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Tanzania - Arusha

New Missionary Activities

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

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It is with feelings of deep gratitude to your charitable hearts that I communicate with you trying to make you partakers of both the joy and the difficulties we experience daily on the blessed field of Mission.

A year ago I wrote to you about the first solemn Divine Liturgy celebrated in Masenge village, at the Church of Saints Paisios of Mount Athos and Luke the Physician, which was still under erection. A year later, with emotion and gratitude to the Holy Triune God, I am happy to announce the completion of the reconstruction work. This project was accomplished thanks to another donation coming from your Fraternity. Once again, I would like to thank wholeheartedly all the members of the Orthodox Missionary Fraternity of Thessaloniki for your continued support to the work carried out by our Diocese, here in Central Tanzania.

It is through various activities and projects that we try, to the extent possible, to respond to the innumerable needs of our flock. In an area dominated by poverty and misery, no one can remain unmoved at the sight of human suffering. There are many times when the eyes of little children say more things and testify in the most eloquent way the difficult and inhuman daily life they have to endure.

Cooking for the community

Cooking for the community

The «St. Nicholas» Clinic in Kintamali, Iringa, donated by the Holy Metropolis of Nea Krini and Kalamaria, in Thessaloniki, operates thanks to your monthly financial support and welcomes dozens of aching souls who fight in the stormy sea of sickness and poverty. It is worth mentioning that during the period of the outbreak of the coronavirus, our clinic continued to offer its services to the poor people of Iringa, without suspending its operation. We hope for continuation of this important monthly support offered by your Fraternity to our suffering brothers and sisters in the impoverished region of Iringa, on the edge of the African continent.

Near our Mission Center in Kidamali, we have the construction of a monastery in progress; a monastery, which will house the monastic fraternity that already exists. Currently, four monks are practicing and lovingly minister to the needs of every person coming to our Mission Center. The main church of the monastery, dedicated to Sts. Michael the Archangel, Menas and Paisius Velichkovsky, has been completed, while the construction of cells and auxiliary spaces of the holy monastery are in progress. We are continuing our efforts for the completion of the work, looking forward to your help and support, because, admittedly, without your wholehearted support, nothing would have been accomplished.

The creation of a monastery is important for the consolidation of the missionary work, because without monasticism, the work of the Church does not take root. This monastery will be an orthodox nest and our brothers who will go there, will have the opportunity to experience the authentic liturgical tradition of our Church, as it was saved over the centuries through the hesychast tradition.

In our current communication, we would also like to inform you about a project that is opening up in front of us. We have launched the construction of a Mission Center in the city of Arusha, where the see of our Diocese is located. Looking back in time, in 1911, the blessed late Archimandrite Fr. Nicodemus Sarikas, pioneer of the Mission in Tanganika at the time, made the Arusha Region the center of his missionary activity. Based in Masoka, he «plowed» the whole of Tanzania, sowing the Word of God. We humbly pray, expecting the blessing of God and looking forward to your noble love, and hope that Arusha will again become an important missionary center for the spread of the Gospel, putting into practice the vision of His Beatitude Patriarch Theodoros II, who from the beginning of His God-loving service as a patriarch, envisioned the creation of a diocese based in Arusha, which is also the administrative capital of EAC, the union of East African Community.

It was with great difficulty that we finally managed to acquire a plot of land in a beautiful area near the main road network, which, with God’s help, will house our dreams for the course of Orthodoxy in Central Tanzania. The necessary works for the clearing of the area and the plot fencing have already been completed. In addition, a borehole has been drilled, which will cover the needs not only for the execution of the works but also for drinking water of all those that will be ministering to the people of the region.

In the soup kitchen queue

In the soup kitchen queue

After the completion of the first necessary works for the beginning of the reconstruction of the center and with the thought that «everything starts with God», our main concern and duty is the construction of a Sacred Church. Arusha is a center of action for many Protestant groups, which despise the holy person of Our Most Holy Lady. That is why we decided to dedicate the church which is to be built in the Mission Center headquarters to the Theotokos, asking for Her blessing and protection, so that this new nursery of our Church may shine as a beacon of light in the darkness

of the heresies of various «charismatic» groups active in the area. In this new beginning, your assistance would be invaluable! Once again, I appeal to your charitable hearts for support, material as well as spiritual, in order to build the church in honor of Our Most Holy Theotokos. This is our primary goal so that the Orthodox Church can have a serious and blessed presence in Arusha.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your continued support to this difficult, but at the same time beautiful, work of the Church and our Patriarchate! May the Most Holy Theotokos richly give you Her grace and guide our lives unto good works!

Wishing in the Lord,

† Agathonikos of Arusha

Saints Luka and Paisios church, built by our Fraternity

Saints Luka and Paisios church, built by our Fraternity