Later in a day, the Team met with Hs Eminence Metropolitan-elect Antony for a brunch. Vladyka Antony reminded the Team members: “All who take upon themselves the name of Christ are called into ministries of love and service by the example of Christ. As these Mission Team members of our Holy Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA begin their work with the orphans, we pray for the blessings of God upon their endeavors. We recognize them as ambassadors of our Church in ministry with the children of the orphanages and dedicate them to service in the name of our Savior. Through our prayers we will be united with them in their work. May God richly bless their labors.”
On December 18th, the eve of St. Nicholas feast day, following the Vespers service, His Grace Bishop Daniel led the orientation for the Mission Team. The bishop spoke of the task that is set before the missionaries: “to open their hearts to the unknown experience and to expect nothing but love, while offering the love of Christ to those that are in need.” His Grace stated that people often ask, 'Why would you do this Mission Trip? Why would you go to Ukrainian orphanages and spend your own money to go and work with handicapped children?' The answer is quite simple - we need to understand, when you know Christ, this is what you do. You share the love and compassion of Christ with the world, and Ukrainian orphanages that are at times forgotten by the world are the very part of that world.
Each year thousands of people of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA are blessed to witness the Church’s work with the orphan’s in Ukraine. Some of them feel a nudge to do something that benefits someone else. Others are looking for adventure and personal growth. They have a desire to see, experience and discover their Holy Orthodox Faith in new and meaningful ways. Adventure is a way to learn from others and explore what God is doing around the world. When we perceive God working among us and become a part of His mission, we find adventure. The adventure is a result of the mission. On these Mission Trips to Ukrainian Orphanages we love the adventure; however, it is never about the adventure. The mission of Christ’s love comes first."