Dear friends of the Mission
First of all, let me congratulate your Fraternity on completing 60 years since its establishment; on the 60 years of your presence in ministry of Overseas Mission; on your 60–year-engagement in the epic of modern Hellenism, the Orthodox Mission. Let me congratulate you on the 60 years of your contribution to the dissemination of Orthodoxy from the rear to the front line.
Let me congratulate you once more because for 60 years, first as Friends of Uganda and then as friends of the whole world and of all peoples, where the flame of the Orthodox faith was lit, you have been running to strengthen it.
I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for becoming friends of Bukomba as well; friends of the superhuman effort to organize the local Church, which is also celebrating its 60th birthday.
I would also like to thank you for your help-whether small or big- to realize our mission projects. Your greatest contribution was the erection of the School of the Holy Cross in Kakerere, the most numerous Parish of our Diocese. It was your Fraternity that impelled the pious Orthodox Czech to offer his donation to the Diocese of Bukomba.
Below we have the report on the development of this School and on the other missionary priorities of the Diocese.
HONORABLE CROSS SCHOOL IN KAKERERE
It was a day of celebration at the Holy Cross Parish in Kakerere on August 7 due to the visit of the Bishop and the new School Operation Committee. The Committee was appointed by the Education Committee and approved by the Diocesan Council.
The Committee chaired by the Bishop met with the supervising engineer and the contractor to check the building and complete the rest of the work. It was found out that some other additional work needs to be done. The Committee submitted the study for the School operation according to the needs of the Orthodox students.
Then another important issue was brought up for discussion: that of the School’s electricity and water supply as well as its accessibility. It was decided to transfer the water from the Parish borehole to a tank by installing a pump, which will be operated by a generator. As far as the electrification issue is concerned, it was decided to consider the installation of photovoltaic panels. As regards the accessibility to the School, it was decided to ask for help from the Municipality of Niqueda to use its technical services and open a safe road.
In order to accomplish all this and be able to operate the school, we need 15,000 Euro.
SCHOLARSHIPS FOR ORTHODOX STUDENTS
Our Missionary Diocese invests in young people in order to have a future in the country of Tanzania, where the majority are Muslims, Roman-Catholics and all kinds of Protestants.
The Diocese has created two Orthodox Middle Schools, the St. Sosthenes and the Aristotle School. 130 Orthodox students study in them on scholarship, with priority given to orphans, poor children and priests’ children. The cost for each Orthodox student’s studies comes to €420 per year. The school offers them education, accommodation, food and clothing. In addition, the students are taught Orthodox Catechism and liturgical life. They all learn to sing church hymns together. This is how young believers, priests, catechists, scientists, family heads are prepared.
WE PREPARE NEW MISSIONARIES
The Orthodox “St. Nicholas” High School in Mwanza aims to prepare candidates for Priests, Theologians and Catechists with an introduction to Theology and the teaching of Greek, English, Byzantine Music, Computers and others.
30 new graduates of the Seminary and of our St.Sosthenes and Aristotle Schools will be hosted. They will be entirely depended on stipends funds of our Diocese, and naturally, they need all the essentials for their living.
These young people will be the future pastors, missionaries and teachers of the Orthodox Faith in this land. They will staff the Parishes, the Schools and the Pulpits. The High School operation is expected to cost 3,000 per month to host 30 students. We are making an earnest appeal to you for help and support through educational sponsorship, which costs €100 per month for each seminarian.
We often weep and mourn over the loss of mothers and children in childbirth. Antenatal care and safe delivery are lacking, resulting in poor outcomes. For this reason, at the “Resurrection” Diocesan Hospital, we have created a small Obstetrics Clinic for prenatal check-ups and childbirths. We ask for the donation of €20 for each delivery.
Thus, we will attract pregnant mothers to come to the hospital and get prepared for the childbirth, so that, through the intercession of the Most Holy Virgin, they as well as their children will be saved. Of course, our permanent request is for help from doctors and nurses to upgrade the services offered by our hospital, and to provide medical treatment to poor indigenous patients.
With the help of God and the cooperation of the church-builder Mr. Anthony Notaras from Athens and of Demetrios Petrotos from Larissa- who traveled all the way to Bukomba, we designed a Byzantine Church with African features. We adapted the cruciform with dome rhythm to the African standards, where the rotunda prevails, also taking into consideration the construction possibilities.
The purchase of a plot of land and the building of a church are the continuation and consequence of the Mission. As soon as an ecclesiastical community is created, it asks for a place of prayer, whether temporary in mud huts and grass huts, or in a permanent church building. Buying a plot of land in the cities, particularly in the center, is expensive. In the villages and places far from the center they are cheaper. Until now we have been repairing old churches and buying plots of land where makeshift churches have been built. 23 plots have already been purchased. Now, the time has come to construct decent places of worship. Building a Church costs €25,000.
ST. EUPHEMIA KASAMOUA CENTER
Orthodoxy began in this land in 1962. It is here that Archbishop Anastasios came in 1964 and baptized and married the first Orthodox Christians. The Church of St. Euphemia was built in memory of this event. Unfortunately the Christians left the place. An effort is being made to bring them back. New believers have come thanks to the Mission. Now the construction of a Mission Center has begun with the help of Christians from Nigrita and Arnaia. We need approximately €30,000 in order to complete and operate it as a Camp, Meeting Center for Priests, Catechists, Youth, Women and use it for other purposes as well.
We report these priorities in the hope that readers will be touched and run in support of our work by becoming helpers and donors.
† Chrysostomos of Bukomba