Live captioning services are provided by CSDHH – Communication Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Greensboro, NC. Your captionist today is Vicki Pinson.
Good morning. If we could take our seats we would like to get the business session underway.
Friends if we could take our seats please.
Friends good morning and welcome to our business session. Donna Terrell will come and lead us in song.
Donna: GOOD MORNING Jambo. Let’s all stand and sing. Hymn page 410 standing on the promises.
Standing on the promises of Christ our king … standing on Tom Hamm promises of God. Standing, standing, standing on the promises of God our savior standing standing, I’m standing on the promises of God.
Standing on the promises you cannot fail … by the living water … standing on the promises of God. Standing, standing, standing on the promises of God my savior standing, standing, I’m standing on the promises of God.
Standing on the promises of Christ my Lord … standing on the promises of God.
Standing, standing, standing on the promises of God my savior standing standing
I’m standing on the promises of God.
Standing on the promises I cannot fall … standing on the promises of God. Standing, standing, standing on the promises of God my savior standing standing I’m standing on the promises of God.
Thank you Donna. We’d like to begin at this time with a series of announcements. Linda Selleck will begin. If you can look at your green book this is pretty easy day. This session, lunch, free time or tours, dinner and tonight’s program at 7 however we have been working hard in NC to prepare concert for you that is not in book. 6 pm extended 1 hour prelude into tonight’s program. If you haven’t guessed by now Quaker in NC love to make music. Follow scripture make a joyful noise unto the Lord. Etc. we have a friendly Quaker songfest concert tonight 6 pm in this room guitar mandolin, violin, Celtic harp, singers, we hope you will come and enjoy this music time together. 6 pm tonight. Floating party.
Thank you Linda. Can I bring harmonica and kazoos are always welcome.
Friends we have announcement from Tony Lowe meeting of convergent friends those interested should meet 1:30 today front steps of Meetinghouse.
Terri Johns has series of announcements.
Terri: Good morning. It really is series. .I was downstairs writing and kept adding. I will talk really fast but not so fast you can’t understand me. Friends Theological College support team meets 12:00 hospitality room. Field staff exec committee and finance committee 1pm library. Several interest groups if you haven’t seen list it’s obvious place you will go there every day on the bathroom doors. We put them there intentionally so you won’t miss them. Also one not on list Joseph M. who is chair of friends church peace team has video he wants to show you 1 hour long 3:30 pm hopefully in choir room. If not there there will be note on the door.
Auctions we have a few people who have bid on some of the auctions but we are missing several of you. If you want that quilt and it is gorgeous or the things from Belize or crèche from Ramallah. You don’t want to miss this this is your opportunity. It is over in morning tomorrow 10 am tomorrow. If you want that all money benefits field staff account. Not just fair market value it is here to support field staff. We really want you to bid on that. If you don’t know how go to office down the hall Friends United Meeting office down the stairs. If you look at workshops tomorrow field staff have workshops tomorrow Ben and Jody are having workshops friends theological college. They will have workshop. Offering totaled $2400 dollars. That is so exciting. That means we have over 3300 in 2 nights offering. You are amazing. Field staff general fund both appreciate you. Last involves some of our staff. We really want you to get connected with Friends United Meeting. If you haven’t been connected this last year you have missed a lot. Our staff will show you some things you missed. First of all in packets you got wonderful bags there is plastic packet and this cream colored card half sheet not taxing to fill out simple info but great way list to get connected with Friends United Meeting. If you are not connected or haven’t been receiving stuff from us. Take down to office that’s really important not only for us but for you to know what’s going on.
Along with that. … the green sheets we have extra copies. One person was faithful and filled out green sheets one person we have over 500 people registered folks, not even a 1% return yet. We’d like to hear from at least 20 of you and hopefully we can do that. If you have your green sheet fill them out or if you can’t find your sheet see Dale he has more. We’d like to hear from you on those. It gives us contact to talk to to get people connected. Other things we have you might have missed. Quaker life magazine and you wanted to say something. In lovely packets …
In lovely packets just as wonderful half sheet of information you will find beautiful purple sheet this is today and today only special deal of the week get Quaker life subscription get one for a friend free. (FREE) buy one get one. Make sure you look for this sheet and get your Quaker life subscription and gift one to friend for free.
Many have asked about exciting themes for 2009 they are listed on fancy purple sheet. If print is too small come to us and we will read them to you.
Friends United Meeting Sunday if you didn’t participate last year that is something you missed. We had 2-3 churches signed up one year this year like 40 that is in November. You will get announcements about it, stuff in the mail. If you don’t get directly you are not connected and all you have to do is fill out that little piece of paper. There is the piece of paper.
