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April 15, 2018

The Shepherd leads the way for his sheep

Under the Patriarchate of Alexandria and All-Africa, the Diocese of Kisumu and All Western Kenya was formed on 24th November 2015.  His Grace, Bishop Athanasios (Akunda) was ordained 6th December 2015.  The Diocese has been blessed by His Grace’s love, prayers and visitations to the 200-350 mission parishes and one orphanage under his shepherding.

His Grace, Bishop Athanasios has made the survival of the Orthodox Church in Africa his priority and message.  For that to happen there are three tiers to the goal: self-governing, self-propagating and self-supporting.  Bishop Athanasios explains,

Self-governing and self-supporting aim at the development of indigenous Orthodox Churches.  Yet, for years we have depended on foreign donors for support.  As much as we have achieved an indefensible Orthodox Church, we have not achieved self-support. We rely 100 percent on donations, which are greatly appreciated but are not always reliable.  The first two are almost achieved. 

The time had come for us to realize our full spiritual potential.  We seek the third item of our vision, thus ways to create means of self-support.

Self-support can occur in various ways; through investing in farming, real estate and transport.  Purchasing land in Kisumu to plant a cash crop of tea is a possibility but is a long-term goal.  Land takes years to be made productive resulting in a viable product, provided rain waters the crops.  If bore holes are drilled, a short-term income producing product is selling clean water to communities.  Providing transport opportunities is another way.  Yet, each one requires an initial outlay of money.

The most expedient income producing item is providing transportation.  With the purchase of a good quality and reliable van much can be accomplished. There are schools and orphanages who wish to send children to various Diocesan events, or need medical transport.  A van can provide that transportation at a nominal fee.  Not only does that help the Diocese but there is a benefit to the children and churches. They get the exposure to other Orthodox people, adults and children alike, which strengthens them with friendship and fellowship.  Orthodox priests can attend Diocesan leadership training; also being blessed with friendship and fellowship.  Bishop Athanasios believes that within five years or less the Diocese will never beg and will be able to support their clergy.

A van has been identified for purchase.  It is a Toyota which seats 18.  They are durable vehicles and parts are accessible for necessary maintenance and repairs.  The total cost is $35,000.  A down payment of $15,000 cash and $20,000 loan ($1,000/month for 20 months) would quickly put the van in the possession of the Diocese.  However, the Diocese only has $10,500 for the deposit.

We turn to you, our Orthodox Africa donors, for assistance to raise the balance of the deposit; a total of $4,500 (and as much of the remaining balance, if possible).  As we live in these days between the Resurrection and Ascension of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, please be generous and help His Grace, Bishop Athanasios and the Diocese of Kisumu and All Western Africa achieve their goal of a down payment on the van by going to our donation page.  Make your gift and note “Diocese of Kisumu”.  May God bless you!  Christ Is Risen!  Indeed, He Is Risen!


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