Interview with Jean Buffong
posted by: Joan Vine | on: Thursday, 11 June 2020, 09:36
Hello MU Members my name is Mrs Jean Buffong from Black Bay St John’s Grenada and London England. I have belonged to the MU Branches of Emmanuel Parish Church, Leyton, London England and St John’s, Grenada The Caribbean. I have not held any specific position other than doing God’s work wherever I am called.
I became a MU member at the revival of the organisation at Emmanuel Parish Church Leyton. It was an opportunity to be part of the largest world family, to be part of something exceptional and to carry on God’s work from another angle.
I have many favourite MU stories but one I recall is bringing MU at Emmanuel Leyton and MU at St John Grenada together, not linking but befriending. Exchanging stories between branches, an extension of my family. At the first MU retreat I attended in Grenada, we were asked to briefly say something about ourselves. I started by saying I am not yet a full member of MU in Grenada. Archdeacon Glasgow stopped me. He said ‘Once a member of the MU you are a member wherever in the world you maybe.’ That became clearer to me a little while later when I attended one of the services at Winchester Cathedral commemorating the 140th anniversary of the Mothers’ Union. There I met women from almost all over the world. A few months later I was privileged to link up with one of the sisters at her home in South Africa.
Our branch in St John is small in comparison to other branches however the aims and purposes are the same… reaching out to others. During a meeting at Emmanuel, Leyton, our branch president shared with us her vision of reaching out to others overseas. We discussed ways, in achieving this. This planted the seed in my head of getting St John’s branch involved, bringing people together, working together, helping others, sharing. I set to work when I got back to Grenada. It was a challenge which the Emmanuel, Leyton through friendship with St John’s Grenada branch took on and was able to assist the children of the Queen Elizabeth Children’s home Tempe’ Grenada. It was a very rewarding experience. Seeing the children’s faces as we presented them with gifts from London was a reward in itself.
As part of my Evangelist training an assignment was to set up a long lasting and sustainable project in our local church. I realised that not many people attended Sunday evening prayers. With the many groups in the church how do I get them to church on Sunday evenings. In consultation with Rev Ade I set up a programme that a different group in the church can lead Sunday evening service at least once every month or six weeks thus bringing people into Church on Sunday evenings. The original suggested name was ‘The Fisherman’s Rod’, however on reflection a rod can only catch one fish at a time, whereas a net will bring in a greater catch, and so the project became ‘The Fisherman’s Net’
The MU has certainly contributed to my Spiritual growth as it gives me more opportunities to reach out to others. Set up prayer groups and meetings. Creating prayer cycle all under the umbrella of the MU.
I am somewhat concerned about the future of the MU, in Grenada there is some difficulty to get young people to join us as. As they still look at the MU as an ‘old people’s thing’. The older generation is phasing out. Solution? Keep on praying, keep on reaching out.
My passion is looking after elders and children and feeding the children, and my favourite activities is visiting and praying for the ‘shut-ins’ and homes for the elders.
My favourite bible verse come from Isaiah 6:8 ‘I hear a voice behind me saying ‘whom shall I send’ and I said ‘here I am; send me. This is also my mission statement, and my favourite saying is ‘WE ARE IN GOD’S HAND’. Whatever the situation, high low or in between I trust in God to deliver us and so I say ’we are in God’s hands.’
When asked how my faith is helping me in the current climate? I say that the words from Joshua 1: 9b Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go, Is my template. During these trying times Psalm 119: 105 ‘Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path’ is my watchword. When I am down and feel myself on shaky grounds, especially in this lock-down times I turn to Psalm 43:5 ‘Why my soul are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God for I will praise him my Saviour and my God.
Many thanks to Kemi Ademola. from 'Emmanuel Parish Mothers' Union, Leyton for conducting this interview with Jean
Posted: 11 Jun 2020 | There are 0 comments
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