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Orthodox Christian Missions

Archive for the ‘Africa’ Category

New Service Books in Zulu and English

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At a gathering of the clergy of the Archdiocese of Johannesburg and Pretoria we presented Archbishop Damaskinos with a copy of a new service book in English and Zulu, and copies were offered to all the clergy present.

The book has the Third and the Sixth Hours and the Reader’s Service, based on the Typika used in monasteries on days when the Divine Liturgy is not celebrated. In its present form it is designed for use in mission congregations for Sunday services when there is no priest, and it may be led by a deacon or reader. Some parishes use it if, for any reason, there is no priest available.

The Readers Service (ObednitsaTypika) consists mainly of the parts of the Divine Liturgy that are not reserved to the priest or deacon.

It took rather a long time to get printed in its present form.

In 1997 the African Orthodox Episcopal Church wrote to His Eminence Metropolitan Paul Lyngris, the then Archbishop, asking to be received into the Orthodox Church. The Archbishop asked me to teach them to prepare them for their reception into the Church, and gave his blessing for their clergy to be taught to use the Readers Service, which we then had partly translated into North Sotho. Later His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim gave his blessing for it to be translated into Zulu, and we printed a few copies for use at courses and conferences, but we did not have money to print a large number.

Three years ago Father Daniel Sysoev, a priest who was doing missionary work among Muslims in Moscow, was shot dead, and a group of Serbian Orthodox Christians, inspired by his example, formed a missionary society in his memory. They wrote to Father Pantelejmon, a Serbian priest in Johannesburg, asking if they could help us to print liturgical books in local languages. Father Pantelejmon asked me if we had anything ready for publication, and I remembered the Zulu translation of the Reader’s Book. With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Damaskinos 500 copies were printed by the missionary society in Belgrade, in memory of Fr Daniel Sysoev.

Source: Khanya


Written by Stephen

January 28, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Monasticism in South Africa — A Fragile Plant

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Br Justin, Tim Sparks, Fr Seraphim

A short reflection by Dn. Steve Hayes, from his Khanya blog.

Orthodox monasticism in Southern Africa is a fragile plant.

For the last few years there have been one or two people trying to live the monastic life, in one or other of the three “monasteries” in Gauteng (can you call it a monastery when there are no monks?)

Father Nazarius and Father Elias established the Monastery of the Descent of the Holy Spirit at Gerardville in 2000. Then Fr Nazarius died in 2008, and there were no monks there for a couple of years. Deacon Nectarius lived at Hennops Pride for a while, and then at St Nectarius, and then went overseas for a kidney stone operation and hasn’t returned. Fr Seraphim, as far as we know, was the first monk to be tonsured in South Africa, by Patriarch Theodoros, in 2006, but then he was ordained and sent to work in a parish as a parish priest.

At the beginning of this year, however, Fr Seraphim returned to the Monastery of the Descent of the Holy Spirit, and has been joined by Brother Justin, who, though not quite a novice, seems as though he may become one. They have been doing maintenance work on the buildings, which had deteriorated quite a lot, and are trying to make the place more habitable. There are a couple of others living on the property, who are not monastics, but form part of the wider community.

Earlier in the week I took Tim Sparks of Durban to go and spend a few days with them. Though they are not really geared to receive vistitors, certainly not in large numbers, it is possible now for people who are interested in the monastic life to go and spend some time with them, for prayer, work and study.

Written by Stephen

July 9, 2011 at 8:57 pm

New Blog by Fr. Themi (Sierra Leone)

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The last container, from Greece

Fr. Themi, serving in Sierra Leone, has a new blog. It can be found here. I encourage you all to have a read. If Fr. Themi manages to continue writing on top of his already busy schedule, I think that it will be a valuable resource for those of us far away, as it will illumine the joys and challenges of serving the disabled and needy, and starting an Orthodox community, in Sierra Leone. To give a taste of what is hopefully in store, I’ve copied a recent post below. There are also several more pictures with the original post, found here.

