Τρίτη, 19 Ιανουαρίου 2016

Democratic Republic of Congo: “The Voice of Orthodoxy”


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†Bishop Nikiforos of Central Africa

 
The Voice of Orthodoxy is broadcast every morning reaching houses, huts, villages and the surrounding cities of the natives. It is the daily catechesis conducted here in the heart of Africa, in the Orthodox diocese of Central Africa by “Saint Athanasios the Athonite” Orthodox University. Here, in Kinshasa, the capital of Congo (DRC).
The Voice of Orthodoxy is the hymns, the lives of the saints, the catechesis, the interpretation of the daily gospel readings, it is the homilies of the Holy Fathers of the Church, it is the message of Orthodoxy.
For four hours in the morning and four in the evening the “Voice of Orthodoxy” travels through radio waves and reaches, not only ten, twenty or a hundred people, but everybody tuning their radio to 94.1 MHz.
Where the priest cannot go, where the catechist cannot enter, in houses of people of any religion, enters the Voice of Orthodoxy and there miracles can happen.

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Our phone often rings.
—I can hear you through the radio, I have learnt about you through it. What should I do to become an Orthodox Christian?
—We are 200 kilometers away from Kinshasa. We have not got any church here, neither a priest, nor a catechist. We listen to the Orthodox radio station every day. We get to know how we can be saved, we chant along what we hear. What beautiful hymns!
—I visited my friend in Kinshasa. He was listening to your broadcast, the “Voice of Orthodoxy”. “My soul found refuge”, he said, “I learnt things I didn’t know, I realized what the truth is; something spoke inside me. I got jealous of him. During my stay there, we would listen to the broadcast together. Soon I will be leaving for my village, which is 600 km away from here. How can we receive your signal there? Make such a radio station for us, too.
—I am an Orthodox Christian. A priest comes here regularly and conducts the liturgy for us. Every morning and evening the catechist gathers the faithful at our grass hut-church to chant. I am in bed, I cannot go to church, but I listen to our Church’s radio station and rejoice, forget my loneliness and my disability and praise God.
—I became an Orthodox Christian by listening to your station, and I now say to my friends: listen to the “Voice of Orthodoxy” and your life will change.

The catechesis going everywhere, the Church entering every Orthodox or non-Orthodox home, the “Voice of Orthodoxy”.

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But alas! This voice of Orthodoxy is running the risk of not sending its message anymore, of being silenced. Not because it has no other words of God to send to the people, nor because it hasn’t got vibrant and self-sacrificing people to operate the station. But because it has not got the money to buy oil and feed the electro generator, so that the radio station machinery can work.
The financial crisis in Europe has also brought financial difficulties to the Mission. We understand. Who can help us from Europe, when they can hardly make a living?
All of us here reach out our hands and wait for contributions from benevolent people in order to cope with the missionary expenses, continue operating our schools, help those who have nothing to eat, take them to the doctor, pay for their medications, make it possible for them to study and get married.
We are doing our best to scrimp and save every little bit we can, counting every single penny, every single franc. But it hurts! Should we allow the “Voice of Orthodoxy” to get silenced, our diocesan radio station to shut down, just because we have no money to buy oil for the generator?
We appeal to God every day for donors and sponsors to be sent forth, so that the “Voice of Orthodoxy” will keep entering into the homes of the natives and permeating their hearts.

Please, see:

The Orthodox Church in Congo & Gabon & the Orthodox University "St. Athanasius Athonite" 
Orthodox Democratic Republic of Congo (tag)

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