Recipients of your love

Dear friends of the Mission,

In the joyful season of Easter we have been the recipients of your immense love, which supports us and gives us courage to continue the blessed struggle of the ministry of our African brothers and sisters.

By the grace of God and after much effort, the much needed container that you sent us last December has arrived. Its arrival brought joy to hundreds of people present. The first recipients of your love were the young children, who received the first clothes, toys and bicycles to come out of the container. Their little eyes shone like stars in the sky trying to express their gratitude for all the people from this distant land who never forget them.

The arrival of this container is very important to support all areas of the Diocese’s ministry, most importantly the equipping of our clinic with medical equipment that will expand the range of services offered to patients. In addition, the ecclesiastical items, liturgical and patristic books will enhance the liturgical life and catechetical part in all the parishes of the Diocese.

Holy Trinity church, built with funds of our Fraternity

But your participation in our struggle does not stop here. As expressions of genuine Christian love, you are not only limited to words of encouragement, but you are leading charitable works throughout Africa. With the help of your Fraternity, two wells have been drilled in the Iringa region. The first was in the parish of St. Barnabas the Apostle in the village of Oueda, where all the villagers gathered during the holy water ceremony for the start of the work. The coveted water was found abundant at a depth of 100 meters and the children were the first to taste this great blessing, while the village president congratulated the Church for this pioneering work, as there is no other drilling in the area that serves the needs of the residents.

The second drilling took place in the field of our Missionary Centre in Kidamali, in order to meet the needs of our monastery, which is ready to accommodate the first monks. The clinic and other areas of the missionary centre will also receive water from this drilling. It is undeniable that with your help dozens of such works have been carried out throughout Central Tanzania.

Another project that has just begun is the construction of a new church in the village of Mlabalasi in Iringa, which will be dedicated to the Holy Trinity. This village is located in the depths of the African steppe and its inhabitants are purely Orthodox. For their liturgical needs they have so far created a grass hut, burnt with straw and wood. But the increase in the number of believers made it necessary to build a church. The request of the inhabitants was postponed due to lack of funds for its construction. But their prayers did not go unanswered. Our call for help was answered again by the Orthodox Missionary Fraternity. Thus, another church is being built with your help.

But needs, my brothers, never end. In our clinic, which is funded every month, people from all the villages of Iringa come to us. Many of them come from remote areas and walk long hours to meet the doctor and receive their medicines. Our vision from the very beginning of our clinic was to create a mobile health unit, so that our doctors and nurses could visit the remote villages at regular intervals to perform preventive examinations, distribute medicines and vaccinate children and adults. This is a bold project, which requires a lot of money to buy a car, but is of major importance to meet the ever-increasing medical needs of our brothers and sisters. Its achievement will also enable us to assist in emergency cases, in order to save as many lives as possible.

At the same time, with the distribution of soup kitchens, the provision of medical and pharmaceutical care and the drilling of boreholes, the pastoral, catechetical and devotional work of our Church continues with undiminished interest. Clergy and laity run from parish to parish and from school to school, to preach the Gospel of Christ and to pass on the flame of the Orthodox faith to every soul who wishes to know and experience the truth of orthodoxy.

In a previous communication, we reported on a new missionary start in southern Tanzania, in the towns of Beja and Makabako, on the border with Malawi and Zambia. Orthodox crèches have been established in these areas and a designated cleric of the Diocese travels regularly to serve the liturgical needs of the faithful. The gradual increase of the flock there requires the finding of resources for the construction of churches in these towns. These are two great works, which we alone cannot support. Once again we look to God’s providence and your assistance, which has never failed us.

Dear brothers, we humbly hope that the grace of the Holy Spirit may shine on your beautiful and charitable hearts and bless your families and your works.

† Agathonikos of Arusha

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