Here is good news from the blog of the ECOSOC Innovation Fair, a “Greek Orthodox Archdiocesian Council Success Story,” with some reflections on the Divine “telos,” or ultimate goal, of such efforts:
“In 1987, The Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Council (GOAC) organized a program called Hope in Action (Helping Other People Everywhere) which assists those in developing countries. . . .
The program was so successful that it evolved into the current Orthodox Mission Team Program. During the summer months, short-term volunteers who are doctors, educators, construction workers, engineers, carpenters and students assist communities with various projects around the world. They travel to Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Cameroon Chad, Albania, Poland, Slovakia, India, Mexico, the Philippines, Indonesia, Costa Rica, Haiti, Guatemala, and Madagascar where they offer their expertise in establishing medical and dental clinics, construct schools, restore and build churches, help develop agriculture and build water wells. They teach, build, nurture and heal. They work in collaboration with the local governments and United Nations agencies.
In Calcutta, India they assist with medical outreach to needy children and adults and with education at the Orthodox orphanage which houses street children. Homeless children are fed daily and as well as impoverished families, the elderly and disabled people. . . .”
Click here for the entire post: Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Council Success Story
Of course, wherever we go and whomever we serve, such short-term efforts, except perhaps in the case of disaster relief, must always serve as a preliminary or auxiliary “arm” of a more permanent presence of the Orthodox Church and the eternal Kingdom of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, for our Lord Jesus said, “I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give it to you.” (St. John 15:16b)