Diocese of Madagascar
"Dear friends of the Mission, Rejoice in the Lord!
I contact you with a lot of joy, firstly to thank you for your ceaseless support to our humble missionary ministry, and secondly to let you know of the progress of the two churches whose funding you have overtaken.
The construction work for the first church in Diego, Saint Archangels, is nearing the end and the church may be rendered operational by Christmas. As I have mentioned many times, here in this country, all types of work are done by hand, with primitive means and many obstacles, which usually delay their completion. Moreover, adverse weather conditions, such as heavy rains, oftentimes hinder continuous work. The second church of the Transfiguration of the Savior, smaller than the former, has already been completed and awaits its opening. Due to the long distance, it was impossible for me to send you photos of the churches. I hope that I will soon be able to respond to this request of yours.
We praise God and thank our donors for this blessing that amidst the crisis, new churches are constructed for the glory of the Triune God and the salvation of mankind. Our struggle continues in every aspect and, despite the great difficulties, many people come into Orthodoxy every day and after the due catechesis, they are led to the first sacrament of our Church, baptism. This year, we have conducted many group baptisms in a river.
Furthermore, with the blessings of our venerable prelate, Pope and Patriarch Theodore, some graduates of our Seminary were ordained into the first rank of priesthood (i.e they became deacons) and some others into the second one (that of the presbyter), thus covering some of the many vacancies in our parishes. The Seminary operates normally with new and old students.
We keep on visiting villages for catechizing, conduction of holy services, reviewing projects and, most importantly, communicating with people, something they greatly need. People are thirsty for hearing the words of God as well as for learning more about God and our Orthodox faith in general. What impresses me the most is that they regularly attend the holy services sparing no labors, walking through long trails barefoot under the hot sun.
The charity work also goes on, though not as intensively as in the past. Some activities have been halted due to the ongoing financial crisis.
New institutions will start operating very soon, since they were inaugurated during our Patriarch’s visit. Such buildings are the orphanage, the new wing of the hospital, the University and some churches. We give glory to God and thank people for the blessings they gave us.
If possible, I would also like to ask you to consider helping us in purchasing the interior equipment for two new sacred churches, the one of Saint Archangels–so that it can operate this Nativity period, as well as that of Transfiguration.
Moreover, the equipment of the orphanage wing that was constructed with funds by an anonymous lady from Thessaloniki through your Fraternity, will cost ca. 15,000 euros.
Last but not least, I would be grateful if you could schedule the shipment of a new container with useful goods we highly need, such as food supplies, second-hand household appliances and stationery for students. In this way, you will substantially help our work, as you have already done in the past.
Thank you for everything. May God be with you."
†Ignatios of Madagascar