Descending from Mt. Parashka, CMO 2019

Gearing Up for CMO 2022

Joshua Steele · January 10, 2022

Yes, it’s official. We are planning to host Carpathian Mountain Outreach 2022! …Wiiiith some asterisks, of course. 😬✱✱✱

As you may know, we’ve had to cancel CMO for the past two years due to complications relating to COVID-19. But a new year is here, and that begs the question: to CMO or not to CMO? We’ve talked it over, looked at the various angles, and we’re opting to move forward.

And there’s one more thing… this year we’re opening up CMO to ladies! 🥳

📅 Project Dates

Lord willing, CMO 2022 will begin on July 20, 2022 and end on August 15, 2022.

🙋🏻‍♀️ Ladies Welcome!

You read that right: this year, for the first time in CMO history, the project will be open to both guys and gals. We’ve never had anything against the ladies, of course, but in years past we’ve kept things men-only for operational reasons.

But since CMO was founded in 2006, God has done something interesting: he’s given our family and the Days eight daughters between us! 💖 We want our kids to be involved as much as possible in what we do, so we’re taking the plunge to expand CMO, making the necessary changes for young ladies to participate safely and effectively.

And when I say participate, I mean the whole program: surveys, street ministry, tracts, and of course, camping.

📑 The Info Pack, Application, etc.

This announcement is preliminary. With all the changes this year, we’ve got more work than usual to update our documents. We hope to have those ready soon, but in the meantime, we encourage you to download and read the 2020 versions of the following:

There will certainly be changes to these, most notably COVID considerations and the addition of female participation. But on the whole, CMO is still CMO. Most of what you’ll read about ministry ops, camping gear, food and medical considerations, and so forth, will remain largely unchanged for 2022.

Please do not fill out or submit any of the above documents to us. Versions for the 2022 project will be added soon!

🦠 COVID Considerations

It goes without saying that COVID has drastically changed daily life for the whole world. Planning for next week is hard, let alone next month or next year. But as James admonishes us, “For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.” (James 4:15)

Could Ukraine close its borders? Yes. What if we have a summer spike in cases? Might happen. Maybe a new variant worse than delta or omicron? Sure, that’s possible, although, in case you haven’t noticed, they’re running out of Greek letters. 😉

So don’t buy your plane tickets just yet, and know that things could change. Meanwhile, we’re planning and praying that CMO 2022 will happen in July as announced.

Here are a few things we know right now:

  • Regular flights to Ukraine are open, and tourists are welcome.
  • You don’t need to be vaccinated to enter the country.
  • You do need a negative COVID test. Both PCR and rapid antigen tests are accepted.
  • You can learn more about travel to Ukraine here: https://visitukraine.today

🇷🇺 What about Russia?

We’re not the only ones who love outdoor adventures, apparently. Russia has been holding a little camping project of their own lately, with tens of thousands of troops positioned along the border with Ukraine. And the big question on everyone’s mind: will Putin invade? Again?

The U.S. has a poor track record when it comes to guessing Russia’s intentions. Maybe Putin is serious? Maybe he’s just saber-rattling? If you read about Ukraine and Russia on major news outlets, then you know about as much as anyone does, save perhaps for insiders in the government.

So can we really talk about short-term missions in Ukraine with Russia at the back door? Yep, we can. We don’t know what tomorrow holds, but God does. As with COVID, we’re trusting Him, making our plans, and listening for direction.

In the meantime, here are some things to be aware of:

  • Ukraine has been engaged in an ongoing conflict with Russia since 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea and supported insurgencies in two of Ukraine’s eastern regions.
  • CMO takes place mostly in L’viv and its surrounding regions, located on the far west side of the country.
  • L’viv has remained largely peaceful (save for some protests) throughout the entirety of the so-called Russo-Ukrainian War. No military violence has occurred in or anywhere near our region.
  • The distance from L’viv to the conflict zone in the east (including the majority of Russian troop positions) is over 1000 kilometers (~620 miles).
  • The U.S. State Department has posted travel advisories for Ukraine mainly due to COVID (level 4) and possible threats from Russia (level 3).
  • U.S. citizens who live in Ukraine (like our families) get regular warnings and updates from the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv about all kinds of things. So far they have not advised anyone to leave, and no one we know in Ukraine is planning to leave in the near future.

🥾 Next Steps

Registration is not yet open, but if you think CMO 2022 is something you’re interested in, we would like to hear from you now. Please send us an email and let us know that you’re thinking about CMO. And of course, if you have any questions, you can email those too!

✅ Conclusion

We live in an era of questions and uncertainty. We can hide in a hole and try to “stay safe”, or we can stand up and do our best to serve God. Prudence is needed, but fear is to be avoided. We think CMO 2022 has a good chance of getting off the ground, and we’re working hard to make that a reality. Young men, and young ladies, we hope you’ll join us!

This article originally appeared on euroteamoutreach.org.

To God be the Glory

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