OCMC Missionaries Safeguard Precious Relics During Alaskan Earthquake

After tsunami warnings triggered by an magnitude 7.9 earthquake, OCMC Missionary Fr. David Rucker, Fr. Ioasaph, and V. Rev. Innocent Dresdow keep the relics of St. Herman safe.

By:  Orthodox Christian Mission Center

Last week a major earthquake struck off of Alaska’s coast. The next day, we received the following message from Fr. David and Mat. Rozanne Rucker, who are serving as OCMC missionaries in Alaska:

At 12:32 AM (Alaska Standard Time) Mat. Rozanne and I were rocked awake by the earth trembling and rolling. The 7.9 magnitude quake took its time playing out, followed quickly by the blaring of Kodiak’s tsunami warning sirens. This is a familiar sound since every Wednesday at 2 PM the warning system is tested. But we had never heard it in the middle of the night with snow blowing about in the gusty, icy winds. We and the rest of the St. Herman Seminary community grabbed our evacuation bags and took off for the designated evacuation facility, Kodiak High School, located on high ground. After making sure our students were all accounted for and the relics of St. Herman had also been moved from Holy Resurrection Cathedral to the high school, we prayed the prayers we memorize for such a time as this—the genuine Vigils in our lives.

It is now 5 AM as I write to you, having assisted in delivering the relics of St. Herman back to the Cathedral and settling in by the stove in our seminary apartment, apparently safe and sound for another day. The Lord has given us another day to be healed and to participate in the healing of others. School and seminary classes are canceled for the day as the community recovers from the scare and a sleepless night. At least for a few days, the people of Kodiak will contemplate how weak and vulnerable we are and how much we are dependent upon God as our refuge and strength.

Many of you wrote, texted, or called so quickly to make sure we were safe. Thank you for your prayers and love. We are safe–not because Kodiak was spared and we and our belongings are physically intact (for which we are extremely grateful!) but because we still believe that the “safest” place to be in all the world is in the center of the will of God, regardless of external circumstances. Your prayers and support make it possible for us to be right here, in the center of His will as best we can determine, obeying Him in Kodiak where He has called us. Glory to God for all things!

We are incredibly grateful that Fr. David and Mat. Rozanne were safe and that, by God’s grace, they were there to care for our Alaskan brothers and sisters and safeguard the relics of St Herman.

The Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) is the official missions agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States dedicated to fulfilling Christ’s last command to make disciples of all nations.