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Field Staff Reports: Eden Grace – December 2012

Dear Friends,

Every evening, just as the sun is setting, more than 100 boys and girls file into the classrooms at Loltulelei Friends Primary School for “Shepherd School” in Samburu, Kenya. They have just finished a full day’s hard work, tending the family’s herds and working in the home and garden, and now they come to school. The will spend the next four hours catching up on missed schooling and keeping up with their peers who attend class during the regular school day. These night-school children are determined not to be left out of educational opportunities simply because their families can’t afford to lose their daily labor. The government provides no support for this non-traditional school. Thanks to generous donors through FUM, we have hired teachers to work with these children every night. Eventually these shepherds will be able to sit the national exams and even proceed to high school, an achievement unheard of among this population of impoverished and hard-working children!

With your support, we are able to:

  • - provide counseling, support groups and free medical treatment (including free antiretroviral drugs) to over 6,000 people with HIV/AIDS
  • - plant and nurture a Friends church among the Congolese refugees in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya
  • - build relationships with the Toposa people in South Sudan in preparation for a new mission outreach in that war-torn area
  • - teach peaceful conflict resolution to high school students in conflict zones, especially on Mt Elgon where a localized conflict has been devastating the community for over 6 years
  • - provide scholarships to girls from nomadic communities to attend high school rather than get married at age 12 or 13
  • - bring clean safe drinking water to thousands of people who have been suffering from chronic water-borne diseases
  • - train 1,000 people to be citizen-reporters during the upcoming Kenyan election, observing in their own home area for incitement, hate speech, bribery, intimidation and warning signs of violence and reporting to Friends Church Peace Team for appropriate follow-up support nearly 2,000 Friends Schools in Kenya to enhance the distinctive values of Quakerism in our schools
  • - lay the initial groundwork for a mobile health clinic in Turkana to reach the desert-dwelling people who currently have no access to even the most basic health care
  • - teach healthy Christian leadership skills to pastors and other leaders in the Friends church
  • - and much, much more…!

Friends United Meeting depends on your support in so many ways – daily prayer, active participation, financial giving, inter-visitation, spreading the good news, etc. At this time of year, we especially encourage you to make a financial gift to FUM supporting all our important ministries around the world. As Jesus told us to do, we seek to minister in solidarity with the most vulnerable and marginalized members of society, lifting their voices and empowering creative, liberating transformation through faith in Jesus Christ.

My work at the FUM Africa Ministries Office is to coordinate, oversee and hold accountable all of the activities about which you care and support. Without my part of this ministry, your donations to our projects wouldn’t have the impact for which you pray.

My family and I rely entirely on designated contributions to FUM for our ministry account – we aren’t supported by the General Fund. It’s always a challenge to ask you to support me, in addition to the projects dear to your heart. But I hope you can see how the success of those projects depends very much on my efforts and how we all work in partnership together in obedience to our common Lord Jesus.

This year, FUM has launched a new Partnership drive, to encourage members of our community to make an intentional and sustained commitment to pray for and support particular field staff. There’s a Partnership paper enclosed in this letter, and I humbly request that you consider how God may be leading you to make a financial commitment to my ministry.

In this season of anticipation for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, I invite you to join me in praying that His awesome transforming power will be felt in these days especially among our Samburu “Shepherd School” students and among all those who are the most vulnerable in society. I continue to pray for you and thank you most deeply for your support.