For the Sake of a Big Mac or Tall Latte

The director of St. Irene Orthodox Mission and Orphanage, Father Constantinos, was the youngest of eight children. By the time he was 12 years old his father had died leaving his widowed mother to raise her eight children alone. She was, and is, a loving Orthodox mother, who did her utmost to raise her children in the One True Faith. These circumstances brought about hardship and poverty. By the Grace of God Father Constantinos completed his secondary and tertiary education, studied at Makarios III Seminary was ordained to the Holy Priesthood. The love and passion Father Constantinos has for the children of St. Irene Orthodox Mission and Orphanage was forged in the fire of his harsh childhood.

The children of St. Irene live a life that is as harsh as Father Constantinos’ was. One quarter of the children are orphans who depend on him for everything.

Currently Father Constantinos is running the One-Dollar-A-Day-Program, which is a way to provide food, medical care, clothing and education for one child for one day. If you gave up one Starbucks Tall Café Latte (cost $3.45) one child would have all needs covered for three days! If you gave up one McDonald’s Big Mac Hamburger (cost $4.67) one child would have all needs covered for four days! The average cell phone bill is $144 per month. Imagine how many children could be cared for with that amount donated to St. Irene’s!

Please consider supporting the One-Dollar-A-Day-Program at St. Irene Orthodox Mission Mission and Orphanage.

This child says “Thank you!”

 

On Helping a Mission

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.

Bishop Athanasius (Akunda) and Father Silouan visit Bishop Athanasius Secondary School

On June 8th, in a whirlwind visit, Fr. Silouan and His Grace Bishop Athanasius visited the students and teachers of the Bishop Athanasius Secondary School of Mugen, located in the Nandi Region of Western Kenya. Teachers and students welcomed His Grace and Father with traditional African songs and dances, communicating their commitment to educating their people. As Julius Kiprotich, seminarian and Teacher shared, “Education is the key to our success.”

The teachers and students were delighted to take His Grace and Father around the school compound and to show them their classrooms, as well as the water tank that was recently gifted to the school by Orthodox Africa and their generous donors. This water tank allows them to collect and store rainwater for domestic use, including drinking water and water for cooking.

This resource allows them to manage when they experience African dry spells.

Later, Father Silouan sat with the students and teachers, encouraging them in their studies and in their faith. Julius Kiprotich, reported that since Father’s visit the school has had an increase in enrollment. When asked what it was that was so inspiring to students, Julius shared, “It’s rare here to see a white person with whiskers.”  Perhaps it was his “whiskers” and smile, or maybe it was his inspiring words.  However, by the Grace of God, the school is in need of additional classrooms including a science and computer lab, in order to accommodate the increase in students and the educational aspirations of this beautiful community.

A Letter From A Student At Saint Innocents Academy 08/05/2017

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.

4 Chains, 12 Bells – What Is It?

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!

 

Orthodox Africa Missions Smile with every Amazon purchase!!

Now you can support Orthodox Africa two ways!  Direct donations and through Amazon Smile.   Now each time you make a qualifying Amazon purchase, a small portion of the proceeds goes to Orthodox Africa.  It is an easy way to support the missions and us.

How to do it? 

  • Go to:  smile.amazon.com
  • Search for: Orthodox Africa and click on it.
  • Then enjoy shopping!
  • Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Orthodox Africa.
  • AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service.
  • Support us by starting your shopping at smile.amazon.com

Thank You, for your support of Orthodox Africa.  Being in partnership with faithful partners like yourself makes an eternal difference in the lives of many people that will last for many generations after we are all gone.

Prayer is the light of the soul

“There is nothing more worthwhile than to pray to God and to converse with him, for prayer unites us with God as His companions. As our bodily eyes are illuminated by seeing the light, so in contemplating God our soul is illuminated by Him. Of course, the prayer I have in mind is no matter of routine, it is deliberate and earnest. It is not tied down to a fixed timetable; rather it is a state which endures by night and day.”

By the grace of God Saturday, 22 July, 2017, we received two cartons full of textbooks.  This was a donation from a local private school which is 300 km away from St. Barnabas.  Join us in a thanksgiving prayer to God for them.

On 28 July 2017, His Eminence Archbishop Makarios, Metropolitan of Kenya visited our orphanage and education center.  The joy and love of Christ he brings with him blesses us all.  In his message he spoke about 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.  Further, His Eminence made a special request to all supporters to please share the good news of the work being done at St. Barnabas with friends and relatives so that it may continue.  The food situation is dire in the area due to lack of rain for the crops.  Calling the teachers “heroes” Archbishop Makarios commended them for their dedication and diligence to the work of the mission.  “The children are happy,” he said.  A good sign of the work being accomplished at St. Barnabas Orphanage and Education Center.

View the full video below:

The children at St Barnabas Orphanage and School depend upon your generosity. Please don’t forget them. Any donation you are able to make helps. To donate click here or here.

 

A dream – a working life

What began as a dream to build a school, clinic, and church on Lake Victoria’s Bukasa Island, has turned into a lifetime of hard work for Father Christopher Walusimbi, the builder of the stone Annunciation Orthodox Church.
“My brother,” he told me, three years ago at my youngest daughter’s wedding, “ you have put me in prison,” he said referring to his commitment to build an Orthodox community on the most pagan island in Lake Victoria.
With prayer, his community grows. Yet despite his serious efforts at being self-sustaining by growing oranges and running a small store, as well as operating a transport service which includes emergency trips across forty miles of fierce water to a hospital on Uganda’s mainland, despite all this, he needs our help. The boat needs repairs and the 40 horsepower outboard motor needs replacing with a new one. “Now I am borrowing someone’s engine, but they are not happy with it.”
Only recently with Father Silouan’s trip to Bukasa Island has Father Christopher obtained a smart phone, so now communication will be a lot easier.
In the thirty years since I started that mission, Father Christopher has done a hundred times more work than I ever did—you can read all about this at my website,”tearsontheequator.com”. If you are so moved by the sample chapters, you may purchase an e-book or paper copy of Tears On the Equator.

Orthodox Africa has committed to helping Annunciation Orthodox Church. In addition to reading about it in the book mentioned above, more information can be found here.

Prayer and financial support will allow him to preach the Gospel and continue his works of mercy across the Lake. Keep Father Christopher and Annunciation Bukasa in your serious heartfelt prayers.
Plan a pilgrimage to Bukasa Island. The Church needs skilled workers such as carpenters, masons, and iconographers. Most of all, such a pilgrimage requires humility so that you, the pilgrim, can acquire all the benefits of the spiritual life. You will learn much more by visiting the house which faith has built.
To donate to Annunciation Orthodox Church, visit our Donate Now! page or click here. Clearly mark your donation “Annunciation O.C.”
~Gerasimos Kambites
The video below will give you a first hand view of this beautifully built church and Fr. Christopher.

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Students Entertain Visitors

During Orthodox Africa Director, Father Silouan’s visit to Bishop Athanasios Secondary School this past June, the students provided entertainment for him and other esteemed guests of whom His Grace, Bp. Athanasios Akunda, Bishop of Kisumu and all of Western Kenya was one.

 

The group was introduced by school principal, Mr. Stanley Kirui.