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FUM News In Brief – July/August 2014

Update on Kaimosi Hospital

Friends United Meeting entered into a temporary arrangement with East Africa Yearly Meeting eight years ago to restore Friends Hospital Kaimosi from the brink of collapse. The hospital’s situation was dire, and Friends around the world answered the call with an outpouring of prayer, volunteer time and financial resources. Under FUM’s leadership, the hospital became financially stable with a well-qualified professional staff and an ever-improving reputation for medical care in the name of Jesus. We praise God for all that has been achieved during these years of FUM’s management of Kaimosi Hospital, including:

• Financial transparency and accountability through a Team Management system
• The Adopt-a-Nurse Program
• Donations of essential pieces of equipment: Portable ultra-sound machine, oxygenators, etc.
• Delivery of a container of medical equipment and supplies through World Medical Relief
• Purchase of an ambulance
• Hiring of a resident doctor to assist the government appointed doctor
• Renovation of half of the main hospital building
• Purchase of medications and other hospital supplies
• Support for the Comprehensive Care Center (CCC) for over 1,500 HIV/Aids and TB patients
• Perhaps most significantly, the staff was paid a living wage, consistently and on time throughout the 8 years.

On 1 February 2014, FUM ceased its involvement with Kaimosi Hospital. East Africa Yearly Meeting, in cooperation with Friends Church Kenya, entered into a new relationship for the future of the hospital. The National Council of Churches of Kenya has chosen this facility to be the flagship of their new “Jumuia” chain of high-quality Christian hospitals and is poised to invest significant funds in upgrading the buildings, equipment and staffing in order to attract patients from across Kenya.

Three months after the handover, Agatha Ganira, director of the hospital’s HIV/AIDS program (called the CCC) stated:

The hospital is running well. We have now settled in and finished our probation of three months. The staff are happy; at the beginning there was a lot of tension but they have relaxed and are working well. We have a devotion and staff meeting every Tuesday where our new Administrator has been spiritually feeding us. Since he is a trained pastor, he has really changed the staff attitude toward this meeting. His teaching and preaching have been building us spiritually. … The community has started using the facility and they appreciate the positive way that services are offered. The Patient Care Service Manager and I visit churches every Sunday for mobilizationand sensitization and it has been fruitful. The CCC still offers free services for HIV and TB and there is good support for these clients from the clinicians. … We are fully now computerized, from registration, outpatient and all other departments. This has reduced a lot of paperwork. … Renovations will be starting soon, and I believe that after renovations are complete there will be a lot of changes including offering of specialized services according to the NCCK’s long term vision. The school of nursing will be reopened so that they can be able to have enough trained nurses. Please continue to pray for us as we go through this transition.

FUM will, of course, continue to pray for Kaimosi Hospital. There are some “wrapping up” costs associated with this transition, and Friends are urged to continue to send donations for Kaimosi Hospital over the coming months. Although Kaimosi Hospital is no longer be associated with FUM, Friends have certainly not exhausted the gospel mandate to offer healing to the sick in Jesus’ name! As we look ahead, we invite all Friends to pray with the FUM Board as it discerns how God might be leading Friends into new forms of healthcare ministry in East Africa.

Update on Turkana Friends Mission (TFM)

By John Moru

Kalokol Youth Polytechnic has been revived by Turkana county government, which has completed fencing and renovation of buildings. An agreement between TFM and Kalokol Youth Polytechnic has been developed for both parts to sign.

The constituency development funds for Loima Sub County assisted Friends School Lokoyo in constructing two permanent classrooms. Now the school at Lokoyo has eight classrooms, a great benefit the community of Lokoyo where there had been donated by CDF a four room building intended to become a dispensary, although medicine and a nurse have yet to be acquired.

Katapakori has placed the mud on the church building and finished the office to include a door that we acquired from the mission office in Lodwar, when we purchased the metal doors for the TFM office. They have also bought approximately 10 plastic chairs.

Katilu has made concrete blocks for putting walls onto their pillars and they are organizing for fundraising for the construction and a cement foundation.

Kanamkemer, a new village meeting, opened in Lodwar 29/9/2012. It is situated on the western side of Nawoitorong Women’s Lodge. On the 25th of May 2014, Kshs 110,000 for purchasing a church plot was raised.

The Ekukurit Friends Women Group in Kalokol and the Kitamunae Friends Women Group in Lodwar received small business training grants of Kshs 403,000 and Kshs 401,500 respectively from Right Sharing of World Resources. Lochuga and Katilu women groups are seeking training funds from the government.

