Μεγαλώνει η αγωνία μας για την ορθόδοξη ιεραποστολή στη Σιέρα Λεόνε και τους κατοίκους της χώρας αυτής, γιατί τα νέα από την εξάπλωση του θανατηφόρου ιού Έμπολα είναι δυσάρεστα και τα θύματα πολλαπλασιάζονται ( 52 θάνατοι μέσα σε μια εβδομάδα ). Η Ορθόδοξη Εκκλησία της Σιέρα Λεόνε έχει τεράστια ανάγκη για οικονομική ενίσχυση για προστασία των μελών της ορθόδοξης εκκλησίας και γενικά των παιδιών και των κατοίκων της Σιέρα Λεόνε. Οι νεκροί είναι δεκάδες, εκατοντάδες.
Ο απολογισμός των νεκρών από το ξέσπασμα του Έμπολα στη Δυτική Αφρική αυξήθηκε αλματωδώς στους 603 από τον Φεβρουάριο, με τουλάχιστον 68 θανάτους να καταγράφονται μόνον την περασμένη εβδομάδα, ανακοίνωσε σήμερα ο Παγκόσμιος Οργανισμός Υγείας (ΠΟΥ).
Στη Σιέρα Λεόνε καταγράφηκε ο υψηλότερος αριθμός θανάτων, στον οποίο συμπεριλαμβάνονται επιβεβαιωμένα, πιθανά και ύποπτα κρούσματα Έμπολα: 52.
Στη Λιβερία καταγράφηκαν 13 θάνατοι και στη Γουινέα 3, σύμφωνα με τα στοιχεία του ΠΟΥ για το διάστημα 8η-12η Ιουλίου.
Σύμφωνα με τον διεθνή οργανισμό υπήρξαν συνολικά 85 νέα κρούσματα, γεγονός το οποίο υπογραμμίζει το ότι συνεχίζονται τα υψηλά επίπεδα μόλυνσης, ιδίως στη Λιβερία και στη Σιέρα Λεόνε, παρά τις αγωνιώδεις προσπάθειες τόσο στις χώρες αυτές όσο και σε διεθνές επίπεδο να σταματήσει η εξάπλωση της ασθένειας.
Great to be back………….Eleni
I have been back in Sierra Leone for over a month now and have well and truly settled back in.
I was welcomed with open arms and some high expectations from some of the locals. The mission staff joke that I have returned to my “second home” and in many ways I do feel that attachment to the country and the people.
Last year I spent 9 months here and despite my experiences living in Australia, Cyprus, London, China and Hong Kong, I still found Sierra Leone a culture shock.
This time around, I feel a sense of familiarity (and dare I say comfort). There is no thrashing around trying to understand the WHAT and WHY of human behavior and the cultural norms and practices.
Life here is what it is. Once you accept this reality, you just get on with what needs to be done without wasting your energy trying to analyse and compare everything to your previous life experiences. So this paradoxical country will again be home for a while.
There has been some progress in the country since I left 6 months I am however, mindful that the progress seen in new roads, improved national power supply, more business ventures and supermarkets, has not yet trickled down to the poorest of poor.
This is in my opinion, the gap that the orthodox mission is filling.
Father Themi, with his endless abundance of energy, patience, endurance and love he draws from Christ, as well as his visionary outlook for the people, has managed to redefine the concept of progress.
There are now well organized and regular feeding programmes for the congregations in Freetown and Waterloo (this is an open invitation for regular church attendees and those that simply turn up for the food).
Students at Saint Jacobs Dream School (Waterloo Disabled Village) are fed at least twice a week and every Saturday a cooked lunch is prepared for the Orthodox Youth Fellowship (OYF).
A few weeks ago members of the youth fellowship myself, King David and Mary, took food supplies to the slum area in Freetown, where hungry men women and children waited in anticipation for rice and sugar and chalk and soft toys for the kids.
Being able to provide physically for 100’s of hungry people is a mammoth task to coordinate. I can see improvements in both the coordination of the food programmes and the commitment of volunteers, who cook, serve and wash up every week and they are to be congratulated for their communal spirit and commitment to the mission’s goal to feed the poorest of poor.
Buildings have also progressed especially at Waterloo where the upper primary/junior secondary building is underway as well as the newly erected amputee clinic (which temporarily houses primary students until the new school building is complete) and the canteen building which has had the slab poured and sits waiting for more funding .
The college now has more than 145 students in and out on a daily basis and the I.T student’s graduate this year. As we prepare for a new academic year (September). New computers by kind donation of PK4A mean we now have 28 computers operating in the lab, with all of the latest software packages installed. Here is a college that has the lowest fees in the country and where so many are on free or half scholarship. It is nothing less than a miracle the college operates weekly on such a frugal income. This is national development for the country at its most obvious.
The Orthodox Youth Fellowship now has 32 members. Their loyalty to the mission and respect for Fr Themi is unwavering as is their love for us volunteers. They cling to their Faith and they hope for a better future through Christian education and the support we provide for them (both school fees, emotional and spiritual support). I asked a member last week what was his highest need right now. I expected him to give me a monitory reply instead he replied…..”Encouragement Miss Eleni…I really need to be encouraged”.
Last week I did a Language Arts lesson at Sykes St School with grade 1 students. Their eagerness to draw using crayons, their confidence in speaking up, their delight at being read a story…. reminded me that it is the small things that count here towards progress.
I could go on and one about the progress I have witnessed since my return, the changes are very visible.
Disabled people in the congested streets of Freetown yelling out “orthodox, orthodox” every time we go past. They now recognize who we are and what we represent. They also know where to find Fr Themi for help!
On Sundays the wheelchairs roll in, the blind are escorted in, the exhausted mothers hand their babies over to others for a moment of silent prayer and respite. There are no collection trays here, there are no fancy cars parked outside our churches. There are wheelchairs and crutches and hunger and sickness and it is in this mission that they find acceptance and compassion and most of all where they see Jesus in action!
It is great to be back and such a privilege is able to contribute in some small way to the amazing mission work of Father Themi. To witness first- hand the progress made through generous donations by supporters and to know without a DOUBT that none of this would be possible were it not for the Grace of God.
May the synergy between the visible and invisible world continue to stir our hearts and minds towards the plight of others!
Until next time, blessings and thanks
This entry was posted in America
, Αφρική, Africa
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, Πατριαρχείο Αλεξανδρείας ( Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa )
, Σιέρρα Λεόνε - Sierra Leone
and tagged Australia
, Australian Orthodox Christian Church
, Christian Church in Siera Leone
, Ebola in Siera Leone
, Father Themi
, π. Θεμιστοκλής Αδαμόπουλος
, Αδελφότητα Ορθοδόξου Εξωτερικής Ιεραποστολής
, Ορθόδοξη Εκκλησία
, Ορθόδοξη Εκκλησία στη Σιέρα Λεόνε
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, Σιέρα Λεόνε
, αποστολή στη Σιέρα Λεόνε
, Orthodox church in Siera Leone
, Orthodox Churches in Australia
, Orthodox mission in Siera Leone
, Orthodox Youth Fellowship
, Paradise for Kids
, Siera Leone
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