By the Grace of God our Missionary work here in Madagascar is being continued despite the innumerable difficulties and hardships that we have to face daily.
It is true that the situation due to the economic crisis has now become really tough and our struggle here is given under very difficult conditions. Nevertheless, we never lose hope.
The orphanage in the capital city of Antananarivo has now been completed. It is going to house more than two hundred orphans. However, the costs for feeding, health care and education are expected to be very high. If we do not support the project, the suspension of the operation of the orphanage will inevitably continue. Nevertheless, it is still one of the largest orphanages in the country, and even state bodies are anxiously awaiting the implementation of the promises of our Orthodox Church toward our poor people knowing that our disposition towards the people we minister to is honest and selfless, unlike other denominations and confessions.
The sensitivity that we show to the children of the country and particularly to the orphaned ones is by no means a result of uncritical thinking or unclear judgment.
The children here and especially in the province die every day of diseases that are usually directly related to undernourishment or malnutrition, that is, lack of food or poor diet as well as lack of proper clothing and medical care.
In Tulear province we have recently baptized children mutilated in a car accident who do not have any support whatsoever. These children are too small to be aware of traffic dangers, so during a game they can carelessly go onto the road. Sometimes a passing car after hitting them leaves them either disabled or mutilated and sometimes even dead.
In this article we present photographs of some of these children who were recently begging us to do anything to just relieve their misery. In one of the photos you will see a child literally moving on all fours using his hands as feet and wearing slippers on them instead of the feet. As I was leaving for Greece, he was begging me to bring him a wheelchair as soon as possible.
In the Missionary Center of Tulear we have three brothers blinded by a hereditary disease. We help them as much as we can. All three are students at a school for blind children. On my return from Greece, they are expecting me to help them with their fees and bring them schoolbags and notebooks from Greece.
Daily we are approached by parents and children who are seeking help. Weary and embittered fathers or mothers with one of their children in their arms burning from malaria or typhoid fever, or because the virus has penetrated into their organism through a minor injury and has created a fistula due to lack of antiseptic or antibiotic. Many times at the clinic in Tulear I have seen children being saved from certain death. Their parents, destitute in their vast majority (about 90%), come and implore us to help them…
Seeing these images daily, I can’t help thinking of the anguish, pain and endurance of these parents; these people who walk kilometers carrying the sick child in their arms; who get drained out in the sun and the heat trying to save their little sprout from the jaws of death. So these hands and the prayers of these people when they leave us are the precious jewel we have closely guarded in our heart here in the Mission.
They tell us when leaving and embracing us:”Nowhere else have we been given any help. Everybody demanded our money and would not say a word about treatment. You not only did not ask for money, but you also shared our pain and grief and cried with us. Above all, you saved our child.”
“May you always be a seed of God’s blessing.”
Could anyone ever expect to hear such beautiful wishes oftentimes coming out of mouths of non-believers?
These people may not be faithful, but they are filled with love, hope and sometimes not too late with the spirit of God too.
From the Holy Metropolis of Madagascar