Orthodox Mission Fraternity- November 2015
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For many years people had been waiting for Christ to come: the One who would bring love and peace, the real smile and justice, equality and serenity, things so precious to someone who wants to feel the true meaning of life.
Since then two thousand years have gone by and still there are people who not only live in poverty and deprivation, but also have not even heard that message of love and justice. They are still waiting for him; they have not yet met Him or seen Him.
The doleful land of Africa was deprived of this great gift of God, did not see the light or the sun of justice when it was revealed to humanity.
Suddenly, this light came and shone for this land too. And the indigenous peoples, trying to comprehend this great mystery of the Resurrection, started building and inaugurating sacred churches in the name of God and realized that they should feel as His own children. Now they know that God is the One who embraces and accompanies them in their lives. He shows them the way and they walk along with Him. This is the mystery of the Gospel. They live and move between divine intervention and love.
As for the Orthodox Mission of the Patriarchate of Alexandria throughout the African continent, one of its main concerns is to build schools for educating young people in order not only to combat illiteracy but also to help them become useful citizens.
Moreover, the Orthodox Church of Kenya is struggling to diminish pain and fight disease by providing free medical care to all people.
Once again, the Orthodox Church, being sensitized to all this agony and life of hardship, offers its contribution to alleviate those poor people’s pain and fight injustice, which they are suffering from.
The church bell rings and calls the faithful for the eternal journey to the Kingdom of Heaven; they dance and play, thanking and praising God with their simple, pure, selfless heart. For many years the Holy Metropolis of Kenya has been working with various charitable organizations; as a result of this collaboration, there are annual visits on a permanent basis, tours with doctors of all specialties and other volunteers who heal physical as well as spiritual wounds.
Hospitals, clinics, schools, churches are tokens of the bond of love coming from Orthodox believers all around the world. The local authorities recognize their contribution, appreciate it and express their gratitude for it.
As for the people’s pleasure, this is manifest and expressed in so many different ways. It seems like doors and windows are opened to them… they taste the joy and blessings that are now offered by the presence of Orthodoxy; the love of God has entered into their homes making them feel that they are children of God, noble creatures, all equal before Him… These visits strengthen the people. This hope that we have not forgotten them is offered even to those living in the most remote areas. The Church is beside them, having undertaken the great mission of providing spiritual care as well as social welfare and assistance.
Not long after the acquaintance with true faith, the living conditions got better and the people started appreciating more things such as nature, the beauty of creation, life itself as a gift from God despite the adversities they were confronted with. Through the missionary movement and activity of Orthodoxy these people, young and old, are offered hope, joy as well as peacefulness and are able to smile…
This is what the Orthodox spirit does. The tradition of Orthodoxy along with local habits forms a wonderful mosaic, rich in content. Now the people continue their traditions, their daily habits in a new perspective, that of a new life. This is the true path of Orthodoxy. Orthodoxy embraces all people, accepts their traditional habits. This is, then, the superpower that can save humanity and spare man from aimless searching and wandering. It can offer a lot of light, the true light, which will transform and regenerate the human race.
Today Orthodoxy renews its strength and determines the real dimensions of its mission, an ecumenical and universal message: to embrace all people of all races, all backgrounds and all languages.
† Archbishop Makarios of Kenya