Dear brothers in Christ,
By the Grace of God we have completed 29 years of ministry in the black continent, the vast Africa. The lot given to us by the Lord is, as you already know, Kolwezi and the whole of Katanga province. All this time our eyes have seen a lot of things. Naturally, we have faced numerous difficulties and plenty of adversity, we have lived unequalled moments of sorrow, grief, anguish but joy as well, through which one can see the grace of God, which always covers us protectively, regardless of whether we feel it or not. We sometimes start a project from scratch with no prospects of completing it and then the Lord comes to our assistance, always providing a solution, so eventually this project is fulfilled to the Glory of God. After all, this is the ultimate purpose of our humble ministry here: everything is done to the Glory of God. Thus, no matter what project we are working on, whether it is school or church construction, performing baptisms, priest ordinations, or charity, everything should be done not in praise of ourselves but to the Glory of His Hallow Name. Undoubtedly there are plenty of needs, but it is practically impossible to cover them all. However, it is your love that helps us move forward and makes our efforts bear fruit.
This year it was imperative that we have two new churches erected as the flock is growing bigger and bigger and the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist should not be performed in mud-huts or mud brick churches. So far, 45 churches have been constructed, while there are another 65 mud brick ones that are operating. The fact that these humble churches have a makeshift iconostasis, no pulpit or iconography, no window or door frames, no tiled floor, are by no means less blessed than the completed one. We could say that there, God’s grace is the same or even greater. However, it is for purely practical reasons that such churches should be replaced by constructed ones since in periods of drought, strong winds raise clouds of dust which comes in during the D. Liturgy, and in rainy seasons the mud bricks get wet, so the risk of collapse is high, as it happened at St. Menas’ church at the time of the Divine Liturgy. It was a tragic case indeed when at the time of the Communion Hymn, the parish priest Fr. Lazarus, a pure-hearted Levite, came out at the Beautiful Gate in order to preach the sermon, and the whole of the eastern wall behind the Sanctuary collapsed with a thunderous sound.
This is why once more we appeal to your love and ask for your support for the reconstruction of the two aforementioned churches, whose cost is estimated at 50,000 euro each. We will be grateful to those friends of the Mission that will undertake the funding of this project, and their names will always be remembered by our African priests in memory eternal.
With love in Chrisτ
† Meletios of Katanga