11 baptized at Kenyan orphanage during visit of “Orthodox Africa” charity director

Moscow, May 19, 2017

Photo: facebook.com/jmkariukinyandarua Photo: facebook.com/jmkariukinyandarua
    

Eleven “new Orthodox warriors” were baptized into the holy Orthodox Church at the St. Barnabas Orphanage and School on Sunday, May 14, reports the charity foundation Orthodox Africa. Of the eleven, two are teachers at the school, and nine are students.

The St. Barnabas Orphanage and School was founded in 2007 by Fr. Methodios JM Kariuki and his wife Papadhia Everlyn Mwangi, and has helped over 400 children. Today, the mission includes thirteen volunteers providing care for 175 children, 34 of which to date have been baptized into the Orthodox Church.

The joyous occasion of the Baptisms came during the visit of Fr. Silouan (Brown), the founder and director of Orthodox Africa, which currently supports five missions in Kenya, and one parish in Uganda, with the goal of helping them achieve long-term sustainability.

Fr. Silouan arrived at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya on Thursday May 11 for his second missionary trip to visit the missions being helped by Orthodox Africa. He was interviewed by OrthoChristian.com before and after his first missionary trip last summer. He was met by Fr. Methodios of St. Barnabas’ and Fr. Constantinos of the St. Irene Orthodox Mission Center. Fr. Silouan immediately went to visit the children at St. Barnabas’, where catechism classes were to be held the next day, and at St. Irene’s, where he helped serve meals to the children.

Fr. Silouan with the Orthodox Africa Nairobi Diocese Board of Directors. Photo: facebook.com/orthodoxafrica Fr. Silouan with the Orthodox Africa Nairobi Diocese Board of Directors. Photo: facebook.com/orthodoxafrica
The Baptisms took place the following Sunday at St. Barnabas’, with the newly-illumined ranging in age from 3 to 30. Six of the children were personally sponsored by Fr. Silouan, and several others were sponsored by supporters of Orthodox Africa.

However, the reality of life in Kenya remains severe. “While it was a day full of joy,” Fr. Silouan writes, “it was difficult to see the sadness in the eyes of a couple of the boys. They have been crushed by life here in Kenya. It is hard to see a child suffer. I hope that through the prayers of their Godparents, our supporters, and their entrance into the One Holy Orthodox Church they will someday soon experience the joy that Christ offers to all of us despite the difficulties that we often experience.”

After the Sunday Liturgy, Fr. Silouan also had the blessing of presenting the St. Barnabas Orphanage and School with an icon of St. Barnabas the Apostle especially painted for their community, as well as relics of St. Andrew the Apostle that came through another of the community’s friends from America, Fr. Methodios writes on his personal Facebook page.

Fr. Silouan’s mission trip in Africa continued with a meeting with the Orthodox Africa Nairobi Diocese Board of Directors on May 17. “We are excited about our prospects of joining with all of you as we help build self-reliant and self-sustainable missions,” Fr. Siluoan wrote after the meeting.

Learn more about Orthodox Africa and the missions they support at their website.

5/19/2017

See also
“We are One in Christ:” The Missionary Work of “Orthodox Africa” “We are One in Christ:” The Missionary Work of “Orthodox Africa”
Jesse Dominick, Fr. Silouan (Brown)
“We are One in Christ:” The Missionary Work of “Orthodox Africa” “We are One in Christ:” The Missionary Work of “Orthodox Africa”
A Conversation with Fr. Silouan (Brown) on His Missionary Trip to Kenya and the Continuing Work
Jesse Dominick, Fr. Silouan (Brown)
Last July I sat down with Fr. Silouan (Brown) to ask him about his upcoming mission trip to Kenya, on behalf of the charitable organization “Orthodox Africa” he founded as a way for the global Orthodox community to be able to participate in the furtherance of God’s Kingdom by providing a means for the average layman who may not be able to travel to faraway lands, to participate in global missionary work. The organization works with several mission and shelters in Kenya. In this follow-up interview, Fr. Silouan shares his thoughts and reflections on the trip, how it compared to expectations, what he learned about how to better serve the people of Africa, and about the bond of Orthodox Christians worldwide, rooted in our common faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Serving the Least of the Brethren: the Missionary Work of Serving the Least of the Brethren: the Missionary Work of "Orthodox Africa"
Jesse Dominick, Fr. Silouan (Brown)
Serving the Least of the Brethren: the Missionary Work of Serving the Least of the Brethren: the Missionary Work of "Orthodox Africa"
A Conversation with Fr. Silouan (Brown) on Putting Matthew 25 into Action
Jesse Dominick, Fr. Silouan (Brown)
"The Kingdom is taken by violence and force. That implies to me in a lot of ways that we can’t sit on the sidelines as passive observers. We have to engage. You can’t sit by and wait for somebody else to do it. That’s what Orthodox Africa is for me—I saw a gap where there was a need and I asked myself what I could do, and Orthodox Africa is what I can do, so I went out and did it. It’s an invitation to everyone out there to get off their couches, and even if they can’t personally go travel and be a missionary, here’s one way they can be involved. Everyone has to be involved in some way in the furtherance of the Kingdom of God. Produce some good fruit."
Bishop Paul presents $31K check to OCMC to buy motorbikes for Kenyan clergy Bishop Paul presents $31K check to OCMC to buy motorbikes for Kenyan clergy Bishop Paul presents $31K check to OCMC to buy motorbikes for Kenyan clergy Bishop Paul presents $31K check to OCMC to buy motorbikes for Kenyan clergy
“I am, in a sense, speechless by the response of our parishes and faithful,” said Bishop Paul, “and I wish to thank one and all, from the bottom of my heart, for their generous, responsible and selfless stewardship."
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