In spite of animals that have moved to look for pasture, the water pump at Katapakori is still working. Drought and famine have struck, spreading malnutrition among both children and adults.

FTC ongoing students Tracy and Etienne are finding their studies rewarding, although raising tuition funding remains a challenge. FTC has afforded them time to complete their studies.

FTC Anniversary Day

By Oscar Lugusa Malande

One’s day of birth occurs once in a lifetime. The celebration of this event — one’s birthday — occurs annually and is a day on which to remember, thank God for the blessings afforded during the year past and continuation of God’s blessings throughout the next year. It is also day of celebration and reflection on which others often express good wishes. Yet, sometimes this day goes unnoticed because of our day to day activities.

Occasionally, however, these annual celebrations pass unnoticed. At the October 2013 meeting of the General Board of Friends United Meeting in Africa, Pastor Aggrey Mukilima, General Superintendant, Nairobi Yearly Meeting of Friends and FTC alumnus realized that the celebration of FTC’ date of birth had been ignored. Subsequent planning and consultative meetings rectified this oversight.

The principal of FTC, Dr. Ann Riggs, had an opportunity to visit the archives of Five Years Meeting and Friends United Meeting at Earlham College, and her research unearthed the roots of FTC reaching back to 1931. She found that the official minuting of the decision to begin the college was penned on 9 September 1941. Several years of planning and preparation later, students attended inaugural lectures on 15 April several years later. A symbolic date each year on a Saturday soon after Easter was proposed for the annual celebration of the birth of FTC, a date coordinated with the study schedules of the residential and school-based (or part-time) programmes.

On 9 April 2014, the first birthday celebration of FTC was held. Conceived as a day to focus on annual African fund-raising for the college, a target for making sure that each current student’s fees have been paid in full and a chance for the alumni to come together to support the college. It was a day marked by joy and ceremony. Above all it was a time to celebrate and to thank God for what he had done, despite the many challenges that have come along the way, to ensure that FTC achieve its remarkable accomplishments. The theme of the day was from Psalm 145:10: “All your works shall give thanks you, O Lord , and all your faithful shall bless you.” (NRSV)

Guests included Friends United Meeting Vice Presiding Clerk for Africa Churchill Kibisu who read the messages of FUM Clerk Cliff Loesch; African Ministries Director John Muhanji, who conveyed the words of FUM General Secretary Colin Saxton; Global Ministry Director Grace Eden and the incoming Principal Dr. Robert Wafula. Additional speeches by FTC board members, leaders from different yearly meetings, leaders of the alumni and other guests were presented.

Several speeches focused on the need that African yearly meetings, especially Kenyan yearly meetings, continue with the spirit of supporting FTC as their own. There was concern that the continuing process of accreditation with Association for Christian Theological Education in Africa (ACTEA) requires 50% of operating income to be African. The realization of this goal can be met only with energetic support from the African yearly meetings. FTC Alumni Association chairman Pastor Herman Chibeyia called for the alumni to mightily unite in the spirit of supporting the college. Everyone who attended expressed enthusiasm for a bright future ahead for FTC, recognizing that institution as being the root of Quakerism in Africa.

The outgoing principal, Dr. Ann Riggs, was applauded for her tireless efforts and good exemplary leadership at FTC. Her mentorship in initiating, through training at FTC, a self-propagating, self-supporting and self-sustaining church in Africa was noted and greatly honored. The message of the incoming principal made clear that he intends to build on and expand this legacy that has been motivated and shaped by the Kaimosi mission from its beginning. Continuing with the accreditation process with the Association for Christian Theological Education in Africa (ACTEA) and promoting the existing income-generating development projects were among the many he specifically cited.

The celebration was crowned with presentations from FTC students. One of the students presented a poetic metaphor emphasizing Mother Africa’s role in nurturing metaphorical child, FTC, to ensure the full realization of the child’s potential. She admonished that rejection and neglect of the child could result in failure of the child’s capacity to achieve its full potential. As the child, FTC must be nurtured and supported by its mother and other stakeholders, particularly as it seeks to grow on the African continent.

Peter Kiliswa, the ex-officio member of the college’s board from Lugulu Yearly Meeting of Friends, while in discussion with the chairperson of the FTC anniversary day planning committee and ex-officio member of the college’s board from Lugulu Yearly Meeting of Friends, expressed great satisfaction with the success of this the first time event as well as his gratitude for all who attended. He noted that there is need to continue working together to enlightening all Quakers concerning the value of FTC in Africa and the wider world and in training servants of God and humanity for the Friends Church. The chairman noted that there is need for early planning of the coming anniversary and requested prayers as we look forward with much expectation to that day. The Board of Governors has identified 11 April 2015 for the next anniversary celebration.

