Dear Friends of the Mission,
As you know from earlier articles, Central America is experiencing a miracle in progress. Our mind effortlessly runs to the Mayan tribe of Guatemala, which we mentioned in our previous article, to Venezuela, which lives in a state of despair, fear and terror, and of course, to Colombia and to Father Juan Paul, who, by the grace of the Triune God, is doing a great pastoral and social work.
In particular, the town of Copacabana is delighted with his work. Fr. Juan Paul is a married and unpaid priest who serves at the Church of the Archangels and is the spiritual father to the 600 orthodox families in the town of Copacabana. It is really amazing to see the faithful Colombians gathering in the poor rented space of the Church of the Archangels, where only the sanctuary is built, while the rest of the church consists of a simple covering instead of a roof. This poor Church, which struggles to meet its monthly rent, every Sunday becomes the most beautiful palace where the grace of God radiates within the Colombian faithful who confess our Lord Jesus Christ as Savior by praying with tears, not due to the countless difficulties of life, but out of love for the Church of Christ, to which they were called to become members and be glorified in its Sacred Mysteries.
A competent worker of God, Fr. Juan Paul, found receptive hearts and filled them with Christ. But his work does not stop there. In searching for ways to generate revenues in order to meet the parish needs, such as the rent, catechetical needs, and support for the financially weak, Fr. Juan Paul managed to create a recycling spot. This has resulted in the partial coverage of the parish needs, but it also has other beneficial effects.
The recycling machine recycles the waste of Copacabana. It is unambiguous that a lot of hands are required for garbage collection. Fr. Juan Paul did something very humane: he hired young people who are in a drug detoxification process. This way, these young people have not only managed to earn a living, but, most importantly, they have won their meeting with Christ, and along with that, their quick rehabilitation. In fact, this social work continues with the 120 single-parent families that we support spiritually and financially. And especially when this work is done by an unpaid, married cancer-stricken priest, who despite the chemotherapy he is constantly undergoing, strives hard for his flock.
Leaving Copacabana and going to the city of Yarumal, again under Fr. Juan Paul’s pastoral jurisdiction, we find another 170 Orthodox families. Things are difficult there, too, because the praise of the Triune God is conducted in a rented space. The difficulties in Colombia may be a lot but the blessing of God is even greater with new souls constantly coming to His Holy Church.
We are deeply concerned about our Orthodox brothers and sisters from Colombia, and seeing them without a church of their own fills our heart with pain and sorrow. All of them live with this dream. This is why we humbly appeal to your generous hearts for assistance so that we can manage to raise the amount of 50,000 euro required to buy a plot of land where a church for our Orthodox Colombian brothers and sisters will be built.
Ending today’s spiritual journey, we deeply thank the few donors for the support and sensitivity they show to the work of our Metropolis, but we would also like to thank in advance those who want to become supporters of our work now and with the sensitivity of their heart will give their contribution out of the little they have to help our Colombian brothers in Christ see their dream come true.
In closing, we could not possibly fail to thank the Orthodox Missionary Fraternity, this charitable society which you can get in contact with if you want to become co-workers in the Vineyard of the Lord for spreading Orthodoxy in Central America.
From the Holy Metropolis