Picture: Fr Aleksander Kobesi in the Orthodox Church he built in the north of Bali with some of his parishioners after a baptism.
I am Rev. Alexander Borodin. I am an Orthodox priest in Australia who is raising money to help Fr Aleksander Kobesi and his mission in Bali to the rent for their mission and so that he can make ends meet for the mission and his wife and children.
Fr Aleksander Kobesi is an Indonesian Orthodox Christian priest living in Bali, Indonesia. I first met him when he was brought to Australia by the Friends of Indonesia charitable fund to help him and some of his brother priests receive further training.
This remarkable, humble and hard-working man is a clergyman in good standing in the Russian Orthodox Church. Though he is materially poor, he has been serving his community from the heart for many years. Having lived for years in Singaraja in the north of Bali, he served both there, and in Denpassar in the south.
For years, he would ride by motorcycle for many hours to cross the island from North to South, carrying all of the necessary items to serve Divine Liturgy for those members of his community in Denpassar. He would perform baptisms, weddings, and funerals. He built a small and humble church in his home town on land that had been bought with donations from around the world by Fr Daniel, the then head of the Indonesian Orthodox Church. He would always receive visitors from other countries with hospitality and love. Many Russian Orthodox people from Australia would pay him a visit while visiting the island on holidays.
Picture: Fr Aleks giving Holy Communion to one of his younger parishioners.
In 2019, Fr Aleks received very bad news. Fr Daniel had decided to leave the Russian Orthodox Church for another jurisdiction, and said that unless Fr Aleks followed him, that he would take back the land that he had bought, even though Fr Aleks and his community were the ones who had built and equipped the church that now stands on it. Fr Aleks did not want to leave the Russian Orthodox Church, and decided that he would try to move his mission to where the tourists were, on the basis that maybe Orthodox visitors from other countries might support his mission, but then in 2020 the COVID pandemic shut down all tourism to Bali, and Fr Aleks' small mission was even unable to operate because of restrictions on gatherings.
Picture: Serving in their rented quarters after having been kicked out of the church they built.
Fr Aleksander is now renting space to serve, and it costs him about AUD$3200 a year. His parishioners gather about AUD$9.40 to AUD$19.00 a week. With this money, he has to pay the rent and utilities, attempt to pay for the various items that he needs in order to equip his humble mission church - most of which have been taken from them, and, of course, feed and clothe his wife and children, pay their school fees, and then. The situation is now dire, so he needs assistance quickly.
Picture: Fr Aleksander Kobesi
If you are an Orthodox Christian, and you have ever been to Bali, you will appreciate just what an immense amount of work Fr Aleks and his community have already done, and what a difficult burden it is for them that this has all been taken away from them. Even if you are not an Orthodox Christian, but have been to Bali, you will no-doubt understand just how hard things must be for the people there now that their main industry - tourism - has been completely shut down. Community leaders like Fr Aleksander perform a much needed charitable role within their communities - lifting peoples' spirits and helping them get through. The dual difficulties he now faces can be greatly alleviated with our generosity, and the most beautiful thing is that, it doesn't take much to help a lot.
This fundraiser seeks to raise enough money to pay the rent for a year, with a little bit extra so that they can re-equip their mission.
Every cent donated will be transferred to Fr Aleks for his mission, and evidence of this will be provided on request.
The Orthodox people of Bali will be extremely grateful for your generous support.
WHO IS RUNNING THIS CAMPAIGN: This fundraising is run by Rev. Alexander Borodin, who is the rector of the Blessed Virgin of Vladimir Russian Orthodox Church in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Email: fralexander @ viot . org . au (remove spaces).
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