Παρασκευή 4 Σεπτεμβρίου 2015

Orthodox Kenya: Father Mwangi’s Orphanage


Dear Family & Friends,
We credit Ekaterina Zagulyaeva, Christian Orthodox journalist from Moscow, Russia for exposing the needs of the Kenyan orphans & the unselfish work performed by Father Mark Mwangi & his wife Presbytera Alice Mwangi, in identifying & assisting orphaned children in obtaining shelter, healthcare needs, nutrition, education & fulfilling their spiritual needs.
Below is a link to the beautifully illustrated article she published, December 11, 2014. In addition, below we have also posted photos of Ekaterina’s visit to Father Mark Mwangi’s Orphanage.

Through Facebook,  the needs of the Kenyan orphans  came to the awareness of Timothy Farrell,  the charity organizer of the Saint Philothea Project.

[...] I, Anastasia Poulos am just an ordinary citizen of Christ’s Orthodox church. I met Presbytera Alice through an Orthodox group on Facebook. We bonded because I come from parents who also serve the Lord. We chatted for months & Presbytera never once shared with me her dire need. She never once asked for ANYTHING!  It wasn’t until I stumbled upon Ekaterina’s article, that I realized what a gift this couple is to their community. It pulled at my heart and I wept. I prayed to God to show me a way in which I could be of assistance. One of the best gifts we can give, is our time & skills. It is something I gave up freely, in putting together this fundraiser site. I pray that God will guide us in doing good.  Through HIS LOVE and your generosity, all things are possible.

[...] Those who wish to contribute items for our cause,  please contact him to arrange for shipment.
In final thought, we all have something we can give to help others.  Please give. The cost of a Starbucks Coffee, a Happy Meal etc. might seem insignificant to you,  but $5 in Africa can provide each child 1 kilogram of rice, 1 kilogram of corn meal and 1 kilogram of Vegetable lard!  Staples that are commonly used to keep the hunger pains at bay.
We THANK YOU for your love & support.

You can also HELP OUR CAUSE BY SHARING OUR PAGE with others. 

We look forward to growing with you.  Pictures of our progress will be shared.  Come join us in our journey!
Anastasia Poulos,
Timothy Farrell & Saint Philothea Project,
Ekaterina Zagulyaeva,
Presbytera Alice Mwangi &
Father Mark Mwangi.

Fr. Mark Mwangi took us to his orphanage known as Orthodox Africa, which is situated near the border between Tanzania and Kenya. We invite you all to follow us on this day we spent with this Orthodox priest.
Illasit is a Kenyan town on the border of Tanzania with a police patrol near its entrance, which checks personal identification documents from time to time. Amboseli National Park is close by, yet it is still very rare to see foreigners around Illasit. White people tend to attract the attention of locals. Foreigners are usually tourists with large backpacks, there to climb Kilimanjaro, which is also nearby. Organized expeditions to climb this highest of African mountains cost scarcely 1500 US dollars, including carriers and tents. We spent an entire day in Illasit with Fr. Mark Mwangi.
It is quite common in Africa for a priest to serve at more than one parish. Fr. Mark told us his main church is the Church of St. Constantine and Elena, but he also serves the parish of St. Vasiliy the Great, which is situated in a corn field. Apart from these two Orthodox churches, there is just one other church in the area, located about 100 kilometers from Illasit. It has no priest, so Fr. Mark serves there, as well.

It takes two hours on foot for Fr. Mark and his wife to reach the church. During Holy Week, when services are customarily done in both the morning and the evening, this is especially difficult for them. Fr. Mark doesn’t own a car or even a motorcycle. He must carry his vestments and other religious items with him from his home to the churches. Photo: Fr. Mark borrowed his neighbor’s motorcycle to take me to the orphanage to show me around.

[...] The children’s typical reaction to “mzunga,” or white people, is something akin to curiosity or fright. At times, they really were afraid of me, as it seemed to them I had no skin at all.

Fr. Mark’s orphans are children who either have one parent, or have no parent at all. Their parents have usually died from AIDS. Most often, if there is no parent in the home, or if the parents are gravely ill, older siblings take care of the younger ones. Mother Alice explained that most orphanages in Kenya take only children of dying parents who can pay them large sums of money. But children left to care for their younger sisters and brothers are poor, and usually have little to no money at all. That means they cannot go to school, and never learn to read or write. Being illiterate, they cannot get a decent-paying job. So they work in the fields to survive.
In the orphanage, there are not even enough beds. Children sleep on the floor, sharing a single blanket. There’s no water supply, and no electricity.

While visiting orphans, Mother Alice talks to them about their health and makes sure they boil their water. If they have no fire, she teaches them how to make their water potable by putting it in a black plastic bag under the sun. She also teaches them to clean themselves, to wash their clothes, and to eat wholesome foods, as best they can with what limited products there are in Africa. Mother Alice has a journal in which she keeps records of all the orphans’ needs. She then visits local shopkeepers to ask for donations to fulfill them. For example, when she recently discovered six children of a single mother with AIDS sleeping on a trash bag on the floor, she managed to get a mattress for them from one of the shops. [...]

Fr. Mark gives candies to the people waiting to see a doctor. This has been a long day for everyone. Doctors have examined 172 patients who had no other way to get a consultation. All patients were poor; some were not Fr. Mark’s parishioners. The cost of everything came to more than 90 US dollars, which Fr. Mark paid. He would be very happy to invite doctors to come once month, but for now, that is not feasible. So he holds these events three or four times a year.

Author: Ekaterina Zagulyaeva
More & more photos here
To help Fr Mwangi fund his ministry send your donation, please, to:

Mark Mwangi Kibui
P.O. Box 48-Loitokitok Kenya
Swift code: EQBLKENA
Bank code: 068
Branch code: 074
Account number: 0740192387774
email: revmarkmwangi@yahoo.com
Phone: +254721580231

One of the most fast and not expensive ways to send a donation is the moneygram transfer service http://global.moneygram.com :
Mark Mwangi Kibui,
Loitokitok, Kenya
Phone: +254721580231

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