The Container has Arrived! – The Agony and the Ecstasy

Posted by Rev Themi on May 28, 2011

The Initial Ambivalent Emotions

When the time for the clearance of a container from overseas draws near the Diocese administration begin to experience sharp and divided ambivalent emotions and a sense of trepidation.

That seems a strange and even bizarre admission. However there are real grounds for our split emotions. First comes the joy of expectations.

Then comes the struggle and anxieties of clearing the container. Followed by a constant effort to keep the goods safe, secure and in the right hands.

The Joy

Whenever a benevolent group of people abroad – such as the missionary minded youth of the St. George Church of Filiron (near Thessalonica); or, an individual philanthropic organization such as Paradise Kids 4 Africa (Australia) take the rouble to organise the sending of a container to our Diocese in Sierra Leone we inevitably and obviously greet the news with great joy and anticipation. We are delighted and thrilled that our Mission will be the recipient of generous donations of essential food supplies, clothing, furniture, medical equipment, school items, kids’ toys, electronic equipment and other goods for distribution to our schools, staff and the needy.

The Anxiety and Anguish

It may sound strange that in the face of the initial joy and jubilation we are overcome in turn by a sober and even harsh pragmatic reality check.

The reason for this anguish is very simple.

In our past consecutive experiences of clearing containers from the port we have found it a lengthy, painful and expensive event where we inevitably become the victims of unscrupulous opportunism. The process in clearing a container from the port is in these regions of the world is a singularly torrid, gruelling and frustrating event.

In short it is a merciless headache.

PK4A has previously sent over 3 containers full of books and gifts from Australia and unless one knows how to manoeuvre through the multi-dimensional labyrinths of bureaucratic red tape and its idiosyncratic demands the container will remain in port accumulating heavy moorage fines everyday for weeks – while the food items begin to rot.

So the aim of the game is to get the container out as soon as possible with minimal financial damage to the Diocese and our generous sponsors. How do we achieve that?

Our New Approach and Success

Drawing on our past experiences and the lessons we have been taught after several previous false starts we have now mastered the art of minimising the time and cost of clearance. We follow a simple but effective rule.

1. Start the process of clearance early through the arrival of the Bill of Lading and a clear list of items within the container.

2. Appoint the most experienced and “port savvy” member of our administration to handle the process. He needs to be a local who understands the subtleties of the local culture. The presence of a foreigner, especially of European descent, would automatically inflate the financial process. We usually send one of our most dedicated staff members King David Kargbo who works assiduously and relentlessly from morning till evening with a single minded passion to release the container with minimum hurdles.

3. Have as much paper work ready well before the container arrives and ensure that all relevant departments and authorities have been consulted.

4. Pay all bills immediately.

A Container from Thessalonica Arrives

Last week a container arrived from the Church of St. George in Filiron (Thessalonica), Greece. They send us two containers per year. This time we cleared it in record time and with minimal costs. Praise God!

It contained tons of rice (the national staple diet of Sierra Leone), sacks of salt, cooking oil, tomato paste, flour, beans, school furniture, clothing items and medical equipment. In cooperation with the Ministry of Social Welfare and especially with the personal interest shown by the Deputy Minister Mrs. Roslyn Sanko concerning the challenges facing the disabled of this country, we have already started distributing the food items to the community of the disabled (polio and amputee victims) which our Diocese houses in Waterloo at the outer perimeter of Freetown (The St. Moses Orthodox Village) as well as to other disabled groups.

The Holy Orthodox Diocese of Sierra Leone and the Disabled

It is important to note that presently there are no social welfare benefits or allowances in Sierra Leone as in Australia for the physically disabled or challenged. (In Sierra Leone the term “disabled” is employed to designate polio and amputee victims). Consequently their survival to a very large extent relies upon their street begging skills and the generosity of local church organisations or Non-Government Organisations.

It is interesting however that in the three short years of our presence in Sierra Leone, we have become the major ecclesiastical partner in the government’s activities for the disabled of this country. Other church organisation have been reluctant to participate in the affairs of the disabled because of the difficulties they have experienced. Let us not forget that there was a lengthy and barbaric civil war here only a few years ago and the disabled were thoroughly caught up in the conflict. Some suffered brutally at the hands of the rebels (e.g. hand and leg amputations). Others in order to survive assisted or even spied for the rebels. This has caused much psychological and social confusion for the disabled community in the post war situation and has left many scars.

