In his final words to his disciples, our Lord Jesus Christ commissions us to "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age" (Matt 28:19-20).
Mission is not simply a compartmentalized aspect of our Church, but the very essence and nature of the Church imply missions. Missions play a central role in Christianity and, as affirmed by Archbishop Anastasios of Albania, a denial of missions is indeed a denial of Orthodoxy. This, of course, reminds us of an important truth about our faith found in the letter of James, "Faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead" (James 2:17).
At St Innocent we understand that our missionary call takes place at three levels: local, national, and international. We commit to support our missionary call by praying for all missionaries, supporting them financially, and being ourselves active in the missionary field.
At St Innocent we are blessed to have some parishioners who have responded to Christ's commission becoming active laborers of Christ around the world.
|The Linderman family in 2003 while serving in Albania|
Once in Albania, they served the Archdiocese in a variety of ways. Dr Charles performed charitable surgery in a clinic run by the Albanian Orthodox Church, while Maria organized and operated the Children's Home of Hope, a foster home providing care to over thirty children, ages 2 to 14.
In the last couple of years of service in Albania, Maria served as director of the Protagonist School in Tirana. In 2013, Maria and the children came back to the United States in order to facilitate their transition to American colleges, while Charles continues to serve in the field.
In 2002, the Lindermans were joined by their relatives and also parishioners of St Innocent, the Russell/Linderman family. George and Pauline Russell, together with their children Christopher and Madeline, as well as Pauline's mother, Melanie Linderman, left for Albania to begin their service an OCMC missionaries.
|The Russell family before beginning their service in Albania|
Pauline was also the director of the Protagonist School for a number of years, and George used his professional background to work with Albanian business people by working with Amtek, an Albanian company he established to bring professional web design and marketing to Albania.
While in Albania, both the Linderman and the Russell families worked closely with his Beatitude, Anastasios.
|Parishioners of St Innocent at the Hogar Rafael Ayau|
Catherine planned a parish mission trip down to Guatemala back in 2009. Our parishioners worked at the Hogar Rafael Ayau Orphanage, providing labor support and coordinating activities for children.
See more photos here.
Recently, our parish was blessed to host a presentation by Jesse Brandow, the OCMC missionary in Guatemala. See related story here.
Our laborer of Christ abroad
|Dr Charles Linderman with Archbishop Anastasios of Albania|
The not-for-profit designation of the MRDCINT allows for the re-investment in the infrastructure and the support of numerous humanitarian activities.
|Dr. Linderman working in Albania|
Dr. Charles is currently working both in Albania and South Sudan.
Donations can be made online by following this link.
A prayer for Missions
God of truth and love: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Hear our prayer for those who do not know You. That they may come to a saving knowledge of the truth, and that Your Name may be praised among all peoples of the world. Sustain, inspire, and enlighten Your servants who bring them the Gospel. Bring fresh vigor to wavering faith; sustain our faith when it is still fragile. Continually renew missionary zeal in ourselves and in the Church, and raise up new missionaries who will follow You to the ends of the world. Make us witnesses to Your goodness full of love, full of strength, and full of faith for Your glory and the salvation of the entire world. Through the prayers of all the missionary saints, Have mercy on us and save us. Amen.
PLEASE, JOIN US IN PRAYER FOR ALL WHO LABOR IN THE NAME OF CHRIST IN THE MISSIONARY FIELD, ESPECIALLY FOR OUR PARISHIONER CHARLES.