Priest George Maximov, chair of the Missionary Department of the Patriarchal Exarchate of Africa, completed his visit to Malawi.
The main goal of the trip was to provide humanitarian aid to people affected by Tropical Cyclone Freddy that had hit the country in spring 2023.
On June 22, accompanied by Priest George Chabwera, dean in Malawi, and Deacon Savva Kajawa, Father George Maximov visited Mbedza village in the Zomba District where the Russian Orthodox Church had opened a camp for displaced people. The delegation was warmly welcomed by the local chief, school principle and over two hundred villagers, who expressed deep gratitude to the Russian Church for timely help. An agreement was reached that the two tents provided by the Church could be used in future as classrooms for a local school which is in pressing need of premises.
In addition, measures are being taken to help renovate the school library damaged by the cyclone.
During a meeting with the local residents Father George Maximov told them about Orthodoxy. Later, acting on behalf of the Russian Orthodox Church, Deacon Savva distributed maize among two hundred local families.
On the same day, Priests George Maximov and George Chabwera also visited Kulanga village in the Phalombe District. They received a warm welcome from the local chief, as well as Priest Gregory Waison, rector of the local parish, and hundreds of believers representing six neighbouring communities of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The region suffers from an acute shortage of drinking water. The Patriarchal Exarchate of Africa has provided assistance necessary for starting to drill a well and install a water pump in the village. Local leaders and residents conveyed their heartfelt gratitude to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and Metropolitan Leonid of Klin, Patriarchal Exarch of Africa, for their help and the care they take of the African flock.
Father George Maximov delivered a sermon, after which foodstuffs and necessities were distributed among 350 families of Orthodox Christians affected by the natural disaster.
On the following day, Priest George celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Church of St. Olga, Equal-to-the-Apostles, in Nsokanya village, Zomba District. Concelebrating with him were Priests George Chabwera, Timothy Mofolo and Timothy Chintengi. Attending the Liturgy were worshippers from three neighbouring communities.
After the divine service, the clergy distributed yet another consignment of humanitarian aid among 135 families.
Later that day, Father George held a pastoral meeting. Its participants outlined further steps in developing mission and humanitarian activities of the Russian Church in Malawi.
Besides, a local cleric who had left the Church of Alexandria was received into the Russian Orthodox Church.
Ten Orthodox communities benefited from the visit of the chair of the Missionary Department and 685 affected families, that is over 3,000 people, received humanitarian aid.