Part 2 • By fr. Prochoros Μanuk Allo
With the blessing of Metropolitan Konstantinos, the annual mission trip resumed in 2023 through collaboration between the Ag. Dionysios Parish in Yogyakarta and the Agia Epiphania Parish in Kalimalang, Jakarta. In February 2023, Father Lazarus, although not fully recovered from Guillain-Barré syndrome, resumed his journey in West Bornro with Father Prochoros from Agia Epiphania. Fr Prochoros even visited several city by himself to acquitance himself with Borneo. He took land route from West Borneo up until the area of the future capital of Indonesia in East Borneo. The journey took around 2,5 days by bus.
This visit to Borneo in 2023 is focused on the capital of the province, Pontianak, especially to serve the people of Pontianak and building a historical momentum to celebrate first Divine Liturgy in Pontianak. In addition, a survey of land is also conducted to explore opportunities for building the first Orthodox Church on the Kalimantan island.
The mission trip at the beginning of 2023 brought great hope for the revitalization of the Greek Orthodox mission (Ecumenical Patriarchate) in Indonesia, especially on the Borneo Island and the province of West Borneo. As in 2019, Moscow Patriarchate and Schismatic Greek Old Calendarist started their massive activities in this country and also aiming to kickstart their communities in Borneo.
Big task ahead awaits us. Some changes and adjustments need to be made especially to objectively deal with the critical situation. Clergy visits will be focused from Jakarta, which is closer to Pontianak than Yogyakarta and more economical. The frequency of visits is also planned to be increased to be done twice in a year. To produce a sustainable mission, planning must also be done by taking into account two things. First, through the acquisition of land in Pontianak for future Orthodox facilities such as Parish building and secondly, through future seminary education opportunities for future native Indonesian Orthodox priests to continue the good work of first generation Orthodox priests in Indonesia, who almost all are elderly. To be able to do this good work, we, the Orthodox in Indonesia cannot stand by ourself, we need prayer, guidance and help from our fellow Orthodox.
Please stand by our side to bring Orthodoxy to the island of Borneo.■