We too are experiencing many, many challenges and problems from our Waterloo community, which I will explain in another article. However because of the love and patience of Jesus and our commitment to Him we continue to persist and assist. Others have given up! However we do need your prayers. Without knowing it we have stepped into one of the most challenging, problematic and dangerous humanitarian realms of the region. May Christ help us.

A New Container Soon

We are now expecting, by courtesy of Paradise Kids 4 Africa, a new container and several shipments to arrive in a few weeks from China and the USA. The container contains a load full of education equipment for our schools and college, another shipment of DVD’s for the children and bible studies and a shipment of 3000 Bibles and study books. Thank you PK4A.

We are ready…!

+Rev Themi

Written by Stephen

June 7, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Posted in Africa, Sierra Leone

From Ghana: Christ is Risen!

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Hat Tip: Byzantine, Texas

Written by Stephen

April 26, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Posted in Africa, Ghana, Pascha, Video

Being An Ambassador for Christ: Sermon from Bishop Antonios Markos

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The following is a transcript of a sermon given by His Grace, Bishop Antonious Markos, on Sunday the 2nd of November 2008 at the Parish of St Mercurious, Sydney.

While an attempt has been made to convey the sermon as faithfully as possible, the writer’s intention is to impart the profound spirit of the sermon and humbly apologises for any deficiencies or omissions herein.

Moses did not part the Red Sea alone

I thank Father Matthew for his gracious introduction but wish to make a correction.

No one man can be credited for the work of mission that has taken place in Africa over the past thirty years.

No one person can honestly say “it was me who did this” or “it was me who did that”. But we say, and I am sure of this, that it is a Divine Power that has worked and continues to work in the African nations.

Did Moses part the Red Sea alone? No, I would say definitely not. Did he single-handedly save the Hebrew nation from slavery under the Egyptians and bring about the spectacular defeat of Pharoah’s men in one day? No, certainly not!

It was the Lord working through Moses, inspiring Moses, empowering Moses and instructing him. It was the Lord!

We, alone, have achieved nothing in Africa. Through God’s power and through His Divine Spirit, we have established a successful ministry and declare His name to the African multitudes. God is working, my brothers and sisters, in people of every creed, of every tongue and of every tribe and we are instruments of this Divine Work.

We are His ambassadors.

The whole world is our parish

In my younger years, I was very much involved in my church parish. I was very dedicated to the church services, attending the liturgies, vespers and visitations. This was everything to me and indeed my parish was very close to my heart. My church parish was my world!

This is a good thing but I want to challenge you all tonight to think of the world as your parish. Rather than thinking of the parish as your world, think of the world as your parish…

We are asked to step outside ourselves, outside of our own individual church parishes and see every man and woman as a member of a larger global parish. We are to serve them, to be true ambassadors of the Lord to them and to convey our joy to them.

We are called to be the “light of the world” and the “salt of the earth”!! But certainly, this must take place ‘locally’ in our own families and in our own parish before it can occur ‘globally’…

Hanging by a thread

After finishing my six years of study in medical school, I decided to move to Ethiopia where I would commence my career as a doctor. I am not sure why I chose to practice medicine in Africa. Many friends asked me “Why Ethiopia?” and I answered them in all honesty, “I don’t know”. But there was a deep force, an unusual attraction pulling me to Africa, to serve these people of whom I knew little.

On the day of my departure from Cairo, I went to obtain the blessings of His Holiness, the late Pope Kyrillos VI.

I remember very clearly what he said to me on that day. He told me that the Coptic and Ethiopian Orthodox churches were tied together by 16 centuries of good relations. “But in recent times”, he said, “these relations have turned very, very bitter. Politics has taken over and the good will developed over 16 long centuries has come under serious threat!”

He then looked at me sternly and said, “But there is one last hope. There is one last thread holding our two churches together.”

He paused and said softly, “this last thread is… you!!”

