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Church planting in Madidi

1 September 2014

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 shack church at Madidi.

The shack church at Madidi.

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.

The ad hoc congregation that gathered to meet us on a Saturday afternoon, with Fr Athanasius on the left, and Fr Markos on the right)

The ad hoc congregation that gathered to meet us on a Saturday afternoon, with Fr Athanasius on the left, and Fr Markos on the right)

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.

The interior of the church at Madidi.

The interior of the church at Madidi.

One of the members of the congregation had died a couple of weeks earlier, so we had a memorial service for her.

Father Markos speaking to the congregation at Madidi.

Father Markos speaking to the congregation at Madidi.

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.

Fr Markos's house at Madidi

Fr Markos’s house at 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.

Some of the land that is availavle, and might be suitable for building a temporary church

Some of the land that is availavle, and might be suitable for building a temporary church

 

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