The Department of Internet Ministry has recently created a dedicated web page for The Hauran Connection , the Sister Diocese program between the Archdiocese of Bosra-Hauran in Syria and the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America. The Sister Diocese program aims to provide material support and prayer and to foster increased awareness of the circumstances of our fellow Orthodox Christians in Syria.
In the words of His Grace, Bishop BASIL:
"One of the most venerable Archdioceses of our Patriarchate, the Archdiocese of Bosra now finds itself facing very difficult times. Due to the frequency of warfare in that area, the occupation of much of its territory by a neighboring unfriendly nation, and the resultant unemployment and poverty, most of its people are economic refugees, having relocated to Damascus or departed for the Americas, Australia, Europe or the Gulf States.
In a gesture of Christian love and support for Metropolitan SABA and his flock, the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America has committed itself to a “Sister Diocese” relationship with the Archdiocese of Bosra."
Specific charitable goals of The Hauran Connection include:
- Renovation, operational support and ecclesiastical items for 21 existing parishes
- Construction of three additional parishes
- Providing salary and housing support for twelve priests and two novices
- Providing food to the hungry, particularly children, the elderly, and widows
- Providing children with kindergarten scholarships
- Funding for two physicians, medical equipment, and medical mission trips
The new web page provides a comprehensive overview of these programs and background the Archdiocese of Bosra-Hauran and the Sister Diocese project. Printable PDF versions of brochures and donation forms are also available. In the near future we hope to add content to the page that will foster a sense of personal connection between our American parishes and the people of Bosra-Hauran. Planned additions include project updates, photo galleries, a biography of Metropolitan SABA, and profiles of individual priests and parishes.
We encourage members of all Dioceses to drop by The Hauran Connection  page and have a look around. It is our hope that the page will serve as a model for use of Antiochian.org to promote such projects and distribute materials in a cost-effective and efficient manner. We hope that The Hauran Connection will be an inspiration for all our Dioceses to harness the Internet in their own ministries.