Oh something else do any of you actually remember what we did last year for annual general fund campaign. She is showing you close up and personal exactly what we sent to 15,000 people. Please remember we sent to 15,000 people. Ok. 15,000 people we are asking for 210,000 dollars that is not a lot per person little amount. What we offered in return for monthly donation was prayer cards of staff, staff showing you the cards, if you got your brochure, got that you have places to put those prayer cards. If you didn’t good news it’s in your packet. So you are not missing out. What you missed out on was lovely prayer cards. We have more it is here for a small donation to general fund you can get completed collection of prayer cards to put in packet. If you want to do this and raise money for general fund or just get lovely faces to look at all the time. Come to office. If you prepurchase new book enduring hope impact of Ramallah friends school available next week you get free complimentary Patricia … bookmark … and friends in Palestine. Personal reflections of alumni and teachers of Ramallah friends school. Do you remember what paper looks like. Good.
Thank you ladies. Those of you that have provided me with traveling minutes they are signed and ready for pickup. I have greetings from Britain yearly Meeting. Gary Farlow we have special guests today. Will you recognize friends from Iowa.
Victor and Brenda White from … operated by Iowa Yearly Meeting are here please stand so we can see who they are.
Victor just stepped out.
Specific reason to make sure you know about them today they will do a Pawnee Indian Cultural dance and drum singing at 3:00 pm today on the front lawn when you get back from tours or from resting this afternoon time to make merry with friends from Iowa.
We have many special people with us frank for divinity school. Those who want copies of Landrum Bolling’s peace lecture may find them on Friends United Meeting website.
In a couple of weeks.
Friends for devotional reading this morning as we winter time of worship prepare for business that lies before us. I’d like to share with you story found in first chapter of John. First time Jesus is gone publicly as teacher and Lord. Scene takes place on street and then John the Baptist gave this testimony I saw the spirit come down as a dove from heaven and remain from him I would not have known him except the one who sent me told me. The man on whom you see the spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize you with holy spirit. I have seen that this is the son of God. Next day john was there on street again with 2 disciples and when he saw Jesus passing by he said look here comes the lamb of God. And when 2 disciples heard him say this they followed him.
Turning around Jesus saw them following and asked what do you want they said rabbi which means teacher they asked where are you staying Jesus replied come follow me and I will show you.
That’s the message Jesus is still asking today friends everywhere come and follow me and I will show you where I live.
Our heavenly father again we thank you for dawning of a beautiful day thank you for privilege that exists in our world to worship freely and peace around us but we know your peace is not everywhere. We pray peace comes from knowing you in personal way we pray for peace wherever absent in the world from government, people rulers, lacking in peace in families, workplaces, among friends we ask for your peace that passes all understanding to descend upon us, thank you for answering prayers, restoring health comforts and joys you provide. We praise you for personal relationship for all if they answer question come and follow me. Cover us today with mercy and guidance lead us, pray you always find us with eyes turned on you let your light shine on us in our pathways and inspire us to follow you, unveil your truth that we might live our lives to your teachings. We want to be more like you, want to be that faithful servant when we stray forgive us Lord. Put shortcomings as far from us as east from west encourage us with your presence that we might live every day it is you we want to serve we surrender all bless gathering of friends … amen.
Friends follow with a moment of silent waiting for spirit of guidance Terri will continue leading us as we receive word from missionaries in the field.
Terri: Thank you.
Ye are the epistle of Christ written not with ink but with the spirit of God to friends in New Jersey … my desire is that you may have the Lord in your eye in all your undertakings for many eyes of other governments or colonies will be upon you to see how you order lives and conversations therefore let your lives words and conversations be as becomes the gospel that you may adorn the truth and honor the Lord in all undertakings. You will feel him and in going forth and coming in so you may answer light and truth in all people go … godly lives and conversations. Do not strive about outward things but dwell inn the love of God for that will unite you together and make you kind and gentle one to another. To seek another’s welfare and be helpful one to another. That you may live as family and church of God. … the first month 1676 …
Terri: thank you for that. That …
Field staff incredible group of people. We had 2 days earlier this week to have field staff meetings and we learned more about each other. Amazing we found lot of our personality types are similar different than mine. We realized takes a certain kind of person to be field staff. Lot of inner strength and we have some really solid field staff. I’m happy to share them with you not mine but I love to say they are mine because I have such a nice connection with them and really enjoy them so glad they are here to share with you. One woman here will share is Joyce Ajlouny she is director of friends school in Ramallah. Incredible person has huge responsibility so good at it. Hope you enjoy.
Joyce Ajlouny: Good morning.
