In 2004, Eden Grace, her husband, James, and their two boys, Isaiah and Jesse, arrived in Kenya to join with John Muhanji, a Kenyan Friend, in establishing the Africa Ministries Office of Friends United Meeting. Later Judith Ngoya was hired to make up this staff of three.
Since the opening of the office in 2005, there has been a great hunger in East Africa for training, discipleship, accountability, capacity building, and relevant holistic mission in Kenya. Eden, John, and Judith have faithfully been addressing these issues, as well as carrying out the four priorities of FUM: global partnership, communication, leadership development, and evangelism. It is the AMO staff who attend and offer insight at Lugulu and Kaimosi hospitals, Samburu and Turkana missions, and Lindi Friends School board meetings.
It is the AMO staff who are responsible for the financial accountability of these project partners in East Africa. It is the AMO staff who assist in implementing the new peace curriculum in the local secondary schools. It is the AMO staff who ensure the safety and care of the many travelers who come to visit each year. And, it is the AMO staff who handle the various aspects of getting building and well projects approved, funded, and turned over to the responsible parties. Recently, the Africa Ministries Office staff organized a post-conference tour to Turkana for those who attended the FWCC-hosted World Gathering of Friends.
Eden, John, and Judith do all this and more on your behalf. Thank you for supporting the work and staff of the FUM Africa Ministries Office.
Friends Church Peace Team
An important part of the work of the Africa Ministries Office has been to participate in the launch and the continued work of the Friends Church Peace Team. Formed in 2008 in response to the violence that broke out following the December 2007 presidential election in Kenya, FCPT is dedicated to promoting peace and non-violence in Kenya.
Currently FCPT is focused on the upcoming presidential election, to be held later this year or early in 2013, with an emphasis on peaceful, non-violent ways of dealing with conflict. Since 2008, in the Turbo district alone, 61 basic, eight advanced, and three facilitator training Alternatives to Violence Project workshops have been carried out with very positive results.
FCPT and the African Great Lakes Initiative (AGLI) teamed up to provide Healing and Rebuilding Our Community (HROC) workshops for 80 participants in the Mt. Elgon area, where over 100,000 people were displaced and 500 were killed in a two year period. These workshops focused on remembrance, mourning, and rebuilding trust in the community.
Civic education on the new constitution is being offered by FCPT in hopes that better education will help alleviate some of the tensions due to misunderstanding. Call in Centers and election observers are trained and ready for the upcoming presidential
election. Mediation skills are being taught as a way of handling conflict. And plans are underway to celebrate the International Day of Peace on September 21 through prayer, visitation, mediation, and peace walks.
More information about the work of the FCPT can be found on FUM’s website: www.fum.org.
*Each month through December 2012, we will focus on a different ministry of Friends United Meeting. This “Ministry of the Month” corresponds with the FUM wall calendar that is available for $7.50 from www.fum.org/shop.
Download the pdf for the May 2012 FOCUS.