Traveling to Africa for the first time, I came across an unprecedented landscape… An awesome scenery of rare beauty and uniqueness was unwinding in front of me, but at the same time unknown and dangerous, perhaps because of the many diseases that plague the black continent.

It seems that varied and intense feelings are generated in people involved in Mission. The thoughts that follow are a testimony of the soul. I had the impression that I was going to help in the Mission, but finally, when I saw children smiling and eyes glittered with joy, I realized that the one who was finally being helped was me.

Many people are looking for diamonds and rubies in the earth, ignoring the fact that offering joy and hope to our fellow human being is the most precious thing in the world. It is worth knowing to offer ourselves unconditionally, without limitations, barriers and borders.

The children are the future and the hope of the world, they are our children and have equal rights in life. We do not have the right to remain indifferent to their suffering and cry and overlook their anguish, especially when this becomes a struggle for survival. All together we can work the miracle and change their everyday life. It is our duty, our obligation…

When I first beheld all this huge work, I felt it was immeasurable. Then I drew courage from a story that I was told by His Grace Father Agathonikos:

A little girl was on a beach trying to save all the starfish that had been washed ashore and eagerly threw them back into the water one by one to help them live. But there were millions of starfish out of the water. At some point, her grandfather approached her and told her that it was impossible to save all the starfish. Then she looked at the palm of her hand where she was holding a starfish and said, looking into her grandfather’s eyes: “But at least, I can save the one that I am holding”, and she gently tossed it back into the sea to live.

If all of us care about the «starfish» that fall on our way, then our world may slowly change … What Mission really needs most, though, is not the money as such, but human hearts with courage, a deep sense of honor, duty and self-sacrifice.

Let us turn our thoughts to the Crucified Jesus, whose sacrifice did not concern a single nation or a group of people but was addressed to the entire world, regardless of color and language. Besides, the commandment of the Lord is clear: «Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you”.

Archimandrite Porphyrios
Chancellor of the H. M. of Arusha