People ask, “how can we help Father Christopher on Bukasa Island?” The easy answer is to send money so that the great work he started can be completed. But that is not the only way. Do you have skills in building? Carpentry? Icon painting? Anything which can be used to finish the external work of the Annunciation Orthodox Church. Can you volunteer? Set aside a few weeks and after having made contact with Father Christopher, go and visit him. When you stand there in front of the temple he has been building since 1984, your heart will soften, tears will come to you, and you will pray so deeply.
Hold a fundraiser, show photographs from Orthodox Africa and TearsontheEquator.com. Look at your own luxury and pray that Father and his Holy flock have the basics of life. Everything is needed—especially prayer. Ask yourself what can I sacrifice for my brothers in Africa?
“Father, I don’t know how to build walls,” then Christopher told me in 1984. I answered, “but God knows and He will show you.” In obedience and Faith he began to build walls, and arches, and make blocks out of termite poo—yes termite poo. You can learn more about how you can step out in faith just as Father Christopher did many years ago and yourself become an integral part of the Orthodox Mission in Uganda.
This month, Orthodox Africa is proud to present a look at Saint Innocent’s Academy written by one of the primary school students that directly benefits from your continual support. Now with very little grammatical editing we present to you….. Note: All Edits will appear in (brackets)
A Letter From A Student:
St Innocents Chajo Academy 08/05/2017
I love st innocent so much. Because our teachers teach us very good. Then we do their work that teachers gives us and we do in hardworking and we are very displeen (disciplined)
In st innocent the environment is very clean and there is a small field that pupils go to play there games. The school chajo was start in 2011. In 2011 the school was very far because you cross a small stream. We learn that school up to 2012 we came to house of our director: That house was two rooms only. The old director build one room only then the school has three classes it was baby, middle and pre-unit.
After one year our director built standard one then pupils work very hard. Then in end of term one we do zonal (finals). Then our results came we were number four out of twenty-six schools. Then after one year director built standard two then a visitor from America came to our school he bring us pictures of Jesus. I thank Father Johna (Jonah) because he brought has frome small school to big school of hardworking pupils and improve as frome one room to many rooms that is more than five rooms. I thank my teacher who is called Miss Nelly. She is a good teacher. Because she teaches me from top class to standard four. I love that teacher very much. We shall never forget her. Another teacher teache as from standard two up to now. He is a games teacher because he teach as then we go up to Serem. Our pupils run from Chepkuny to Serem. They fail in Serem. We love our school because (our) teachers teach us very good and in our classes everybody sit very comfortable and every class have blackboard and desks.
In teaching teachers teach pupils very hardwork and when it is zonals (finals) we are number four and lazy pupils in school teaches us to pull up our socks. I thank our teachers because they call our neighbor to cook some food at school. I want to say one idea it about breakfast. My school wants breakfast in ten oclock we want to drink tea and bread everyday. I want to tell father silvanoes (Father Silouan) to give us some money to buy milk, sugar and bread.
You can help us make this child’s wish come true, with your help we can buy some milk sugar and bread so that the kids do not have to go hungry during their school day. By going to this page www.orthodoxafrica.org /st-innocent-academy/ you will learn more about Saint Innocents Academy and will be able to make a donation that will got directly to nurturing these children both physically and spiritually.
Robinson Cheruiyot , is a 10 year old Orphan and is exceedingly bright in academics.
Father Constantinos and Presbytera Triza are working towards St. Irene Orthodox Mission Center being self-reliant and self-sustaining; all with the purpose of following Jesus’ command in the Gospel of Saint Matthew, where He said, Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these. When He had placed His hands on them, He went on from there. Orphaned and poor children are vulnerable to the evils in the world. The first step of introducing these children to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ is to feed and clothe them, provide them with clean drinking water and warmth, not just of body but of soul.
