Updates from John Muhanji
What made you laugh?
The month of July was one of the most fulfilling. We visited the highest part of Mt. Elgon called Kaboywa where we have a Quaker church and a school close to the forest with people who have never been visited. When the children in class saw our vehicle crossing the school field toward the church, they did not wait to be given permission by the teachers to come out. They just left the classrooms and rushed towards our vehicle full of more excitement and joy than I have ever seen in my life. They brought joy into my heart; the joy of reaching out to those who have felt forgotten. Even the teachers were happy to see us and expressed joy just like the children just because we reached the top of the mountain and visited them. The school was built in 1952 with early Friends Missionaries, and since then no missionary has ever been there, but they have remained faithful Quakers to-date.
(Above) Children at Kaboywa Primary School on the top of Mt. Elgon who had never seen a white person and a vehicle on the (Left) compound, were excited to touch the skin of a white person. The Wabash Friends leader received a gift from Kaptama Health Center leaders. It was a symbol to them of remembering to pray for them in their ministry on the mountain.
What brought you joy?
Besides the Mt. Elgon episode I was also joyful when we hired an education secretary, Zadock Malesi, who is currently serving as a school principal in the Mufutu Friends Secondary School. He will begin September 1.
It was also joyful when we visited Uganda during the discipleship training program ministers. The testimonies that were given by the leaders and the unity seen in Uganda Yearly Meeting was beyond description. I praised God for the unity of purpose I saw in the Ugandan church after a long time of struggle. The young people who had trained in this discipleship training program planted a new church with fifty members in one week. It was incredible and I was filled with joy with what God was doing in the Ugandan church. The young people are ready to go to Northern Uganda and help strengthen the church there.
What gave you energy?
I felt energized to encourage the yearly meetings especially the East Africa Yearly Meeting-North (EAYM-North) where Mt. Elgon is situated. I was energized by the Spiritual development training for Superintendents that was facilitated by Jim Sears and James Miller. Because of their training, I felt encouraged and energized to do God’s work with determination without complaining and blaming others. I was energized and reminded why it is important to forgive one another and live in harmony with everybody. I was also reminded that fear destroys our esteem when we focus on it. This was another incredible seminar that left us all energized and ready to move forward.