Hello friends of the Orthodox Mission in Sierra Leone and supporters of P4K-USA & P4k-AU
Christ is Risen!
It is four o’clock in the morning here in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The city is in pitch darkness and most of its residents are asleep. Our Orthodox Mission compound in Tower Hill, Freetown however is still buzzing with work and flooded in light. No sleep. Why?
We are desperately trying to beat the coming rains. The rainy season is at our doorstep and we must hurry to prepare the terrain of one of our designated compound (Tower Hill) towards the construction of our new orphanage – the St. James Orthodox Children’s Orphanage.
This new institution will have two branches within the greater Freetown area. One will be located in Waterloo and will house the older children (9 – 18 years of age). The other, in Tower Hill, will cater for younger children (3 – 8 years of age). These will be children left without parents as a result of the ongoing Ebola outbreak.
While the number of daily victims claimed by the Ebola virus has now vastly diminished here in Sierra Leone (our neighboring country Liberia has just been declared Ebola free) yet it still raises it ugly head occasionally. Nevertheless this deadly outbreak has left its tragic reminders – most notably the rendering of thousands of children as orphans.
Because of the greet need to house some of these children the Mission is working day and night to avoid the coming rain and to start the actual buildings, particularly at our Tower Hill site.
As the name suggests the topography at our Tower Hill compound is difficult. It is multi-leveled and steep. It is therefore necessary to scratch out areas of level ground in order to permit the construction of the various buildings which will constitute the Tower Hill orphanage complex – dormitory, dining hall, school and playground.
For that reason the Mission is now involved in furious tractor excavation work, rapid transportation of soil from the compound by the regular rotation of several trucks at night(to avoid traffic) and the breaking of large loosed boulders into pebbles. This process is happening on an almost twenty four hour basis.
Once the rains come it will be very difficult to continue this type of clearance and leveling work at Tower Hill. Our aim is therefore to put at least the foundations of the dormitory and dining hall before the heavy and incessant rains come. When this is accomplished then we can continue building uninterrupted even when the storms arrive.
On the other hand the terrain in our Waterloo compound, which will be the site of the other branch of the orphanage, is very flat so it is not necessary there to be to be concerned about the coming rains.
We thank our generous Greek Orthodox donors in the USA for making this vision become a reality. The Mission particularly thanks Rev. Alex Karloutsos of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America for his productive networking and intervention in this project. May the Lord grant him many years. We also thank Paradise 4 Kids / USA for their untiring sponsorship of our Orthodox Mission here in Sierra Leone.
I ask for all your prayers.
Christ is Risen
+ Rev. Themi