The Orthodox Mission in Africa always stands at the forefront. The second-in-hierarchy Patriarchate of Alexandria, wisely led by its steersman, Pope and Patriarch Theodore II, cares primarily for the spiritual ministration but also at the same time for the relief of the poor and the ailing.
Faith is interwoven with deeds. Whatever we say, any words will be poor to express the struggle and distress for this great work of the Mission that deals with human creatures seeking truth and peacefulness. Let us recall the words of Apostle James, who refers to faith and deeds:
“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:14-26).
These words boost and empower all missionaries and the remarkable partners of the Mission to offer valuable time and fill their everyday lives with love, alleviating the penury of those in need. And they don’t do so, in order to collect any returns in this life, but in order for them to hear a good word in the day of Lord, when he will ask for a report of our faith and our works.
The container with much-needed goods, which was shipped by the Orthodox Missionary Fraternity and blessed by His Beatitude the Patriarch himself who attended and participated in its loading during his stay in Thessaloniki, the homeland of saints, finally reached its destination. How many people will be helped during these holy days of Pascha? How many eyes will shine? How many lips will smile? How many children will taste a candy or a chocolate or will get in their hands a toy just like one of those that our children in the developed West take for granted? How many tables will be laid with Paschal viands? How many people will look at the sky and give glory to our God? How many people will show their gratitude and bless all those who offered a little or a lot out of their hearts and maybe out of their own scarcity? Indeed, we must be assured that these people who are benefited will never forget. This benefaction will be inscribed in their hearts, just like God records the names of all benefactors with golden letters in His heavenly book.
We extend our big thanks to everyone who has labored. To the Orthodox Missonary Fraternity that always stands by the Ancient Patriarchate of Alexandria and its Primate, the angel on earth and guardian of all Africans, Pope and Patriarch Theodore, who always proclaims that the future of humanity lies in the African continent. To the volunteers who participated in the collection of these essential goods and in the loading of the container, to those known and unknown who helped and donated the goods of their love. To all of you, in behalf of the pious flock of the Holy Diocese of Accra, I express a great thank you along with the paschal greeting: “Christ is Risen”.
† Narkissos of Accra