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Gift from Moncton: Mothers’ Union at work in Guinea

Caroline Van Buskirk, left, and Balley Bourne look at some of the French and English books collected by St George’s Moncton that Mme Bourne will take back to Guinea for both children and clergy in her diocese. (Photo: Sue Careless)

By Sue Careless

THIS PAST SUMMER WHILE BALLEY BOURE from the Republic of Guinea in West Africa was visiting her daughter in Moncton, New Brunswick she received a special collection of almost forty books to take home to her Diocese of Conakry.

St. George’s Moncton had collected both French and English language books for Sunday school children and teachers as well as French and English language books suitable for clergy and catechists preparing their congregants for confirmation. This had been a specific request of the Rt. Rev. Jacques Boston, and St George’s, set in the bilingual city of Moncton, was happy to help.

Mme Bourne is a leader in her diocesan Mothers’ Union. Her group’s latest project is to build and equip a rural clinic in Dubreka. The churches hope to pay the wages of the nurses who will staff the clinic. St George’s plans to make a contribution to the funding of the clinic.  

The Mothers’ Union members regularly visit the sick and elderly at home and in hospital and uphold them in prayer. On Saturday mornings the women gather at the hospital first to pray for the doctors and nurses and sing hymns before setting out to visit the patients whose names have been given to them by their parish priests. They often come bearing food and gifts, especially for the maternity and children’s wards.

“God does the healing,” says Mme Bourne, “using the medical staff,” and as volunteer visitors they seek how God would direct them.

Mothers’ Union in Guinea is also active in encouraging higher education for girls and in delaying early marriage, a common cultural practice in the country.

Guinea is a predominantly Islamic country, with Christians representing only 10 percent of the population. French is the official language.  TAP

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