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The Most Sacred and Difficult Task

Without doubt, the preaching of «the gospel of the kingdom of God» (Mark 1:14) is the quintessence and reason for the existence of the missionary activity of the Church of Christ in the nations. It is the axis around which all the individual actions and initiatives of the mission must revolve and develop, so that they can be understood and evaluated as tools alone – and not as an end in themselves, which contribute to and facilitate the encounter of peoples with the redemptive message of the Gospel.

If our Lord Jesus Christ and His disciples and apostles functioned and ministered primarily and principally as preachers of the «Gospel of God,» and enclosed every meaning in the phrase, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15), then, necessarily and over time, this should be the meaning and the starting point of the ministry of every contemporary missionary apostle within the Church.

The Apostles were called « to become fishers of men” (Mark 1: 17), and we see them preserve and defend this self-consciousness to the end. Besides, this was the reason for the election of the seven deacons, so that the twelve apostles would not be forced to «leave the word of God, and serve tables» (Acts 6: 2), but rather give themselves continually “to prayer, and to the ministry of the word” unhindered (Acts 6:4).

This is the most sacred and at the same time the most difficult task, which the Lord did not entrust to all but only to those who fulfilled the requirements for this ministry, and had the dedication, the experience of the Holy Spirit and the call for preaching the word of God.

The need for complementarity and variety of spiritual gifts within the Church made St. Paul the Apostle use the image of the human body so as to explain to his brothers that everyone has a place and role in the Church ministry and their help can be conducive to the fulfillment of her mission as long as they realize that they should function within the framework of their own personal inclination and call. «And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles…Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? (A’Cor.12: 28-30). And he continues, «But covet earnestly the best gifts…» (A’Cor.12:31), in order to demonstrate later that every gift within the Church becomes important and necessary only if and when it is used “in love”.

Therefore, the inspiration and guidance of our Lord’s contemporary missionary apostles should be drawn from the aforementioned fundamental principles, which He Himself set as commandments in His New Testament.

But let us now come to the African reality in order to trace the challenges and the problems there. Our call and mission is to proclaim the coming of the Kingdom of God in His Son and the salvation and redemption of man through the plan of His Divine Providence. To every human being that God will send near us, in the villages and cities, in the fields, in the streets, in the wilderness. To impart the ecclesiastical experience of centuries and help so that it becomes understood and experienced as the only safe and sure path to salvation.

In Africa, since the problem of people’s daily survival is dramatically and desperately pressing and there is no end to it, the challenge is painful. The need leads to the ministry of the tables (in the broader sense), thus the daily dual struggle between the need and the divine service of preaching divides the missionary apostle and penetrates his heart like a double-edged sword.

He knows well what exactly the human beings he has before him are most in need of, but they themselves don’t! As expected, they only ask for the worldly, the material things that will help them meet pressing immediate needs. He was called to fill them up with the spiritual, the eternal. How can he achieve that without the support and help of deacons of complementary gifts? That’s his drama.

Many times the immaturity of the people and the inadequacy of the gifts make the most sacred and hard work, the testimony “on the word of life” (John,1: 1), come last, or inevitably end up in the hands of people who may be good but who are inexperienced both ecclesiastically and spiritually!

With ardent prayers
† Ieronymos of Mwanza

Those Voices of Theirs…

Here, on our mission field, as we have already written in previous updates and reports, little children who are usually orphaned and unprotected tend to have a particularly high level of emotional sensitivity which is reflected in their mentality and behavior.

Our Orthodox Church, once she decided to deal with Mission Overseas, set as her priority, among other objectives, these small, innocent creatures. These abandoned children found shelter in the bosom of our Church. She picked them up from the streets and explained to them that they were like the other kids. Although alone and unprotected, they would now have a place where they would feel safe and could share their joys and sorrows with other children of their age. Our Orthodox Church here in Kenya offered them the care and affection they so much needed.

So we gave priority and opened our premises, where we could give these innocent beings hope and make them smile again. We have even shared with them our own lives, since they spend more time with us than with their relatives or even their parents – if they exist.

The place is relatively quiet. We are surrounded by small houses mostly populated by poor people caring about their household, their daily routine and their family. So there is no noise or annoyance from all those people who surround us. I realize that every day, since at 4 am I am already in my office to deal with the various urgent affairs of our church, our schools and everything else related to the service of our priests and our flock.

