Give youth an opportunity to put their Faith to work.
Offer an Orthodox communal setting where youth and adults can encounter Christ and deepen their personal relationship with Him through mission and service, inspiring a lifelong desire to serve God in their homes, parishes, communities and throughout the world.
- Living the liturgy by witness and action.
- Building relationships with God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit, each other and those we serve.
- Strengthening the Church by raising up youth leaders who can be the Body of Christ serving in their parishes and communities in Faith and Love, now and in the future.
The Orthodox Youth Mission Team was founded out of Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Danbury, Connecticut in 2010, by Susan Sulich, Beth Ryzyk, and Fr. Luke Mihaly. What started as a band of three adults and four youth grew into a program that almost 200 participants have come through over the past thirteen years.
In July 2012, OYMT embarked on its first solo mission trip with Appalachia Service Project, after shadowing another church’s mission team in the summer of 2011. Our team grew each year, drawing ACROD, GOARCH, OCA, and Antiochian members from CT, NY, and NJ.
In 2017, we were invited to participate in a two week-long OCMC mission trip to Napaskiak, Alaska. For youth to participate in an OCMC mission without their parents was monumental. We took twenty experienced youth and six adult leaders on this life-changing mission.
By 2018, we were garnering interest from other areas of the United States. In 2018, 2019, 2022, and 2023, we filled an entire ASP volunteer center with our OYMT core team and satellite teams from across the country. At our peak in 2019, we had 100 participants on one trip. Overall, we’ve had 113 youth and adult participants from the Tri-State Area and another 115 on satellite teams. We have always been extremely proud of our return rate; the majority of participants return for at least a second year!
Post-COVID-19 interruptions, we have been growing our team once again and look forward to adding additional mission trip opportunities in the future!
- July 2011 = Summers County, WV (ASP)
- July 2012 = Johnson City, TN (ASP)
- July 2013 = Wayne County, WV (ASP)
- July 2014 = Mingo County, WV (ASP)
- July 2015 = Martin County, KY (ASP)
- July 2016 = Wyoming County, WV (ASP)
- July 2017 = Napaskiak, AK (OCMC)
- July 2018 = Johnson County, TN (ASP)
- July 2019 = Knox County, KY (ASP)
- July 2022 = Clay County, WV (ASP)
- July 2023 = Greenbrier County, WV (ASP)
Our 2024 summer mission trip will be with ASP from July 20-28, 2024. The deadline to submit your signed covenant and $200 deposit is November 15, 2023.