St. Philip the Apostle Orthodox Church
Orthodox Church in America
9100 El Portal Dr. Tampa, Florida 33604
UGANDA VISIT
Seraphim's Baptism
Blessing water
Blessing water
Blessing water
Saraphim is baptized...
Saraphim is baptized...
Saraphim is baptized...
Chrismation
Chrismation
Chrismation
A joyful mother
A joyful mother
A joyful mother
Heading North
With Metropolitan
With Metropolitan
With Metropolitan
Drit road north
Drit road north
Drit road north
Breakdown
Breakdown
Breakdown
 
 
Town market
Town market
Town market
Nile RIver
Nile RIver
Nile RIver
More remote
More remote
More remote
 
Patients and Staff
2 Children w/ malaria
2 Children w/ malaria
2 Children w/ malaria
I am scared
I am scared
I am scared
Our lab tech
Our lab tech
Our lab tech
Lunch meeting
Lunch meeting
Lunch meeting
 
 
Many patients
Many patients
Many patients
Blood draw
Blood draw
Blood draw
A dream come true
A dream come true
A dream come true
Divine Liturgy at St. Nektarios
Kiss of Peace
Kiss of Peace
Kiss of Peace
Altar servers
Altar servers
Altar servers
Communion
Communion
Communion
 
 
Final Blessing
Final Blessing
Final Blessing
Gift of Beads
Gift of Beads
Gift of Beads
A good laugh
A good laugh
A good laugh

 

Construction Materials Arrive

By the grace of God it is about to begin.

BUILDING MATERIALS BEGIN TO ARRIVE.

At the beginning of the year, building materials began to arrive at the clinic site. The community pitched in to assist with the off-loading. Actual construction will commence shortly.

(6 images)

Ugandan Medical Clinic

Treating a wound.
Treating a wound.
Treating a wound.
Sue Nelson N.P. listens to a patient.
Sue Nelson N.P. listens to a patient.
Sue Nelson N.P. listens to a patient.
Working late with a kerosene lamp.
Working late with a kerosene lamp.
Working late with a kerosene lamp.
Northern Uganda Medical Clinic

MEDICAL CLINIC FOR NORTHERN UGANDA

   In 2010, Fr. Joseph and Karleen Kunz, a parishioner and professor of nursing, were members of a medical team which served the poorest of the poor in northern Uganda. In ten days the team treated almost 4,000 people. Fr. Joseph was appalled to learn that the annual medical team is the only medical services available to most of the people of this region. That means that for most of the year there are no medical services.
Also Fr. Joseph and Karleen observed that there were few people who appeared to be past their forties in age. This is because of the low life expectancy. Ground Zero for Ugandan terrorist and rebel activity was in this area. The people are only a few years removed from the displaced persons camps.
   In 2011 and 2012 the parish helped raise funds to send a medical team for each of those years. Fr. Joseph became convinced that a full time medical clinic was the only answer to the medical needs of the area. In discussions with Sue Nelson, team leader in 2010 and team member in 2011 and 2012, He learned that a doctor from Grease had purchased land in Akony Bedo for a site for a clinic and/or school. Akony Bedo is ideal because it has a well, is centrally located and is relatively secure. In correspondence with Fr. George, a local Ugandan pastor it was decided that a 2,200 square foot building would be adequate for use by a native R.N. and a lab technician. The cost is anticipated to be about $50,000 US.
During Lent of 2012, Fr. Joseph address those in attendance at the weekly Sunday Pan-Orthodox vespers and a total of $6,500 was raised toward the clinic construction. Fr. Joseph has sent letters of diresct appeal to lawyers and other professionals in the area whom he knows and we now have app. $23,000 on hand. Every dollar raised goes directly toward the cost of construction. St. Philip parish pays for all costs of fund raising. When sufficient funds are in hand Fr. Joseph will go to Uganda to approve the final plans and to set up an account for the distribution of funds. Distribution will be under the control of Fr. Joseph
Please consider a tax deductible contribution toward the clinic. simply make your check payable to St. Philip Orthodox Church and indicate on the memo line that it is for the medical clinic. God bless you for your consideration of this appeal and to all those who have already sent their gift.


