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OCMC News - Tanzania and James - Resurrection 2011 Update

by James Hargrave (Posted 4/24/2011)

Dear Friends,

Kristo amefufuka! Christ is risen!

I did not expect to find the Risen Christ here in Kenya. I expected to be home in Tanzania for Holy Week and Pascha. But today I write you from Nairobi, Kenya.

Two weeks ago, I was called to Nairobi to assist OCMC Missionary Katie Wilcoxson as she sought diagnosis and treatment at Nairobi Hospital for some ongoing issues. You may have read Michael Pagedas' recent update about this. While in Kenya, I also took the opportunity for some doctors' visits of my own. On Holy Wednesday, Katie was released to the United States for further evaluation and treatment. After accompanying her to the airport on Holy Thursday, I went down to the bus station to get a ticket back to Mwanza. There were none to be had.

Exactly one year ago last week, I was unexpectedly delayed in England on my way to Tanzania. This year, I was unexpectedly delayed in Kenya. Should I expect to be delayed somewhere next year?

I did arrive in Tanzania on 23rd April 2010-- one year ago yesterday. This means that today, the Sunday of the Resurrection, marks the beginning of my second year of missionary service. God willing, I will return to Mwanza on today's overnight bus (the ticket's in my wallet!).

The year has been full of surprises, and none so many as during the past month. Great Lent has been tough. We have had to say goodbye-for-now to two missionary colleagues, Charita Stavrou and Katie Wilcoxson. Both are currently in the United States seeking evaluation and treatment for unrelated medical issues. The team is incomplete without them, and I look forward to welcoming them both back to Tanzania when each is ready to return.

Next month we look forward to welcoming OCMC Missionary Maria Roeber, a maternity nurse who has been preparing for service for some time now. She hopes to serve at Holy Resurrection Hospital in Bukoba along with Katie Wilcoxson, Michael Pagedas and Felice Stewart.

It has been very good to be here in Nairobi for Holy Week and Pascha. I am staying with lifelong friends and have been attending services at the magnificent Ss Cosmas & Damian Cathedral not far from their house. Archbishop Makarios of Kenya has welcomed me kindly, and I have gotten to know some of the seminarians as well as members of the Cathedral. It was an unexpected Pascha, but filled with joy.

This means that I will have been in Tanzania two full years before first experiencing Holy Week and the Resurrection in my adopted home. I am looking forward to the experience.

May your lives be filled with the life of the Risen Lord in every circumstance, expected or unexpected.

Amefufuka kweli! Truly he is risen!

James Hargrave

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God of truth and love: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Hear our prayer for those who do not know You. That they may come to a saving knowledge of the truth, and that Your Name may be praised among all peoples of the world. Sustain, inspire, and enlighten Your servants who bring them the Gospel. Bring fresh vigor to wavering faith; sustain our faith when it is still fragile. Continually renew missionary zeal in ourselves and in the Church, and raise up new missionaries who will follow You to the ends of the world. Make us witnesses to Your goodness full of love, full of strength, and full of faith for Your glory and the salvation of the entire world. Through the prayers of all the missionary saints, Have mercy on us and save us. Amen.
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