Saturday, October 6
Mikola Matrunchyk grew up in a Christian family outside Minsk in what was the Soviet Union. When Belarus became an independent country with the collapse of the USSR, Mikola became active in efforts to rebuild the church. He considered the priesthood, but realized that the demands of that service would keep him from engaging in other ministries to which he felt called. He helped to develop a lay brotherhood from the Church of Sts. Peter and Paul in Minsk - formed in honor of the Three Martyrs of Vilnius, who had worked to record and publish the history of the Orthodox church in Belarus and to publish church literature in the Belarusian language. The brotherhood also purchased and renovated a house outside the city, Koinonia House, to serve as an ecumenical retreat center.
In the 1990s, through the World Council of Churches, Mikola, with the blessing of Metropolitan Philaret, helped establish and became director of the Belarusian Round Table, an ecumenical organization helping churches in Belarus to develop social ministry. In 2005, they registered as the interchurch mission ``Christian Social Service.'' They have helped to establish diaconal stations at churches throughout Belarus: stations that seek to meet the needs of the poor by providing food, clothing, and other basics. They have helped churches and organizations across the country develop ministries for rehabilitation, special needs, summer camp, and HIV/AIDS. Mikola is also active in inter-Round Table cooperation, working with structures in Russia, Ukraine, and Armenia in response to the HIV/AIDS crisis in these countries.
Mikola has been a light, and he has helped others kindle their own lights, reach out to those struggling in a post-Soviet society, and grow the church.
- Ellen Smith, PC(USA) mission co-worker
Let us join in prayer for:
Orthodox Church of Belarus: Metropolitan Philaret, Metropolitan of Minsk and Slutsk
Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus * Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists of Belarus: Rev. Viktor Krutko, president * Interchurch Mission Christian Social Service: Mikola Matrunchyk, director
Let us pray
Dear Lord, we give thanks that you have gifted each of us for your purpose. May our hearts be open to your leading that we may use those gifts to your glory. We give thanks that we are part of a great family. May we always encourage and support one another in your work in your world. Amen.