"Our Small Hospital"
by Metropolitan of Kinshasa Nikiforos
Our Orthodox Medical Center in Kinshasa
“... The epidemic arrived and we have not had time to complete it, to offer something to the poor people. We were sad, we were sorry, we prayed, we apologized to God. We couldn't look into the eyes of the people who live around our little hospital.”
Dear friends of the Mission,
I greet you cordially and with gratitude from Kinshasa, the heart of Africa, which I feel is akin to your own heart, which accompanies us in our missionary struggle.
The work in our small hospital was stopped due to lack of money. It did not have time to operate, except for the period when the team of doctors from Greece came. Many poor natives were examined and given medicine and got well. The street outside the building was filled with people waiting for their turn to be examined by the doctors who had come from Greece. There were no doors in the examination rooms. We hung blankets to use as doors.
The doctors had to examine and offer their help to the natives who had no money to go to the doctor, no money to buy medicine, not even an aspirin to buy. The moments that the doctors experienced were touching, the moments that we all experienced were touching, a tear escaped us when we saw the pain of the people, but also a joy that the Orthodox Church offered something. It relieved people's pain. We praised God, we asked our Virgin Mary and St. Panteleimon to help complete our Health Center, our little hospital.
The epidemic arrived and we have not had time to complete it, to offer something to the poor people. We were sad, we were sorry, we prayed, we apologized to God. We couldn't look into the eyes of the people who live around our little hospital. What would they think, you gave us hope for a few days, and now in the difficult time you were away. Many asked when you would open, when the doctors would come? When will you help us? We've avoided approaching all this time. We had a guard. We didn't have the money to go ahead with the work. So it remained closed when it should have been open to offer the love of Orthodoxy. We were absent. It saddened us, it depressed us, but we had no solution, we had no money.
Already with the end of the pandemic we have started slowly with the money sent to us by our philanthropic brothers. With the help of the friends of the diocese and the Orthodox Foreign Missionary Brotherhood, the inner doors and some medical and hospital equipment were loaded into the container and are coming. The ground floor, once everything else is installed and completed, will be ready to open. We believe soon, if our philanthropic brethren will help us.
On the first floor, which includes the operating theatre, hospital rooms and conference room, we still have a lot of work to do. Electrical and plumbing installation, tiling of floors, installation of doors, ceiling, enrichment with appropriate medical and hospital equipment. All this will require a lot of money. We believe and hope that Our Lady, the mother of us all, and St. Panteleimon, to whom our small hospital "Panagia Sumala - St. Panteleimon" is dedicated, will enlighten philanthropic believers, who will help to complete and provide medical assistance to the poor natives. At the same time, the group of medical friends of the Holy Metropolis, headed by the medical priest, doctor of medicine and director of the Health Center of Varis Attiki, Fr. Michael Dandoulakis, are organized for the operation of our small hospital. We invite doctors to join this effort.
Our Metropolis has no resources here in Cogo or elsewhere, it is supported only by the donations of those who take things to help us. So to complete and operate we need everyone's help.
We humbly pray to Almighty God to repay their love and sacrifice with rich heavenly and earthly gifts.
† Bishop Nikiforos of Kinshasa
His Emincence bishop Nikiforos of Kinshasa was born in 1949. He has been serving the Orthodox Mission in Congo (DRC) since 2006, while in 2010 he was ordained the bishop of Central Africa.
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