Diocese of Zambia & Malawi
With the blessings of our new Metropolitan John, despite the fact that we are all going through this very difficult period, we live a miracle…
Indeed, true is the word of our Gospel, which assures us that love will never cease to exist! What greater proof can our soul ask for in order to verify the truth, when in the midst of such a great economic crisis, people from Greece, simple, anonymous, and poor (many of them unemployed and low-paid!) join hands together and achieve the incredible? When they manage to load a container of 25 tons, with a bunch of goods and send it to our poor and much-afflicted brothers in Malawi to share them?
Dear brothers in Christ, in our daily life we may have reasons and incidents that make us lose faith and hope in the Most Merciful God, our Father and Creator, but on the other hand, we are also given -through the facts- information that the God who created us , loves us, watches us and cares for us.
Such a token of God’s great love toward us, brothers, was the shipment of the container you sent us from Thessalonica.
The current period we are going through is still characterized by hunger, anxiety and uncertainty as the economic situation in the country deteriorates with successive devaluations of the kwacha, the national currency of Malawi, while abnormal weather along with an abnormal delayed onset of the rainy season show that survival for the poor will develop into a permanent state of anxiety.
In a country with a tropical climate, such as Malawi, summer starts round November and is accompanied by rains. It is exactly in the rain that the success of any new crop depends on. The maize, which is the main food of the Malawians, from November onwards, is planted and is waiting for the rain to grow. But this year with the long delay of the rainy season, it is very likely that the crop will fail.
The richer inhabitants have reasonable suspicion that they will become poorer and the poor that they will die of hunger… Could it be God’s love that makes us all, without exception, turn to and have our hopes in Him and only in Him?
Within this uncertainty, the container arrived in the country as a gift from God! All those who attended there in the opening of the “great gift” were filled with joy, as the spectacle in front of our eyes was tons of food, tons of clothes and so much more. Flour, sugar, rice, pulses, clothes and shoes for men women and children, school supplies, church supplies and more relief items.
The “goods of love” were stored by dispensation in the big Church of the Holy Trinity and from there were distributed in all directions.
Among the different groups that will benefit from this container, priority will be given to those who have been imprisoned. The joy of getting a bar of soap is indescribable. They are so happy when we give them a rice pouch, which they will soak in water overnight and will be able to eat it with sugar. They enjoy it as if it were the best dessert in the world… Unfortunately, in the women’s prison, there are always a few 2-2.5 year-old- kids accompanying their imprisoned mothers… they are usually shy and timid without strength to cry or claim something… but as soon as they realize that there are toys for them, then their facial expression changes… This joy brightens their eyes and they all eagerly hurry to get what is given out to them…
These visits to prisons leave a bittersweet flavor, and mixed feelings… We always leave this place with a prayer on the lips, hoping that God will be strengthening and giving courage to those who are incarcerated.
In the parishes, distribution is more joyful and festive. Usually after a worshiping congregation, whether with or without notice, the joy is always equally great… There one cannot tell who feels the greatest joy: the one who gives or the one who takes? Of course, there are also incidents where some people cannot keep the order and become disruptive… However, the most beautiful and moving moments are when we see the children happy with a toy that they are holding, even if that is a plain balloon. They feel like they have the whole world in their hands… and on the other hand, when with a careless and unsuspecting move the balloon breaks, the tears and “lamentations” that follow are heart-breaking…
Dear brothers, the distribution has already begun, and with the help of God we hope that it will soon be completed. The joy and emotion of all the people who are involved in this project is great, but also great is the responsibility and the effort to make a fair, impartial and well-organized distribution of all these goods to the natives. Only then will we have the satisfaction that your own effort from Greece and ours for the delivery and distribution, here in Malawi, were not in vain but worked.
It is also a great pleasure for us to let you know that the new projects for the drilling of the water-wells in Govati and Kalimbuga regions that you assigned us, have been completed with the help and grace of God. The gratitude of our indigenous brothers of these regions, where the wells have been drilled, towards the donors is immense.
The excitement and joy of all the natives in the surrounding area for water, this great good that they have acquired through our Church, feels like a Thanksgiving prayer to our Most Merciful God, who is truly the One who inspires His own people to do such great works and noble donations where such needs exist.
We pray to God to strengthen all of you that work for His glory and for the relief of our Malawian brothers, who are going through a lot of hardship!
Once again, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support to us. May God bless you and sanctify you all.
With Love in Christ
Fr. Ermolaos from Malawi