Ok. Fist I send greetings from Ramallah and from the students parents and community of Ramallah friends school trustees as well and principals. Such a competent group of teachers and administrators. If not for them I would not have been able to spend this year in USA. We have every reason to be grateful for the hard work they do.
I want to catch up from what our speaker last night Landrum Bolling said about our message of peace and hope as Quakers. I continue from there but promise I won’t mention PLO or I will not go into politics. Hard to be in Ramallah Palestine without mentioning politics big part of life and family there, of students and teachers. Affects everyday life.
I don’t want to repeat what I will say in workshop tomorrow. I will be more personal today I often ask myself I’m Palestinian but also US citizen. What am I doing in Ramallah I ask myself. Have I not had enough stress and living under military occupation I have lived under military occupation all my life. What makes me stay there. Is question I ask all the time. My answer is very clear. Ramallah friends school. My people. I feel I give something to them, leaving them with something contributing this is driving force. What makes me feel it as a calling is this when you have so many things logically that say you should not be where you are yet you remain that is the force so powerful that works with me every day to keep me there. A lot of us don’t know probably you don’t know what occupation is all about military occupation is nonexistent in most part off world. Not many places. Mankind has realized that people should not occupy other people. Simple as that. For me living under occupation all my life and now making decision my children will live under occupation is very difficult decision to make. Occupation crushes you from inside. You lose your dignity and you are harassed every day. You see things that make you question humanity and the humanity of others every day. I realize that our students when you look at their pictures in yearbook downstairs you see their smiles and feel they are normal kids but deep inside I don’t think any of us realize what it means for them to live under occupation surrounded by gigantic wall where they can’t leave the city can’t use the airport see the horrible bombardment and they feel it every day on their city and country they see the injustice taking place I could go on and on about checkpoints and lack of freedoms. I will spare you. You can imagine what that means for a child. Our family we try to shelter from occupation but they are affected. My son is 16 but 10 when subjected to heavy incursions. He woke up every night 3-8 times a night with night terrors because of insecurities he felt. He had canisters and bullets (empty) that he collected. The destruction from the destruction of the city. This is a sheltered kid so you can imagine what the kids in refuge kids go through every day. Calling is strong for me to go on. I feel the difference that FUM makes there as you see in other countries is enormous it is not just another school. It is a school that is making a difference when you read and I hope you all buy copy of enduring hope you read testimonies of alumni the words if not for friends school I would not be where I am today or not be what I am today they are not words I hear occasionally, these are words I hear all the time. So this is a school that is really honestly making a difference touching everyone’s lives. At present school has over 1150 students. This is record in school’s history. 140 staff in both schools. There is a boys school and girls school but they are coeducational. To confuse you. This year 92 graduates. Sylvia mentioned in keynote where these kids are ending up for college they pay about on average 2300 a year to attend our school. The program in rest of Arab world costs families usually 10-15 thousand a year. We make that facility open for families with less means. 23% of student body receive financial aid. We would like it to be more. We try to raise more money. Muslims and Christians live together in student body and learn to be tolerant of each other 66% students Muslim and 33% Christian faith.
One comment came to me from director of international admissions at Harvard to visit school. She made special trip to visit when she returned she emailed me and said Joyce for my whole history of doing this work my trip to your school was highlight of my career. Your students were most attentive eager to learn eager to listen and as a result Harvard accepted 2 of our students. What is Friends United Meeting’s role in school. Seems well managed. I think this is where my mission comes in in terms of being Friends United Meeting staff member there. That I can make sure I ensure many things are maintained in school first and foremost my job is about making sure Quaker spirit and values are well in line with friends school we live under horrific situations there is violence. We need to keep students and teachers engaged on our values and make sure they take them and work with them and I challenge them on the values. It is easy to slip in situation like ours. I’m so happy to have started new ethics program we now teacher about Quakerism like conflict resolution this has a great impact. My job is to look at financial health of the school not only year to year but long-term. I look at endowments the school doesn’t have much now how to raise more for school looking at infrastructure of school how to build what we need, buy things we need, that goes on we will have the first and only grass soccer field in whole area and thankfully we have raised enough money for this to make it happen. For school and community field is not only for students but community at large. We see our role going beyond our direct community but use school as a way to outreach for others as well. I think my hardest job is to motivate teachers and principals because life is so hard on them economically and psychologically. Keep them going, renewal, new approaches to education, better reading program, better science program. Learning by doing, sometimes I talk to them and they are just not there. Thinking about money how to pay bills, their different reasons each has that puts them down. To get them motivated is a big job. Because sometimes I’m subjected to depression and distrust and I need someone to motivate me. This is hardest part of my job to keep them hopeful, to make sure they know they are making a difference. I think this is one thing that keeps them going. I received an email this morning from principal gave me results which were good. That keeps them going what we are doing good work. Making a difference. I feel this is message of Friends United Meeting to this mission in Ramallah it’s 140 years old has endured so much so many wars so many occupations from different sources. God knows what’s coming after this but hopefully we will have peace in Palestine soon. I share Landrum Bolling’s pessimism that it doesn’t seem likely in future. Ramallah school survived but wouldn’t have if not for Friends United Meeting. Not for the commitment the love the care attention that Friends United Meeting has given the school throughout the years. The accomplishments of the school would not have been achieved without your prayers, your support. Believing… I want you to know prayers also reach us and we want them to keep coming. We are going through hard times but we know we will survive like we have in the past. I hope I can see you … I will talk more in my workshop. But I want to say that Friends United Meeting has helped me fill my cup and I urge you based on Mike shared with us yesterday to also … there is nothing more gratifying than having feeling you are on the right track. Thank you for all your prayers.
