Service Update 2013

OBI has gotten off strong into another busy year of international service. Assessment and achievements of service linked below.

Ukraine

  • January 2013: Olive Branch Ukraine held a conference for seventy Ukrainians interested in becoming a military, hospital, police, or prison chaplain. A new organization, Ukrainian Chaplains, was spun out of
    this conference. Ukrainian Chaplains will work on recruiting chaplains and advocate legislation in Parliament recognizing the role of a chaplain. Olive Branch Ukraine will provide the primary training for these candidates.
  • May 2013: Olive Branch International and Olive Branch Ukraine provided expert presenters in several areas for an agency level conference on the Chaplaincy in Ukraine. Two hundred and fifty delegates presented for two days in plenary and workshop session. A conference resolution advocating the establishment of the chaplaincy in Ukraine was sent to Parliament.
  • July 2013: Olive Branch International and Olive branch Ukraine sponsored its 12th annual English Camp for teenagers from military families. Seventy teens and 14 American and a German teacher lead the 7 day full-emersion English Camp.
  • September 2013: Chaplain(Ret) Richard J. Stiliha and Chaplain(Ret) Donald M. Cramblit taught separate two-week sessions for chaplains candidates at Kiev Theological Seminary.
  • October 2013 An American team from Olive Branch International taught at the 4th International Women’s Conference lead by Zhanna Segeda, Director, Women’s Ministry, Olive Branch Ukraine. The American team lead by Paula Halvorson, also traveled to three women’s clubs in Khmelnitski, Kherson, and Alexandria.

Haiti

  • Continuing support for Maranatha Baptist Church, school and food distribution center.
  • Support the construction of a new school building with an enrollment nearing 800. With OBI support the school has doubled in size in the last three years
  • Supported improvements to the structure of the church building which also serves as outreach center in poorest area of Port-au-Prince
  • Encouraging the growth of the Haitian military Christian fellowship though visitation and long-range planning assistance
  • Lead medical team to provide support to Haitians in the port area of Port-au-Prince

Sierra Leone

  • In support of Greatest Goal Ministries, www.greatestgoalministries.org , we will train chaplains for the newly opened Lady Deborah Berewa Hospital in the area of Lakka>
  • Completed the OBI program for training war widows in sewing ending July 2012
  • OBI completed the chaplains training with the Sierra Leone Armed Forces with 200 military, hospital, police and prison chaplains.
  • A second training session was done in outlying areas of Bo, and Lungi, Sierra Leone

Sri Lanka

  • In 2013, training senior military leaders in strategic leadership and community support.
  • In 2013, providing subject matter expertise for implementation of senior military leader’s civil-military affairs course
  • OBI is facilitating assistance from the U.S. government to Sri Lanka to assistance in resolving the major issue of contaminated water in northern part of the country. Over 70,000 cases of kidney disease have been caused by the contaminated wells
  • Conducted training for over 150 medical professional and military leaders in the Army and Air Force in post-trauma stress debrief and counseling following the tsunami.
  • Trained the cadre and leadership team at the Air Force’s Basic Training Center in counseling, crisis intervention, stress management, and suicide prevention
  • Built three homes for Sri Lankan military personnel whose families lost their homes in the tsunami. Following our example the government committed themselves to major building projects for wounded veterans.
  • Shipped a container of hospital equipment for the military’s Rehabilitation Hospital in Colombo, Sri Lanka to help amputees and paralyzed military personnel from the 25-year war with the Tamil Tigers