TURNER – A 20-foot container of relief aid consisting of clothes, food and medical supplies donated by Central Maine Medical Center, St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, Androscoggin Home Health Services and churches in New England, is being sent to Northeast Africa to a nomadic tribe called the “Bees,” also known as the Beja.

The Beja consist of about 3 million Muslim nomads. The aid is being sent due to the fighting over the homeland in Sudan. The radical Muslim regime in Khartoum has targeted the nomadic people for extermination because there is oil on their tribal lands in Sudan, according to the relief organizers.

They have been bombed, raped, murdered, uprooted, put in concentration camps, had their herds confiscated and pushed across the borders into refugee camps.

The Beja Relief Organization will distribute the aid into the refugee camps and in the villages of the Liberated Area.

Paul Bernard, director of Maine’s Worldwide Missions Outreach, has been sending relief aid to Third World countries since 1990 when he received medical supplies from Central Maine Medical Center, St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, Androscoggin Home Health Services and other health care facilities throughout the state.

“It may seem like a lot of work, but it always seems to get done,” said Bernard. “Through the years, I’ve had the privilege of working with many groups who decided to reach out to the needy at home and around the globe.”

This time it started when Pastor Nate Colson, at a Sunday morning service, made a request for supplies for the tribe.

“I happened to be sitting in on the Sunday service and responded by donating a box of 264 one-ounce bottles of Baby Magic, moisturizing body bath, and Johnson Baby Lotion,” Bernard said.

He said, “Then Pastor Johnston of Parkman, who is responsible for loading the container, checked our Web page and saw that we had sent more than $10 million in aid into 41 countries since 1990, at times in 20- to 40-foot containers and other times with short-term missions teams with church groups in Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut and New York. We have worked with denominational, nondenominational and interdenominational churches in the U.S. and overseas.”

“It all came together smoothly with the use of the Internet; making a difference in the world is becoming a little easier and a lot less expensive on mailing and telephone expenses. I was able to coordinate all the events with Pastor Murch of Auburn, Colson of Turner and Johnston of Parkman and the hospitals and health care organizations all of Lewiston. The container is scheduled to leave this month,” Bernard said.

For more information on donating supplies or financial aid, call the registered office at 225-3285 or visit www.haircuts4men.com and click on the Worldwide Misions link.


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