The Church of the Holy Resurrection, a new Orthodox parish located in Jayapura, Papua New Guinea, is growing thanks to the hard work of its clergy and parishioners. Their clergy, Fr. Athanasius and Fr. Dcn. Chrysostomos, were both ordained in 2009.
The small parish is being built on Fr. Athanasius’s ancestral land, the only thing that was left to him when he left his former position as a Baptist minister. When Fr. Daniel visited them during Lent, the building was nearly complete.
Thanks to Friends of Indonesia, they were able to acquire more of what was needed, including a beautiful little silver cupola and some large icons for the iconostasis. The building includes the central church, two lean-to rooms for the clerics’ households, and a porch/kitchen for community meals and other social events.
The people of Papua are thirsting for more spiritual lessons and frequently come to Fr. Athanasius with questions. Presbytera Paraskeva is also very involved in evangelism among women and has developed her own tracts. Deacon Chrysostomos evangelizes among the educated as he works at a university where he has won many converts. They have also taken missionary trips into the jungles of their region.
Meanwhile, Dcn. Chrysostomos has been actively seeking new ways to spread the Orthodox Christian faith throughout Papua, and beyond. Here is a recent report sent to Fr. Daniel Byantoro by Dcn. Chrysostomos:
Peace be to you, in the Name of Christ,
Dear Father, thank you for sending a translation of the prayer for the departed, I will give it to Fr Athanasius. Furthermore, as I had passed by you earlier, I have made the tract entitled, “Is the early Church still in existence?”
I distributed 458 of them in booklet forms (with the size of 10 x 15 cent.), as the first step to introduce the Orthodox Church to the land of Papua in a grand way. At present, we are making efforts to print it in a larger number. Out of the 458 tracts that we have spread, there are some people who responded to it seriously. Therefore, we request your prayers that we may be given wisdom as to how to follow up this result. This ministry is no small expense, even apart from our daily needs.
We also plan to send the tracts to two other provinces coordinated by Fr. Presbyter Athanasius, namely the Province of West Papua and the Province of Maluku—West of Papua. We are building relationships with the Province of Maluku through my relatives in Maluku.
We are also praying for financial assistance to meet the requirements for supporting this evangelistic work. May God the Holy Trinity bless you, Father, with wisdom, strength and health to do this ministerial duty. Greetings from all the people in Papua.
Unworthy Secretary of the Parish of the Resurrection: Dcn. Chrysostomos.
Won’t you consider a gift to the Friends of Indonesia to help this work continue?