Terri: Thank you Joyce. You will have opportunity if you go to their workshop two times offered.
Next person is a I met her 2 years ago from Southeastern Yearly Meeting. She is delightful woman. I have enjoyed getting to know her. This year she said I need to go to Kenya. I need to be there to help Eden Grace. Then violence broke out and she wasn’t sure if she was called or God said you don’t need to be there. Then it got better and she decided to go. Lisa Stewart will share with us a few minutes.
Lisa: Thank you.
Can you hear me now.
I grew up in tradition program Quaker tradition where missionary and evangelism had negative overtones. 3 years ago I was at Yearly Meeting when Ben Richmond spoke as representative from Friends United Meeting while we struggled with membership issues. The struggle with personnel policy. I was sitting in back and had sensation levitating out of seat of course I didn’t I said I have to go. Without saying anything to anyone I made reservation to go to DesMoines Yearly Meeting to have encounter but my first experience making friends with friends from … I left with good wishes of my meeting who made me think I was going into lion’s den. So I wrote a report and it found way to Yearly Meeting then they asked me to be representative to Friends United Meeting. I marched off became representative to Friends United Meeting. And came to discover that our fears were unfounded. And that there were fears about us from Friends United Meeting and I have done best to allay those fears. My spiritual journey has led me to Kenya to work with Eden Grace who is with John Muhanji are … if you don’t have any energy don’t go with them they have no concept of time, wear no watch, they are working have so much energy and commitment. I never knew a Christian mission could be right stewardship of our money Eden Grace has made Christian ministry out of stewardship … they are hosts I lived with them for 3 months. Can you imaging having someone in home for 3 months with children in house and feeling at home and loved and welcomes. Plus all the other people that come through there. I have met so many people from USA who come and travel to visit and travel with John Muhanji it was a blessing and treat to me to see how he personifies someone who truly walks in the light. Who truly walks through life spreading joy. Plus he makes it so much fun. We went to Turkana to work with the general board there. Eden Grace and John Muhanji have done amazing job working with Yearly Meeting general board and hospital general board helping them organize using friends values. They weave principles of peace, … equality and simplicity and community into all their work. The faith they demonstrate has been such a lesson to me. We were on road to Turkana stopped by police said you can’t go further without police escort or escari security person they gave us an escari he looked like a bandit himself. He had a gun long barrel. It looked like it came from an old war held together with baling wire and twine. John and Eden said prayer and went with laughing spirits over this road. I saw a car on side of road they had shot earlier in morning two catholic missionaries and shoes were still in the road. Then car broke down not once but 7 times every time Eden Grace stopped and would trail back to see what kept us. They wanted something to fix the radiator hose. I had a little kit with me and they fixed the hose with adhesive tape from medical kit. Another time John took me to Uganda and … he was helping them reorganize they were raising money for building. John worked with the board helped them organize priorities and explain importance of having budget and bank account job of treasurer any treasurers wonder about your value I learn you are doing God’s work believe me. Pastor there said they would have fundraiser next day they should bring as many shillings as they could even chickens or eggs. I didn’t know he was serious next day we had the gathering and children were singing they were giving money in basket and a lady put chickens in basket and someone brought a goat to give and they were making noise children were singing…it was wonderful I loved it.
