Η οικονομική κρίση της Ελλάδας και της Κύπρου επηρέασε και την Ορθόδοξη Σχολή στο Ναϊρόμπι της Κένυα. Για να λειτουργήσει ξανά χρειάζονται 30.000 δολάρια και πρέπει όλοι οι Ορθόδοξοι Χριστιανοί σε όλο το κόσμο ( Ευρώπη, Αμερική, Αυστραλία ) να προσφέρουν στο Ορθόδοξο Χριστιανικό ιεραποστολικό κέντρο Αμερικής, σύμφωνα με τις οδηγίες του κειμένου. The economic crisis in Greece and Cyprus affected the Orthodox School in Nairobi, Kenya. To work again require $ 30,000 and must all Orthodox Christians throughout the world (Europe, America, Australia) to offer the Orthodox Christian missionary center in USA , according to the text instructions. La crise économique en Grèce et à Chypre affecté l’école orthodoxe à Nairobi, au Kenya. Pour travailler à nouveau besoin de 30 000 $ et doit tous les chrétiens orthodoxes à travers le monde (Europe, Amérique, Australie) à offrir dans le chrétien orthodoxe missionnaire centre pas États-Unis, selon les instructions de texte.
Dear friends and praying partners,
After nearly 37 years of observation, I have determined that there is no such thing as a straight path in Kenya. And I have walked a lot of them. Through the shambas (small farms) and up and down the escarpment of the Great Rift Valley in Engashura near Nakuru when I was a twenty-one year old short-term missionary back in 1980. Walking through a bamboo forest in the Aberdare Mountains when we suddenly realized that the large round water-filled holes we had to dodge were actually elephant tracks and that the meandering path we were walking on was their meandering path. Or the seemingly simple maneuver of walking from the front gate to the front door of some friend’s house, and the path wanders first to the left and then to the right and eventually takes me to my desired destination. Geometry, and an appreciation of the shortest distance between two points is not a concern of consequence here, that I can tell.
This makes a nice metaphor for my current circumstances. While my work at St. Paul’s is going at full speed, with a full load of four courses – Church History (Bachelors level), Christology and the Atonement, and also Theology of Sacraments (Masters level), and Modern Trends in African Theology (PhD level) – the seminary remains, at least for the present, dead in the water. I’m glad for my work at St. Paul’s, where I think I’m making a difference. I’m glad to have the chance to supervise two PhD students and four Masters students as they write their theses. I’m glad for my friends among my colleagues there, and for the ability to pull my share of all the committee work that goes on in the background of any academic institution. And I’m glad for the chance to write a book on stewardship and to publish articles on dependency and on attitudes about sex among Orthodox youth and on comparing the missiology of the 19th century Russian Orthodox missionaries in Alaska with the 20th century Orthodox missionaries in Kenya. I don’t want to give the impression that any of this is easy – I’m feeling pretty stretched. I’m just grateful, after all I’ve been through, that I can see days like these days.
But my heart is in the seminary, and the seminary remains closed. We should have opened in September. It’s almost March. The issue is a lack of funding. The sources of income that powered the seminary from its beginnings in the 1980s dried up with the financial crisis that struck Greece and Cyprus four years ago. Those countries have yet to recover, and the same is true with the seminary’s finances.
But we are close. We’ve needed to cover the debts that we incurred last year in our payroll, for our food service, and for maintenance issues. The Orthodox Christian Mission Center will be donating $20,000 toward the seminary, but before that money can be released from OCMC, an additional $30,000 must be raised to ensure that the seminary is able to open. $30,000 seems like a lot of money to me, but there are organizations and individuals who could make a sum like that disappear like a former record high temperature in the winter of 2017. Or a number of individuals could put their widow’s-mite equivalents together to the same effect.
The goal, of course, is training the new generation of priests and leaders for the Orthodox Churches of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Madagascar, Malawi, Rwanda and Burundi, and any other African country that’s ready for indigenous Orthodox clergy. But we can’t train anyone when our 50 students are scattered back in their home towns and villages, waiting for the call from my office to come back to school. Four times a week I jog in the early evening around our compound. I pass empty dormitories, empty classrooms, an empty chapel. Except for my friends Fr. John, Dcn Michael and His Eminence when he is not traveling, I live on an empty compound. So many people have sacrificed so much to make this seminary a reality that it is a tragedy to see nothing happening.
So I enlist your prayers, that God would please provide, not just for our seminary, but through our seminary he might provide for the Orthodox Churches of Africa. And I ask you to at least be open to the possibility that God may be asking you to be part of His answer. Some of you already are, through your financial support and prayer support of my ministry, and I am grateful. But if you want to be part of God’s solution for our seminary, you can do so by designating a gift through OCMC on their website here. (This link takes you to my missionary page. Let me know and I will make sure your gift goes to help open and fund the seminary) Your prayers can travel even faster – you don’t need a website to access the throne of God on our behalf!
I was asked by His Eminence the Archbishop to be his Deputy Dean of the Seminary back in August. I knew the job would be challenging. But I had no idea that my journey would become increasingly like a Kenyan footpath, with no straight line from here to there, but turns and detours in unexpected directions. And while I wish I had stories of great successes and amazing victories to relate about our Orthodox seminary, I am grateful that some of you are walking with me on this path. It means that any success that comes will be our success, any victory will be our victory, and any blessing that comes will be our blessing. Missions can only work if it is a partnership. Between us, as we both seek what God wants us to do and then do it, we will see His will done in this place, even as it is already done in heaven. This gives me hope.
Bill ( Dr. William Black, missionary in Kenya )
If you are interested in contributing to the missionary work of Dr. Bill black, please click on this link: https://www.ocmc.org/donate/donate.aspx?FundId=Missionary.
For more information on long-term missionaries and their ministries, or if you are interesting in becoming an OCMC long term missionary, please call 1-877-463-6784 ext. 121, or e-mail the missionary department at firstname.lastname@example.org.