A Small Loaf Feeding a Multitude
By Eden Grace, FUM Africa Ministries Field Staff
I wanted to share a story of one woman who visited Nakiria Primary School in Turkana and heard stories of the hardship Turkanan women and girls have as they fetch and carry water to their village. She remembered her own childhood in rural Kansas, where her work had been carrying water. She felt again the burden of that labor and experienced a deep sense of solidarity with the local girls. She saw the unused 5,000 liter water tank sitting under a tree near the school. The tank was donated by well-wishers but it was useless because it was not installed. As she reflected on this problem, she knew what God was calling her to do.
Our visitor inquired as to how much it would cost to install the water tank and put it into use. The pastor said “200”. As soon as our visitor returned home to the US, wrote a check for $200 and sent it with instructions that the water tank under the tree at Nakiria should be installed as soon as possible.
Clearly there was some misunderstanding between the pastor and the donor.. Yet our visitor was called by God to give her $200, and it became the small loaf that would feed multitudes.
When the gift was received, our office had to decide what to do. We found that there was just enough money remaining in a general-purpose FUM water projects fund to supplement the $200, to install the one tank and to purchase and install a second tank.
Once the tanks were installed, the government committed to filling each of them with potable water once a month.
Seeing that Nakira Primary School had acquired a reliable supply of potable water, a local member of Parliament donated the money to build a girls’ dormi tory housing 120 students, enabling girls to continue their schooling beyond 3rd grade, when most of drop-outs have occurred.
Right after that, an international NGO saw the girls dormitory under construction, with a good source of water and decided to build toilets for the girls and to train them in hygiene and sanitation.
What will happen next? How many more feasts of goodness will be multiplied from that one small loaf? Truly, God does pour out blessings on those who are faithful with even the little they have.
From John Muhanji
Above is a picture of 15 young men and women who participated in Kampala, Uganda for discipleship training: seven from Uganda Yearly Meeting, eight from Mt. Elgon in Kenya. It was a pleasure to join the graduation celebration.
Also, I am proud to announce that the harvesting of the seeds for our SEED Project was completed with a total of 4,248 bags delivered to Kenya Seed Company, which doubles the amount from last year.
Immediately after clearing the harvesting and pulling down the shade that was being used to sort clean seeds, the African Ministries Office received information to visit another farm for lease. The owner, a Quaker himself, said that he has always wanted to work with Quakers but he has never found how to connect with them. He was extremely happy to lease 200 acres for the next five years to help our SEED project.
The Kenya USFW had asked me to be their guest speaker at their special day of prayer with a concern for a peaceful election and for growth of the Friends church. I introduced the 40 Days of Prayer for the Future of Friends devotional and explained why they should participate. After the meeting, many people followed me to my truck to be given the devotional booklets. Most could not wait to receive their copy. Above right is a picture of the line waiting for the booklet.
By Joyce Ajlouny, Ramallah Friends School Director
As I was writing an entry for our school’s newsletter, the horrific violence against the people of Gaza was erupting. I thought about the irony of my message at this time. While I was planning to report on our school’s facilities development, schools and homes were being destroyed throughout Gaza. While I wanted to share how our elementary school students were enjoying the new, safe landscaped areas and sports fields, children were being killed miles to my south; and while I was going to talk about the proud parents and their active engagement with the school, I thought of the hundreds of mourning mothers and fathers in Gaza. As I was receiving reports about our school’s academic program from both our principals, our students did their own reporting by sending me their poems, art and audiovisual productions which expressed intense feelings about what is happening to their people. Even if Ramallah is being spared from the bombardment this time around, our hearts and minds are with our people. We pray for their safety, but also for an end to all violence. We pray for peace with justice for all.