Dear Friends of Mission,
Christ is Risen!
By the grace of the Risen Savior Jesus Christ, the blessings of HDB Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, and the love of His Grace Photios of Malawi , I have come to Malawi for the third time in order to contribute with my humble ministry to the cultivation of the Lord’s vineyard, this newly established Missionary Diocese.
During the last three weeks of the Great Lent, seminars for priests have been held at the diocese in Blantyre. The priests were divided into three groups, one group each week, and were trained in the performance of the Divine Liturgy of the Pre-sanctified Gifts, but also in other liturgical matters of both the Great Lent and the Holy Week. They had the opportunity to inform their Bishop about their missionary activity and receive counsel and guidance on various issues concerning their pastoral ministry.
The priests’ seminars highlighted the various needs, not only for the continuous training of the clergy but also for the continuation of the translation work of the liturgical texts into the local language. However, printing and publishing liturgical books is not something simple. Due to the weather conditions in the rural parishes, the books are easily worn out and destroyed, so every now and then we have to replace them with new ones. It would be a special blessing for our diocese if there were kind-hearted people to support us in this endeavor, which would include the republishing of liturgical books, the publication of the book of the Apostle in the local language as well as the continuation of translations of the books of Triodion and Parakletike.
Besides the lack of liturgical books for our priests, we are in need of holy vestments. The older priests need new ones because their old vestments are worn out, but there are also deacons who are going to be ordained as elders and lay persons that are deacon candidates who also need vestments. Another need of the parishes is that of printing large icons for the church walls. Most parishes have been supplied with icons, but there are a few left still waiting for their beautification.
In addition to the needs of the parishes for liturgical books, vestments and icons, the priests asked us to support them in trying to drill drinking water in several places. In the past, some wells were built, but because they were ineffective equipment and not with deep water drilling, they have dried up. Malawi is a country that hides a lot of water in the bowels of the earth, but if we want to make a well work for several years, the drilling must be done at a large depth of over 40 meters, which certainly costs. We estimate that such a drilling installation needs about 5,000 euro and there are five communities in urgent need of it.
Finally, the need to do something for the orphans and poor children in the countryside is becoming more and more apparent. All the villages are full of children, some of whom are orphans and are raised by their relatives, while others are born out of wedlock and are raised by their grandmothers. In five parishes we already have the facilities that could accommodate day care centers for these children. The annual budget for such a center is 5,000 euro and includes the salary for two young teachers, who, apart from occupying the children constructively, will be employed to look after them and care for their food 5 days a week.
With the help of God and yours, we believe we can improve the living conditions of our poor brothers in Malawi. Please consider supporting our missionary work; with you, we can make a difference. Once again, I convey to you with deep appreciation and brotherly love the Easter greeting, “Christ is Risen!”
From the Holy Metropolis