Dear brothers in Christ,
I am writing to you with feelings of deep gratitude in order to make you once again partakers of the joy as well as of the difficulties that the Most Merciful God gives us.
Within the last three months He made us worthy through baptism to welcome several new brothers into the embrace of the Orthodox Church and give seminars for Catechists and the youth on the interior of the Congo (Mouzi Mai, Luputa, Kaminda, Kananga). He also made us worthy to have the ordination of three new deacons and two elders. Apart from that, the prayer book has finally been prepared in French, and it is expected to be published soon.
The academic year for our primary and secondary schools started with much hope and with many children. Mid-October is the starting time for the Orthodox University too, our School of Theology and the School of Informatics.
This year our School of Theology has given us new graduates coming from our Diocese and the neighboring Diocese of Katanga. Nine new members of the Orthodox Church, nine young Theology graduates, nine lads ready for action.
In the past academic year we were confronted with a lot of difficulties, especially as regards the students’ feeding program, but fortunately, with the help of God, we managed to overcome them. The kids bore the whole situation patiently and did not complain for not having anything else to eat every evening except the spaghetti that had been sent to us.
But these are over now and soon we are about to get started. Our warehouses are empty. What will more than 50 students have to eat in the morning, at noon and in the evening? And how will we be able to deal with the other operating expenses, such as electricity, water, fuel, salaries, sicknesses, stationery, taxes, building and machinery maintenance, and not only?
Not to mention addressing the costs of the sicknesses of the priests and their families as well as of all those poor people who knock on our door; or the priests’ and catechists’ transportation for their missionary and liturgical work. Neither should we forget the disabled Orthodox of a central neighborhood in Kinshasa, who use the road for conducting their sacred services and expect us to build them a church. All this adds to our anguish and makes us pray fervently.
I earnestly appeal to your kind heart for help. It would be a big relief if you could send us a container with food and other necessities as well as money, so that we can address the operating costs of the Theological School and meet the needs which I mentioned earlier.
May the Virgin Mary give her protection and blessing to all of you.
† Nikiforos of Kinshasa