I will never get tired of confessing, because first of all, it relaxes me to experience things myself, that the life of the Gospel takes on flesh and blood every day, in every step of our Church Mission. I myself used to be an indifferent reader of the Bible; emotional, moderately faithful, or of course, unfaithful, and with a vague perception that the distance of centuries makes storytelling interesting but distant and largely inapplicable!
I thank God that the myths were refuted with my first walk in the neighborhoods of the Black Continent. Whether it was Cameroon or South Madagascar, the faces of the Gospel would constantly spring up in front of me. The lepers, the crippled, the ones bleeding, those harassed by unclean spirits, Lazaruses, the poor in money but rich in scars/sores and bound to inhabit Paradise, the deniers of true faith, the zealous nuns in black dedicated to deep prayer and engrossed in it, Judases, Peters, Marthas, Maries, and so many Samaritan women!
God is where finding water is as uncertain as gambling and like a road race for all of us. He is where a bore drilling lasts for days, with the machines exceeding three hundred meters. God is there and gathers brothers who live in spiritual darkness, who are thirsty and tired of living a life of inequality. He places them next to us, they take water from our hand, and sometimes they ask: «Who are you?», «Why do you bother to do things for us?», «What do you believe in?»Questions that even I, myself who can hardly articulate a few words in the local dialect, answer with unspoken eloquence in one word: «Christ», «Christ», «Christ»… It is for His sake, for the holy faith in His sacrifice, that we make a minimal sacrifice for our fellow human beings.
This sacrifice would never have been made if all of you had not been by our side, with us, next to us, each one separately and all together. If the Orthodox Missionary Fraternity, along with brothers near and far, had not been a constant presence, even in this horrible and difficult period of the pandemic, which among other obstacles, has caused terrible delays in the completion of the titanic project of well- drilling.
It is for this reason and for many more and unknown ones that I would like to thank you wholeheartedly!
May God bless you and protect you all with His omnipotent grace!
The missionary by the well, † Prodromos of Toliara