One Sunday morning in August, we were expecting in our Mission Center a priest from Sierra Leone, who had brought to Ghana his wife (presbytera) for health reasons. She was suffering from the incurable disease in different parts of her body. That morning Father Alexander came alone because his presbytera was in hospital. That clergyman was of short stature and had just been ordained. As he walked, his feet entangled in his robes but his step on the ground seemed light and the humility of his spirit was visible.
Several days went by and after a while, they came and stayed with us at the Mission Center of Accra. Unfortunately, besides a certain disability, his presbytera also had her right arm amputated due to cancer.
I watched them in their daily living with us. I noticed Father Alexander, every other day, washing his own clothes and those of presbytera’s in the tub himself, and her sitting next to him on a concrete block and speaking to him, keeping him company this way so as not to leave him alone. As soon as he finished washing, he carried the clothes to hang them at the other side of the Mission Center. She would follow him with slow steps while he was hanging up the clothes to dry. Her leaning on the crutch made it impossible for her to give her husband a helping hand, but in fact, she helped him with her attitude. In the afternoon, they would sit side by side under the big tree of the Mission Center and he would read her various verses of the Bible. When you saw them talking to each other, there was complete harmony. They spoke and looked in the same direction.
The presence of Father Alexander and his presbytera Elizabeth was a great living example and at the same time a sermon on conjugal love, devotion and faith in God’s will. Their living is a silent sermon, which leaves a deep impact and provides a vivid example of the silent presence of God among us.
Dear Members of the Orthodox Missionary Fraternity of Thessaloniki,
It is the presence of God in our lives that plays the most important role in our achieving refinement. A living example of this is the two protagonists of our story described above. They are examples to be followed and imitators of the Lord’s life, which can only be described in one word: LOVE.
This love is something you make a reality as well through your kind support of our struggle on the large Mission field of Africa, where we try to sow the seeds of the love of God into wretched but decent human souls.
With love in Christ
† Narcissus of Accra