Suddenly, while there is still darkness and tranquility, the scenery changes. From very early in the morning, these children arrive at the nearby kindergarten and the elementary school, which is right next to my office. Upon arrival, these little kids start to run, play, shout, jump, and rejoice. When dawn breaks, with the first rays of the sun, they are here to spend the rest of the day. They run and shout joyfully. Perhaps this is their only joy, since wherever they come from, there is no such possibility. Within the beautiful nature which surrounds the whole place, one can hear children’s cheerful voices while playing, jumping and hoping, creating their own “kingdom” this way. A mythical kingdom, it is true, without any other option. But it is no small thing, since they know that they will spend eight whole years of their life in it and they will have the chance to live like other children…

What these little children have on our Mission premises is not at all small or insignificant since it is part of the best period of their lives. They will meet with so many other children their age; they will make friendships that can last a lifetime. Their staying here will help them make dreams and envision a better future. It is this loving atmosphere that keeps them alive. So every morning in the early dawn light their happy voices can be heard all around. It is the same happy voices that are heard when dusk nears as well, as they are leaving for their homes.

God couldn’t have granted to us a greater gift than this! Last week we performed the first baptism of an infant whose parents were both here at this kindergarten and elementary school. The presence of the young parents awakened memories of the past, when they and their classmates shouted joyfully, ran and jumped around happily, filling nature with life and beauty.

Therefore, it is the daily sound of these voices, the voices of small, innocent children, which gives us strength to hold on to our holy mission here and keeps us vigilant. It is these voices that make us rejoice and give praise to God for providing us with spiritual as well as material food at this stage of our life. Otherwise, who knows where we would be living now and what our life would be like without these children’s voices and play? It is such voices that give life to man.

† Makarios of Nairobi

The School in the Forest Should not Close Down

Thirteen kilometers was the distance the children of Nkanka had to walk every morning under the hot sun or in heavy rain in order to reach the nearest school and receive education. They walked for hours and hours out of their longing for education, without minding fatigue, as long as they could have access to schooling. What about the children who could not walk, or whose parents could not afford to pay the school fees? Well, in the Congo, there is no such gift as free education, as in Greece. Students have to pay in order to be educated; otherwise they remain illiterate in their mud huts in the forest and spend their time helping their parents cultivate a little orchard or taking down bananas or other forest fruit from the trees. One could easily see the complaint in their eyes, in their expression. «We’ll remain illiterate, while our friends and other children whose parents have money to pay for schooling may walk miles and miles every day, but at least they go to school, they receive education. As for us, alas, we will never be given the chance to learn to read and write; we will remain illiterate.»

Their tearful eyes did not escape the notice of His Eminence Ignatius, Metropolitan of Central Africa at the time, who built the St. Nectarios School next to the Candlemas Church at the edge of the Nnanka village.

However, it was not possible to run the school and afford its maintenance and operation without funding. The parents, poor people themselves, were not able to afford tuition fees. The building was made, but there was no money for its running costs. How could the teachers, the staff, the operational costs be paid? By no chance could the Metropolis respond to so costly a project. The economic crisis in Greece had a devastating impact on church missions as well. Donations have fallen short of our expectations. Our anxiety is increasing; how will this school work?

Then a Greek man from Kinshasa, Congo, along with his son undertook the burden of its operation. Every month they paid the teachers and covered the running costs. In the first year we had 100 children enrolling in the first grade. Some of them, even if they were 15-16 year- olds who had never been to school before, rushed to enroll. The forest children were given the chance to receive free education. They would not have to walk for miles and miles anymore. The number of students was growing, the school was functioning properly, and eventually we had the first graduates from Primary School. The children wanted to further their education, so last year we had the first Middle School classes operating as well.

The children did not have to walk long distances every day. The smile on the faces of the children, particularly those who could not go to school before, flashed. Cheerful voices were heard now, for now they had a school.

A Greek man from Kinshasa with his son helped so many trapped in poverty children study, and made them smile again. These two people gave the poor forest children, the children of Nkanka, the chance to have access to free schooling. These are the Greeks of Kinshasa, the Greeks of the Congo, always by the Church, supporters of the Mission, who love, embrace and sympathize with their indigenous brothers and sisters.

