Dear Friends of the Mission,
With God’s help and protection we are in good health. During my stay on Nias Island in late May I called Father Chariton to meet and discuss how the projects of our Orthodox Church can move forward on this island, where we have 3 parish communities and an Orthodox school. In charge of all three communities is Fr. Chariton, who, in order to be able to minister to all of them, uses an old motorcycle as a means of transport. On weekdays Father Chariton works as a teacher at St. Nicholas High School. With the school’s revenues he can barely pay the teachers and the other employees, and very little money is left for gas. Keep in mind that everywhere on the island of Nias there are bananas and coconuts, which in villages are sold at ludicrously low prices. Fr. Chariton aims to buy them from the villages and transfer them to the city center, where they are sold at much higher prices. The proceeds of this job will enable him to perform his ministry. For this purpose, Fr. Chariton needs a second-hand car for the fruit transport and money for the purchase of fruit. So I am taking the liberty of telling you about this program in the hope that some potential donors will be able to support it because, as you know, our priests here in Indonesia work without getting paid.
From June 20th to June 25th we held our Clerical Assembly in Sumatra, Indonesia. Representatives from all our parish communities came to the city of Medan. This gave us a great pleasure because we had the opportunity to get together again. Among them were our priests, Fr. Theodosius, Fr. Luke and Fr. Chariton. On Sunday, at the closing of the Convention, all the priests concelebrated the Divine Liturgy at St. Demetrius S. Church in Medan. We would like to thank you wholeheartedly for the $ 4,000 you sent us for the realization of this assembly. Our faithful were greatly strengthened and given guidance and direction as regards the continuation of the Mission in this region.
As you know, our Mission runs a few schools: Aghia Sophia Educational Center, Saint Nikitas primary school, St. Nicholas High School, St. Apostle Paul’s Theological School… The poorest of all is that of Saint John the Baptist in Sumbul, which is not self-sustained because it is new and has only been in operation for 4 years now. In the 3 grades of Middle School we only have 45 students. As it is a village and the people are very poor, we set the tuition fee at just 2.50 euro. However, with € 110, it is practically impossible to cover the wages of 10 teachers, a guardian and a cleaner. The new school year began in July. We would be grateful if you could help us make ends meet by sending us your contribution.
Warm greetings to all of you from my partners and collaborators here in Indonesia.
Wishing in the Lord,
Fr. Chrysostomos Manalu