Με χαρά πληροφορηθήκαμε την χειροτονία σε διάκονο του νεοζηλανδικής καταγωγής μοναχού π. Πατρικίου. Προσευχόμαστε στον Τριαδικό Θεό να τον ευλογεί, να τον χαριτώνει, να τον ενδυναμώνει και να τον χρησιμοποιήσει στον ιεραποστολικό αγρό της Μητρόπολης Νέας Ζηλανδίας.
Στον ιερό ναό Μεταμορφώσεως του Σωτήρος στον Δήμο Μεταμόρφωσεως του Νομού Αττικής ο Σεβασμιώτατος Μητροπολίτης Νέας Ζηλανδίας κ. Αμφιλόχιος χειροτόνησε τον μοναχό Πατρίκιο, Νεοζηλανδικής καταγωγής, σε Διάκονο. Την Αρχιερατική λειτουργία παρακολούθησε πλήθος κόσμου μεταξύ των οποίων ήταν και οι πρώτοι βαπτισθέντες Ορθόδοξοι Χριστιανοί εκ των νήσων Φίτζι, Βαρθολομαίος και Λυδία.
At the church of the Holy Transfiguration of our Lord Jesus Christ in Athens, Monk Patrick a New Zealander, was ordained Deacon by His Eminence, Archbishop Amfilochios of New Zealand. A lot of people participated at the Archieratiki Liturgy, among them the first recently baptized Orthodox Christians of the Fiji Islands Bartholomew and Lydia.
Our Home ( Orthodox missionary center in Fiji islands )
Whoever has tired and made expenditures to build a home knows both the struggles and the joy that accompany it. Struggles and labours and repeated travels were necessary, for one full year, so that we could find and purchase our mission home in the remote islands of Fiji. We did this so that we could move in and be able to begin the work of the Church, so that we could receive people, to converse with them, to catechize them, and so that they may begin to receive the sacred mysteries of Baptism and Chrismation, of Marriage, etc.
We had the monies, $90,000 euro. They were given to us from the start by the Orthodox External Mission Brotherhood of Thessaloniki, with complete trust, willingness, and love. Initially, it seemed there would be no possibility to reach our desired goal. Here, everything works much differently than what we are accustomed to in our homeland. Difficulties and interruptions were many. At one point we thought perhaps that it wasn’t the will of God to begin our mission work from here. Perhaps our starting point was meant to be in Tonga, or in Samoa, which are also islands and nations that come under the ecclesiastical care of our Metropolis. The reason for our hesitation came from the military coup and the blurred political state of affairs in Fiji.
However, “perfect love casts out fear” (John 4:16).
We considered that the hard pressed people of this land have an immediate need of our presence, for us to encourage them, to comfort them, to support them.
And that is what has happened by the Grace and with the blessing of God.
We have now been in Fiji for one whole month, working from our Mission home. We have begun our Missionary activity by building in the corner of the yard a beautiful Sacred Baptismal Font at which was sung for the first time the beautiful hymn: “Father, Pantocrator, and Logos and Spirit, of the three-fold unity of the enhypostatic Nature…” and in which took place the first Baptisms, and at which took place the first Wedding, and in the living room of the house the first Divine Liturgies.
May God Bless the Christians of Thessaloniki who, with their “widow’s mite,” bolster the Mission to the nations. May God strengthen the members of the council of the Orthodox External Mission Brotherhood of Thessaloniki, and may He grant rest to the souls of the founders of her Brotherhood
Getting to know Fiji and its Inhabitats
Fiji is a compilation of about three hundred islands in the Southeastern Pacific Ocean with about 800,000 inhabitants. The two largest islands are called Viti Levu and Venua Levu. On the first island are three major cities; the capital Suva which has a large natural seaport and an airport. Lautoka which also has a large natural seaport and Nadi which has a smaller seaport excavated especially for touristic purposes andtheInternational Airport.
All the islands are verdant with beautiful beaches and mountains from which race large rivers and rushing waterfalls. The tropical, warm, climate and abundant rains are factors which make the land, here, fertile and productive. The mountains are covered with forests and cultivated fields of sugar cane, bananas, papaya, mangoes and other trees and exotic multicoloured flowers.
The cities are interconnected by roads laid with asphalt, as well as small trains. These trains are chiefly for the transportation of sugar cane to Lautoka where there is a large processing plant which produces the wonderful dark and healthful sugar. The smaller islands are linked to the larger ones by small airplanes and boats.
The beautiful beaches with their warm ocean waters, the peacefulness of the place and the welcoming disposition of the inhabitants invite many visitors from diverse places most especially from Australia and from New Zealand. The languages which are taught and spoken officially are Fijian and English.
The inhabitants of Fiji are simple and goodhearted, peaceful and always smiling. They have great similarity with the inhabitants of African Tanzania which according to their own tradition is the land of their origin; however, they are less dark skinned than them and their hair is a little longer. The Indians of Fiji comprise about half of the island’s population and they were brought to Fiji by the British who controlled the islands in those days for the cultivation of sugar cane. They share the same coloration as the Fijians but have longer hair.
The native Fijians handle the Government and the military and the Fijians of Indian descent handle industry and trade. They get along well with each other; they speak the same languages, have mixed marriages, even though each race observes some unique customs and traditions.
Generally speaking, the Fijians are happy and lovable people who are especially pleased whenever someone greets them in their language with the word: “Bula!” which means hello.
At the International Airport a visitor’s first impression is of a group of Fijians dressed in their traditional Garb (something akin to the Greek ( foustanella), playing different insruments, singing in their own musical tradition, while festooned with a flower behind one ear. In this way they welcome those from foreign lands.
They are frugal without many demands in their lives. Instead of bread they use roots of various shrubs which they usually include in their meals greens and vegetables, tomatoes, eggplant and beans which they themselves cultivate. They also eat fish, chicken, eggs and fruit. They walk about barefoot or with light sandals (flip flops) because of the heat and they live carefree lives.
In the character and the disposition of the Fijians one can discern a certain simplicity, naturality and purity.
Μπορείτε να στείλετε την αγάπη σας στην Ορθόδοξη Μητρόπολη Νέας Ζηλανδίας μέσω της Αδελφότητας Ορθοδόξου Εξωτερικής Ιεραποστολής Θεσσαλονίκης ή μέσω του ΠΧΟ Ορθοδόξου Ιεραποστολής. Πληροφορίες ΕΔΩ.