However, one day this great benefactor passed away. Since then, his son has made great efforts and sacrifices to keep the school open by paying its running costs, something extremely difficult since the financial crisis has struck the Congo as well and is on the increase. Naturally, it is becoming more and more difficult for the school operation to be continued without everyone’s support. Every month € 850 must be gathered for salary payment to the teachers and the rest of the staff as well as for the operating costs. The St. Nektarios School, the one next to the forest, the Nkanka school, where the poor indigenous children are given the chance to study and hope for a better future.

Which warm-hearted philanthropist will help these poor underprivileged children to continue going to school every morning and dare dream of a better life? Who will help us save our school from closure?

† Nikiphoros of Kinshasa

An unfolding miracle in Colombia

Dear Friends of the Mission,

As you know from earlier articles, Central America is experiencing a miracle in progress. Our mind effortlessly runs to the Mayan tribe of Guatemala, which we mentioned in our previous article, to Venezuela, which lives in a state of despair, fear and terror, and of course, to Colombia and to Father Juan Paul, who, by the grace of the Triune God, is doing a great pastoral and social work.

In particular, the town of Copacabana is delighted with his work. Fr. Juan Paul is a married and unpaid priest who serves at the Church of the Archangels and is the spiritual father to the 600 orthodox families in the town of Copacabana. It is really amazing to see the faithful Colombians gathering in the poor rented space of the Church of the Archangels, where only the sanctuary is built, while the rest of the church consists of a simple covering instead of a roof. This poor Church, which struggles to meet its monthly rent, every Sunday becomes the most beautiful palace where the grace of God radiates within the Colombian faithful who confess our Lord Jesus Christ as Savior by praying with tears, not due to the countless difficulties of life, but out of love for the Church of Christ, to which they were called to become members and be glorified in its Sacred Mysteries.

A competent worker of God, Fr. Juan Paul, found receptive hearts and filled them with Christ. But his work does not stop there. In searching for ways to generate revenues in order to meet the parish needs, such as the rent, catechetical needs, and support for the financially weak, Fr. Juan Paul managed to create a recycling spot. This has resulted in the partial coverage of the parish needs, but it also has other beneficial effects.

The recycling machine recycles the waste of Copacabana. It is unambiguous that a lot of hands are required for garbage collection. Fr. Juan Paul did something very humane: he hired young people who are in a drug detoxification process. This way, these young people have not only managed to earn a living, but, most importantly, they have won their meeting with Christ, and along with that, their quick rehabilitation. In fact, this social work continues with the 120 single-parent families that we support spiritually and financially. And especially when this work is done by an unpaid, married cancer-stricken priest, who despite the chemotherapy he is constantly undergoing, strives hard for his flock.

Leaving Copacabana and going to the city of Yarumal, again under Fr. Juan Paul’s pastoral jurisdiction, we find another 170 Orthodox families. Things are difficult there, too, because the praise of the Triune God is conducted in a rented space. The difficulties in Colombia may be a lot but the blessing of God is even greater with new souls constantly coming to His Holy Church.

We are deeply concerned about our Orthodox brothers and sisters from Colombia, and seeing them without a church of their own fills our heart with pain and sorrow. All of them live with this dream. This is why we humbly appeal to your generous hearts for assistance so that we can manage to raise the amount of 50,000 euro required to buy a plot of land where a church for our Orthodox Colombian brothers and sisters will be built.

Ending today’s spiritual journey, we deeply thank the few donors for the support and sensitivity they show to the work of our Metropolis, but we would also like to thank in advance those who want to become supporters of our work now and with the sensitivity of their heart will give their contribution out of the little they have to help our Colombian brothers in Christ see their dream come true.

In closing, we could not possibly fail to thank the Orthodox Missionary Fraternity, this charitable society which you can get in contact with if you want to become co-workers in the Vineyard of the Lord for spreading Orthodoxy in Central America.

From the Holy Metropolis

A New Start in Timor

Dear friends of the Mission,

With God’s help we are keeping well. I received the amount of € 7,000, which you sent for our hospital. I am deeply grateful to all of you for your love, especially to Fr. Nikolaos Marketos. May God reward you with His abundant blessings. I also received the chalice and the holy icons for Fr. Chariton Zenga. Next week I am planning to go down to Nias Island and give these ecclesiastical items to him in person.