Education is one of the most important ways to raise a person out of poverty and hunger. St. Irene Mission Center provides a well-rounded education to these vulnerable children infected and affected by HIV/AIDs who are under their care. Raising them to be strong in the Lord gives the children the tools to be strong in their lives, no matter what happens to them. In the following video, Fr. Constantinos teaches the children about the censer; its purpose and its symbolism. Do you know what the four chains symbolize? Listen and learn with the students.
Being strong in body is just as important as being strong in mind and heart. In the following video, the children learn song and dance. Join them in their physical education!
His Eminence, Archbishop Makarios, Metropolitan of Kenya, visited the orphanage and education center. The joy and love of Christ he brings with him blesses us all. In his message he spoke about the lack of rain and the food shortage in the area being a great concern of the Director, Father Constantinos. Further, he commended the good work being done in educating the children not only with regular classes but, more so, with the spiritual teachings and food given by the Grace of God. His Eminence made a special request to all supporters to please share in the work by speaking with friends and neighbors and continuing with their regular donations.
His Eminence took time to speak to all of the children about God and His Love for them.
Consider being a partner with Father Constantinos and Presbytera Triza, helping them achieve the goals of St. Irene Mission Center by being a regular monthly donor? Donate Now!
To subscribe to Orthodox Africa’s monthly newsletter, go here!
Fr. Christopher Walusimbi, Rector of Annunciation Orthodox Church operates a boating transportation service from Bukasa Island, Lake Victoria to the mainland city of Kampala. This service is a main source of income and provides some economic stability for his family and mission. For the last several months, the boat engine has been inoperable. Repairing it was impossible.
We are very happy to share the joyous news that Fr. Christopher was able to purchase a new engine for the boat. Along with new wood to do additional repairs, he anticipates having a water-worthy vessel shortly.
Because of your generous support, he was able to buy the engine and wood.
Please continue your generous support of Annunciation Orthodox Church, Orthodox Africa and all our missions. Donate Now!
To subscribe to Orthodox Africa’s monthly newsletter, go here!
This week’s feature post is a short interview with Julius Kiprotich, one of the teachers at Bishop Athanasius Secondary School of Mugen. The school is located in Nandi county, Aldai region, Mugen Zone in Mugen Village. It is ten kilometers from the main road of Kisumu –Eldoret.
We understand that Bishop Athanasius Secondary School needs another classroom. Would you please tell our readers why there is that need?
By the Grace of God, the school has been a conducive environment for learning. There is an increase enrollment of students due to the good results posted by the students in the last term examination. This has pleased many guardians, so they wish to enroll their students in this school. The number has increased so much the students have been in a temporary classroom. That is not conducive to learning and attentiveness because whenever it rains students and their work gets splashed with water because windows and door s are open. The dirt floor requires students to clean and sweep to prevent jiggers. It is a waste of study time as they are supposed to be taught and not concentrating on sweeping.
This classroom will be constructed alongside the other classroom as preferred by the architecture to ease the movement of teachers and students.
The school is for both boys and girls?
Yes, the school is for both boys and girls. The aim and objective of establishing the school was to make sure that there is an enlightenment in the society. This will only be fulfilled through education for both genders. Education has underpinned civilization and there is a need for accepting it in the society. The Board considers the school as the best place for nurturing the talents of the students and realization of the dreams, through good morals and spiritual growth.
How many graduates, if any, go on to university?
The school is privileged to have candidates this year 2017 as their first students to sit for the placement test to tertiary education. The statistics carried out recently by the teachers report that according to the performance based on the continuous assessment tests they have been doing monthly, there is probability that 80% will be able to join tertiary education through colleges and universities and the remaining 20% will join vocational/technical schools for further studies.
The competition between boys and girls is equal as both students were placed by the similar rank of class during admission.
Thank you, Mr. Kiprotich, for taking time to tell us about Bp. Athanasius Secondary School. To read further details about the school go here .
St. Innocent Academy’s students are taking their end of June exams!
