Chicago, IL (OCA-DMW) — In mid-March 2017, His Grace, Bishop Paul received a letter from His Eminence, Archbishop Makarios of Kenya, formally thanking him and the Diocese of the Midwest for the donation of additional motorcycles for his clergy. As widely reported, it was in November 2015 that Bishop Paul had initiated a diocesan-wide drive to raise funds to purchase ten motorcycles for Orthodox Christian clergy ministering in Kenya, in partnership with the Orthodox Christian Mission Center [OCMC]. While the initial goal of the drive aimed at raising $10,000.00, the project resonated so well with diocesan parishes and faithful that over $31,000.00 was donated, making it possible to purchase some three dozen motorcycles. The clergy from two Kenyan dioceses were the recipients of motorcycles that had been delivered in 2016, while the most recent motorcycles will be used by clergy in the country’s third diocese.
“This evening I am delighted to address to you this e-mail and to inform you about your great contribution towards our missionary work here in Kenya,” Archbishop Makarios wrote to Bishop Paul. “When I met you two years ago in Chicago and we had the chance to discuss missionary activities here in Kenya, you requested me to tell you a specific project that you could assist us with, especially with our priests. With a lot of joy and appreciation, this evening I am able to convey to you on behalf of all the priests who have received the motorcycles.”
Archbishop Makarios said that receiving the motorcycles “was a real celebration for our priests, those especially who come from far distances.
“They have received your gift through the generosity of your parishes,” the Archbishp added. “And through me they come and they express their deep appreciation and gratitude for your love and concern towards their missionary work. From my understanding, it seems that your people are really appreciating our work, especially the work done by our priests, which is why they responded with such great enthusiasm.
“Please assure your faithful that our priests will be praying for you and for your parishes, to give you many years and good health, so you may think perhaps once more to assist our work here in Kenya,” Archbishop Makarios concluded. “I cannot find words to express to you our gratitude. The only thing we can do for you and your people is to pray to our mighty God on your behalf to keep you healthy and to serve in the vineyard of His Church here on earth for many more years.”