July the 16th was the beginning of the school year in Indonesia. On the first day I went to Sumbul village, where our “St. John the Baptist” School is situated, and taught them excerpts from the Holy Bible. The problem is that the children have no Bible of their own, which is the reason why we appeal to your kind heart and ask you to fund the purchase of 53 New Testament copies, whose estimated cost is € 15 each.

Moreover, I received the amount of € 2,000 which you sent for the labor and delivery of Fr. Savvas’ deaconess. Fortunately, the woman gave birth to a healthy boy in the middle of July. Glory be to God! In September, they are expected to return to Timor. However, I cannot possibly afford to pay for their tickets or their rent, neither can I buy them any simple furniture or the basic housewares and new home essentials, therefore, once again I appeal to your philanthropic love for our brothers. Fr. Savvas will be the first Orthodox priest permanently serving parishes in the land of East Timor.

Fr. Chrysostomos Manalu

Another Orthodox church is being built

By the Grace of God, His Eminence Metropolitan Demetrius of Irinoupolis laid the foundation stone of another church, that of the Holy Trinity and St. Irene in the city of Mvoumi, Eastern Tanzania.

Despite the fact that God blessed these 14 years of missionary work in Central and Eastern Tanzania so that until now 32 church buildings have been erected, the existing needs are still big due to the growing and rich in blessing and fruition Mission, and as a result, more than 18 parish churches are being housed in straw huts.

Since early Monday morning, a large number of people had begun to arrive. Among them, there were indigenous priests, readers, faithful, catechumens, a lot of students from the surrounding areas as well as Presidents, Mayors and School Chiefs, who had all gathered in order to attend the ceremony of laying the foundation stone of the third Orthodox church building in Morogoro region, the heart of Islam in Eastern Africa!

Following the service of consecration, His Eminence, speaking in Swahili, praised the efforts of the Ancient Patriarchate of Alexandria in every corner of the African continent for peace, progress, education, health, prosperity and harmonious coexistence, that is, all the values that His Beatitude Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria has been trying to put into practice in the land of Africa.

From the Holy Metropolis

No future without young people

By grace of God, our Diocese held the general convention of Orthodox Ghanaian youth for the second time, with a turnout of 350 young people in Saint Peter Technical School in Larte, Accra, and with the help and participation of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center. Our Orthodox Mission believes that whoever invests in youth, they belong in the future and the future belongs to them and we, the Orthodox people, want to be active in the future, in order to shape it and instill in it our Orthodox Christian values. This is our responsibility and duty and we must not wrong ourselves and our Church.
The African youth craves for learning the faith and experiencing real prayer and relation with God. This is easily shown by the high attendance at this convention, that included all daily services, catechetical lessons, bible studies and lot of play in the spacious and hospitable venues of Saint Peter Technical School in Larte. This is also a means to give life to this school and get it back up and running, since it has ceased operations due to the financial crisis. With your precious help and support, we believe that we will be empowered to carry on this work, so that joy and smile will bloom in the faces of these angelic souls. † Narkissos of Accra

The new Orthodox Mission magazine is now available online

  • What’s going on in the Orthodox Mission in Colombia?
  • Which young Asian state will get its own missionary?
  • How does God reveal through the prayers of the Malawian faithful?
  • What were the experiences of the new Indonesian deacon on Mount Athos?

Find out these and many more news and reports from the Orthodox Missions in Africa, Asia and Latin America in the new issue of the Orthodox Mission magazine.

Browse through it, read it, share it with your friends.

Missionary Journey in West Africa

On Thursday June 7, His Eminence Metropolitan George of Guinea, with the wishes and blessings of His Beatitude Theodore II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa. arrived in Guinea through Mauritania. In the following days, he met with Orthodox Guineans, Russians and Ukrainians working in Guinea and visited real estate to find a suitable plot of land for the construction of a church in a suburb of the capital city, Conakry.

On Sunday, June 10, he performed the Divine Liturgy at the residence of a Greek-American woman. On Monday His Eminence visited the “Greek Square”, as it is called by the natives, inspected the progress of the construction works of the Holy Parthenios Church and of the “Friendship of Greece-Guinea” Academy and gave the necessary instructions for the immediate completion of the projects. The Orthodox Missionary Fraternity contributed decisively to the erection of both the church and the Academy.