Uganda Medical Mission 2010

UGANDAN MEDICAL MISSION 2010

3 STORIES, 55 PHOTOS AND THE AUDIO OF A REPORT
 BY KARLENE AND FR. JOSEPH TO THE PARISH

(Click on photos to enlarge.)

Why we go.
Why we go.
Why we go.
Moms & babies, a priority.
Moms & babies, a priority.
Moms & babies, a priority.
"Are you sure this won't hurt?
"Are you sure this won't hurt?
So serious.
So serious.
So serious.
Father & his
Father & his "shadow."
Father & his "shadow."
A close up.
A close up.
A close up.
Getting their picture taken.
Getting their picture taken.
Getting their picture taken.
We brought jump ropes.
We brought jump ropes.
We brought jump ropes.
Fr. Joseph, Fr. George,<br>and Professor Karlene
Fr. Joseph, Fr. George,
and Professor Karlene
Fr. Joseph, Fr. George,
and Professor Karlene

UGANDAN MEDICAL MISSION TREATS 3,800 PATIENTS.

   Fr. Joseph and parishioner Karlene Kunz, a professor of nursing, departed for Uganda on June 12. Arriving in Kampala, Uganda the next day, they joined seven others in forming a medical team to treat residents of northern Uganda. This area had been decimated by war and insurrection for the past twenty years. Now relatively secure, former residents are beginning to return and their medical needs are tremendous. Malaria is a scourge of this area and intestinal worms are pandemic. Working out of Gulu first and then moving to Lira, Uganda the team treated over 3,800 patients in nine rural clinics. The first day saw a new record for one day patient count when over 700 were examined and treated. The team pharmacy worked until 8:30 pm filling prescriptions by the light of a kerosene lantern.
   Utilizing two doctors, one nurse practitioner, three RNs and two laboratory technicians the team brought medical services to many who had not had any care since last year's team treated them. These dedicated Orthodox medical professionals are a credit to themselves and to the Orthodox Church. The love and care with which they served God's children was a visible sign of the Gospel message of love of neighbor.
   The spiritual highlight of the trip for the team members was Sunday Divine Liturgy celebrated in a mud walled, thatched roofed church. The people sang with great joy and enthusiasm. Fr. Joseph delivered the sermon through a translator and delighted the congregation by blessing them in their own language. (Please see related story below.)
   We brought with us liturgical books and two sets of vestments for the priests. Likewise we transported a set of icons and an icon cross for St. Basil church in Gulu. We left over 3,000 paper icons as well as a set of church banners. Financial contributions were made toward a day school as well as for other good works. A particularly moving moment was when a father brought us his infant daughter. The child's mother had died the day before and, as one of the priests observed, the child's life was in danger. Milk is very expensive for the people of northern Uganda, the equivalent of about 50 cents US per liter. Through the earlier generosity of people back home we were able to give the pastor enough money to support the child until she can be fed solid food. (To God belongs the glory!)
   Both Karlene and Fr. Joseph felt the experience to be one of the most spiritually rewarding of their lives. All money necessary for Fr. Joseph and Karlene to participate was raised through direct appeals. No "fund raising" activities other than the direct appeals were used. This allowed many people to participate in the mission through their generosity. While the poor need the rich for their survival, the rich need the poor for their salvation. God bless the priests and people of northern Uganda.
TO LISTEN TO A REPORT BY KARLENE AND FR. JOSEPH TO THE PARISH ON THE UGANDAN MEDICAL MISSION (CLICK HERE).

Leaving Kampala.
Leaving Kampala.
Leaving Kampala.
Into the bush.
Into the bush.
Into the bush.
Local cattle.
Local cattle.
Local cattle.
A van full of missionaries.
A van full of missionaries.
A van full of missionaries.
Dr. Cheryl treats a wound.
Dr. Cheryl treats a wound.
Dr. Cheryl treats a wound.
Rachael applies a bandage.
Rachael applies a bandage.
Rachael applies a bandage.
Not all work.
Not all work.
Not all work.
Packaging medicine.
Packaging medicine.
Packaging medicine.
The church is our clinic.
The church is our clinic.
The church is our clinic.
Dr. Cheryl
Dr. Cheryl
Dr. Cheryl
Dr. Kalulu
Dr. Kalulu
Dr. Kalulu
Dr. Sue, our team leader
Dr. Sue, our team leader
Dr. Sue, our team leader
A big crowd gathers.
A big crowd gathers.
A big crowd gathers.
Three clinics at once.
Three clinics at once.
Three clinics at once.
The pharmacy.
The pharmacy.
The pharmacy.
Late into the night.
Late into the night.
Late into the night.

