The mission, organized yearly by the Novosibirsk diocese since 1996, aims to bring spiritual, medical and social aid to the most remote populated areas in Siberia, many of which cannot be accessed by either train or bus
On August 15th, the valiant ship-church "Holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called" (the apostle who is considered to be the protector of sailors) began its now familiar, 22-nd water trek down the river of Ob in Siberia, Russia.
The mission, organized yearly by the Novosibirsk diocese since 1996, aims to bring spiritual, medical and social aid to the most remote populated areas in Siberia, many of which cannot be accessed by either train or bus.
Though the main goal is to fulfill the spiritual needs of the Orthodox Christians in places which may even lack priests, the ship-church provides multifaceted aid to the members of the communities they visit.
The Orthodox church organization of Novosibirsk join forces with the local Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Health, and as a result, an enthusiastic crew of priests, doctors and social workers forms. This crew drops everything for two weeks to travel down the river and bring their expertise to those who too often lack resources and support.
The crew of the water traveling church organizes church services, baptizes children, and performs medical checkups.
This year, the trip began on August 15th and will conclude on August 31st.
Christians from Novosibirsk watch the ship-church leave the dock on its way to bring social help to other remote regions of the country.
The ship-church "Holy Apostle Andrew Pervozvanny" sails on the river Ob throughout the Novosibirsk region of Russia.
Villagers from a small town called Bitki greet the spiritual and social missionaries travelling by water
Church clergy leaves the ship to enter the town
The crew sets up icons in the cultural centre of the village
The priests baptize the newest village residents
A priest blesses the rural houses of the elderly in a village called Zorino
Physicians travelling on board perform medical checkups as well
Holding church services in the ship during a stop next to a village called Kargapolovo
Cooking meals on board
Reentering the ship after a short stop in yet another village
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