This shocked me! How could I possibly be this? I was only a layman and very much involved in my medical career. How could I restore 16 centuries of inter-church relations?! I was not a politician, not a diplomat, not an ambassador but just an inexperienced, fresh-faced medical graduate! How could I do this??

Wash their feet!

I said to the Pope, “But your holiness, I am going there to work! I will be heavily involved in my medical practice. How can I be this last thread?”

Pope Kyrillos looked at me again and said, “My son, we have sent the Ethiopian people laymen and deacons, we have sent them priests and hegumens. They have tried to rule over them, instruct them and reconcile them by force,” he sighed softly, “but this has not worked.”

His holiness paused for a while and then said these words to me, “My son, to win them over, to reconcile them completely, there is only one thing you can do… you must wash their feet. You must wash their feet!”

I am convinced that Pope Kyrillos was a contemporary saint. Truly, he was a holy man of wisdom and of profound humility. He was much loved by the Ethiopians and they remember him to this day.

Wash their feet? I quickly came to realise what this holy man was asking me to do. Listen to these people, observe their concerns and complaints – put judgments and condemnation to one side. In all humility, sympathise with their sufferings, share with them in their situation and in so doing, follow the example set by Christ. This holy man was asking me to be an ambassador of Christ to these people…

I am with you always

In the Lord’s final address to his disciples known as the “Great Commission”, he commands them to evangelise. He says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28;19).

The Great Commission is not a request, it is a command! Our Lord is telling us that mission is the way of discipleship, and a prerequisite for the Christian faith. It is a difficult command but without the words that follow, it would be impossible! He says, “for I am with you always, even to the end of the ages.” (Matthew 28;20)

God knows how much we have endured during our mission in Africa. Indeed, we have suffered all sorts of things – beatings, starvation and threats of death on many occasions.

I will tell you one story which occurred many years ago and stands strong in my memory. One day while I was in Kenya, I was approached by a very large African man. He was visibly drunk, very angry and indeed, very dangerous, waving a long sword at my neck…

He led me to a room, threw me on to a chair and locked the door. He began to scream at me in a drunken manner, and accused me of promising him thousands of dollars. He wanted me to make him the ‘Patriarch of Africa’.

I was not scared. I told him softly that I had made no such promise. He became even more inflamed and reminded me of the sword he was holding, how sharp it was and the damage it would do. It would tear my head from my body, he screamed over and over.

I was not scared. I told him that God’s will was all that mattered. If it were God’s will that I die today, I would happily die, by whatever means.

If it were not God’s will that I die today, then should the man raise his sword against me, his arm would be torn off!

He stopped for a moment and thought of what I had said. His face shrunk and deep fear moved inside him. “Is this so, bishop?” he asked.

I said confidently, “Yes it is so!” He let me out unharmed.

The Lord has said to us “I am with you always” – just work My mission, preach My name and I will protect you, guide you and be with you in all things!!

I have come to understanding the true meaning of these words, of the Lord’s presence in all our actions. He assists us in all things.

In the words of the apostle Paul, “neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.” (1Corinth3;7)

Come to Africa

I invite you all to come to serve in Africa. Come and be a part of this ministry! You will be inspired and uplifted by this service.

If you cannot come, then there is much work of mission here in Australia. Never let an opportunity pass without mentioning the name of our Lord or His work.

Always remember, you are His ambassador, sent to represent Heaven and sent to spread the name of the Lord! Never forget who you are or where you are from!

Always remember, He is with you and working through you in mission.

His words are true, “I am with you always, even to the end of the ages”.


Written by Stephen

November 18, 2010 at 11:48 am

Fr. Themi Updates

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If you would like to receive updates about Fr. Themi via e-mail, you can contact PK4A and ask to be put on the mailing list. That would be the quickest way to receive news, and is how I have received these updates.

PK4A Board Report from Fr. Themi

Hi Louis
Greetings in Christ!

As you know I have been very busy since my return from Australia and I did not have time to send some news from Sierra Leone. However it is timer now that I do so, please present this report to the board of Paradise Kids and our supporters.

