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FUM Field Staff Updates

Sam and Becky Barber, Eden Grace and Ann Riggs were in North America this summer. We hope you had the time to visit with them and enjoy stories of their exciting ministires. Please continue to pray for all our field staff as they engage in equipping and energizing Friends all over the world.

News from Sam and Becky Barber (Belize Friends School)

• Sixteen students graduated from Belize Friends School this past year.
• The Friends School was named the “greenest” school in Belize City for their at­tention to recycling.
• A local chapter of Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) has been started with plans to bring training to the teachers of the different schools in Belize City.
Prayer Requests for the Barber family
• Traveling mercies for the family as they return to Belize leaving Robert at Barclay Bible College to begin his college education.
• Praises for the many churches and meetings they were able to visit this summer, raising awareness and partners for the work in Belize and for their ministry account.
• Increased registration for a full school this year.
• Continued support from local organizations to provide scholarships for the students at the school.
• Clearness as the Barbers begin to work on a strategic plan for the school and their ministry in Belize.

News from Joyce Ajlouny (Ramallah Friends School)

As is the case every year, the school received the FUM work camp, led by Max and Jane Carter. Fifteen visitors enjoyed two weeks of exploration, service and an enormous amount of learning as they traveled the country and spoke with a wide variety of people from deci­sion makers, religious figures and ordinary people. These trips truly change lives as perceptions that have been previously en­trenched by biased media messages take a full turn and people find their own versions of the truth about the injustice in the Holy Land. It is a blessing to host the work camp every year and wish for this endeavor to continue for many years to come.

Our campus also bustled with 42 campers and seven counselors who joined our “Go Palestine” summer camp. This second year of the camp was another raving success and again a life-transforming opportunity for young Palestinian camp­ers from RFS and abroad. More (including many photos) can be found on the blog found in the drop down menu under Summer Camp 2011 maintained on the camp website:

This was also the second year for our College Prep Academy. A total of 84 RFS students participated in SAT prep and essay writing activities and benefitted from the excellent instruction of six American teachers coming our way through the “Teach for America” program.

News from Eden Grace (Africa Ministries Office)

I’m really excited that Geoffrey Nyakang’o has begun work as the project manager for the Mary Ellen Kessler renovation project at Kaimosi Hospital. The basic hospital building, constructed in the first year of Kenya’s inde­pendence and opened by the first president, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, is a wonderful asset to the hospital. Its quadrangle configuration provides light and air to every room and a restful garden space in the center of the building. Yet, there have always been problems with the pitch of the roof and the lack of ventilation at the top of the ceilings.

Judith Ngoya now handles the financial operations from my office in Kisumu freeing me to be “on the road” each year.

News from Ann Riggs (Friends Theological College)

Early in 2010, David Sanya, the much-loved head of security at Friends Theologi­cal College, died. Several principals had had special relationships with him over the years. When David died his youngest child and only son had just finished high school and scored very well on the national secondary-school leav­ing examination. Would his father’s death mean that Kevin couldn’t fulfill his potential through higher education? That happens so often in Kenya. Could life without father mean he would squander his potential by hanging out with his less gifted neighborhood buddies rather than pursuing his professional aspirations?

Funds were sent from Wabash Friends Church for the funeral, which allowed funeral costs not to deplete the small family inheritance. Others pitched in funds to help with tu­ition, insisting that gifts would only come if Kevin worked at FTC when he was available and raised some of his funding through African family and friends.

Kevin did a great job when working for us during semester breaks. But I’ve always worried a bit about him. I know my predecessors in the principal’s office have, too. By the end of June this year, Kevin had made it through the first level of training as an accountant and we hired him to work full-time work at FTC, agreeing with him that he should continue his studies part-time. It gave me peace watching him settle in to his new responsibilities.