Emmanouil Karakoutsis – Orthodox Missionary Fraternity – February 2016
The Orthodox Missionary Fraternity continues its work in Africa, bringing the light of Christ’s true faith to God’s children there. Here is a report on the country of Malawi.
It is true that we often hear about the difficulties, obstacles, problems that concern the local missionary divisions. Many times, however, theory differs from reality.
Going to Malawi, you experience this reality, from the way you are treated by the natives, from various third-world diseases and more generally from the adversities of everyday life. Amid this difficult situation though, abounds the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. How? Not through reasonable explanations, neither through mathematical operations, nor through inductive reasoning but through the miracle of faith and prayer.
A basic principle for the person in charge of the Mission is prayer. That is why every time he asks us for it. The Salutations, the Compline and every kind of service accompany us on our missionary trips. The cross, the prayer, the rosary are all irresistible weapons against hostile machinations.
Admirable effort is made regarding the translation of the sacred texts. A painstaking, costly and deeply spiritual work, which, as it appears, will constitute a huge legacy for the people of Malawi one day. As regards the sacrament of baptism, it is performed with all due solemnity and only if preceded by at least one year of catechesis.
But since man is not only spirit, the heads of the Mission have to cater for the body as well. About 400 children are fed on a daily basis, without including the families that have applied for assistance. In addition, there is monthly distribution of humanitarian aid, coming mainly from the containers which your love for your fellowmen collected and sent from the storehouse of the Orthodox Missionary Fraternity. Soap, powdered milk, pasta, flour, sugar are just some of these essential goods.
Some of us might wonder about the motives of a person becoming an Orthodox in the much afflicted country of Malawi. I assure you that the majority of the people who consciously convert into Orthodoxy, seek the Truth, and are tired of the lies of the sects. Indeed, some of the converts raise several questions, like: “Why did Orthodoxy take so long to come to Malawi?”
In conclusion, I want to point out that through our physical presence in the Mission, disinterested love and care for our fellowmen become action and conscious living. My wish and exhortation to each and every one of you is, circumstances permitting, that you become participants in the Orthodox testimony to the nations.
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