Kaptama Health Centre Vision Camp on Mt. Elgon, Kenya
By John Muhanji
It was a moment when the dark mountain became bright and nature could be seen from its true colors — a moment when a cloudy atmosphere disappeared from the face of Julius who now saw his wife differently. Julius’s eye sight was invaded by cataracts many years ago. He was one of many whose sight was recaptured by the miraculous work done at Kaptama Health Centre.
Early morning of July 3rd, a high number of people walked from all directions toward the hospital for the first day of the camp. The young, middle aged and seniors streamed towards the hospital by walking, riding on donkeys and motorbikes. Others were carried or led by friends. The team of health care providers of Sabatia Eye Hospital and Wabash Friends Church found the Kaptama Hospital grounds full of people waiting to be treated. Julius was among the first people to be seen and booked for surgery the following day. The vision camp saw and treated over 1200 people.
The hospital was equipped with a surgery building, but it had never been used since it was built in 2004. During the vision camp, that surgery building handled over 100 surgeries excellently. Julius came back after having his eye sight restored and helped other people in the line, keeping order while rejoicing and praying God.
The mission on the mountain was two-fold. On one hand, eye sight was restored to many. On the other, spiritual transformation was evident. Initially, six trained young people in discipleship trained another 12, and those twelve trained 16 other disciples. Both groups are actively involved in reaching many other places on the mountain and planting churches. Because of this, the Ndorobo people who live in the forest, and do not mix with other people freely, were reached for Jesus. They, too, came to the vision camp after traveling over 30kms.
This camp and its results reminded me of the incident mentioned in Matthew 9:27-31: “As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him calling out: ‘Have mercy on us, son of David!’” The blind men heard about Jesus’ miraculous healing power from other people in the region and pursued him actively, doing their best to get attention. Jesus then turned the spotlight back on them, asking them to honestly reflect on their faith.
People came to Kaptama Health Centre to be healed and left rejoicing and praising God for renewed eyesight. Joys and praises reigned in the air on the mountain. People left the camp and stated that they have been changed through this ministry, causing others to come and be healed as well.
January/February Work Team Invitation
You are invited to visit and work among Friends meetings in eastern Cuba (particularly in Holguin and Gibara) at sites where Cuban Friends meet for camp, yearly meeting sessions and pastoral training. Some stamina is required for unskilled construction tasks, travel, longer walks and multiple church gatherings.
To register, go to: www.regonline.com/cuba_jan_2015.
A $200 non-refundable deposit is required at the time of registration as well as a copy of your passport. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Terri Johns by email or by phone at 765-962-7573.
Dates: Last week of January through first week of February (exact dates determined on flight schedule from Miami to Holguin, TBA.)
Participant Limit: 10 team members
Deadline: September 30, 2014
• Round trip flight from Miami to Holguin, Cuba
• Hotel stay in Miami on either side of the trip
• All meals, transportation and lodging in Cuba
• Needed supplies for work
• Visas and licenses
• Note: Costs will need to be adjusted if fares change significantly
Cost does not include:
• Meals in Miami on either side of the trip (team dines together)
• Baggage fees (estimated at $100)
• Flights to Miami and home
• Spending money for offering, snacks, souvenirs, etc.
• In addition, most work team participants carry items needed by Cuba Yearly Meeting
The First FUM Stewards
By Dan Kasztelan
The first year of the FUM Stewards program went exceedingly well. Four young adults — representing a wide range of ages and levels of Quaker involvement — participated.
Throughout the five days we were together, the stewards spoke about how they experience God, and tried out several new spiritual disciplines in order to experiment with expanding their responsiveness to God’s presence. Powerful stories were heard from Friends Sammy Letoole and Getry Agizah about how God has approached them in their work as African peacemakers.
The stewards also participated in many of the general activities of the Triennial, including the plenary sessions, workshops and other activities. Perhaps the greatest success of the Stewards program was in offering these young adults a family-like home in which to share stories and responses about the Friends they were meeting and the ideas they were hearing.
Feedback from the four stewards was extremely positive. As we left each other on Sunday, they were counting down to the next Triennial and figuring out how many more times they’d be able to participate in the program before hitting the upper age limit (27). They’ve also made plans for how to stay in touch after Marion.
2014 O&P Changes Approved
The following Operations and Procedures (O&P) changes were accepted and approved during the 2014 Triennial Business Sessions:
• Clarifies the provision for Associations and other Quaker groups to become members.
• Establishes criteria for membership that includes alignment with FUM’s purpose statement and ministry priorities, and a willingness to actively engage in and financially support FUM’s mission.
2. Redefinition of staff structure:
• The General Secretary will be the sole executive staff member.
• All other staff will be hired by the General Secretary.
3. Definition of Global Regions of Friends United Meeting:
• Provides provisions for regional gatherings to meet and focus on ministries in their area.
• Grants authority and responsibility for Global Regions to name and populate commissions and task forces to broaden participation of individuals in the work of FUM and more effectively enable FUM to fulfill ministry priorities.
4. Establishment of a New Executive Board:
• Appointed and accountable to the General Board.
• Function as a global coordinating body of the General Board, structured for efficiency and to enhance global partnership priorities.
• Better balance regional representation.
• Meet more often through various communication means.
Closing Minute: Friends United Meeting Triennial 2014
This week, James Bryan Smith reminded us how completely we have been embraced by the love of God. Richard Foster reminded us that God’s divine power has already given us everything we need for life and godliness.
Colin Saxton reminded us how people in our world are hungering for what Friends have to offer:
· Intimate spirituality
· Radical discipleship
· Passion for justice
· Commitment to nonviolence
· Devotion to simplicity
· Concern for equality
· And a vision of a beloved community.
This week, the Lord met us here in Marion, Indiana, and gave us direction for our next steps together in mission.
As we all return to our home communities, may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be over us all until we meet again.