Saint Andrews members participate in a variety of local and global mission projects, including the Bessi Church in Cameroon, the Fredericton Food Bank, the Fredericton Community Kitchen, and selected Christmas charities.
In September 2015, the Session of Saint Andrew’s congregation voted to strongly support the sponsoring of a refugee family. The first step was to seek a commitment of financial support, followed by a commitment of time, skills and goods. In January 2016, a family arrived from Syria. A year has now passed and although our financial obligation is complete, the friendships and connections continue [more…]
The Bessi Church, Cameroon
With completion of the exterior coat of plaster or stucco, the new and larger Bessi church as pictured is in a state that fulfills the original goal of having a sufficiently large and safe structure so that more of the villagers can attend services and church functions. Furthermore, it has electricity, an organ and the pews that were built with St. Andrew’s $1,325 donated at Christmas 2007. And, reports are that attendance has increased.
Bearing in mind that the future of any community depends on the nurture and education of the youth, the Cameroon team and the St. Andrew’s Mission Development and Social Action Committee has received the endorsement of Session to focus further support on the youth of Bessi. Three fund raising initiatives have commenced, in part to complete payment of costs incurred for the February Bessi church project and in part to go toward improving the elementary school and the Bessi church Sunday school facilities and teaching materials.
The people and children of Bessi Presbyterian Church were truly an inspiration last February when our team worked with them hand in hand to fulfill their long time dream of having a new church building for their growing congregation. Please support our fund raising initiatives and think of ways to enhance our ongoing relationship not only with money, but by building personal links, through pen pal exchanges and in any other way that will help do our small part in building the Kingdom of God and a better world with a greater possibility for peace and harmony.
Excerpts from the reflections of Angela Black shortly after her return from Cameroon February 2009:
I truly believe that what we set out to accomplish happened on a grand scale. We most certainly found neighbors and lasting friends in a community that now feels like our own – Bessi. I also believe that St. Andrews has successfully jumped into this mission and are now on the way to regular outreach with our new connections in Cameroon. The way in which our team of 9 integrated with the people in Bessi was truly remarkable and can only be attributed to one force.
While away, my big blue eyes became wider and I saw in my new friends the universal truth that love and compassion, greed and waste exist everywhere. Most of all on this trip I have learned that both giving and receiving, no matter what walk of life you are in, is most important.
This 2 week trip was more than enough time to realize how much our friends in Cameroon would appreciate, in the future, as many neccessary resources as we can give. For me, it is as simple as knowing that there are 200 children going to school with absolutely no text books or reading materials. Not even electricity or by our standards no washroom. I truly believe that if God is willing I will be back in Cameroon helping as best I can while growing new and equally reciprocal friendships.