In Lugari their Yearly Meeting has… building fallen into disrepair as a result of john’s workshop thank you as a result of workshop and helping the Lugari Yearly Meeting focus of what they wanted to do and showing them the right use of finances and having budget and making budget plan they went to bank while I was there met John at bank the bank knowing they were Quaker and knowing Quaker values and knowing the community the bank set up workshop and committed to give them loan for their projects. They will have fishery bed, dairy farming self sustaining program. Americans that I know think of Friends United Meeting as missionary organization that is going to countries telling them what to do, how to use their money I see Friends United Meeting as empowering and energizing people to be self sustained. Watching Eden and John work with women … Quaker peace teams I heard about them I know wonderful work they have done but never seen it in action I will probably cry telling about this, they negotiated peace between community who drove people out burned their homes sometimes killed the people and their families … in the refuge camps so they could return home all made possible through funds sent so generously after post election violence. Friends United Meeting … working with Aq… to be part of training workshop that sent peace teams out and commitment Kenyans have bringing peace to their own county it was God’s work and Quakerism at finest. Some friends travel miles to come to these training sessions. No cars, they came on foot, bicycle sometimes overnight with no compensation. Budget provided transportation and meals but no salaries or compensation over travel expenses. They left families children sometimes their jobs. They jeopardized their health to work for peace. And how you would say what did I learn. I learned that missionary is not a bad word evangelism is not a bad word when I traveled with Eden Grace and John Muhanji and people asked me to talk about Quakerism I was evangelizing. I left to be a bridge and to learn none of us knew where it would go. That was my mission and when john said you will talk tomorrow at Uganda I didn’t know what I would say. I’m not a pastor I heard voice you are not a pastor but you are a minister. We are all ministers. Life is our ministry. Your life is your ministry and as I said to people I work with their lives are their ministries. We all demonstrate by our lives what is important to us what we honor. My time is up so I need to tell you while we traveled I learned there is great need for Quaker literature in Kenya. We are losing young people to other churches because they have they talk about what it takes to be member and they have literature. We need to start library. All Quakers over USA will somehow buy books about Quakerism and send to me or Terri and she will get them won’t you. Get them to the Kenyans. John Muhanji and Eden Grace will distribute them. Especially in schools I met school chaplains who teach religion every Friday afternoon by law. Schools are allowed to teach religion every Friday. No literature on Quakers. Kenyans have amazing relationship with God. They are hungry for information about Quakerism. How to incorporate into life. That is my appeal to support field staff who are awesome and I am hopeful God will lead me back next year but in meantime I hope to send as many books as possible for Yearly Meeting and for the schools. Thank you.
Terri: She has lots of great stories and she has more so if you didn’t get enough see her and she will tell you more. Sampson would you like to speak to us. I didn’t get to ask before. He works with Aquavis and he has just a few minutes.
Thank you friends. I feel much obliged to stand before thee and having opportunity to share with you. Terri tells you organization called Aquavis is organization formed to promote renewal in friends church through evangelism and ministry and so I serve on board and officer I find joy doing that work. My area of interest today is about project that has received some support from amongst you, many friends in north American which is Linda friends school is has population of 256 students. It caters to all children all religions but Muslims are dominant so we don’t discriminate wanting only Christians to come to school we accommodate even the Muslim families and we find joy that we are able to bring the children together as a family. The school is run by board of management considered by local friends church and with … from Yearly Meeting. So we have total 8 teachers who are actually volunteers. So for … to be able to put some structures which the school really needed most. So what we have done is to put up 8 classes for the school. Initially the children were gathering in small shelters made by … and carton boxes as classroom … I wish I had a picture of the current school. We have managed to put up the new school and a water tank. It was being raised with 2000 liter capacity so that gives me joy in my heart because clean water in this land is not a purity so what I’m saying is it’s harder to get clean water sometimes … so it is a challenge. That is within so to have a water tank is a blessing. Want to say thank you for friends school we managed to buy desk for children to sit on they used to squat down and write while sitting down. Or sit on wooden mat that would sit about 45 as I talk now we have 2 children sitting on a desk which is really a blessing. We also have been able to make what we call a book shelf. It might sound something not very necessary maybe to north American children but I can tell you to have shelf in a school where you keep books is a blessing so when children come from home they go to shelf pick book they want to read and go ahead. We have been able to buy books recommended by ministry of education so as I talk now the children are using the right syllabus that is recommended by the government for first time the examination they had taken we had first students scored 358 marks that is record. Highest is 500 to us that was a credit so. Observing one of secondary schools. The issue of … program just to see that there is some food in the school. Kenya government … feed a child in the nation they have been able to identify some schools to get this feeding program and Lindi was one. The community comes to Lindi because there is school there. At lunchtime they know they will have food and go home when they are fed. They have received something for future and for the stomach. During the post election violence it was so sad that all food in the store was stolen for that session. We were given permission by the feed a child in the nation that unless we put up better store then it becomes difficult to give us food because we must be responsible for the food. We have to make storage shelves in that room so that food is safer and we have been given rice, corn, beans and oil. I want to summarize very fastly that the challenge we face now is that teachers who are there now they are … what we do aquavis raised… 12 rooms for rental and what we get from the rent about $5 what we get sorry $3 we divide that and give the teachers a salary which is not more than $5 that is not often it is once in awhile. So there is … we are working on how to support the teachers. At end of day the teachers also need some food. Finally many of you … who have come to support some of the students as we talk right now there are 2 students who are now being taken care of by Joseph and Barbara and doing very well. … 8 out of 46 students in secondary school that is as credit. Thank you God bless you for every single even a dollar you give to us those children it isn’t for nothing. It counts. Be blessed. May God raise you up so that he gives you good health so that as you continue think about those children in the shanty area in the slum. You are … thank you all.
