Dear Friends of Mission,
Christ is Risen!
Since my appointment to this Diocese, I have had the chance to organize myself and see the current situation in my province. I hereby wish to inform you about the needs of our newly established Diocese of Gulu and Eastern Uganda.
Our faithful are happy for their New Diocese and their New Bishop. I still remember their warm reception in my first appearances in several places of our Diocese, in Northern as well as Eastern Uganda, in all the parishes and communities that I have been able to visit so far.
Our Diocese consists of the 2 poorest regions of the country. Eastern Uganda, which is plagued by great poverty and drought, as well as Northern Uganda, which was in a state of war for several years. So far, people are still trying to overcome the devastating consequences of the war. Lives were lost, houses were destroyed, church buildings were demolished.
Little by little, everything is being made from scratch again thanks to people’s love. Most people in these areas are poor, our simple churches are all in need of restoration, renovation or repair, while some others have remained incomplete when construction stopped.
ests, 50 catechists, 19 church buildings, 7 of which are already consecrated, 50 communities, 5 medical centers, and 7 schools. The difficult work of the Diocese is accomplished by few priests, who have been left without any financial support for a long time, which makes our work far more difficult.
At present, I would like to inform you about some of my future plans which are in great need of assistance and support for the continuation of our missionary work.
Need for Assistance for the Basic Operation of the Diocese
Our New Diocese, still at an early stage of its establishment and organization, is confronted with serious lack of financial resources, which makes things very difficult and hinders almost any form of missionary activity. That is why we are bringing you this request for financial assistance and support so as to meet the large number of basic daily needs of the Diocese and the Priests. This could help us a lot as we are still struggling to organize our bishopric.
Need for a Missionary House
In our Diocese there is no accommodation facility. Moreover, the lack of office space makes my ministry very difficult. When I first arrived here, I did not have a place to stay. Sometimes I had to stay in a hotel and other times I was hosted. All that until recently, when I rented a house which works both as the Episcopal Home and the Diocesan Office.
However, this is a short-term solution. What needs to be done is to make a building on our Mission Center premises. First of all, I think we should construct a building on the premises of our St. Lavrentios Cathedral, which can also be used as a Spiritual Center. This could initially give us a solution to the problem of our accommodation and at the same time be used as our office so that we can stay there and operate the office in this, until we can build a normal Episcopal Home.
Immediate Need for Land Purchase
There is an urgent need for the purchase of a plot of land bordering the headquarters of our Bishopric in Gulu, so that we can have more space to realize our future plans for the Episcopal Home. It is also imperative that we buy another plot next to the Medical Clinic in Gulu, as it is the only medical facility in the area and should be expanded due to a big increase in daily needs and in the number of patients.
We hope to be able to buy these two plots soon enough because in a month and a half Gulu will be proclaimed a separate and independent municipality in the center of Northern Uganda, which will result in higher land prices.
Start of Rural Labor as a Source of Project Support
Because of the great poverty that hinders us in many things, I am thinking of starting an organized agricultural engagement in our areas where we have arable land and we can use it, or even buy land for this purpose. For example, we can cultivate it, or even make farms with livestock. I believe that if we do that, we will have an important production that will help fight hunger, bring revenue for the Bishopric and create jobs for our poor fellow men.
Need For Water Well-Drilling
One of the biggest problems of the people in our regions is lack of water, which makes it impossible for them to irrigate their fields, or find water for their livestock. Those unfortunate people can only hope for the rainwater, and when it does not rain, they have total crop failure. Apart from that, from a general point of view, water is absolutely essential to our people’s survival in every respect.
These are currently the five needs that must be met as soon as possible.
Finally, I would like to thank you all once again for your concern for Mission, through which many people are helped to find the Truth of the Lord, Orthodoxy, as well as material help so that a lot of our very needy brothers can live in a dignified way as children of God. I will be eternally grateful to you if you help us achieve a few, if not all of the above. May you have rich the blessings of God on your lives.
With love in the Lord,
† Silvestros of Gulu and Eastern Uganda