Σας παρακαλούμε να προσευχηθείτε για την Ορθόδοξη Εκκλησία της Ρουάντα, που έχει 5 χρόνια ζωής και περίπου 5.000 πιστούς. Η κυβέρνηση της Ρουάντα ζητά κάποια έργα υποδομής, τα οποία η νεοσύστατη Ορθόδοξη Εκκλησία στη Ρουάντα δεν διαθέτει. Προσευχόμαστε στον Τριαδικό Θεό να διώξει τα εμπόδια που μπαίνουν στην Ορθόδοξη Εκκλησία στη χώρα αυτή. Η έκκληση προσευχής στα αγγλικά.
THE THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT IN MOUNT FUMBWE – NYAGASAMBU ORTHODOX COMMUNITY – THE ADORATION OF THE HOLY CROSS
«Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.» (Mark 8: 34)
With the blessing of His Eminence Innocentios BYAKATONDA, the Orthodox Bishop of the Diocese of Burundi and Rwanda, the Orthodox Community of Mount Fumbwe – NYAGASAMBU, located in East Province of Rwanda, RWAMAGANA District, MUSHA Sector, has welcome some guests from other Orthodox Communities and Parishes of Rwanda.
Following our letter No 001/03/2018/O.P.F. written in Ruhita Village, on 1st March 2018, through Bishop Innocentios BYAKATONDA, and addressed to Executive Secretary of the Sector of Musha announcing the Divine Liturgy expected to take place in Nyagasambu on Saturday 10th March 2018 whereby the 20 newly baptized orthodox faithful wished a Divine Liturgy be celebrated in their village for them to partake to the Holy Eucharist, and after recommendation of the Sector authority on 9th March 2018, not to make that Divine Liturgy if ever there were no adequate Church Construction in the area, the faithful of Mount Fumbwe Orthodox Community being prepared to welcome their guests, judged better to organize an ordinary party after agreements with the local Civil leaders.
Among the 21 guests who came are 2 priests, 1 Sub Deacon and 2 readers. About 60 people of the Village of Ruhita and the neighbours who wish to make an Orthodox Parish attended the party. Among the Apostolic Workers are: Fr. Petros, Fr. Maximos, Sub Deacon Theodoros, Reader Michael, Reader Dmitri and Reader Timotheos.
All the guests first met at the Office of the Orthodox Community of Mount Fumbwe – Nyagasambu where Fr. Petros (Jean Pierre) BICAMUMPAKA read a Gospel passage in Matthew 28: 16-20 about the Great Commission of Jesus to His Apotles to make disciples, to baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and to teach them. (Mt 28: 19-20) The Priest evoked also the Gospel of the Day: Mark 2: 14-20 in which passage Sinners are welcome with the calling of Levi, the tax collector. Jesus is saying: «Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.» (Mark 2:17) Christ came to save and heal, not to judge. (John 1:17; 3:17)
It was moreover the opportunity to announce the Third Sunday of Great Lent that the Orthodox Church consecrated to the Adoration of the Holy Cross. In the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 8:34-9:1, Jesus explains the meaning of the Cross in the life of the believer. After Peterꞌs confession, Jesus injects a new, solemn tone into His ministry by speaking about suffering and by teaching the people and the disciples the cost of discipleship: self-denial, carrying oneꞌs cross (a symbol of suffering), and obedience to Christ.
By saying: «Let him deny himself and take up his cross», Jesus means His followers should separate themselves from their sins and from the inclination of their hearts towards evil (Gen. 28:21), crucifying the flesh with its passions and desires. (Gal.5:24).
