Bethézer is taken from 2 Hebrew words and means House of Help. Bethézer’s founders chose these words because they aptly express the organisation’s underlying purpose of providing welfare, relief and developmental aid to the poor and needy in Southeast Asia and Oceania.
With the start up of Bethézer in January 2008 that has begun to happen.
But to understand Bethézer’s real beginning you have to go back another year, to January 2007, when two young families arrived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, as ACBM fieldworkers to organise a home and a centre from which the gospel message could go out to all who would hear it.
It was here the stirrings that would lead to Bethézer really began, as these young missionaries went about proclaiming the saving gospel and as they came face to face with real, palpable, urgent need. It was here that they began to meet and to come to know and love people, mostly young people, who were impoverished, who were hungry and thirsty, who needed a roof over their head, who required medical attention and who had few if any means of attending to those needs. You couldn’t just sit on your hands when faced with those hardships. In the hearts and minds of Mike and Miriam Hewitt and James and Miranda Rasmussen, it was in this kind of experience that Bethézer was conceived.
Since January, 2008, Bethézer has drawn up or accepted several projects. Two key initiatives are the Boys Dorm and the Girls Dorm. The Boys Dorm, the first to be completed, provides a free home and some food assistance to up to 20 university students – all males – who also have an interest in learning about the true God. Not accidentally, the program at the dormitories, overseen by a Khmer married couple, both Christadelphian, is suffused with Bible reading, Bible study, and discussion. Both material and spiritual needs are being met at the dorms. (This has led to the wonderful occasion of several of the dormers being baptised recently.)
The success of the Boys Dorm has been duplicated with a dorm for 20 young women in similar circumstances to the young men.
Bethézer has also become involved in Vanuatu, where the early education of up to 100-plus village children will be enhanced by the construction of a new school building and the operation of a private, Christadelphian primary school. Work on the new building, which will cater for grades 3 to 6, is set to begin in October 2008. The new Christadelphian school will include in its curriculum an agricultural program with the goal of eventually improving diet. And it will have a slot of time for instruction in Bible lessons and principles.
So within the first six or so months, Bethézer has already begun making a difference in people’s lives. All of the projects mentioned above and the other projects already on Bethézer’s books exemplify the desire to help and the spirit of kindness which provides the basis for this House of Help.
But none of this would be possible without Bethézer’s donors. Bethézer is entirely dependent on the unselfish generosity of these supporters to be able to materially fulfil the needs of others less fortunate than ourselves. The Management Committee wishes to extend a hearty Thank You to all who have contributed to this work. May our Heavenly Father bless each of you and may He continue to bless the activities of this young organisation.