My First Update

by OCMC Missionary Candidate Maria Roeber

Kristo amefufuka!  Christ is risen!

Photo credit: ocmc.orgI am writing to you from Denver, where I am currently doing a week of language training (learning Kiswahili!) before my departure to Tanzania at the end of this month!

It has been a long process; but thanks be to God, with your help, I have built a fantastic support team and am fully funded/pledged for two years of missionary service as a nurse in Bukoba, Tanzania!

My last day of work was April 1, and since then I have been to Florida for my pre-field training at OCMC headquarters, packed up and moved out of my apartment in DC, and enjoyed Holy Week and Pascha at home in State College, PA with my parents. For Bright Week I travelled out to Calistoga, CA to visit my sister at Holy Assumption Monastery, and then to the LA area to visit with my brother. I also had the opportunity to visit Saint Barbara’s monastery while staying in Santa Paula. Following this week in Denver, I will return to State College for a few days. Then, I will be in Kansas City to attend a medical missions conference for short and long term missionaries. This leads me to my next big announcement…

On Sunday, May 22 at 5 p.m., I will be officially commissioned as a long-term missionary with OCMC! If you are in the DC area (or are willing to travel) I invite you to attend Great Vespers at St. Sophia’s Orthodox Cathedral in Washington, DC. The commissioning will follow the Vespers service, and will be held in conjunction with the annual DC area OCMC benefit banquet.

If you would like to attend the banquet, information is available on the OCMC website. You don’t have to attend the benefit to come and pray with and for me, though! I would love to see all of you before I leave!

I’m so grateful to all of you who have been praying for me, and to those of you who are pledging to support me or have donated to help send me to Africa! I am so eager to finally be on my way and to begin sharing Christ’s love and salvation with people in Africa! It’s also very exciting to know that soon I will be using my skills as a nurse to minister to the physical needs of people in Bukoba and in the surrounding areas. I can’t wait to start sharing the details with all of you!

May you enjoy a blessed Paschal (Easter) season, and please be in touch! I hope to see as many of you as possible in DC on May 22!