Madagascar: a disaster in the dance of the monsoons
3rd watertank: a hope of lifeDear brothers in Christ,
I would like to thank you once more for the considerable aid you offered us at times, that is the 10,000 euros for food purchase and lately the 30,000 euros for the funding of several projects, especially the water tanks. I would therefore like to inform you that a month ago we had the last water tank completed in a remote village 22 km away from the main road, so now the local people are being served this way and do not have to travel very long distances in order to carry the water .
All the residents, young and old, were very happy and thanked me repeatedly during my last visit there. I enclose photographs. With the help of God and the blessings of our Pope and Patriarch Theodore II, everything goes on well, despite the fact that the financial crisis in Greece and Cyprus has affected us, too.
Strike of the monsoonsLately we have had plenty of disasters due to the monsoons. Lots of houses have been destroyed and plenty of people are left homeless. Also, three of our churches have been damaged and they need a lot of repair work in order to operate properly again. In addition, there was a failure of a river dam near the town of Tulear, which resulted in the destruction of half of the city. Moreover, the houses of two priests were almost completely covered by water, and the clerics lost all their belongings.
Once more, our church was not inactive. We sent food, milk and clothing, which were distributed to the flood-stricken people. Unfortunately, there were plenty of human casualties in this disaster. The damages are being restored little by little, but this will definitely take time and money. Our church is always there for people when they face serious problems, without making any discriminations.
Progress of the spiritual workWe continue our tours in villages and towns where people are interested in meeting Orthodoxy. The Word of God is sown whether convenient or not and bears fruit depending on the fertility of the ground, as the Gospel says, which applies perfectly to the contemporary world. The grace of God always comes first and prepares the ground (that is, men’s souls) so that they accept His Word.
Here is the starting point of the mystery of men’s salvation. The occasions are so plentiful and varied that we cannot even imagine. Small, trivial events give us the chance to start the catechesis and acquaintance with a specific village. The seed is sown in the people’s hearts and little by little it bears fruit until a small nucleus is formed, and in the end, an Orthodox church is created. What bigger miracle than that can one ask for? The miracle takes place in the people’s souls by the grace of God. It reforms and regenerates them so that they can accept the truth, the real God, the true religion. The Holy Spirit is constantly opening doors for Its habitation. We often accept invitations from villages to visit them and talk about the Orthodox Church. The conversion is achieved by the grace of God, which always precedes us and opens men’s hearts. Thanks be to God for our humble ministry. May He bring out persons eager to work in His vineyard, because the shortage of such workers is being felt day by day.
With paternal blessings
Ignatius of Madagascar