of Moldova. Ancuta oversees the Protection of the Theotokos Family Center, a day-care and counseling project in coordination with the local child protection agency and with the Orthodox Church. It gives support to new mothers by offering them counseling and material support.
Christina Semon: Christina is still raising support and preparing to serve in Romania. She will assist the efforts of the St. Dimitrie Program and Protection of the Theotokos Family Center.
Edwin Pier: Utilizing over 20 years of international experience and credentials as a Civil Engineer, Ed trains local staff in establishing and running a capital improvements program (CIP) for the diocese. A CIP is the planning, design, funding and construction of facilities, such as churches, schools, clinics and utilities, identified by the diocese as being necessary for achieving their mission. Within his capabilities, Ed also assists in other tasks identified by his Bishop JERONYMOUS as they arise.