For Ugandan children

Dear Brothers and Friends of our Mission, Rejoice in the Lord.

As Missionaries in African countries, our concern is to teach people faith in Christ, make them members of His Church and lead them to the path of salvation. We want to teach them the truth about God, the truth about God’s relationship with man, the truth about what man’s relationship with God should be like. And then, after they have learned the truth, they will be freed. This is what the Lord Himself tells us, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)

Our work is not only limited to Catechism so that the members of the Church of Christ know the Orthodox Doctrine which we advocate; we also have the duty to teach them secular education as well, which will make them worthy members of the society and eager partners in our work.

Every time schools open, the bell will ring again. The playgrounds will once again be filled with children’s voices. The teachers are at their posts, ready to transmit knowledge and morals. The students, those who will have the opportunity to attend classes, will be among the lucky children, and the reason is the study cost and fees. Most children cannot afford to go to school, not because an exorbitant amount is required, but because their parents are deprived of even the ten euro a month, which is the monthly tuition fee.

It is on such days that the door of the Episcopal Office is knocked on by parents who want to give their children the much-desired education in order to escape from poverty and destitution. The most difficult part of this (case) is when we are asked to satisfy the request of one of our clergymen for their child. He expects something more, but the truth is that we cannot satisfy the request of all the priests, not because we make discriminations, but because we cannot afford it.

This is why in our newly established Diocese we want to make a scholarship program so as to pay the tuition fees for some children, as well as creating our own schools wherever we can in the poor areas and where possible, with volunteer teachers. We want to be able to stand before these people who knock on our door, and tell them, “we have the solution, we have our own schools, we accept your children and we promise you that they will make proud themselves, their family, the Church that gave them this opportunity and the people who may be far from our country, but the beating of their hearts can be heard in our blessed place.

My beloved brothers, I know that it is difficult for school material to be sent, let alone find volunteer teachers from Greece who will come and minister to the needs of the poor children here, offering their services and transmitting knowledge. Fortunately, there is another way you can help. You can reach out and offer us your help from the love of your heart through the Orthodox Missionary Fraternity. You can rest assured that nothing is lost. Everything is used in the best possible way for the good of our poor brothers and children.

Let us not deprive these underprivileged children of Africa of a better future within the society, within the Church, within our missionary activities. Through your love and support, we will be able to spread our wings and fly towards a better future. We will be deeply grateful to you for our tomorrow, thanks to what you give us today.

As a Bishop, I bear responsibility for my flock. I am also a native-born member of this society, therefore, I am well aware not only of its problems but also of the perspectives for their potential solution.

Personally, I was given the opportunity to come to Greece to study, and for that, I am grateful to some people who helped me a lot and trusted me. Now, I am called as a Bishop to return this favour that I received from my Greek benefactors as a gift in your name, here to our own children. To transmit knowledge, values ​​and experiences, which will be the beginning of a better tomorrow. Africa has a future, it has a perspective, but now it needs spiritual as well as material supplies, which eventually will become useful to the Old Continent. Through this cooperation of ours, we ask you to help us educate ourselves and live truly free so that we do not live again the tragic times of colonialism, which we all want to forget.

I wish all the children a blessed school year with the illumination of the Holy Spirit. May our Lord fill the teachers with His wisdom and strength from above and grant unto all of you His peace and grace.

Silvestros of Jinja

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