As part of our tour that took place during the month of October from our Holy Diocese of Kisumu and Western Kenya, we started with the sister nuns from the Holy Monastery of Panagia Tricherousa for the farthest parts of our Diocese, in the areas of South Nyanza. We had the opportunity to see and meet our faithful Orthodox brothers there. They are the poorest areas in all of the territories of Kisumu province and Western Kenya. We celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the various regions there, Migori, Kishi and Homabey. Because these areas are very far and it is not easy to visit often, they are somewhat neglected; more care is needed so that these members of our Church do not also feel neglected. There are several Churches under the jurisdiction of our Diocese there, but few are made as permanent buildings; most of them are made of mud, straw, wood and tin. This, of course, is not an obstacle for the Divine Liturgy to be celebrated. Difficulties lie in the fact that our priests must travel long distances to reach their Church and parish, and the means of transport with the difficult roads make the conditions even more difficult. They also need to carry their vestments, the Holy Vessels and other things they need for the Liturgy as long as they cannot keep them in the Church where they are not safe.
With God’s grace and help we took various items of food to distribute to people there, such as rice, sugar and other basic types of food that people consume here in their everyday life, still often not being able to buy because of poverty. We also saw the children in the schools located in some parishes and distributed school supplies to make it easier for them to study. Many times, unfortunately, schools are forced to send students home because they are unable to pay their school fees. Wherever we can we help with this and give at least an amount of the tuition they owe so that the children can go back to school and not miss their lessons. We face all of these costs and difficulties with the help of our donors and the kind donation that comes from our pious donors. Of course, the needs are very many and it is not possible for us as a Church to meet everything, but with minimal capabilities we help wherever we can. The health of the people here, especially in these remote areas, is an important issue that they need to address on a daily basis. With multiple diseases such as malaria and many other diseases, medicines are needed and these all cost quite a bit of money, let alone when needed to see a doctor. With God’s help, our Priests managed to have a medical care insurance that helps them to have their necessary medications.
The faithful try with great efforts to do jobs in their parishes, such as cultivating their fields and producing vegetables and everything else that thrives here in Kenya, so that they can have a decent Church where services and sacraments will be held and the catechumens will be baptized and become Orthodox Christians. We look to the children who are in various parishes and those who have studied in the theological seminary in Nairobi to become the future priests to fill the gaps that exist in several Churches, and thus the serving Priests are forced to serve three and four parishes, until new ones are ordained.
We hope you have us in your prayers and that Almighty God will give everyone health and all the best and blessed.
† Markos of Kisumu