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Pastor brings ‘Barrels of Love’ to SVG’s children

Pastor brings ‘Barrels of Love’ to SVG’s children

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After bringing smiles to over 300 children during the Christmas season through the ‘Barrels of Love’ programme, Pastor Bob Verkoeyen and his wife Eleanor Verkoeyen are prepared to take their pastoral work to any church here in the New Year that needs their help.{{more}}

They are also planning to assist the needy in the various communities.

The Verkoeyens with the help of their church, the Rock of Help Christian Centre in Canada, donated toys to the underprivileged children here as a part of their first ever ‘Barrels of Love’ programme.

Bob, who has been the pastor of the Rock of Help Christian Centre for 26 years, spoke to SEARCHLIGHT on Friday, January 7, about the ‘Barrels of Love’ programme.

Bob said that he had challenged his congregation to donate to the cause of underprivileged children, when they came up with the idea of giving barrels of toys.

“I challenged our people back home …to come together in our congregation and to fill barrels with toys for children that were mainly affected by Hurricane Tomas here,” said Bob.

“What we did is fill barrels full of toys, some with food also and we were able to bless over 350 children with toys around Christmas time,” he explained.

Bob disclosed that they were also able to purchase groceries for the families of a church in Spring Village. He described the experience as a blessing to him and his wife.

“It was a real blessing, so many (children) were so appreciative and the little girls, for the first time, were seeing their first teddy bear or their first doll,” he said.

His wife also shared similar sentiments, as she described the joy she felt as the children opened their gifts. “You just see in the children’s reaction the real joy, and then it just brings us real joy,” Eleanor said. The gifts were distributed to children around the country, during the month of December.

The couple expressed that the ‘Barrels of Love’ programme was so successful, that they are planning to do it again in the future.

The Verkoeyen family and their church are not new to St. Vincent and the Grenadines. This is the fourth year that they have travelled to the state. They have grown to love the people, food and the “interesting dialect”. Moreover, they enjoy ministering to the churches and people here.

“Just to be able to serve and to be a blessing to the Vincentian people. We love the Vincies and that’s why we’re back. We just love ‘em and they’re just very special people; they’ve just gotten into our hearts,” Bob said, explaining why the couple have returned to island for the fourth time.

In the past years, the Verkoeyens and their church have been ministering in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the group “Unshackled”, which in 2008, visited schools and churches presenting stories, songs and drama pieces. They also did similar outreach to schools and communities on their first sojourn to the island.

Bob has also been teaching and preaching at churches in Layou and is available to teach at any other churches. He said that his teaching focuses on family life, relationships, how to resolve conflict and raising kids. Persons can contact him at 433- 2874. There is also a Facebook page “Barrels of Love and More for St. Vincent”, where persons can see the adventures of the Verkoeyen family, during their time here.

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