First I thank God in Jesus Christ for all the wonderful work he is performing for our Mission in Sierra Leone. Furthermore it is also necessary to thank all the people in Australia who assisted in our various fund raisers – especially the various PK4A committees throughout Australia in addition to all the volunteers and helpers and finally to all involved in Paradise Kids Australia on the gold coast.

To all of them I extend a warm and appreciative “thank you”! Without this help we cannot maintain this mission.
Our mission here has various aspects to it. However I will begin with the impact of PK4A on our Mission in Sierra Leone. I will then explain what some of our other projects involve and their sponsors.

Paradise Kids 4 Africa

While several societies and organizations are assisting our work in SL and while they may be donated more funds than PK4A, nevertheless PK4A is unique in the value which it provides to the Mission in the following way – it is the only organization that provides for the day to day running of the mission – salaries, petrol / diesel, electricity bills, car repair bills, spreading the gospel and following the example as written in the book of St Mathew 25.

These are the engine room needs of any Mission in Africa. Without this assistance we would not be able to sustain it and in fact we would not be here
Most of our sponsors provide generously – but for specific projects (school buildings, churches, clinics, etc.). Their funds go straight into these building projects.

The mission must therefore rely totally on PK4A to sustain it operations on a day to day level.
For example a major concern the Mission has among its workers is to make sure that each worker gets an adequate salary which is comparable or better to those offered in the same skills area in the rest of the work force in SL.

A few examples will suffice:

The Mission Manager
The former Deputy Mayor of Freetown Mr. Bobson Kamara (now a baptised Orthodox Christian – Maximos Bobson Kamara) gets a monthly slary of Leones 1,000,000 (approx. $ AUD 330). In SL this is considered a very good salary (more than teachers, principals and university lecturers).In addition generous holiday and time off packages are available. For instance Mr. Kamara just recently returned from Beijing on a two week tour with a SL cultural group. We of course continued to pay his salary. In the near past Mr. Kamara was in urgent need of financial assistance due to housing issues the Mission immediately obliged by offering a non – interest loan which assisted him to find suitable accommodation.

The Education Officer
The former Director of Secondary Education in SL is our Missions Education Secretary and heads the Orthodox Education Secretariat of SL. He is the person responsible overall for the education institutions and projects run by the Mission. His salary is also Leones 1,000,000 (approx; $AUD 330). With generous holiday / time off provisions.

The Priests
We have two priests besides myself. The more experienced and more qualified of these two priests is Rev. Silouanos Nkounkou. He is a graduate from the Nairobi Seminary and hails from Congo Brazzaville. In comparison to all other Orthodox priests who have graduated from the Nairobi Seminary of his ecclesiastical rank serving in Africa he is the most highly paid Orthodox priest in Africa. He receives from PK4A Leones 840,000 (approx; $AUD 250) per month for his stipend which also includes food and transport allowances, in addition all electricity bills and rent is paid by PK4A (Leones 550,00 per month) in addition to a monthly stipend of Euro 90 (approx; $AUD 130 by the Church of Greece) which he receives in toto about twice a year). That means Fr. Silouanos is receiving in payment and in kind around Leones 1,400,000 per month. This is nearly the equivalent ot a Vice Chancellor in SL (Ca. $ AUD 400 per month). In addition we supply Rev. Silouanos with a car for his own and missionary usage (a Subaru Forrester) and air tickets (in 2008 we organized for him to visit his parents and wife in the Congo which he met in Nairobi rather than the Congo. We will also seek to provide him with a return ticket to the Congo (ca. $ US 3500) in June this year.

School Teachers Stipend
Some nine out of sixty teachers in our schools are currently not receiving any payments from the government (our school is government assisted) even though they are qualified and work hard. Therefore we offer these teachers a stipend until this oversight is taken care of.

PK4A also pays the salaries of nearly thirty people all employed by our Mission.
We try as much as possible to provide them with good working conditions and provisions (e.g.this at times includes the payment of medical services).