Terri: I met Sampson about year and a half ago I didn’t really hear his story until yesterday. Joseph m Kenya known as … sorry got the wrong one. I don’t know the names well. He is head of friends church peace team. He will speak a little today and then more tomorrow.
Joseph: good morning friends.
It’s true but Terri asked me to talk briefly today I say it is a blessing. Let me start by asking members from Friends Theological College who are present here, 19 of them … about the peace program those present and members of my peace team I think good for you to be known here.
Keep standing please.
Keep standing please. There is a second lady I saw here and we were with her when forming peace team. Keep standing lady. I would like also to ask some of you who participated in the program way back … the general secretary can you stand please.
Judy I was looking for her. This is the team that has been doing the job in Kenya. And I think Brent and Sylvia might have some photos to show everyone before conference ends. Thank you very much.
Kenya has had several general elections since independence 1963. But the 2007 general election was special. Special in the sense that people equipped themselves to vote. One requirement is national identity card another item is the national voting card, with these two items people went to vote with a lot of expectations. Expectations to have youthful leadership. Expectations that youths will be employed. Expectation that there will be break away from dominance of leadership from one tribe. Expectation of sharing of national resources … a lot of expectations and this was to come through a new leadership through a changed presidency. The electoral commission of Kenya after election announced different results from the expectation of people. After that announcement people went wild. Houses were abandoned. People were axed to death. Even … were used to cut people to death. There was total … illegal roadblocks were mounted. Then entirely displaced people camps were created where there was no food. There was no propane, no nothing. Hopelessness. Then … came in. friends from US, … friends church peace team being formed and the one before you was asked to chair that team. As we were doing our work the community wanted even to stone us there was a time when they came to meeting … we didn’t know… but if we made a slight mistake of asking them to accept their neighbors back we would be stoned. Fortunately after some time these same hostile communities after hours talking to them, hours listening to them they accepted the very people they drove away. They accepted them back. Even taking them into their own houses because this tiny community we have a name for those who have been driven away the name returning community we gave the remaining community the name the receiving community this returning community went back to neighbors who received them back. The returning community didn’t have anything like a house, lost everything everything had been destroyed. Receiving community took them into their houses. Received enemy. You can see the type of joy we get the … the mandates that God gave expects me to talk about it tomorrow. But in brief the … the ones who wanted to kill John now were ready to receive that community. Through your generosity in the states and other places. That that happens. We also have a film about what happened. The houses, names, church, people inside as we are … we have that film and I wish you have time to see it at 3:30 today for those who are curious maybe that will help you understand the situation in Kenya. Maybe … thank you so much.
Terri: Thank you Joseph. If you are here today and you have nothing that is another meeting you have to attend that would be a great one to go to. It is supposed to be I announced it earlier. I didn’t bring that up with me in music room at 3:30 pm.
Next couple I had known for quite some time in different situation Ben and Jody Richmond come from Friends Theological College I knew Ben back in the 80s when we worked Friends United Meeting together back then. He continues on and off forever he kept retiring and coming back. I left and then I came back long time later but I did come back. Been interesting we worked different situation he was more supervisor I was nonsupervisory and now roles more reversed. Ben and Jody will share about Friends Theological College.
Ben: God is good. All the time. That is his nature and therefore he deserves a high five. This is what you have to do you see we are learning this in worship at the Friends Theological College. So God is good all the time all the time God is good that is his nature and therefore he deserves a high five. God is good all the time that is his nature and he deserves a high five.
Even in the context of what he was talking about God is good. I want to say Mamai could you stand Ababu could you stand and is … these members of our board of governors at Friends Theological College and we are so happy to have strong board appointed by coming from the friends church in Kenya. Thank you so much for your service and we with Seth clerk of … and chair of Yearly Meeting could be here but he was unable to. I would also like to have Sampson I mean Simon sorry he is pastor in Lugari and a member of faculty at Friends Theological College he teaches everything and currently also student himself learning Greek so you see what kind of strength we have at bible college.
I wonder if there are others here who have come who are formerly associated with Friends Theological College I know some of you are. If you could stand if you have been a student graduated from the college.