HOLY UGANDAN PRIESTS LOVINGLY SERVE GOD'S PEOPLE

   It was a most humbling experience to be in the presence of such holy men as the Ugandan priests that we worked with. They are truly "fathers" not only to their parishioners but to all in need in their areas. They try to provide for the people's temporal as well as spiritual needs. Though poorly paid, many of the priests take from their own pockets to help those most in need. No one in need is ever asked if they are Orthodox. Each is treated as the child of God that they are. All of this work is done with a smile and a joyful heart.
   Their celebration of the Divine Liturgy is done with awe and with care for the Holy Mystery. It was a great joy to concelebrate with them in a church that had mud walls and a thatched roof. The greatest cathedral never had a more joyful and reverential and well sung Liturgy. Fr. Joseph was accepted as an altar brother and treated with love and kindness by the priests and by the people. This experience gave new meaning to "one holy, catholic and apostolic church."

"Let us pray to the Lord."
"Let us pray to the Lord."
Reverencing the Eucharist.
Reverencing the Eucharist.
Reverencing the Eucharist.
Fr. George, the pastor.
Fr. George, the pastor.
Fr. George, the pastor.
Giving Communion.
Giving Communion.
Giving Communion.
An Orthodox woman.
An Orthodox woman.
An Orthodox woman.
Wearing their best for church.
Wearing their best for church.
Wearing their best for church.
The clergy.
The clergy.
The clergy.
Fr. George in gift of vestments.
Fr. George in gift of vestments.
Fr. George in gift of vestments.

Loading the pickup.
Loading the pickup.
Loading the pickup.

UGANDAN MISSION WAS A JOY, AN ADVENTURE
AND A KALEIDOSCOPE OF SIGHTS.

   The people of northern Uganda were a great joy to be with. Despite their poverty they always insisted on feeding us lunch as a token of their appreciation. In one village, after Sunday Liturgy, we were entertained with native dances. Some of our members reciprocated by teaching the children to sing: "He's got the whole world in his hands." We brought jump ropes and balls for the children to play with.
   The roads that we traveled, though always teeming with interesting sights, were deeply rutted and potholed. It took its toll on our 12 year old van. On the next to the last day the transmission failed on a back road and it was getting toward sundown. God was with us. A man with his wife came along in a small pickup truck. Nine of us got in the back and two inside and he took us to our destination. The next day a taxi van from Kampala came with the rector of the seminary and a mechanic to fetch us. The transmission was pulled then and there and all 13 of us, along with the transmission, made the long journey back to the capital, arriving well after dark.

Are you sure it won't go?
Are you sure it won't go?
Are you sure it won't go?
Our van's transmission.
Our van's transmission.
Our van's transmission.
Some baboons watch us.
Some baboons watch us.
Some baboons watch us.
Happy in our new van.
Happy in our new van.
Happy in our new van.
School children walk home.
School children walk home.
School children walk home.
A lizard suns himself.
A lizard suns himself.
A lizard suns himself.
Baboons block the road.
Baboons block the road.
Baboons block the road.
A goat hitches a ride.
A goat hitches a ride.
A goat hitches a ride.
The aftermath of war.
The aftermath of war.
The aftermath of war.
Fr. Immanuel drives us.
Fr. Immanuel drives us.
Fr. Immanuel drives us.
Huh?
Huh?
Huh?
Our turn to entertain.
Our turn to entertain.
Our turn to entertain.
Our pharmacy in former rebel H.Q.
Our pharmacy in former rebel H.Q.
Our pharmacy in former rebel H.Q.
Dressing up to see the doctor.
Dressing up to see the doctor.
Dressing up to see the doctor.
Lunch.
Lunch.
Lunch.
Fr. Joseph preaches in Kampala.
Fr. Joseph preaches in Kampala.
Fr. Joseph preaches in Kampala.
New icons for St. Basil church
New icons for St. Basil church
New icons for St. Basil church
Karlene checks on lunch
Karlene checks on lunch
Karlene checks on lunch
Native Dancing<br>Fr. George's wife is in blue
Native Dancing
Fr. George's wife is in blue
Native Dancing
Fr. George's wife is in blue
Waiting in the shade
Waiting in the shade
Waiting in the shade

THE THREE MISSION TEAM MEMBERS.

