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dana bates


youth education & Ministry

OCMC Missionary Dana Bates

Dana and his wife Brandi moved to an impoverished coal mining region in Romania in 1999. They developed Romania’s first adventure education and ropes course summer camp called Viata (“the Life” in Romanian), which has given around 700 youth a transformative summer camp experience every year and introduced them to the Orthodox Way of life. As a follow-up to the summer camp, Dana & Brandi developed a service-learning model called IMPACT that, besides teaching all sorts of life-skills, introduces youth to Orthodoxy by living the “liturgy after the Liturgy.” IMPACT has gone on to become a global best practice and is used in over fifty countries through organizations like World Vision. Dana has worked closely with the Romanian Orthodox Church and plans to share these experiential learning models throughout the world through OCMC and her partners. Dana and his wife converted to Orthodoxy in 2004, and Dana went on to get his PhD at Oxford on Orthodox theology in dialogue with development studies (causes of poverty and well-being). Dana and Brandi have two children, Briana Jelsa and Gabriel Matei. Their passions are hiking, mountain-biking, and spending time outdoors.


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