After this day of celebration, moving to another level in fundraising to support FTC, Dr. Wafula launched FTC Anniversary Funds Drive. All friends of the college are called upon to make pledges on-line and to send in their contributions. African donations may be sent to the FUM African Ministries Office in Kisumu via Mpesa number 0701 781 282. Dr. Wafula requests that donors ensure that they call Judith Ngoya to specify that a contribution is for 2014 FTC Anniversary Fund Drive. Friends living in the U.S. may send donations by personal check, money order or credit card to Friends United Meeting, 101 Quaker Hill Drive, Richmond, IN 47374. Mark the check payable to FTC.

Many thanks to all who have joined in this new effort of celebration and support.

Transition in Belize

By Dale Graves, Interim Director of Belize Friends Mission

My first trip to Belize was with a Friends United Meeting (FUM) short term work project. We were working at La Democracia, under the care of Mike and Kay Cain, building an addition onto a garage. It was a good experience. That experience was a beginning. Since that time I have become more involved and am currently the FUM representative on the board of the Belize Friends School. I attend two of the three board meetings each year by Skype or conference call and the third meeting in person. This gives me the chance to make Belizean friends and to begin — just begin, mind you — to understand some of the issues in the area where the school is located. During these visits I stayed in the home of my close friends Sam and Becky Barber and listened at length to their perspective.

The Friends School serves students who are behind in their studies, typically a young man or woman who did not pass the exam for entrance into high school. Students are given an additional one or two years of instruction and then allowed to retake the test. The school graduates 10-15 students each year and for the past few years, every graduate has enrolled in high school next year.

However, recent conversations have centered on what other work God is calling us to do. Can Friends serve Belize in ways we have not yet thought of? What could an expanded Friends presence in Belize look like? Are there Belizeans who would find the Friends message of Christ as present teacher and guide a welcome one? What can be done about poverty and gang violence on the South Side of Belize City? Do the churches on the South Side of Belize City work together, or could they? And a myriad of other questions that beg for answers.

In conversation with FUM I indicated that I would expect no salary, but that I would need my housing, food allowance, health insurance and travel paid for as well as the costs of doing the work: use of a car, internet access, office supplies (I will be supplying my own computer), money for conference registrations, and so on, and so on.

The budget for my year in Belize is now $32,000, and this is where you come in. I am asking for your support and prayers, but I am also asking you to partner with me in funding this work.

I am looking for 110 folks who will commit to $25 per month for one year By folks, I mean individuals, Friends meetings, Sunday School classes, prayer groups, worship groups, youth groups or any other group who might make a commitment. Would you, or a group you are involved in, make such a commitment?

I promise to:

• answer any questions you might have and visit with you by Skype or phone from Belize;
• keep in constant contact with you about what is going on at the school through Facebook, blogs, and the FUM website;
• keep you posted as the needs assessment and the future plans progress; and
• introduce you to my Belizean Friends as I meet them.

I believe God has great things ahead for Friends in Belize and I really hope
you will be a part of that.

God bless you,
Dale Graves

Transition in Belize

Preparations are underway to launch new initiatives in ministry as Sam and Becky Barber conclude their service at Belize Friends School by the end of August 2014. They and their family will be transitioning back to the United States by the end of the year. During their time in Belize, Sam and Becky have served as co-directors of the school, taught in the classroom and hosted short-term mission teams. Their family of four children was joined by three Belizean children in 2010. All seven children have been encouraged to take part in the ministry according to their individual interests and talents. The Barber family’s unique gift of Christian relationships has touched many Belizeans and made a significant impact for God’s community.

Friends United Meeting’s mission for over 40 years at Belize Friends School has focused on “bridging the gap between poverty and possibility” by providing a second chance to inner-city youth who have failed in traditional educational settings. FUM has been in a discernment process throughout the past two years regarding how to expand ministry and continue to faithfully carry out its purpose statement in a sustainable way in this region of the world.

In the next 12 months, FUM will build upon the groundwork begun by the Barbers toward an expanded Friends ministry. To this end, FUM has approached Dale Graves of Western Yearly Meeting to serve as Interim Director of Belize Friends Mission. Dale’s educational background, knowledge for and love of the Belize mission and availability as a recent retiree make him ideally suited for an interim appointment in Belize. He will begin his one year appointment in August 2014 with a focus on research, community needs assessment and program planning for a holistic Belize Friends Mission that addresses the unmet needs of the south side neighborhood of Belize City.