As part of the mission teams being sent throughout the world by the Orthodox Christian Mission Center, three St. Philip parish members will travel to Africa in 2010. Jean Jolly will be teaching in Tanzania. Karlene Kunz and Fr. Joseph will be part of a medical mission to upper Uganda. This will be part of a parishwide outreach.

Jean Jolly, Phd.
Jean Jolly, Phd.
Jean Jolly, Phd.
Fr. Joseph
Fr. Joseph
Fr. Joseph
Karlene Kunz R.N.
Karlene Kunz R.N.
Karlene Kunz R.N.

 A LETTER FROM FR. JOSEPH ABOUT THE AFRICAN MISSION TEAMS

November 16, 2009

 Dear Friend,

My purpose in writing this letter for you is to give voice to the “least of God’s children” who suffer terribly and because I need your help to help them.  In June, God willing, I will be leading a medical team to Uganda to treat some of the poorest of the poor. We anticipate bringing four doctors, four nurses, and two medical students who will act as pharmacists. This year’s medical team, in just ten days, treated nearly 4,000 people.

What am I going to be doing as leader of the team since I have no medical training? My job is to help get them there, look out for them while in-country, help secure medical supplies and medicine, and get them back safely. We will fly into Entebbe Airport in southern Uganda and then drive to the northern part of the country.  This area has been decimated by revolutionary forces and has experienced the horrors of war for twenty years. Whole villages were terrified by the viciousness of these armed bands. The cutting off of hands, feet and lips along with death were the punishment for suspected actions that displeased these fanatics. Here, young children were pressed into service as soldiers for the guerillas and forced to stay by threats of certain death for their families if they tried to leave.

In the rural areas around Gulu where we will be working, there are few medical services available and no money for medicine. Some of the villagers own only the clothes that they are wearing. We are able to bring only small amounts of medicines into Uganda. Any substantial amount would be impounded for two months and whatever was subsequently released would be minimal. Therefore, as in the past, we will bring cash with us to purchase medical supplies and medicines in-country. One good thing is that medicines are much cheaper there. We hope to bring at least $20,000.00 with us.

We try not to be a burden to the people that we come to serve. The team members are therefore asked to cover their own costs which will be approximately $4,500 each. This includes airfare, visa, and shots including yellow fever and typhoid as well as the needed malaria prophylaxis. Some of the money will also be used to defer in-country transportation costs, costs of interpreters, the purchase of bottled water, medical supplies, etc. While the doctors can afford to pay for their costs, the nurses and medical students would find it difficult. Likewise the $20,000.00 for medicines that I mentioned is the minimum goal. The more money we raise the more medicines we can buy. What medicines we do not use while we are there we will leave with one of our trusted contacts for continued distribution.

We are a small parish and cannot meet these financial requirements alone. In addition to participating in this medical mission to Uganda, we are sending a teacher with a teaching team to Tanzania and must raise funds for that as well. Likewise we will continue to witness to our Lord and to Holy Orthodoxy at the Florida State Fair in Tampa which will be held for twelve days.

I have never asked anyone for money before and my parish has never held any form of fund raiser but we consider it an honor and a duty not just to ask but to beg on behalf of these, whose very lives depend on us. Some may ask “why not our own first?” These Ugandans, like all mankind, are “our own” for like us they were made in the “image and likeness of God.” I ask that you take the time to prayerfully decide how and to what extent you can help. If you want to talk more about this important project, please feel free to call me at the church. If I am not there it will ring through to my cell phone.

