Mwanza, Tanzania – The whole situation of the Africans requires someone like the Apostle Paul to be near them “in order to open eyes, so that they will turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God” (Acts 26:18).
The need for their spiritual orientation is something that one understands. The big question is: How do the Africans themselves see their own condition? What do they do? Indeed, they see it with uneasiness, pain, and desire. They are seeking the light of Christ. They want to be children by the grace of their Heavenly Father. Now they find themselves on the course of liberation.Christ is the hope of the Africans. He is “the King of Peace and Salvation.”
The Orthodox Church, in its missionary endeavor and its ministry, stands beside the Africans in their pain and desire. It strives to instruct them to the word of truth and to reveal to them the Gospel of justice. They are baptized and married in groups. New life is being created, a life of joy and peace, a life in the light of Christ. For as Christ tells us, “Whatever is born from the Spirit is spiritual” (John 3:6).
Recently, we experienced the sacrament of Baptism, of regeneration, in the village of KISHOGO, 43 km from the town of BUKOBA. On that splendid day 120 souls became reborn participants of the “death and resurrection of Christ our God.” In other words, they acquired “the light of knowledge and devoutness.”
Inside the river that flows through the banana trees and under the sun of the equator, they received “the blessing of the Jordan” and from now on they will worship “the Son of Justice.” And inside our Orthodox Church they will confess: “Your light, Lord, has been brought upon us who in knowledge praise thee.”
Metropolis of Mwanza (6/12/2009)
A Spiritual Odyssey to Tanzania
Communications Department (7/21/2009)
One hundred and twenty Tanzanians in white wait to be received into the Holy Orthodox Church. Their odyssey has been a long one, beginning with the founding of the Orthodox Church in Tanzania almost fifty years ago, winding through the streams of African seekers, missionaries, and hierarchs to tributaries of local converts and clergy. Finally, they are brought to this river that flows through the banana trees and under the sun of the equator, where they will be reborn as participants in the death and resurrection of Christ our God. Blessed and chrismated by His Eminence Jeronymos, they leave the river as members of one of the fastest growing Orthodox metropolises in the world.
“Christ is the hope of the Africans. He is ‘the King of Peace and Salvation.’ The Orthodox Church, in its missionary endeavor and its ministry, stands beside the Africans in their pain and desire. It strives to instruct them in the word of truth and to reveal to them the Gospel of justice. They are baptized and married in groups. New life is being created, a life of joy and peace, a life in the light of Christ…” – Office of the Metropolitanate of Mwanza, Tanzania
This September, you have an opportunity to witness this “new life,” as the second OCMC Spiritual Odyssey travels to Tanzania. Led by OCMC Executive Director Rev. Martin Ritsi, participants in this Mission Education Tour will travel to the gentle shores of Lake Victoria to visit the Metropolis of Mwanza and witness the growth of Orthodoxy in East Africa. Participants will be exposed to the history, culture and richness of Tanzania and the mission of the Church. There will be visits to various communities that are the foundation of this vibrant work.
The journey will also include private receptions with His Eminence, Metropolitan Jeronymos, of Mwanza. Under his leadership this diocese has grown to include more than 40,000 faithful and over 150 parishes, with 34 priests. There will also be informal discussions and presentations by Rev. Martin Ritsi and other local church leaders, as well as the opportunity to participate in the consecration of an Orthodox Church. In addition there will be a safari excursion to the best known wildlife sanctuary in the world, the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
Come and experience this vibrant church, the beauty of its traditions, and the joy of its people—come and discover Tanzania on the 2009 Spiritual Odyssey!
Witness the Orthodox Church in East Africa by Joining the OCMC Spiritual Odyssey to TanzaniaOrthodox Christianity continues to spread throughout East Africa, and with more than 40,000 faithful and over 150 parishes, served by 34 priests the Metropolis of Mwanza shines as one of the fastest growing Orthodox Metropolises in the world. Become a witness of the missionary efforts in Tanzania by joining His Eminence Metropolitan Jeronymos and OCMC Executive Director Fr. Martin Ritsi on a ten day Spiritual Odyssey and Mission Education Tour. Space is limited for this once in a lifetime opportunity. Visit www.ocmc.org, or call 1-877-463-6784 , to join today!