Sister Thekla – 30/8/14
With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Demetrios of Irinoupolis, we came to Tanzania once again.
After travelling for 10 hours from the capital into the jungle and after seeing various wild animals, we arrived at Kindamali, the Mission Center, where there are two churches, one of Saints Andronikos and Athanasia, and another of St. George, the presbytery, a clinic, a kindergarten, a hostel and an orphanage. There, as well as in the surrounding area, live in huts indigenous priests and faithful who are truly experiencing Orthodoxy. I was deeply moved to hear a native priest telling us, “May God grant that I die in this blessed robe.”
Our program was full of blessings. In the morning we were called by the voices of more than 200 children to give them the standard breakfast, milk and vitamin rich biscuits.Then, along with Fr. Photios and other priests, we toured the villages and celebrated the Divine Liturgy, every day in a different parish. On this devotional tour, our Orthodox brothers welcomed us warmly, having decorated their churches with flowers casually placed in plastic jars and cans, which, however, radiated neatness and beauty.
Father Photios gave seminars to our priests, their wives and the catechists, and we distributed to them their gifts, which your love sends to the Mission. We also gave the hundreds of children who came to us vitamins so important to their health.
We had the blessing to attend hundreds of baptisms and weddings and were glad to find out that catechisms were regular. The conduction of the holy sacraments was followed by a feast with food and gifts for everyone.
Another worth mentioning point is our visit to the Maasai tribe. We saw their faces beaming with joy just because we went to their village, we entered their huts, and they turned over a bucket for us to sit on! A large number of them are catechized and baptized and show great interest in Orthodoxy, which is why our bishop embraces them so lovingly. During our visit there, he made an Orthodox Maasai a reader by cheirothesia.
The Holy God blesses the missionary work in Tanzania, where His Eminence Demetrios has been ministering for 10 years now. There is only one project that has not been completed yet: St. Andrew’s clinic in Magalali village. If a charitable donor is found, this will be the place to provide medical care and help for thousands of children who die every day from various diseases in this region.
I praise God for His kindness to grant my coming into His field.