On Saturday, August 15th, 2009 five Burundi refugee couples decided to legalize and bless their unions at First Presbyterian Church. Great thanks to Sandra Randleman who performed the ceremony for these couples.
For those reading this update my wonder what's going on! Here is a little background to help you ... most people in refugee camps do not get a church wedding. Two parties come together and agree to live together, of course they do what is traditionally acceptable between the two families but not everyone gets a chance to have a proper wedding ceremony or even a marriage certificate. So in the spring, one couple approached William and asked him if there is a way for them to have a proper wedding ceremony! From just one couple the number grew into five couples. They all decided that they can do this on one day and have a big celebration. It was a grand celebration, the Burundi community celebrated together even those in other states joined them for the great event.
However, this day would not have been possible without the great help of many individuals that felt compelled to help these couples create lasting memories of their wedding. We are very grateful to the women of 4th Avenue Church of Christ for everything they did to make this day the most memorable to these couples. We very thankful to FPC for letting these couples use their facility but most of all for the great witnesses they have been to this community. Thanks to the sunday schools at FPC that helped with the organization of this day. Many thanks to Sandra Randleman for taking time on a Saturday afternoon to perform the ceremony.
This was absolutely a day to remember and thanks to everyone who made it possible.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has made this summer one of the most memorable summers for those that we serve. It has been a summer of perfect weather to begin with, a summer filled with love and joy to the communities that we serve.
This summer we had several activities take place, none of these activities would have been possible without the help of several individuals and several different churches that supported our programs.
We would love to give special thanks to Annie and Rachel for their undying contribution and organization of the VBS this summer. Our summer VBS was attended by 45 African refugee children. It was a great joy! We are very thankful to Dave Barnes who led the music potion of our VBS. We would also like to thank Josephine and John who attributed to the unforgettable memories by organizing a swimming party for the African refugee kids. It was definitely an afternoon to remember.
We would also love to thank for following churches for their support and willingness to serve those in their backyard.
New Wilmington Presbyterian Church of PA:Mission trips don't always have to be across the oceans or across the boarders, sometimes they can just be in your backyard! This is what the youth group of Wilmington Presbyterian Church did. They came and spent a week serving the African refugees in our midst. They helped with the VBS and the summer camp.
Covenant Presbyterian Church: The youth at Covenant Presbyterian church have been volunteering with our ministry since last spring. This summer they sponsored the summer camp and even took three of our high schoolers to their youth retreat in Florida. The African Youth rejoiced over the opportunity of being able to travel but most of all, the opportunity of seeing an ocean for the first time in their lives. It was an unforgettable experience for them.
First Presbyterian Church Shakopee of MN: This was the second mission group this summer, our third group this year. It was a great pleasure to have them with us as they helped launch the Summer academy. Their youth group did other projects in the mornings but spent the afternoons tutoring the Burundi refugees in West Nashville. Their last day of the trip, they made dinner for all the children and had a communion time of sharing a meal together.
Cumberland Church: Cumberland Church joined us this summer for the first time. They provided the African refugee school age children with school materials at the beginning of this school year.
First Presbyterian Church of Nashville: Our long time friends have been a great anchor for this ministry. FPC have supported this ministry from the very beginning and they are still supporting us and we couldn't be more thankful. Some of the FPC youth group joined us and volunteered to help with the VBS this summer.
Grace Presbyterian Church: Grace Presbyterian church sponsored and provided volunteers for our VBS this summer.
West End Community Church - TN
Park Avenue Baptist Church - TN
Cross Point Church - TN