10th Mission Seminar in Tanzania

Like every August, the 15 -day seminar of catechetical sessions was held this year, focusing not only on simple issues of our faith, which form the foundation and the core of the two thousand -year -old history of the Orthodox Church, but also on the Holy Fathers’ experience. Once again, the seminar was hosted by the parish of the Holy Cappadocian Fathers Arsenios and Paisios (the Church was constructed in 2005 by His Eminence Metropolitan Dimitrios) in the city of Morogoro (which is the seat of our Mission Center), with Fr. Cleopas Bachuda in charge in cooperation with my humbleness).

The seminar started at the beginning of August with the first group consisting of women, and continued from the 14 August on with the men’s group. The faithful came from the Morogoro region. The reason why we had two groups instead of one was no other but lack of accommodation spaces.

Thus, as a matter of fact, we had no other option but to use the church as a classroom for the catechetical sessions as well as the Medical Clinic for our faithful to sleep at night and rest to the extent possible, since you can imagine the living conditions: all the faithful on the cement floor, on plastic mats, women and children. Of course you are going to tell me that these people are accustomed to such conditions since most of them come from the Maasai tribe, who are used to sleeping on the ground.

Therefore, the seminar started on Saturday 10th August, and for the first time there were audiovisual means used for a more efficient consolidation of the things said during the sessions. It was very successful indeed, which was made evident by the large number of questions asked on the part of the participants, their dedication and great interest during the sessions, as well as by their joy and satisfaction, which grew even more when we announced our intention to hold similar seminars at regular intervals, not only to enable them to enrich their knowledge on issues of faith but also to have them get to know each other better and make them feel that we are all members of a big truly Orthodox family.

This is how 15 blessed days passed along with the simple-hearted and destitute Tanzanian brothers, who always have a smile on their faces, which is definitely something missing from the rich and “civilized” contemporary western man. One thing is for sure though: all of us gained something from this seminar. Glory to God for all things. Before closing, I would like to make an earnest appeal to you all. Remember us in your prayers. May God bless your works and families.

Monk Thaddaeus

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