English Edition

Keeping the light burning

Bishop Innocentios of Burundi and Rwanda

Source: Orthodox Missionary Fraternity

November 16, 2016

Photo: http://orthodoxmission.org.gr/ Photo: http://orthodoxmission.org.gr/

Dear friends of the Mission,

Once again I greet you in the name of the Triune God. Lovingly I ask you to accept my humble thanks for your support to the missionary work that I was entrusted with by our beloved spiritual father, the Pope and Patriarch Theodore II.

Our mission and vision is to spread the light of Orthodoxy in Burundi and Rwanda, where it seems to have a bright future. The love, hospitality and education I received from you, Greek people, while I studied there, these are the things I strive to give. Our main activity is the dissemination of the Orthodox faith that is the only true faith. There are many challenges, since we are obliged, required and requested to respond to the thirsty souls in the various sectors of society.

Education is the key to deal with and tackle problems, such as poverty and ignorance. In one place, we have the only primary school in the region with over 600 children, who walk more than 5 kilometers daily, while most of them totally lack basic equipment, such as pencils, pens and copybooks, although the education we offer to them is free, because their parents are unable to provide for them and because most children are orphans. Occasionally we try to give them some lunch, because most of them come very early in the morning without having eaten breakfast, or even without having had food the night before. In every class we have 100 pupils. At times we have to cut a pencil in three pieces, so that every students has something to write with.

The government asked us to build a secondary school in this region, because for these students, when they get out of the primary, it means the end of their studies; there is no middle school in that place. We laid the foundation stone for the new school, which will be dedicated to Saint Paisios the newly canonized saint. Our prayer is to be able to complete the school, because the education of the young people is the future for our Church and the whole country.

Although we have baptized many people, we continue to worship and have our services under the trees, in tents, in rented houses and in the countryside. Please, keep us in your incessant prayers, so that we’ll be able to keep the candle of Orthodoxy burning.

Bishop Innocentios of Burundi and Rwanda

Orthodox Missionary Fraternity

16 / 11 / 2016

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