The present faithful prayed the «Our Father in heaven». (Mat. 6: 9-13) We request God to forgive us … as we are to forgive others. (Mat. 6:12) By using the plural, Jesus directs each of us to pray for the Fatherꞌs forgiveness of all, and for all of us to forgive one another. Although Godꞌs forgiveness is primary, Jesus clearly teaches that there is a reciprocal relationship between divine and human forgiveness. We request God to be to us as we are to our neighbours. Depts refers to spiritual depts: when we sin, we «owe» restitution to our offended neighbour and to God. We pray not only that our sins be forgiven (V. 12), but we not yield to temptation. God tempts no one (James 1:13); temptations are from the evil one, the devil. They are aimed at the soulꞌs willful yielding to the sinful passions of the flesh (Rom. 7:5). No one can live without at some time encountering temptation. But to yield to temptation and commit sin is blameworthy. That we pray that great temptations, tests beyond what we can bear (1Cor. 10:13), should not come our way.
We finally repeated the «Nicene Creed» which contains the summary of the Dogma of our faith and tenets about the Holy Trinity, one God in 3 Persons, the Church and the eschatology. The Orthodox Church, also officially called the «Orthodox Catholic Church» and commonly referred to as the «Eastern Orthodox Church» considers itself to be the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church established by Jesus Christ and His Apostles for more 2000 years ago. In other words, the Faith and practices of the Church have continued to this day virtually unchanged since the apostolic times. The goal of Orthodox Christian from baptism, is to continually draw near to God throughout life. This process is called theosis or deification and is a spiritual pilgrimage in which each person strives to become more holy and more «Christ Like» within Jesus Christ.
The Orthodox Church governs her life by Holy Tradition. There are five sources of Christian Tradition: The Holy Scriptures who are the principal and most honoured written record of Godꞌs revelation to His people, the Liturgy of the Church which means the work of the Church when it comes together to be the people of God and to worship God, the Councils or the meeting of those in the Church who have been given the authority to decide what is faithful to the Tradition of the Church and what is not (from where creeds and canons), the Saints: their lives and the teachings of the Fathers and Mothers of the Church, and finally the Church Art such as iconography, Church music and Church architecture.
It is the Churchꞌs understanding that all these sources of Tradition hold together in unity. One is never used in isolation from the others. The Orthodox would claim that all the problems, all false teaching, all the exaggeration, all misunderstandings that have occurred in more two thousand years of Christian history have taken place because people misguidedly have taken one or another source of Christian Tradition, isolated it from everything else, and treated it as an independent unit. The Orthodox Church is not the Bible only. The Orthodox Church is not liturgy only. The Orthodox Church is not creed, council, and canon only. Rather, everything works together in unity, and when all these sources of Tradition are accepted as the common fountain of the self-revelation of God, it is our faith that they will bring us to the life to which God has invited His creation, to the destiny that He has given us in Sharing His own life, His own eternal communion – to know Him who has offered us the truth that will set us free. «And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free». (John 8:32)
Fr. Petros (Jean Pierre) BICAMUMPAKA concluded the short prayer in blessing the present people and reminding them the check list that the Government of Rwanda requires for all the Churches working on this land to carry out Worship Assemblies:
1. Having Legal certificate from Rwanda Governance Board (R.G.B.).
2. Being recognized by the District Authority.
3. Having the land of at least ½ hectare.
4. Not praying from an ordinary house or apartment.
5. Not praying from the tent or sheeting.
6. Having clean toilets places (2 rooms for men, 2 rooms for women at least)
7. Having a parking.
8. Having greening place and pavement.
9. Having sound proof for the church buildings which are near the houses of people.
10. Having occupation permit for churches which finish the constructing.
11. Having the way of managing the water from the rain.
12. Having the place for putting all dirty things.
The Churches which do not fulfil these requirements have to close their church halls until they meet these requirements. Until now, the government has closed more than 700 church buildings in all Rwanda not meeting this regulation.
And we call upon all the Orthodox faithful all over the world to pray for Orthodox Church in Rwanda, because Orthodox Church is very new in Rwanda, only 4 years. We lack many things in terms of infrastructure needed by the government, and we have over 5000 Orthodox Faithful distributed in 12 parishes.
May God bless all of you and everyone.
Reader Timotheos (Tito) TWUNGUBUMWE
Orthodox Church in Rwanda, Representative of Mount Fumbwe
/ Nyagasambu Orthodox Community.