On the afternoon of Thursday, June 14, he went to the Conakry port customs office and settled the customs clearance procedures for a humanitarian aid container, which arrived in Guinea a few days later and was sent to the children of Guinea by the Orthodox Missionary Fraternity. It was loaded by volunteers on May 6th and contains- among other things- religious items, 576 rice bags, 100 boxes of biscuits, 96 boxes of sugar, 83 boxes of flour, 55 boxes of candy, 52 boxes of sweetened condensed milk, 50 boxes of cooking oil, 40 boxes of salt, tomato paste, pasta, halva and 329 boxes of clothes, shoes, toys, books, and others. This aid will relieve hundreds of poor families in Guinea, where 47% of the population lives in abject conditions while 93% of them have no access to drinking water, and infant mortality is soaring.

Late Friday evening on June 15, His Eminence Metropolitan George of Guinea arrived in Freetown, the capital city of Sierra Leone, where he was welcomed at the port by the Chancellor of the Metropolis Fr. Themistocles Adamopoulos.  On Saturday morning, he officiated at the Divine Liturgy and preached the Word of God at the Church of Saints Constantine and Helen, and during the D. Liturgy, he ordained Soterios Sesay to Deacon. His Eminence gave parental counsel to the new Deacon, stressing the responsibilities he assumed as a soldier of Christ, and then addressed to the young people, who comprised the majority of the congregation, saying among other things how important it is to take advantage of the opportunity given to them by the Orthodox Schools in Sierra Leone to train and study in model schools and colleges so as to be able to work in order to improve the living conditions in their country and help- each one in their own way-for its  growth and prosperity, always having the Lord Jesus Christ above all and the saints of the Church as  role models. At the end of the Divine Liturgy, the youth presented an artistic program of Christian songs and traditional dances, and Sister Minais distributed knitted crosses to all the young people present.

In the afternoon His Eminence was briefed by Fr. Themistocles and his associates on the course of the works and thanked Fr. Themistocles, Maria Adams, teacher, and Dr. Eleni Athinodorou for the great work they have been doing in Sierra Leone, particularly in the field of education.

On Sunday 17 June, His Eminence Metropolitan George of Guinea officiated at the Divine Liturgy and proclaimed the Divine Word at the Church of St. Moses the Black in Waterloo region of Sierra Leone and ordained Deacon Nektarios Kollie to Elder and the instructor Athanasios Sesay to Deacon. In his address, His Eminence referred to the Gospel of the day, gave admonitions to the new clergymen, and then spoke about the position of the woman in the Orthodox Church and the duties of the elders’ wives (presbyteres), who should be role models for all women in the parishes where their husbands serve as church priests. He went on to stress the importance of the work the teachers in Orthodox schools have to do, and also referred to the great destruction that the Ebola virus had caused, wishing it would stay in the past as a nightmare and urging everyone to be careful and strictly follow the instructions of the Ministry of Health for prevention of reccurrence of a deadly virus outbreak in the country.

After the dismissal of the Divine Liturgy, the Eminence visited all the classes of the Kindergarten and the Primary School of the parish, and distributed to all the children candy, pencils and balloons, and to the outstanding pupils color palettes, courtesy of the congregation of the St. Athanasios Patriarchal glebe in Kypseli. Next he visited the clinic and the first building of the Orthodox Children’s Village for Orphaned Children, which will be inaugurated in November by His Beatitude Patriarch Theodore of Alexandria.

On Monday, June 18, His Eminence visited the largest slum in the center of the capital city of Sierra Leone, which has sheltered over 20,000 adults and children living under wretched conditions without water, electricity or any access to sanitation facilities. During the rainy season these people are at risk of being drowned by large water streams or being killed by landslides. There His Eminence and his entourage were met by a local councilor, who led them to the rudimentary school for the slum children. The pictures were horrible, yet, despite the miserable conditions and the hassle of the children, they were all very glad about our visit. His Eminence, on behalf of the Patriarchate, pledged to undertake the immediate refurbishment of the school and the rapid training of the teachers at the Sierra Leone Orthodox Pedagogical Academy. To all the children Sister Minais offered candy and stationery.

In the afternoon a gathering of priests took place in the presence of all the clergy and members of the ecclesiastical youth choir. Functional as well as other practical issues were discussed at the meeting. Finally, gifts were offered to all the priests and the young people present.

Prior to his departure from Sierra Leone, His Eminence publicly thanked the Orthodox Missionary Fraternity for their continued support for twenty consecutive years now as well as for the humanitarian aid they sent through this container to Guinea and Sierra Leone.