To give whatever is in your heart, please make checks payable to St. Philip the Apostle Orthodox Church. One hundred percent of all contributions will be used for these teams with all costs of raising the funds born by us. Checks can be mailed to the parish. We are, of course, a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit corporation and all contributions are tax deductible.

Thank you for your kind and generous consideration of this request on behalf of our brothers and sister who need so much. Please pray for all of us at St. Philip for without God’s grace we can do nothing.

God bless you,

Fr. Joseph


UGANDA MEDICAL MISSION PLACED UNDER  THE PATRONAGE OF
THE GREAT MARTYR AND HEALER
ST. PANTELEIMON

Karlene Mary Kunz, R.N. and Fr. Joseph leave for Uganda.

On Wednesday, June 9 an Akathist to the best known of the unmercenary physicians, St Panteleimon was held at the parish. Well attended, this service placed the 2010 Ugandan Medical Mission under his patronage. The names of each of the short term missionaries were read and God was beseeched for their safety and for the success of this mission of mercy. At the conclusion of the service, all present were anointed with oil from the shrine of St. Panteleimon.

On Saturday, June 12 Karlene and Fr. Joseph will leave for Uganda. They will be part of an eight person medical mission to the people of northern Uganda. We pray for the mission's success and for the safe return of the missionaries.

In Fr. Joseph's absence Sunday Divine Liturgy at St. Philip will be celebrated by Fr. Stephen from St. Sava's in St. Petersburg and by Fr. Joseph McCartney, a new priest visiting his family in the area. Vespers will be as scheduled and lead by a reader. In an emergency please call the church and the call will be transferred to Matushka Jeanne.

Praying before the icon<br>of St. Panteleimon
Praying before the icon
of St. Panteleimon
Praying before the icon
of St. Panteleimon
Karlene and Fr. Joseph kneel<br>in prayer before the icon
Karlene and Fr. Joseph kneel
in prayer before the icon
Karlene and Fr. Joseph kneel
in prayer before the icon
Master woodworker George<br>Chakkar is anointed
Master woodworker George
Chakkar is anointed
Master woodworker George
Chakkar is anointed


St. Philip the Apostle Orthodox Church, of the OCA Diocese of the South, is centrally located in Tampa, FL serving the entire Tampa Bay area.
Our phone number is (813) 933-9807.
Facebook
Schedule
Thursday, November 23rd
THANKSGIVING
10:00 Divine Liturgy
followed by Thanksgiving Luncheon
Saturday, November 25th
6:00 Vespers followed by confessions
Sunday, November 26th
9:30 Divine Liturgy
Monthly Calendar >
SERMONS BY FR. JOSEPH

FR. JOSEPH'S SERMON ON SUPREME COURT DECISION REDEFINING MARRIAGE.
A sermon by Fr. Joseph regarding the recent Supreme Court decision legalizing same sex "marriage" and what should be the reaction of the Orthodox Church and of individual Orthodox Christians. Click here.

Video


Location
St. Philip the Apostle Orthodox Church
9100 El Portal Dr.; Tampa, FL 33604
Detailed Map

The Mission of The Orthodox Church in America, the local autocephalous Orthodox Christian Church, is to be faithful in fulfilling the commandment of Christ to “Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”

Learn More >

St. Philip the Apostle Orthodox Church is part of the Diocese of the South, which is presided over by His Grace Alexander, Bishop of Dallas and the South. Our mission is bringing the joy of Christ's resurrection to those who have never heard the Good News, and to strengthen and encourage the faithful who reside within Old Forge and the local area. 

More Information >

The Holy Scripture is a collection of books written over multiple centuries by those inspired by God to do so. It is the primary witness to the Orthodox Christian faith, within Holy Tradition and often described as its highest point. It was written by the prophets and apostles in human language, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and collected, edited, and canonized by the Church.

Daily Readings >

Holiness or sainthood is a gift (charisma) given by God to man, through the Holy Spirit. Man's effort to become a participant in the life of divine holiness is indispensable, but sanctification itself is the work of the Holy Trinity, especially through the sanctifying power of Jesus Christ, who was incarnate, suffered crucifixion, and rose from the dead, in order to lead us to the life of holiness, through the communion with the Holy Spirit.

Today's Saints >

St. Philip the Apostle Orthodox Church   |   Contact