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FUM News in Brief – November/December, 2013

Bio-sand Water Filter Project in Uganda

A simple technology can transform the health of a whole community. Through a four-way collaboration between Uganda Yearly Meeting, Friends United Meeting, High Point Friends Church and Friendly Water for the World; 44 local residents of Bugiri District of Eastern Uganda were trained in sanitation, hygiene and the construction of bio-sand water filters in the beginning of September 2013 because only 12% of their population have access to clean water. A sanitation and hygiene committee comprised of those who have been trained, is now actively teaching in the community, while a bio-sand water filter construction team is busy making and selling filters.

International Day of Peace

The International Day of Peace is celebrated on September 21st each year. Friends in Kenya have been celebrating the day every year since the post-election violence of 2008. This year, Friends Church Peace Team partnered with the Kenyan Friends Education Commission and Mufutu Secondary School to focus on empowering youth to work for peace. Speeches, songs, dances, choirs, a march and a poetry contest marked the day of celebration and commitment. Local children and adults ran to join the event and a strong presence from government representatives marked the importance of the day. The day closed with a candle lighting circle and prayer.

Alternatives to Violence Program in Kakuma

Kakuma Refugee Camp, located in the most remote and arid region of Kenya, is a sea in the desert of basic shelters, housing 123,000 refugees from all over Africa. This camp is swarming with people having nowhere to go and nothing productive to do. Thus, Kakuma Refugee Camp is a sea of conflict and discontent. Pastor Etienne Paul, a Quaker pastor from South Kivu, Congo, and himself a refugee, founded Kakuma Friends Church several years ago to minister to this community. This year, Kakuma Friends partnered with Friends Church Peace Team and the Africa Great Lakes Initiative of Friends Peace Teams to begin an Alternatives to Violence Program inside the camp. Fourteen refugees are now fully trained AVP leaders. The Somali and Ethiopian leaders in the camp were invited to participate in the initial AVP training, but refused to attend. However, when these leaders saw how successful the program was in creating peaceful dialogue, these same leaders requested that this program be expanded to the Somali and Ethiopian members of the camp.

Westfield-Kisumu Poroko Trip

Westfield Friends Church (Indiana YM) and Kisumu Friends Church (East Africa YM) partnered together in June 2013 for a mission trip to Poroko, a Friends mission among the Masai people in southern Kenya. Eight members, mostly young people, from Westfield joined the Kisumu youth group in service and evangelism while building strong relationships between the two churches.

Quotes from Bridging Gaps

“I’ve been to youth worker conferences where I’ve been the only Quaker, so I wanted to come to one with a Quaker emphasis, attended by other Quakers. This was exactly what I was looking for!” — Eric Paar, LeGrand Friends Church, Iowa Yearly Meeting (Jr. High/Sr. High youth worker)

“Small brush strokes” — Gabi

“Uncomfortable is not unfaithful.” — Nia

“I really appreciated FUM providing an opportunity to meet and connect with Friends across North America over the weekend. Being able to learn from, share with and brainstorm with other leaders in FUM about ministering to youth and young adults has been a blessing for me. As somebody who does work closely with these demographics, it’s been great to hear the ways other Friends support and work with them and to share what I’ve seen work in my own tradition.” — Jonathan Goff, Wilmington YM

“Katy Palmer spoke about the Sticky Faith Teen Curriculum by Powell and Griffin. It is geared for high school students as they graduate and get ready for the next step. Two things that were mentioned are: 1) students who show maturity are the ones who wrestle with their faith, and 2) it is important for youth to have other adults in their life besides parents.”

“This was more than building bridges between age groups; it was about building bridges between all members of a meeting and the community at large.” — Gene Throwe, Friends Meeting of Washington

“This gathering to share resources and to network with one another was wonderful. The focus on Sabbath rest was right on target for us; it was a joy to share, pray and worship in God’s presence. — A long-time youth/young adult worker

Chain of Prayer

As ministers in a common work, it is our custom to offer prayers of gratitude expressing our appreciation for answered prayers. Then we list our concerns and ask for Divine intervention and care. Those prayers are wonderful, but what if we prayed a prayer of confident gratitude for the things we anticipate receiving?

Can you imagine prayer that confidently expresses the knowledge that God has whatever is needed under control? Imagine the strength of the prayer that delineates faith we have in the provision of God. Imagine confidently standing together saying, “We believe you provide what is necessary and we thank you for it now.” Imagine how life might be different with this type of faithful expectancy.

Can you imagine how this form of expectant prayer would change the way we viewed the work and ministry of FUM?

Let us, therefore, challenge ourselves in 2014 to pray prayers of gratitude for the blessings that God has yet to bestow on each of us. Let us pray expecting that the desires of our heart have already been granted. Let us pray knowing that God does provide for the needs of our communities, our friends and our families. Let us set our heart to pray prayers of faith, prayers of gratitude and prayers of confidence.