We endeavor to promote western working conditions (not 3rd world conditions)
Furthermore PK4A is also involved in providing funds for charity purposes in feeding the poor, in helping as many disadvantage and disabled as humanly possible as well as funding the construction of our Mission Residence Center (Paradise Kids House). The latter serves to house our missionaries and overseas guests and eliminates the costs of rent.

In summary the Orthodox Missionary Division of Sierra Leone is most grateful to the work of PK4A and the various volunteer hard working committee members in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

The Mission could not survive at the scale in which it is presently operating without its assistance. May God bless them.
I now wish to explain the types of activities which our Mission is involved with here:

1. The Spiritual / Evangelical Dimension

Our primary aim in coming into Sierra Leone is in fulfillment of the Lord Jesus Christ’s final commandment to His Disciples “Go forth to the whole world and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them …” So far our outreach has been located mainly in the greater Freetown area though we hope to spreads into the other cities and rural areas once we have consolidated ourselves in the capital city. Over the last year we have have baptised over three hundred people and our total number is reaching 500 . Services are held daily in our main Freetown chapel of St. Eleftherios and the word of God is preached daily. At the same time bible study and prayer meetings are also held regularly in our Waterloo chapel for our disabled community by Fr, Stephasnos while on Sundays either myself or Fr. Silouanos celebrate the vesper service.
At this stage all our worship centers are temporary buildings while we wait for the completion of our three permanent churches
(i) St Eleftherios & St. George our Cathedral. This is nearly completed but it may still be till the end of July before we can start services there.This church is being built by the generosity of the Orthodox Missionary Fraternity of Thessalonica.
(ii) Sts. Constantine and Helen: this will serve both as our college chapel as well as a parish church. It is located at our spectacular Tower Hill (Freetown) CBD compound (which also houses our Mission Centre / PK House and our University College). It is a large church and should comfortably hold some 250 people. I hope it can be completed by the end of this year. This church is being built through the sponsorship pf the Missionary Alliance “St. Cosmas the Aetolian”in Thessalonica.
(iii) The Church of the Resurrection of Christ and St. Moses the African: We are building a large church on our Waterloo compound. In fact it will accommodate more people than our Cathedral. This church is being built again through the generosity of the Orthodox Missionary Fraternity of Thessalonica.
Once these churches are completed we will be able to perform our pastoral, liturgical and evangelical functions within a more appealing environment.

2. Philanthropic Dimension

Again in obedience to the words of Christ our mission has created several philanthropic projects and which are presently under way:

(i) St Moses Disabled Village Project – We acquired some 4 – 5 acres of land last year in Waterloo (at the edge of Freetown) where we have built six separate buildings to house the disabled (polio and amputee victims). This particular group of disabled were squatting in an abandoned and dilapidated house in Freetown.
Because they were about to be evicted, the Ministry of Welfare suggested that we come to their assistance. We did and we moved them out to green Waterloo. At first we rented houses and then finally in our compound. We house about 160 disabled and their children (about forty kids). We have established a kindergarten and primary school on this compound which serves the educational needs of the children of the disabled as well as the children of the broader Waterloo community (We are thankful to Light of the World Australia Foundation for the payment of the teachers).In order to provide the disabled with some stipends we have assisted them financially to begin their own income generating projects. By providing the initial capital they can then begin their own type of entrepreneurship e,g, tailoring, radio repairs, shoe repairs etc.). This scheme is already in action. In other words we are trying to wean them off the dependency syndrome into the world of financial autonomy or self reliance.

(ii) Prison School Ministry: Our Mission has established a tailoring school in the national prison which aims at providing women prisoners with dressmaking skills Once they leave the prison they may then start their own dressmaking shop (we provide the released female prisoners with a sewing machine) or seek employment in the private tailoring sector (a former prisoner is not eligible to work within the government sector).

(iii) Free education: our two primary schools provide free education to all its pupils. Furthermore affordable training will be provided by our University College once it starts operating in February 2011. At first we will train teachers in the area of early childhood education both at a certificate and diploma level. We then hope to expand to a degree level teacher training programme as well as initiating other disciplines such as Social Work, Nursing Science and Optometry.

