Do you remember what you were doing February 2, 2018? If you are racking your brain trying to remember some outstanding event you wouldn’t be alone. A search for headlines that day comes up abysmally short of anything positive in major headlines. Let’s change that, shall we? Here is some good news about that day! On February 2, 2018, Orthodox priest, Reverend Father Johnson Otara Hezekiah was presented with a unique challenge by his wife, Pappadhia Irene Moraa. Pappadhia Irene encouraged Father Hezekiah to begin engaging in ministry with the orphans around them. The church board for St. Peter Rigena Orthodox Church, where Father is the parish priest, identified 12 orphans that were regularly seen walking about the area near the church, as well as from the streets of Nyamarambe, and Riosiri Town.
The parish began initiating pastoral visits to the homes where these children lived and found that most of their parents and guardians had died due to HIV/AIDS, Highland Malaria, or road accidents. Other tragic circumstances had the children from separated families and sadly, girls that were unable to marry due to poverty and had children out of wedlock. This resulted in more boys and girls living on the streets.
Eventually, the children and their guardians began to visit St. Peter Rigena Orthodox Church. The parish began feeding these children and others through church offerings and donations as well as through the help of members of the community who were in support of the philanthropic ministry that the parish was beginning to conduct.
In June of 2018, with the blessings of the recently reposed and well-beloved Bishop Athanasios Akunda, the church baptized 62 new members into the congregation. During the baptism, the Kenyan government added 2 more children making a total of 14 children!
Fr. Hezekiah and Pappadhia Irene started a feeding program from their own small garden and church members started providing food and clothes to the children. Now children are staying in the church, with select members of the community, and others with their guardians.
Fr. Hezekiah has built a sustainable proposal to rear cows for profit for both milk and calves to sell at market. He hopes to see St Peter Rigena become a self-sustaining mission with this endeavor. If you would like more information about this project please contact us or if you would like to donate toward St. Peter Rigena’s long-term goal please feel free to click the donate button and note that you would like it to go toward this project!