Registration is now open for the 2018 teaching team to Zapote Bravo, Jonatal and Zimatla in the Orthodox Church in America’s Diocese of Mexico.
Coordinated by the Orthodox Church in America and the Orthodox Christian Mission Center [OCMC] with the blessing of His Eminence, Archbishop Alejo, the team will minister in these villages from August 11 through 18, 2018.
“Zapote Bravo, Jonatal and Zimatla are villages and for the most part the people live off the land,” said Archpriest Ted Pisarchuk, Rector of Saint Justin Martyr Church, Jacksonville, FL, a teaching team veteran. “The homes are of simple concrete block construction with corrugated metal roofs and do not have running water or indoor bathroom facilities. Horses and burros are the main forms of transportation. The people dress modestly maintaining local traditions.”
Facing proselytization by non-Orthodox Christian groups, Father Ted adds, the villages’ residents are hungry to learn their Orthodox Christian faith.
“The Church in Mexico is very similar to the Church in Alaska—both are made up of indigenous faithful, both speak a national language and local dialect, both share a simplicity and beauty of life, and both lack a sufficient number of clergy for similar reasons,” Father Ted continued. “Even though a great distance exists between Mexico and Alaska, the similarities are astounding.
Team members, who should be conversant in Spanish, will fly into Mexico City and stay at the OCA’s Ascension Cathedral, where they will participate in an orientation session before traveling into the field. Team members may return home on Saturday, August 18 or extend their stay to visit Mexico City’s many sites.
Archpriest Antonio Perdomo, Rector of Saint George Church, Pharr, TX, will lead the team.
The participation fee, which includes all expenses while in the field, is $725.00. Transportation to and from Mexico City will be additional and is the responsibility of the participants. Participants may register online. Additional information may be obtained by calling OCMC at 904-829-5132.