Weston Vogel is a trustee of SPCK/USA and lives in the Diocese of Bethlehem.
At the Annual Meeting of SPCK/USA in April 2008, Wes asked if the Board would consider getting involved in providing Christian resources to the Diocese of Kajo-Keji in the Sudan. A motion was passed which reads, “To support as a new project, at no cost to SPCK/USA, the Diocese of Bethlehem (PA) in their on-going project in Kajo-Keji.” Just this past week SPCK/USA packed and is ready to ship to the Diocese of Bethlehem 100 Bibles, vestments, and children’s books to their distribution warehouse to be shipped to Kajo-Keji.
Bill Lewellis, Communication Minister, in the Diocese of Bethlehem writes, “Five years ago, Bishop Paul Marshall asked Charlie Barebo to help spearhead a capital campaign to develop a camp and conference center for the Diocese of Bethlehem. “A funny thing happened on the way,” said Barebo. “I woke up one morning in the Sudan.”
A global traveler as CEO of Otterbine Barebo, Inc., Barebo said it was no less than a “life-changing event that has deepened my faith and forever altered my outlook on this world.”
Parishes throughout the 14-county northeastern Pennsylvania diocese launched New Hope during the last two Sundays of September. By that time, more than half of the $3.6 million goal had already been raised through advance gifts, said Barebo who chairs the New Hope capital campaign, but not for a camp and conference center.
“We have begun something unique,” said Bishop Marshall, “a capital campaign for others and an extra mile toward the Millennium Development Goals. Some 75% of the money raised will help the destitute in Sudan; 25% will provide grants to enable parishes in our diocese to expand projects and develop new initiatives to serve the needy in northeastern Pennsylvania. Our diocese, institutionally, will not benefit from this effort.”
“We are responding to the request of the Diocese of Kajo Keji for assistance in building the educational and organizational centers that will allow them to provide for their own future,” said the bishop. “Through revolving micro-finance funds, enterprising individuals, largely women, will be able to make a new start in a war-torn country.”
Bethlehem has had a partnership relationship with the Diocese of Kajo Keji for the past seven years. Ten missioners have been deeply affected by their visits with sisters ann brothers in southern Sudan.