Dear brothers in Christ,
Christ is Risen!
As I am putting these humble thoughts into words, I still live in the intense presence of the spirit of the Lord’s Resurrection, which really embraces the whole world and conveys this message to all races, languages and cultures of every descent and origin. Thus the entire universe is regenerated and takes a new form, that of the acceptance and nurture of a profound spiritual change in every human creature. Everything in nature rejoices and celebrates in the presence of the Risen Christ, who is the source of love, acceptance, peace, reconciliation, forgiveness and harmony.
However, living and working for the Orthodox Missions for almost four decades, I cannot be apathetic or indifferent to what I see every day, while trying to evangelize the tribes and relieve the pain and troubles of these holy souls. A recent pastoral visit to the Kilimanjaro region deeply worried and concerned me, while simultaneously aggrieved me and reminded me of my huge responsibilities, when I met children naked, hungry and starving, thirsty, in shabby clothes. Let me make myself more clear.
Father Titus, our Maasai priest, brought me to a remote region, where I met some orphaned and abandoned children, barefoot and ragged, who were trying to cover their skinny bodies, holed up in the dirt under a sun that was sizzling after months of drought. I didn’t want to show my feelings in order not to cause more tension and grief to them. Unfortunately, I was not able to help enough. I gave the little money I had to buy them some rice for the following days. I will stop here and continue with my visit to the other nursery school of Fr. Marcus, the priest of the Kikuyu tribe, and the small orphanage of the Maasai priest, Fr. Titus, both of whom are self –sacrificing people but have difficulty making ends meet.
Our Diocese helps these children by providing them with breakfast, lunch, free education, school uniforms, even shoes. It only costs €20 per month to support a child! We appeal to your kind heart for help.
Recently, I participated in an international conference that took place in a European capital. Everything was prepaid and each meal cost twenty euro! I was deeply concerned with the comparison I made with our condition here in Africa, and I realized that there are plenty of things we can do with your help, dear friends of the Mission. I leave it to your judgement and that of your supporters.
For all this suffering which orphaned and distressed little children are going through we are not to blame either God, or their parents or anyone else. It is, however, a dreary reality, where they have no right to complain or protest about the injustice they face, though they are a part of our social system. Therefore, they are here with us and with their desperate voices they cry out for their right to live like any other human being. It grieves me to realize that these children cannot take delight in nature and its beauties, nor taste the satisfaction of participating in everyday reality. Not being able to create the right conditions for the improvement of their lives is indeed pitiful.
It is so painful to be confronted with such a temptation and have to withstand this ordeal while being surrounded by little orphaned children every day! I, however, take solace in knowing that there is ample space for God, Who goes beyond barriers and limitations just to give rest and comfort to these souls, provided our hearts are touched, and we take prompt and effective action for their salvation.
†Makarios of Nairobi