Any other who have worked at the college. I know the Davidsons are here. I will pick on you now. And Pat our volunteer teacher. Everywhere we have gone in USA or in Kenya the world is full of people who have had close association with Friends Theological College. Every time we go to conference a speaker at Yearly Meeting in Kenya so often the conference speaker is graduate of college. This has been such an important part of the life of the church there. We would like to share a little bit of the energy of the college by showing you about 3-4 minutes of a video we have and you can pick up one from us it is DVD for those from Kenya this is done on North American format so we can make you copies later in Kenya if you want them. Can you roll that just a moment.
(PowerPoint presentation – singing)
*God has really used them.
There are some things for example … clapping and singing and because …
We have 147 students.
Ben: It’s a teaser.
Jody: I’d like to talk a few minutes about some of my own personal experience being at Friends Theological College when we came Ben was as principal and teaches a course and I taught some courses after post election violence some of my other skills came into play I am by profession a mental health counselor. Before going to Kenya I did special work on trauma counseling so there I was and there was trauma. So when second semester was supposed to start in January we postponed one week thinking things would calm down they got worse we decided to open and proclaim God’s kingdom on earth against evil around us and start second semester on faith that God would provide and students would be able to return. When we finally we spent first day in prayer and telling stories and then started classes I was helping Ben he was teaching theology class. We did this for 2 reasons by beginning having students share if they closed their eyes and thought about their most vivid memory following elections what did they think of usually pretty disturbing memories we had them share these. First was because of part of healing process to help them express what they carry with them and not just pretend life is going on like nothing happened. That was one reason. Second was we were teaching Quaker theology and we asked them what theological questions did these experiences raise for you. Some questions were like where was God. How can people do this kind of evil to other people. What happens to those innocent who died. And was God asleep. So we raised these questions and we wrestled with them dealt with them. We asked does Quaker theology have answers to these questions and we found they do. It took seeking for each student. Myself I found I was asked to help with the friends church peace team helping volunteer counselors do volunteer counseling. I was gonna tell about one student but I think that gives a little taste for what I have been doing and what Friends Theological College has been doing responding to situation we find ourselves in in Kenya.
Ben: Some of the kinds of violence peace team worked with and we won’t tell the story but some of our students were witnesses to extreme violence and many staff members had family members chased away. Everyone in Kenya was deeply affected we thank you for your support in this. Now I want to ask again for Rich and Sandy Davis to stand. Some 10 years ago 11 years ago friends in Indiana Yearly Meeting made visit to Friends Theological College bible institute and did assessment. Looking at evidence of college at that point it was in serious decline they decided important to invest in future of friends church by bringing that institution back up. Rich and Sandy went to situation where there were buildings … leaky roof and only few students. Before we left we had 11 students. Now as you heard Angeline we expect 147 this fall. Thank you rich and Sandy for helping lay foundation for this renewed growth.
Since then others have come and gone including Patrick…who have invested in academic life of college. Started moving toward bachelor of theology program first class completed first year now in that program. With that growth in that short amount of time there are a lot of problems so we have challenge… in my experience going there has been like holding on to a beast that is just running wild through the forest. But I know it’s going in a good direction. We won’t have time to tell you things but bullet items. We need to establish a set of administrative foundations for work in the college new employee handbooks budget matters, student constitution needs to be revamped. So we are doing little things like that which you would find too boring to have us put in newsletters but they take a lot of time and we are working on that. Of course we what seems like a miracle the Meetinghouse finally in February opened we were able to use it and just last week I had email from Joseph finance officer saying we have furniture in Meetinghouse now. Thank you NC Yearly Meeting.
I know I don’t have any time but you know when you have 147 students you need dormitory space we kicked faculty out of offices to use for dorm space. We are building more. The roof is on the new building so we are moving forward. Come to our workshop there are things I would like to tell you. We have $30,000 challenge grant out to help meet infrastructure needs. Perhaps you can help us find that $30,000 so we can have students.
As we travel among Yearly Meetings that is most important thing we have to do go to students in their villages. Everywhere we go Yearly Meeting are so committed to training their pastors. Many have started their own bible schools and ask Friends Theological College to oversee the work of the bible school. That is so important but it’s something that has to be in the future as we grow. In meantime we know that we are servant of Yearly Meeting there. And we have students from all of the Yearly Meetings in Kenya we have students from Rwanda and this year we go from 3 students from Congo and Tanzania to about 8. The work continues to grow. Thank you very much.
Terri: Thank you Ben and Judy they also have great stories. We were supposed to have Kaimosi task force and … next but I understand they will be waiting. We don’t eat until 12:15 so those watching the clock we still have a few minutes Eden is wonderful you’ll want to hear her to.
