Dear President of the Board of VIPCare, Executive Director of VIPCare, Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are here to celebrate a vision, a spirit, that began 50 years ago. And it is my honor and my privilege to be a part of this celebration. I spent 3 years as a student at VIPCare. The seed that was planted in my heart through a strong education, a deep sense of spirituality, and a network of healing relationships gave birth to the African Counseling Center (ACC). For 15 years, individuals, families, children, widows, and people in crisis situations have found meaningful lives through the ACC in Cameroon, Africa. Today, the ACC has a permanent building. John and Sandy Hamilton advocated for this project and the Trinity United Methodist Church in Richmond funded the building.
I am a disciple of Carl Jung and Erik Erickson, and in this sense VIPCare is the womb through which I experienced a rebirth of my African identity.
I want to express my sincere gratitude to Dr. Victor Maloy, the former Executive Director, Dr. Mary Fran McIntyre, Rev. Dennett Slemp, and the late Dr. Sandy Hamilton. This team came to Cameroon in 2002 to train pastors and implement pastoral care and counseling. Now, many pastors and lay-people are practicing counseling and pastoral care. Board members, Staff of VIPCare, companions in Hope, thank you for your partnership and the sense of belonging. The world context is changing, and new issues are rising. We continue count on VIPCare’s mentorship to address those issues professionally. May God continue to use us for His Glory for the next 50 years.
An African proverb says, “when a forest grows, it does not make noises.” You just see the trees and the wonderful vegetation. VIPCare, like a forest, grows silently and after 50 years we can see the visible sign of God's Presence in the midst of this institution.
At the end, I want to give a special attention to 2 people who changed tremendously many lives in Cameroon. In their honor the African Counseling Center has changed the name. The new name is the “Sandy and Mary Fran Foundation.”
Rev. Dr. Ngue, Jean-Emile
President of the Sandy and Mary Fran Foundation
Rev Dr Jean - Emile NGUE
BP 20 319 Yaoundé - Cameroun