During the night of 8 August 2021, one or more thieves made entry into the rear door of Our Lady of Good Hope, Khuma by ripping off the tin sheeting with their bare hands. They must have obviously been under the influence of some mind-altering substances as they cut their hands and there was a large amount of blood smeared on the tin and dripped on the floor inside.
They stole our folding tent shelter that we use to provide protection from the sun for our children when they are doing outside activities and instruction, as well as all the board games, checkers, chess, etc. They also stole parts of a mop and for whatever reason nothing else.
As the 9th of August was a holiday and our monthly feeding program, we repaired the damage while the children were eating. The neighbors were not happy that we leave our 30+ chairs in the church and took them to their house for safe keeping. We were satisfied with the repair and after a long day with the children and Scouts, returned to the Priory for Vespers.
The sexton alerted us the next morning that the thieves had once again broken in, this time using a large wrench to pry open the tin even more. Fr. Prior went to the church in the afternoon to see what was stolen this time.
Unfortunately, this time around, the thieves stole most of the curtains (used to hide the tin walls), the candle sticks, ciborium, sacramental wine, cruets, holy oil, broom, and most disappointing of all, they stole our processional cross that was made from a crucifix that Fr. Prior has had since 1995.
We are thankful that they did not steal the altar cloths, nor break the very heavy statue of Our Lady of Good Hope. Fr. Prior boarded up the back door permanently with plywood and boards and loaded up the altar cloths and Our Lady to take back to the Priory where she found a safe place (of exile) in the garden.
The next Sunday, the Assumption was celebrated in our Church devoid of any and all decoration yet we still gave thanks to God for our blessings. The new church will have to go without these extra items as we do not have the funds to replace any of them.