A challenge the Academy has had is preparing and printing sample exams. Doing so would allow the teachers to better prepare the students on test taking skills and strategies. Students are given knowledge through teaching in the classroom. As we all have experienced, when the time comes to take the test, the information may be slightly altered to challenge the student to think and reason out the correct answer. Test taking is an art in which practice helps ensure success in the end.
St. Innocent Academy and Father Jonah are making a request for donations with which they will purchase at minimum one, preferably two, laptops and printer. Teacher, Julius Kiprotich, said, “Two laptops would be ideal. It would allow me to train some of my fellow teachers to improve their typing skills, to assist in test preparation, and expose the students to the workings of a computer.”
St. Innocent Academy and Father Jonah seek $700 for the purchase of one laptop and one printer. With generous spirits, any additional funds raised will go towards the purchase of a second laptop.
To donate, please visit our donation page here. Or visit St. Innocent Academy’s website here.
Sunday, April 30, Father Silouan (Brown), Director of Orthodox Africa attended Divine Liturgy at St. Anthony’s Orthodox Church in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Following Divine Liturgy, at the invitation of Fr. Paul Coats, Assistant Priest, Father Silouan gave a brief presentation on Orthodox Africa, the mission and purpose, as well as telling the story of several missions. Hearts were moved to donate approximately $400.
Thank you Fr. Paul and the faithful of St. Anthony’s Orthodox Church for hosting Father Silouan, and for your generous contribution.
Father Silouan’s next stop was St. Nektarios Greek Orthodox Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. Father Silouan was joined by OA Team Member Kent. They met with the Mission Director of the parish ,Tim Klund, who was able to provide a lot of good advice. They were blessed with several Holy Oil kits which Father Silouan will take with him to Africa during his next trip, which begins on May 9, 2017.
Thank you St. Nektarios for your generosity and time.
Sunday, April 23, 2017 Father Eugene (Antonov) and the faithful of the Joy of All Who Sorrow Orthodox Church (ROCOR) in Cumming, Georgia hosted Father Silouan (Brown), Director and Maria Powell, Assistant Director of Orthodox Africa. Following Divine Liturgy, Father Silouan and Maria were welcomed at the parish’s annual picnic at Mary Alice Beach Park.
Father Silouan was blessed to speak to everyone about the Mission of Orthodoxy in Africa which is to aid in connecting the Orthodox Church as one body, through the use of communication and partnering with properly vetted organizations, resulting in sustainable ministry. Awareness of the Kenyan missions was raised by his presentation. Though it was a rainy and cold day, a good time was enjoyed by everyone.
Thank you Father Eugene and faithful for welcoming us! We look forward to another visit!
Photos by Father Deacon. Anton (Kouznetsov) and Barsanuphius Powell.
In its 27 February, 2017 Press Release, the Kenya Meteorological Department of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources indicated that the outlook for the seasonable long rains in March-April-May is not good and depressed rainfall will continue. This is expected over the most of the country and especially the eastern regions.
The impact on agriculture will continue to be severe. The press release said, “Food security is expected to deteriorate over most parts of the country and more so the northern areas of Kenya.” Increased malnutrition, cholera, and malaria are possible. A fourteen year old girl died and “115 hunger stricken villagers” (Daily Nation) were taken ill after a meal of dead camel meat after not having eaten in several weeks.
How is this impacting our Missions?
“By God’s grace and mercy, our missions are not experiencing starvation,” said Fr. Silouan (Brown), Director and Chairman of the Board of Orthodox Africa. However, “with inflation hitting an 11-month high at 6.9%” (Daily Nation) the cost of food is astronomical.
How can you help?
First of all, pray. Prayer is key to all help from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. During this Lenten period, as you fast and give alms, consider donating to Orthodox Africa. Every dollar helps alleviate the burden of each mission.
Republic of Kenya-Min. of Environment & Natural Resources-State Dept. of Environment-Kenya Meteorological Dept., Reference # KMD/FCST/5-2017/SO/01. 13 February 2017.
Andae, Gerald. Expect Less Rain This Year, Met warns. Daily Nation, 24, February 2017, p 11.