Church planting in Madidi
About 18 months ago Fr Markos Manyeke started to build himself a house in Madidi, on the remote north-western edge of the City of Tshwane (actually beyond Klipgat, in North-West Province). He also started to gather a group of people, neighbours, and started to teach them about the Orthodox Christian faith. They worship in a small tin shack just down the road from his house. Last Saturday Fr Athanasius Akunda and I visited them.
The land belonged to a member of the congregation who allowed them to use the land, but he has since died, and there seem to be some problems in settling his estate, so they are looking for a new place to worship.
Fr Markos told us that there were about 15 families involved in the new congregation, and there are more in another place, Mokau, still further away.
One of the members of the congregation had died a couple of weeks earlier, so we had a memorial service for her.
Later this month we are hoping to have a visitor from the USA, Xenia (Kaycie) Simmons, and we hope that, with the blessing of our Archbishop Damaskinos, she will be able to do some catechetical teaching at places like Madidi.
We went to have a look at a piece of land that was for sale, and might be suitable for building at least a temporary church. There is about half a hectare of land available, but we are thinking of perhaps getting one or two 20 x 40 metre plots, since the land is leasehold, not freehold, and so might not be suitable for erecting substantial permanent buildings.