Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Friends United Meeting update – 1/8/2008

Today emails have flown across my desk faster than I can possible digest. The post-election crisis in Kenya hit this office with more intensity than ever before. Exhausting, but very rewarding! Prayers are spilling out from all over the nation for our Kenyan f/Friends.

Again we would like to note the safety of each of the field staff, along with Bob and Hope Carter, David Zarmebka and his wife Gladys, and Donald and Ruth Thomas. We have heard that Isaiah Bikokwa is well and just waiting out the storm. John Moru was in Turkana during the clashes in Eldoret, so he and his family are safe from conflict. While 95% of the Kenyan Quakers are Luhya and not Kikuyu, Quakers still have been affected by this internal conflict in many ways.

Now there is before us an ever mounting need for funds to help provide subsistence to the folks who are displaced and without enough food, fresh water, clothing and shelter. Depending on the news reports there is somewhere between 250,000 to well over 500,000. Some of the emails I’ve received believe this number is still too low. For me, the numbers are unimaginable. With food prices doubling and tripling and quantities limited or nonexistent in different areas of the country, it is clear that a big part of our responsibilities in the coming weeks will be to focus on relief efforts.

FUM has begun collecting money to help with humanitarian aid in Kenya. Please give generously to FUM for Kenya Relief Fund at:

Funds will be collected and distributed by the Africa Ministries Office and Friends Theological College, according to need. Earmark your gift to FUM for the "Kenya Relief Fund."

Let me help you understand the needs just a bit better:
1) With increased patient load at the Kaimosi Hospital, our head doctor is in need of assistance to keep up. It would be good to have a second doctor to assist.
2) Because of food shortages, Samburu and Turkana (whose funding is substantially down anyway) are in more of a pinch this month than normal. They are able to buy only 1/3 the amount of food they normally purchase.
3) With money going toward subsistence, tuition will be difficult for students at Friends Theological College (when it opens for the semester).
4) FTC’s budget for food, fuel and other supplies will be severely impacted and could cause a crisis in caring for our students there.
5) Short supply of medicines, due to the inability to travel (blockades, lack of fuel, etc.), will cause difficulties in care especially for those patients suffering from HIV/AIDS and cholera (due to sanitation problems and lack of clean water).
6) All these things also affect the orphanages (food, water and medications), churches and schools (who are caring for the displaced).

Many more problems abound in Kenya during this time, but there are ways we can make a difference. Thank you for your continued support and prayers.

Terri Johns
FUM Program Manager

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