Is anyone here a doctor?

It was after the Blessing Service that we conducted for the new borehole drilled in Sasha Mambo village just outside the National Park of Ruaha when we were approached by the village President, who was holding a piece of paper. We are used to the whole ritual since every time after a charitable activity of our church, we have the impulsive expressions of earnest gratitude of the simple-hearted indigenous people. This time, though, such expressions ended abruptly and what followed was requests … The village President was reading from a paper, «Thank you for the borehole , which people and animals were in so much need of (and he showed us the tracks of elephants that in a desperate attempt to find water, went out of the safari zone in search of water, and unwittingly trampled upon the corn fields of the poor inhabitants who were waiting patiently for so many months to reap the fruits of their toil and feed themselves). Nevertheless, in our village we are in great need of a Medical Clinic. Lots of mothers die in labor for lack of a doctor or a nurse, he continued this sad enumeration of their deficiencies, since due to complete lack of medicines and nursing staff, the number of orphaned from birth children in our village alone, amounts to twenty … So please, bring a Clinic to our village.

When after a few months, I mentioned this incident to some spiritual brothers in the Metropolis of Kalamaria, Thessaloniki, His Eminence Metropolitan Justin of Kalamaria, with whom we shared the same missionary interest since we were University students, approached me along with charismatic Elder Fr. Savas Kenanidis from the St. Nicholas parish of Aretsou, and promised me that they would undertake the erection of the Clinic at our Mission Center in Kindamali, Iringa. And their promise was fulfilled, and our Clinic was completed, and in May His Beatitude our Patriarch performed the inauguration service!

Soup kitchen for our students

And then came you, my beloved brothers, and with your noble heart you provided us with both material and moral support as always, and you gave us joy and hope with your promise to undertake the operational costs of our Clinic, which come to €2,000 monthly, as in its daily operation it will be serving hundreds of people, regardless of religion, and at the same time employing two doctors, two nurses and two doctor’s assistants. Therefore, with this humble article I would like to congratulate and thank your blessed Fraternity, but also to urge all the readers of your magazine as well as the members of the Orthodox Missionary Fraternity of Thessaloniki to continue supporting our efforts to provide better medical healthcare services to our brothers here in Central Tanzania, where our fellow humans are in desperate need of your help.

In our new polyclinic, we would very much appreciate the valuable services of volunteer physicians from Greece and elsewhere. They are most welcome to come here and help. Also it is imperative that information by qualified staff should be given to the indigenous people as regards the diseases plaguing the region and ways of prevention, because these diseases are not caused only because of poverty, but mainly due to people’s ignorance of infectious diseases and the way they are transmitted.

We thank you wholeheartedly for your love, and ask for your prayers and support. Despite the economic hardship that plagues our country, we know that your merciful hearts are always with us and your brotherly presence supports our missionary steps in Central Tanzania. Offering help to our needy brothers, wherever they are, is a great thing to do. May our loving Lord grant you his infinite blessings and illuminate and guide our lives to God-pleasing acts.

With deep gratitude and love in Christ † Agathonikos of Arusha

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