Updates from John Muhanji
What gave you energy?
I was energized when we took the seven young people from Mt. Elgon to Uganda for discipleship training in Kampala. I saw myself full of energy because I could see the church growing through this program. I, myself, was energized because I knew after the training, FUM shall be able to reach many people on the mountain using these seven people for missions. Hence, the Friends church would grow both spiritually and in number. I could see the future of Friends church alive through this program. I felt a new birth of ministry in me even when I saw the good number of Ugandans also attending the same program. This ministry of FUM’s avoids stagnation and provides the opportunity for transformation.
What was the greatest problem you solved this month?
The month of August 2012 was one of the months I achieved what has always been an impossibility. All the 18 yearly meetings in Kenya and Uganda held their respective annual conferences within three weeks. It is very hard to visit all the yearly meetings as most of the annual sessions meet the same week. What I successfully solved was to reach every yearly meeting and talk about the joy of participating in the 40 days of Prayer for the Future of Friends. The message was very well received and all are geared towards the participation of the program. We managed to distribute all the booklets to all the yearly meetings. I was not sure that we would make it but through the grace of God we managed to reach each and every yearly meeting’s conference.
I was also able to introduce the education secretary to all yearly meetings in Kenya and Uganda. A letter will follow as formality so they will be able put a face on the name they saw in the conference. The other success was the introduction of Faith and Practice which had been translated from English to Kiswahili. The book is on high demand because most of the leaders are ignorant of the Quaker faith and practice.
How have you multiplied your talent and gifts?
I am glad to be part of this FUM ministry and I can assure everybody that it is infectious. By going round the yearly meetings together with Judith Ngoya, Churchil Kibisu and Zablon Malenge (clerk Friends Church Kenya). I realized my talents of communication had infected the rest of the team and they were speaking in the same manner as I. Others were influenced by our way of articulating issues. They especially challenged the Kenyan yearly meetings to participate and give towards FUM mission work.I did disciple many people. I have heard from many people, all talking about the 40 days of prayer and the need to fully participate in mission work.
I have also been humbled by the fact that the talents we have are not ours but God given and we must seek his guidance and direction in ministry. The FUM mission statement, “—- to energize and equip Friends through the power of the Holy Spirit and to gather people in fellowships where Jesus Christ is known, loved and obeyed as teacher and Lord”, was experienced and witnessed throughout the yearly meeting annual sessions. I reminded all the participants they were gathered under FUM’s mission statement and therefore, they were fulfilling the purpose of FUM. Thus, all that were gathered were FUM.
The 40 days of prayer theme, “A great people to be gathered… in Christ, in Community and for Missions,” was equally evidenced in the conferences. As people left to go home, they were reminded this is what they must continue to be gathered in Christ, in community and gathered for mission. I am very blessed.