Prayer is an essential component to our faith, linking us together with each other and with God. This year the FUM community is anticipating with gratitude the many incidents of God’s presence and blessings emerging through our ministers and ministries. Let us join together with grateful expectation as we affirm all that God is doing through us and with us. Join the continual chain of prayer by registering your meeting with the Richmond FUM office.

Workshops to Train Primary Peace Curriculum in Kenya

After five years of hard work on two continents, the Kenyan Friends Primary School Peace Curriculum is now being implemented in grades 1 and 2, with the rest of the primary grades to be phased in in the very near future. In August 2013, Charlotte Stangeland traveled to Kenya to train 40 teachers to be trainers of the classroom teachers who will be using the curriculum.

UPDATE: 2013 Summer Mission Project “Teacher for Teachers”

As training intensifies for the peace curriculum, VBS programs have been busily sending in their contributions. At the time of this issue’s printing, just over $8,000 has been raised toward the ministry of Zadock Malesi’s “Teacher for Teachers”, with more contributions arriving daily. The project continues as the goal is to reach $20,000. Won’t you and your meeting consider donating toward bringing peace in Kenya through education?

Friends Theological College: It’s Not Only Electricity

The mission of Friends Theological College is to equip pastoral ministers who will be thoughtful listeners, effective evangelists, dynamic preachers, informed educators and models of integrity. To successfully carry out this task, the college has to provide a learning environment in which student can achieve this mission. Being in a forest area, electrical power may not always be consistent. The expense and frequent power blackouts have been a challenge to students and faculty.

FTC has explored and installed solar panels as an effective means of a consistent source of energy for years. The newest solar panel is now installed at the library. FTC’s learning environment has greatly improved since the library can now use stored energy from the solar panel on its building. Now students can access information from the internet, complete homework, take evening classes or make-up classes at night without worrying about a blackout.

Solar panels are on the boardroom roof and on the male dormitory. Being able to access energy has increased the quality of life, improved the quality of education and academic performance at Friends Theological College.

The ability to use solar energy and store it has transformed many lives in the communities where our students minister. Many homes in these communities use paraffin, an unsafe source of energy. The lighting from paraffin does not provide an adequate environment to study or to complete assignments. By teaching communities about a better form of energy, our students help create a better standard of living in their world and effectively live out the mission of FTC.

Read more stories from Friends Theological College in the November 2013 FTC newsletter, found online at www.fum.org. If you would like to receive the FTC newsletter by mail or email, contact FUM at (765) 962-7573 or info@fum.org. Donate to FTC or any FUM ministry.

FTC Satellite Campuses in Lugulu and Samburu

Friends Theological College launched two new “satellite” campuses. The campus in Lugulu is housed by the Yearly Meeting (Elgon Religious Society of Friends) and offers the opportunity for working pastors from the Bungoma and Transnzoia areas to advance their theological education through short intensive courses. The campus in Samburu is housed in the Loltulelei Friends Church. The Samburu students are mostly church members with a hunger to learn about the Bible and to mature in their Christian faith. Because the level of education in Samburu is low in general, classes are being aimed at a secondary-school level and are taught in Kiswahili. Both of these new ventures come as a direct response to the appeal of local Friends’ groups to make theological education more accessible.

Fully-enrolled Class in Belize

Belize Friends School is fully-enrolled for its 2013-2014 school year with 21 students, including two boys from Guatemala whose parents are missionaries in Belize. They joined the school in order to learn English in a Christian environment. Western Yearly Meeting donated new science textbooks to serve this burgeoning group of students.

USFWI Newly Installed Officers

Sarah Lookabill, Dinah Geiger, Lois Hackney, Patricia Shrock, Mary Anna McCullen, Jeniffer Omwanda, Jan Palmer, Pam Ferguson, Maureen Binns, Etta Winslow, Marian Baker, Sarabeth Marcinko, Deb Moyer, Martha Jo Jones.

Quaker Men Officers
President: Lloyd Stangeland, Vice-President: Sammy Akifuma, Secretary (North America): Dale Graves, Secretary (Africa): George Namiti, Treasurer: Al Wentz

VBS in Indy Rocks!

By Beth Hendricks, Indianapolis First Friends Meeting

Summertime means Vacation Bible School and Indianapolis First Friends Meeting had a blast with their children sharing the program, “Kingdom Rock.” The fellowship hall was transformed into a castle setting and our kids learned how to “Stand Strong for God” through songs, stories and activities. Attending the program throughout the week were 36 children and more than 30 adults and teens volunteering their time and talent. New friendships were developed and the sense of community was strong during the week. Our Friends at Iglesias Amigos, another meeting in Indianapolis, brought a number of their children and their participation was a blessing. Our mission project was raising money for “Teacher for Teachers.” The children learned about Zadock Malesi and his work in the 1200 Quaker schools in Kenya. The goal to bring the Friends Peace Curriculum into use. We made it our goal to challenge our meeting to raise one dollar for each school. 1200 schools? 1200 dollars! The children started us off, and by the end of the summer, we had raised over $1600.00! The Kingdom of God rocks at Indianapolis First Friends!

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