Blessing of the Lord, fragrance of the Resurrection, heavenly scent and blessing of Heaven, the completion of another Sacred Church in the Holy Diocese of Toliara and South Madagascar. The way of fulfilling this work can only be regarded as a spiritual act. Once again, a pious couple undertakes the building of the third Church in a row after the completion of the Sacred Churches of St. Athanasius and of St. Catherine – through the Orthodox Missionary Fraternity of Thessaloniki, with a lot of reverence and trust in the missionary work here. These devout people offered a center of worship, a sacred place that bears the Most Holy Name of the Holy Trinity.
The construction of a Sacred Church is a cause for multiple celebration for the local Church. It means the spatial delimitation of the expression of religious sentiment, the place where our common and laborious journey towards the Lord finds expression, the Altar where we see His face, also slaughtered. Besides all these, it even means the safeguarding of the people’s survival, since our churches have played the role of shelter against adverse weather conditions, as the only stable buildings in the vast slums.
Thus, the only thoughts that arise are those of joy and security. Our “wounded” by inequality and anguish brothers do not think of their suffering due to the fact that they live in straw huts, but they rejoice because the Heavenly Father dwells in a house that is bright and open to their every need, mental as well as physical.
With this in mind, we are constructing two new Sacred Churches, one dedicated to the Life-giving Spring and to St. John the Forerunner and another in honor of the newly appeared saints, Elders Paisios of the Holy Mountain and Porphyrios of Kafsokalyvia, two beacons of hope and light in the ocean of despair and darkness.
And if the Churches function as arks for every person suffering, the recently obtained state- issued license for the operation of two Rural Health Clinics – a donation of a venerable friend of the foreign mission in memory of her deceased husband – will function as oil and wine, analogous to the Samaritan, in the wounds of people who will see for the first time a doctor’s apron and receive medical treatment, a gift in return of your own love.
Last as a reference and first in importance is the water supply program in the remote areas of Southern Madagascar. With the well drilling and the water carrier sent where needed, they fill the arid land with life, the world with hope, the children with wet smiles in every corner of the island country.
I would like to thank you wholeheartedly for what you have done and I ask you as a father not to stop remembering my children, these children who are piled into classrooms so they can write a misspelled but sincere “thank you” to all of you. A thank you that emanates from the seven, so far, erected schools, where education is truly free and therefore, truly Christian. After all, this is the only way to quench spiritual thirst. What is left for us to do is to transform the classrooms that are located under trees into modern buildings, to give these pure little kids with the curious eyes knowledge and love, to give every man on earth the chance to become like us, with equal opportunities and equal means. Until this is achieved, let no conscience rest.
† Prodromos of Toliara