Dear Friends of the Mission,
With the help of God we are doing well here in Indonesia. I hope you are all in good health under His protection. I would like to mention a few things about our Orthodox Mission here in Sumatra, Indonesia.
We enjoyed the joyful celebration of the Holy Week until Easter in all our parish communities here in Sumatra, Indonesia. From Palm Sunday to the Vespers of Love, I ministered in St. Demetrius Church in Medan. Until Holy Wednesday Fr. Theodosius and I served at St. Demetrius Church in Medan, but on Holy Thursday, Father Theodosius descended to Siparbue village to conduct the services there for a few days, and our three communities gathered there. On Holy Thursday, Father Chariton Zega came from Nias island to perform the Divine Liturgy with me, because this priest is new and cannot conduct sacred services on his own, especially the ones of the Holy Week. Fr. Luke served at our two parishes in Sumbul and – thank God – he managed to do it on his own. Of course, when we conduct the Great Lent and Holy Week services, we realize that there are a lot of ecclesiastical items missing. Fortunately, before the Holy Week of 2017, we received the Epitaph canopies that you sent us, which we distributed immediately. Thank you very much for your great offer. Allow me to request something here. Our Sumatran priests need two chain censers, three hand censers for the Great Lent, three perfume vessels for the Epitaph, three paper icons (of Extreme Humility, which we are holding when we sing «Behold the Bridegroom Comes …»).
We would also like to thank you for the books you sent us titled “The Orthodox Faith, Worship and Life”. They are indeed very useful books for the Library of Our St. Paul Theological School.
From 19 to 26 June 2017, we will be holding the Clergy-Laity Assembly in Medan. We regard this program as a very important means of educating the believers on Orthodox faith. All our communities in Sumatra will be gathered there. They will come to Medan by public transport. I received the amount of €4,000 you sent us for this purpose and I want to thank you sincerely and wholeheartedly for your great help. May God reward you with His abundant blessings.
In August 2017, one of our students named Savvas Marcelino, who comes from the independent country of East Timor, will have finished his studies at our St. Paul Theological School. For almost four years I have taught him the Orthodox Faith, how to minister to the needs of the Orthodox Church, how to chant and sing, how to carry out the liturgical work. I even performed his own wedding, and now he is ready to return with his wife to Dili, the capital city of East Timor. A few weeks ago he went to Dili on his own to visit his relatives and told me that in the city center there was a plot of land on sale, where we could build a parish church. The price of this 0.5- acre plot is € 10,000. Any possible help will be greatly appreciated so that the Orthodox faith can reach this new country.
Dear brethren, in our home we have 18 children living with us, and Presbytera and I have undertaken their upbringing. Of course, with the chickens we raise on our farm, we have some source of revenue, but unfortunately this is not enough to meet all our needs. Moreover, as you know, our priests here in Indonesia do not take any salaries. Therefore, with our slender means we try to do our best to meet the priests’ basic living expenses each month. Close to the Mission center we have a plot, where we are planning to put and raise for meat about 90-100pigs. If this plan comes true, these children will be able to help with this project before going to school. This will relieve our mission expenses here in Sumatra. The estimated cost for this program is € 7,500. Once again, we appeal to your kind heart for help.
Warm wishes from Presbytera Elizabeth and from all of us here in Indonesia. Christ is Risen. Kristus Sudah Bangkit.
Wishing in the Lord
Fr. Chrysostomos Manalu