FUM views this transitional period as an opportune moment to raise up local leadership for the school. Plans are underway to appoint an interim principal. Dale will work with the principal and the local school board to restructure the staffing that will continue the expansion of the highly successful educational program. In addition, FUM intends to strengthen the board and invite its members to work alongside Dale and the interim principal to lay the foundation for an expanded holistic gospel ministry in Belize City. We ask all Friends to join us in praying for faithfulness in this discernment process and for courageous imagination as we seek to follow Christ in Belize.

Adopting Rorogio!

By Duha Masri, Head of Ramallah Friends Preschool

The children in our kindergarten are engaged in a project that reflects genuine understanding of our school’s core values of integrity, fairness, respect and justice. Each year we explore academic themes that provide opportunities for the children to collaborate with their teachers, peers and families. This encourages children as they begin to believe that living by these core values empowers them to become ethical leaders and global citizens. They also learn that the time to begin is . . . now!

This year’s theme is on the shared responsibility we hold for our planet. Students began with learning and research. They went far beyond mere academic knowledge by considering how to be personally involved.

During the research and learning phase, children came across the ivory trade of tusks in Kenya that often orphans new-born elephants. Our kindergartners were concerned and looked for a way to take action. With the help of teachers and parents, we got in touch with the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust who cares for orphaned elephants.

Children learned that caring for orphaned elephants is made possible by people who step forward, leading them to decide to adopt one. They made and sold holiday cards in the community to raise money and spread awareness of the damage done by ivory trade. As a result, the Ramallah Friends kindergarten now sponsors Rorogio who was born on August 10, 2012, and was orphaned by poachers in Kenya. But she is a very robust little elephant who was lucky enough to be rescued thanks to many people who ensured help came her way and now continue to care for her until she can become independent.

The children did not stop with adopting Rorogio. They are now engaged in conversations with their teachers, families and school partners on how to support a local zoo in Qalqilya, Palestine. Such opportunities for children to know and care for their world are pivotal to us here at the kindergarten of Ramallah Friends Schools. Our children recognize that these opportunities are important to their commitment in solving problems, and that it is possible for them to care for humans, animals and the planet.

Quaker Links

By Joyce Ajlouny, RFS Director

Our school would not have survived 145 years of turmoil and hardship if it weren’t for our noble Quaker mission that is further fermented by the various and precious partnerships we have with Friends from around the globe.

This winter the school had the pleasure of receiving Colin Saxton, FUM’s General Secretary, and Eden Grace, FUM’s Director of Global Ministries. Being that they were both fairly new to their positions, this was an important visit that further familiarized them with the school community. It was heartening to see them interact and build relationships with the students, teachers, administrators and board members. I could see the pride in their faces as they saw firsthand what a profound impact FUM’s work, through the Ramallah Friends School, has on the lives of its students and the wider community. Reading newsletters and reports don’t have the same impact as visiting because “seeing is believing” and more importantly “seeing is feeling” how individual lives are touched. The school community enjoyed connecting with Colin and Eden and asked them to return often.

Back in the U.S., I had the pleasure of attending the Bethesda Monthly Meeting’s (BMM) Spring Fling — a lively annual event that generates funds for the school’s scholarship fund. This program has been in place for over 30 years, thanks to the initiative of BMM member China Jessup and the efforts of many that continued to sustain the program. Attending the function was quite a treat as I really enjoyed the social interaction, food, auction, music and the friendships formed. However, I was most touched by the “behind the scenes” effort of those who organized the event this year and throughout the past three decades. I wish I could have brought our students with me to show them that there are many who care about them, pray for them and raise funds that help transform their lives. For now, they’ll have to make do with my word . . . and some pictures.

At the same time, Ramallah Friends Schools had the pleasure of receiving delegations of students, staff and board members from sister Quaker schools in the U.S. Four of these schools provide a full annual scholarship for one of our sophomores to attend their schools. We recently received news of the generous scholarships our students are provided from Quaker colleges, such as Earlham and Guilford.

Such partnerships, along with those from the various monthly and yearly meetings and from F/friends who continue to send us support, greetings and prayers, are essential as we continue to move forward as a leading school in Palestine. They are an important reminder of our remarkable Quaker testimonies that ensure our students are given hope, dignity and the opportunity to reach their potential as value-led learners and human beings.