3. Free Health care:

We are on the verge of completing our first medical clinic which is located in Waterloo on the St. Moses Orthodox Village compound. It will provide free medical services to our disabled brothers and sisters as well as the broader Waterloo region – which suffers from the absence of proper medical facilities. This means we will need assistance from Australia in terms of medical supplies.

Prosthesis Clinic: Furthermore we have received the green light from Greece to embark on what is probably our most important and humanitarian medical project – a clinic which will provide artificial legs (prosthesis) to the civil war amputees of Sierra Leone and the neighboring West African nations (Liberia, Guinea, Cote D ‘Ivoire etc.). This will be located in central Freetown and will provide one leg per day.

4. PK4A Mission House

The Paradise Kids House has been under construction for over 18 months, we began the building only months after we arrived and hoped to occupy the building after six months.

But after many trials and tribulations, two rooms will be occupied shortly.

For myself, it has always been an easy decision as to where funds should be spent first. Faith, Food and Education have always come first, and for this reason the mission house has suffered in progress.
Even now, we have put the third floor of the house on hold so that any spare funds may be put towards the Teachers College. Due to the financial problems in Greece, further funding for the college will cease or at least be severely reduced. So this week we have installed a temporary roof on the second floor roof to stop the rains from destroying the second floor.

With Gods help, I will shortly move into a unit on the second floor and Fr Silouanos will move into a 1st floor unit. This alone will save the mission precious funds that we have been spending on rent, (all the goods stored in my old unit have already been moved to the Mission House storage room). Once there the mission should also save in other areas such as transport, petrol and other cost incurred when living in rented premises.

All these savings and left over funds will be diverted to help complete the college.

Over all if we bare in mind that we have only been effectively operating in SL since February 2008; Consequently the rate of our growth and its speed is directly due to the blessings of Almighty God. Of course God uses organizations such as PK4A and it’s people to make His will possible in poor and destroyed nations like Sierra Leone.

Rev Themistocles Adamopoulo
Orthodox Mission to Sierra Leone

Death Threats Against Fr. Themi’s Life

Hi to all our Friends & Supporters

The subject “Death threats against Rev Themi’s Life” is no exaggeration.

Over the past few months at our Waterloo “Mission for the Disabled”, in Sierra Leone, hostility and problems have been brewing.

Even when Rev T was in Australia, simmering dissent was encouraged amongst the disabled.

The short story is, after building accommodation and helping hundreds of disabled, some of the persons demanded the properties reassigned into their names and for them to take control of the mission and its finances. (these persons were once rebel Leaders & Warlords during the War).
They were rallying and stirring the disabled population and causing mischief, even appealing to the local and international media.

Over the past few weeks, the committee members and I have advised Rev T to abandon the
Waterloo Mission and leave it in the hands of the authorities.

But, the link below is a phone conversation (midnight his time) with Rev Themi where he describes that a miracle has happened.

This recording gives a rare insight of what type of man Rev T is; how he can laugh at all adversity, trust God with his life, walk by faith and it also gives us a glimpse of his great compassion for the poor and what he goes through in the natural course of his life as a missionary.

Listen online at

After you listen to this, please consider joining our Ezi Donate monthly subscription;

AUSTRALIA online donation page

REST Of THE WORLD online donation page

it might sound weird to us, helping people who threaten to kill our friend, but that’s what Rev Themi wants and thats what sets him apart.

Written by Stephen

June 7, 2010 at 2:31 am

Posted in Africa, Sierra Leone

Pascha in Kolwezi, Congo

with 4 comments

A little something as we come to the end of Paschal-tide.

This Paschal celebration took place at the Cathedral of Saint George.

Kolwezi is in the Holy Diocese of Katanga under the Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa. It is served by monks from the Holy Monastery of Gregoriou on Mount Athos.

This is a very active Orthodox diocese, with 105 parishes, 40 priests and over 2000 youth attending its ecclesiastical schools, and its own ecclesiastical radio station among other things. It baptizes an average of 1200-1500 people a year.

Source: Mystagogy

Written by Stephen

May 8, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Posted in Africa, Congo, Pascha