Paradise 4 Kids

……back in the Mission Field here in Sierra Leone – Orphanage update 1

Rev Themi

In the name of Jesus

Hi Louis, Friends & Supporters,

Christ is Risen!

Well I’m back in the Mission Field here in Sierra Leone. After spending some weeks in the luxury and comfort of the USA.  I am beginning to adapt again to the electricity blackouts, the tap running our of water and the humid tropical heat. Nevertheless it feels good to be back.

Ebola has not disappeared from here, but it is now at a very low level of contamination. Thanks be to God, it seems that we are coming out of that dark tunnel.

Orphanage Update 1

Concerning the issue of the orphanage I musty say how delighted I am with the generous assistance we received in the USA. May God bless the benefactors, all who donated and all who joined iDonate with monthly support.

By the grace of God this means our Mission can now enter the planning and preparatory stage towards the care for the children whose parents were killed by the Ebola virus. Right now, to begin with, we will be enrolling over 30 Ebola orphans in our school in Waterloo. We will also be providing them with books, uniforms shoes etc.  So in a very real sense we have already started our campaign to protect and care for Ebola orphans.

Now, concerning the location and construction of the orphanage we are in direct dialogue with the government (Ministry of Social Welfare). It seems that during the time of my USA  visit, here in Sierra Leone some of the private orphanages ran into trouble with the government – financial corruption in the running of the orphanages and the mistreatment and abuse of children. Consequently the government is now taking a more hands on approach in the development of any new orphanage. For that reason we will be working closely with the government in the planning and development stage.

What that means is that there will be a slowing down element due with additional bureaucratic obligations (e.g. memorandum of understanding,  allocation of land etc.). The government has offered to give us a couple of acres of land in an area of Freetown known as Gloucester. We are still hoping that we get the OK to build it at our present Mission centre at Tower Hill.
However if we are to get free land at Gloucester then we need to consider that as well. A decision will be made once the Minister visits Tower Hill and makes an assessment. I expect by the end of next week the decision concerning the location will be settled. I am also looking at securing beach front land (York Village, Kent Beach) to use as a retreat centre primarily for the use of the orphanage kids where they can enjoy the beach and the sea at appointed times of the year.

In summary we are presently at the paper writing and negotiation stage in the orphanage project. Once we get an official letter from the Ministry we will open the orphanage bank account. I expect that to happen in a few days.

Other news….

As you know the Ebola outbreak caused the shutting down of all academic institutions nationwide. Schools and Colleges have remained closed since midway last year. The youth of this nation has lost an almost entire academic year from their life. The good news now is that the government has given the green light for all schools, colleges and universities to open their doors. Our College will begin operating next week and we have ample new enrolments. The school in Syke Street (Freetown Orthodox Christian School) has already began classes. While our school in Waterloo will begin classes next week. So things appear to be slowly going back to normal – though shops still have restricted trading hours and bans on public meetings are still operative.  I am still warning people about the need to continue to be careful and not to relax too much when it comes to the still present menace of Ebola, albeit in a much diminished form.

That’s all for now. Keep well.

XPISTOS ANESTH

In His Royal Service

PS Can you DHL me a vegetarian Subway sandwich!

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3 Responses

  1. Barbara Pepe says:

    It was a blessing it was to have you here with us in the US during Holy Week. It was so nice to worship with you and to have the opportunity to meet Louis! You two are quite a force together! I am so happy to hear that you are safely back with your flock in Sierra Leone and wish you continued success with your mission there. It is wonderful to hear that help for the children is already underway. I know with God’s grace you will forge ahead quickly and an orphange will be built! May God continue to bless and protect you all!

  2. Alyse says:

    Fr. Themi –

    I would say May God be with you, but I know God is with you!!! Still – “May God be with you!” I would still like to come and maybe help in some way, but how do we privately e-mail you. I am so very thankful that Ebola is at a low level of contamination and I can’t even begin to comprehend what the lives of the orphans have been, losing their beloved parents from this horrible disease.
    How courageous you are and may we learn from your example of loving from the heart. I am learning from reading Elder Sergei of Vanves of how much I was mistaught in trying to figure things out and the world values the intellect and doesn’t understand the heart.
    I will pray for your protection from this disease over all of you and that it is eradicated and I will pray for the souls of the children – thank God you are bringing them His love and light. I hope the red tape part of the process is shortened, so you can put together what you need for the kids.
    Nothing is impossible with God.

    God’s love and light and peace to you,
    Alyse

  3. Linda Chelius says:

    Fr. Themi –

    Alithos Anesti! God Bless the work you are doing for all in Sierra Leone. They must be thrilled you are back caring for them. We are so happy to hear the orphanage plans are underway and with God’s Grace the planning and construction will move quickly and efficiently so these children can be taken off the streets and cared for. Maybe one day we can open a Subway franchise in Freetown 🙂

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