PO Box 2597 Winchester , VA 22620 Tel540-837-9038 Fax540-837-9039 www.gtan.org
Dear Mission Friend,
Glory to Jesus Christ! He has risen from the dead.
Next week, I depart for the Republic of Georgia . I have been invited by His Beatitude Metropolitan Nikoloz and the Georgian church to visit, pray, preach, and “scout out the land” in preparation for future evangelistic campaigns in the country. May God prepare the hearts of the people to turn from darkness to light and from sin to salvation.
From August 21 st – 31 st , I will be traveling from village to village together with clergy and the Iverion Icon, praying, preaching and serving the people there in order to come to know and understand the people, culture, traditions and churches of Georgia . I go with faith and assurance that God has a special place in his heart for the people there.
After evangelizing in thirty-nine nations, this will be my first time in Georgia . The closest I came was in Sevan , Armenia in 2003 where we hosted 7,000 people in the largest service in a city with only 10,000 people! Prostitutes were coming and repenting in the meetings, along with many nominal Christians. God did many miracles among the people as well, as various people reported physical healings in their bodies. Glory to Jesus Christ for His mercy on the people of Sevan , Armenia . May He do the same again in the Republic of Georgia .
With every new mission, there is a certain amount of spiritual opposition. Sometimes, the more opposition, the more fruitful a particular mission will be. Already today, among other things, I woke up weak in my body with fever and pain in my throat, but I am confident that the Lord Jesus will see us through as we go forward with faith in Him.
Please pray for me and this evangelistic mission and my trip to Georgia . Pray that God will open many doors of opportunity there for me to proclaim the Gospel, for divine favor with the church leaders and people, as well as for the resources – financial, organizational, personnel, venues, etc. to have good success.
God is faithful! On May 20th, I was ordained with the Orthodox Church of America by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman at St. Tikhon’s Monastery Church . I was tonsured a reader, then sub-deacon and lastly, deacon. According to tradition, with each step, a lock of my hair was cut off, and new vestments placed upon me signifying the old being cut away and the new being put on me. Significantly, His Beatitude ordained me as Maximus, after St. Maximus the Confessor, appropriating a church tradition going back to the Apostles themselves. May God help me to be a blessing to the church, and through the church, to those who are lost and without salvation throughout the world – All to the Glory of God! Some may ask? Does the Orthodox Church do evangelism? In 1994, well after Perestroika in Russia , the bishop’s of the various Orthodox jurisdictions in America gathered together in Ligonier , PA , and declared, We Orthodox in North America commit ourselves to bringing our household into order for the sake of the preaching of the Good News of Jesus Christ…and His Presence in the Church through the descent of the Holy Spirit. 1 I believe this declaration and mandate of the churches misson shall be fulfilled in Jesus’ Name to the glory of God.
My co-worker, Fr. George Kokhno returned from Moscow not too long ago. He went there to follow-up on invitations from church leaders and to promote and organize the ministry. Early this year, Fr George and I traveled to Russia to attend the Christmas Readings Conference where many of the Orthodox church leaders were gathered. In one seminar I spoke both challenging and encouraging the leadership by saying, . .
I believe that this next century will be remembered in history as the century of the Orthodox Church in all of the world. The devil tried to destroy the church in the last century under communism, but the church overcame, and now must evangelize the world!
When I returned home, I opened the evangelical magazine, Christianity Today and read these large headlines, Will the 21 st Be the Orthodox Century? 2 It was confirmation from the Holy Spirit. Over the next years, I believe we will experience a harvest of souls as never before in church history. With this vision, we are moving forward in Jesus’ name working to equip the Church to reach the world through Christ and His Church. Over the next seven months, God willing, we will be hosting evangelistic campaigns in the Republic of Georgia , and in the Russian cities of Yuzhno Sakhalinsk, Khabarovsk , Belgorod , Orenburg and Saraktash. I will also be contributing to a conference on Muslim & Christian worldwide relations in Byelorussia by invitation of Metropolitan Philaret of Minsk.
Just this past weekend, I held a retreat at our Cathedral entitled, Miracles & Missions: Evangelization by Proclamation and Demonstration. May God help us as we move forward in obedience to His commandment to Go ye into all the world to preach the Gospel to every creature!
On a personal note, my children and wife are doing well. We are preparing for the fall and all that it holds for us.
The children will begin school soon and I will continue to take courses from St. Tikhon’s Seminary. Also, I will be serving at the monastery church as well as our church, the OCA Cathedral in DC. We appreciate your prayers very much, and depend upon the financial support of people like you, with a heart for evangelism. Would you consider helping us financially at this time for this next mission trip to the Republic of Georgia ?
Any assistance you may offer is greatly needed and appreciated!
For the salvation of souls, Dn. Fr. Maximus Regis Urbanowicz