George of Guinea

Insurmountable difficulties

Dear Friends of the Mission,

With the help of God and the blessing of His Beatitude Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria, one more missionary journey is coming to an end. Like all our journeys, this one had its difficulties as well. This is so because the populations of the “Black Continent” continue to suffer from the new form of economic, political and social uncertainty.

In the blood-stained countries of Central Africa, particularly in Burundi and Rwanda, the twenty-year civil war between the Tutsi and Hutu tribes created millions of homeless people who, having lost their ancestral land, were pushed into the cities, where they formed  miserable suburbs, slum areas with cheap labor.

It was in these social strata that the comforting word of Christ found response. This happened around 1850, when we have the beginning of Christian missionary activity in Central and Eastern Africa. In 1876 the Protestants arrived first in Uganda, and two years later followed the Roman Catholics. Finally, Uganda, Rwanda-Urundi and the Eastern Congo were christianized by the Order of the White Fathers of French origin, while later we had the arrival of Belgian missionaries, who also undertook the education of these peoples. Naturally, the main historical problem of Africa is the setback it suffered, particularly in countries where civil (tribal) wars broke out: Major cities were totally destroyed, education, traditions and historical continuity were lost, while production relations were set back for centuries.

This created the need for African countries to be organized and, as part of that need, there were colonial policies organized on other bases, and waves of European colonists settled in Africa. At the same time, Confessions like the Dutch Reformed Church, the Methodists, the Presbyterians, the Anglicans, the Adventists, the Chiliasts and other Americans, the French Evangelical Mission, the Roman Catholics of the Order of the White Fathers, and many others, sent their missionaries to the interiors of the black continent.

In the case of Burundi and Rwanda, the Orthodox missionary penetration is relatively recent. My ministry in these countries dates back to 2002. My predecessor, Fr. Savvas, was transferred to another Metropolis, and I replaced him by the will of God and with the blessing of our Patriarch Theodoros II.

The difficulties we encountered were, without exaggeration, insurmountable. Our main concern was and still is to help these people, to the extent possible, stand on their feet. However, moving from one country to another was very difficult indeed, and now it has become even harder after a road accident in which our car was completely destroyed. Now we are forced to use public transport, which means a terrible waste of time, while inland the bicycle is extremely useful for our journeys.

The country where we encounter many obstacles that are difficult to overcome is Rwanda. In particular, the government has stipulated that all religious confessions should own a large plot of land (at least five acres) and build a church in accordance with the European standards (water, parking, toilets for men and women, floor tiles, and many others…) and not conduct a divine liturgy in the countryside under the trees.

Ten out of the eighteen parish communities that we had have been closed due to the fact that we did not have the plots required and, in general, we did not meet the new standards. Naturally, we are very concerned about the souls we have baptized (5,000 catechumens and baptized + 2,500 on hold), since we cannot have them gathered. We do not want to be pessimistic, and we always believe that our brothers in Greece, despite all the difficulties they have to face, will help us, as they have done so many times in the past, so that we can buy some plots. These in Rwanda are very expensive indeed, especially the ones near a street (about €30,000-40,000). As for the construction of a small church, that varies from € 60,000-100,000.

The government also calls on us to support its social work for the help of orphans, widows, and multimember families through our own contribution. Our parishes in Rwanda are served by five priests, four deacons, two sub-deacons and fifteen readers, who, in the absence of a priest, read the typikon. We are also moving forward with the translation project: Translation of the Divine Liturgies of St. John the Chrysostom and St. Basil the Great, the pre-sanctified liturgy as well as the services of all the Holy Sacraments.

In Burundi, things are a bit different. The government grants plots of land to us on the strict condition that we have finished the building construction within a fixed period of time. And since our conviction is that Education saves the man, we started building six rooms in Buramata region, where the “St. Paisios Middle School” will be housed— an oasis in the desert. We felt it was necessary since all the children who finished Primary School and considered Secondary School study had to walk at least ten kilometers on a daily basis.

I will not abuse your love and your patience. I would just like to ask you to pray to God for us and for the success of the missionary work.

You are always in our prayers and in our hearts. Thank you for supporting us in our work. Without your moral and material assistance, none of these would have been achieved.

Innocentios of Burundi and Rwanda