Paradise 4 Kids

Rev Themi stays put! – flights suspended to & from Sierra Leone

Ebola outbreak: BA suspends flights to Sierra Leone and Liberia over virus

Dear Rev Themi Friends & Supporters,

Over the past 2 weeks, Rev Themi has agonised about returning to Australia during the EBOLA crisis in SL.

Below is his email I received a few days ago and I think it is proper that I share it with you all; because of his email, I will be contacting our committees in Brisbane, Sydney & Melbourne over the next week to determine how we handle this situation in regards to our fundraisers.


Rev THi Louis
Christ be with you.

As you know my return annual fund raising trip to Australia this year was booked for August 7th. This booking was made 12 months ago well before the recent lethal and  tragic Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. Therefore following from our recent telephone conversation I would like to explain my reasons for the firm and even hard decision I have made to postpone this year’s return trip to Australia.

Our Lord Jesus has taught that the shepherd of the flock does not run away when danger or an enemy approaches but remains to protect the sheep. The hireling runs away. “But he that is a hireling and not the shepherd … seeing the wolf coming leaves the sheep and flees….the hireling flees because he cares not for the sheep. (St. John 10. 12-13). I am not a hireling!

Consequently since the next 30 to 60 days are the most crucial in this current Ebola crisis my natural place for the next few months or as long as the emergency period remains is here in Sierra Leone.

Our Mission is serving over 3000 families – school pupils, college students, two congregations and Mission staff. We are in the front line of this incurable epidemic. Consequently there is much I have to do here to ensure the protection of our people:

  • There is a need for a central coordinator to ensure that strict safety, health and even quarantine measures are put in place in all the Mission compounds and projects.
  • It is imperative we continue Ebola  education and sensitisation since some people are in denial here or submit to irrational myths.
  • The Mission’s budget needs to be seriously revised in the light of this emergency period. I have to be here to supervise this process.
  • I need to be here to ensure that church services are conducted on a daily basis during this immediate critical month.
  • Furthermore there is a widespread feeling among the Sierra Leoneans that whenever a dangerous calamity strikes the nation the white people run away – even if they belong to a charity organisation.  By and large this is what happened during the civil war. I do not wish to give a cowardly image to the Orthodox Church.

I am sure you understand and I know you agree with my decision and reasons to remain. Indeed I feel relieved and encouraged that  strong believing Christians like yourself agree with the postponement or even perhaps complete cancellation of my return to Australia for 2014. With the help, grace and protection of our Lord Jesus Christ  I will monitor the situation. When the emergency period is over here we can consider if I return for a few weeks back home. God knows when.

Given the crucial significance of our annual fundraising events in Australia for the financial survival of the Orthodox Mission in Sierra Leone, my only concern is that my absence from the fund raising functions not affect the indispensable Australian assistance  to our Mission. I pray and hope that our Mission’s friends turn out in full force in support of our work here. However you have my sister Mary there who is imminently arriving in Australia having recently stayed in Sierra Leone. I  am positive that she will prove more than a capable replacement.

Thank you for all your help. Please send my warm regards and blessings to all our friends.

In Christ’s Royal Service

John 15:13King James Version (KJV)

13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Today I will send every available cent we have in the bank which totals +$8,181.15 AUD
If you can help please go to our Donation Page and give whatever you can.

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8 Responses

  1. Dcn. Walter Slaven says:

    Fr. Themi,

    You are truly a source of inspiration and disciple of our Gracious God. We are inspired by you as you shame us in our selfishness and affluence. We pray for you as you minister to our brothers and sisters and ask our Lord to provide you and those who work with you His fortitude in this time of trial. Please know and take strength from the knowledge that we pray for you and ourselves draw strength from your courage and indomitable faith. God bless you and those who work with you always.

  2. Sr Virginia says:

    Hello dear Fr Themi,

    I write to you from Goulburn after one month here – this morning’s excitement was evicting a Sulphur Crested Cockatoo from the Archepiscopal dining room.

    You are in my prayers as you live close with the Good Lord, the best place to be. I am rereading a book of homillies by Heiromonk Zachariah from Essex UK – 0f the Jesus Prayer he notes Sophrony: The Name of Jesus is ontologically linked to the Person of Jesus – so when we pray the prayer of His Name we are living in the Presence of His Person – here and eternally.

    I am in the Public Library because internet not connected at home as of now – will keep in touch and have you and all there in my prayers

    In Christ, Sr Virginia

  3. Nadia says:

    Dear Father Themi. We will be praying for you, the mission and people in Sierra Leone. Especially we will entreat our Lady Theotokos to keep your mission under her special protection during this dangerous time. Thank you so much for your teaching of Christ’s commandments not only with your words but with deeds. With love in Christ. You are always in our prayers.

  4. Elaine Otto says:

    Rev. Themi, our prayers go out to you and yours as you minister to so many in need. God bless you for all you do in His name. elaine

  5. Michel Chalhoub says:

    May the transfigured LORD protect & guide you with all your loved ones Father Themi.
    May LORD have mercy.

  6. Fr Stavro Agoroudis says:

    the experiences gained from staying with the Townsville people through cyclone yasi as their parish priest were invaluable. If one does the right thing for his flock nothing “bad” will happen. Good choice fr themi by showing a good example.

  7. Alyse says:

    Thank you Father Themi for laying your life down and loving like Christ – our example and leader.
    God bless you,
    Love & prayers,

  8. Linda Chelius says:

    Dear Father Themi – We pray for the health and well being of everyone in Sierra Leone. May the Good Lord Jesus Christ keep you safe from harm as you continue to do His good works. With Faith that the necessary funds will be provided by the caring people who are aware of this situation and open their hearts and pockets to help. God Bless You.

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