An End, a Βeginning

On Saturday, October 22, I accompanied His Eminence Metropolitan of Nairobi to distant parts of the Diocese of Eldoret. The purpose of this long tour was to perform the funeral service of an elderly and dignified lady who was one of the founding members of the Orthodox Church and of the local school. His Eminence referred to the great struggle that the deceased made along with the faithful of the area for the construction of the Saint Thecla church and the school, where more than 500 children study today. After the service, the family and the community officials of our area offered meal at the school, where current issues were discussed.

Most funerals of our faithful who leave this life for the heavenly kingdom of God usually take place in their homes here in Kenya, because unfortunately there is no adequate space for cemeteries. Also, transporting and covering the costs of most people is not an easy task. The distances are very long, and to facilitate the family of the deceased, attendees can travel for hours to offer their condolences and sympathy to the grieving family.

A funeral service can last several hours because the people who knew the deceased express the feelings and memories they had of him. Again, they have to return to their homes on the same day. All the priests from the area and afar attend the funeral. For all these people, it is certainly something sad but also comforting, because the man they knew in this earthly life is now close to God.

In the difficult days we live in, when everyone is being tried due to the Covid disease, here people are dying every day from diseases such as malaria and yellow fever, as they do not have the necessary medicines. They go through hard times and a lot of suffering, which remain unknown to the western world and are not heard. These people go through their own struggle and their own Golgotha.

We do not compare the problems of the world, of course, because each country and each place has its own difficulties and trials. What we want to do though is to make the problems in the area where we live known, because compared to many others, we see that they are indeed much worse and far more serious. Yet, the faithful continue their struggle and remain close to God and Orthodoxy and come to church longing to attend the sacred services.

We thank wholeheartedly all those who help in their own way, with their prayer or with their contribution, whether small or big, or in any other way, the missionary and charitable work of our mission here in Kenya.

May the good God grant each one of you abundantly all His blessings, earthly as well as heavenly.

† Markos of Kisumu

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