Eden Grace: I want to apologize to Vicki so many Kenyans appreciate this I will speak fast because that is all the time I have thank you Vicki for trying.
As the field staff in African ministry office everything you heard this morning is under my umbrella but all being done by the people you heard from the 100s they represent. So much good work in Africa through Friends United Meeting. So many committed and energized and equipped friends doing ministry of friends. God is at work in Africa. God is using African friends. And my role is not to try to manage all of that. Who can mange outflowing energy of God. I can’t try. My work is to try to be consultant of sorts to energize and equip the work that is going on and the bubbling up of new work and the incredible creativity and energy of African friends. My work is to walk alongside to energize, equip support encourage coordinate and consult I’m matchmaker between north Americans and Kenyans. I help volunteer find work, donors find projects to support answer millions of questions because donors and partners care about what is going on. I’m conduit global partnership flows through. What sorry. And I also as Lisa pointed out have particular ministry around business management finances and governments. God help me when I was in seminary I didn’t know what he placed on me. He gave me ministry of church administration. I despaired and I felt called to missions. They are nurses, doctors. Etc. who needs missionary church administration. God had a place for me. I care passionately about the right use as Christians of our resources. Not just finances but all resources. Time energy attention world’s resources and of course our money and I work with all projects and all Yearly Meetings to be the most faithful witness we can be to the gift God gave us. I do all this. I wrote report Eden Grace field staff report to Friends United Meeting Triennial It was in general board packets. I think there are more downstairs I want you to know how many pots my fingers are in. it’s exciting. I’m your bridge so use that. Sylvia asked me to speak about post election violence and relief funds pouring in. we have never seen money come in like this. We hardly have even asked for it. It just came. I don’t think we put out single appeal. Just said this is what’s happening and this is what comes. I can’t say dollars $135,000 they say. I want to give you some short information on what we have done with that money. First thing we did in cooperation with fwcc is have peace conference in January it’s amazing to me now that we had conference when we did. We put together from initial idea to conference on ground was about 10 days we had about 70 Kenyan leaders among Kenyan friends. I think it was breakthrough moment for almost first time we had together in one place leaders of all Yearly Meetings and leaders of all of the kind of Quaker … that work in Africa that were disconnected from Yearly Meeting we saw this as moment to bring that energy together. Out of that, we didn’t know what would come but felt God calling us to respond to what was happening they appointed friends church peace team and gave our mandate. That spirit has persisted and been source of strength and impact of this work. The … were going to do something anyway but we have individual Quaker from Yearly Meeting village meeting etc who have never seen themselves as peace makers who are responding like they never expected. Ordinary people volunteer time and go to front line and meet with people who are extremely hostile. And testifying to power of God’s transformation and making a difference. Nobody could have written that in a strategic plan that’s a God thing. So from the end of conference we didn’t know actually that days we held conference would turn out to be days of most intense violence we experienced conference was Thursday through Sunday and on Saturday … burned and on Monday I was evacuated by US embassy no Tuesday Monday they attacked school children in Kisumu and my children had to be hidden away.
I was sitting in guest house in Nairobi was was powerless I wanted to be with you in the camps I was stuck in Nairobi. Humbling to realize God was maybe asking me not to be on the front line of that work. To not take anything away from the fact that it was Kenyans doing peace work. We fed people and after month in Nairobi we returned home and school and work continued. Months February and March focused on reaching IDP internally displaced people technical term for refuge who has not crossed international border. There are united nations convention if they cross border but internally displaced person does not have right to be fed and clothed. Many organization primarily Kenyan red cross attempted to meet needs but there were 3000 Kenyans in short period of time. No tents, no food stored. Many of these people were in informal settlements camping in churches, market centers. Red cross didn’t identify them. Some camps established by red cross. We tried to identify gaps for IDPs that no one was helping. We identified them through local meeting there are 35 families in church compound. We went several days a week going different places feeding, praying, counseling, listening to stories. That was humanitarian phase. In addition to that. Of relief funds send portion also given to each project partner when you hear from Sampson that all the food for 3 months of feeding program was stolen well we gave donation to help address that situation. And when in Turkana the Turkana people have no part in this political conflict and the issues between the various different ethnic groups they are not part of but Turkanas living in this valley were chased away because mood was so hostile that everyone was chased away. There was IDP camp and we gave funds for them to minister to IDP in … some portion of money was used by project partners and some by peace team. In April transition in work was needed and focusing more on long term issues of reconciliation. Closed phase one and started phase two involving identifying with 50 volunteer I think now trained in that the mediation reconciliation resettlement and accompaniment of people as we attempt to integrate them. What the government was trying to do under heavy pressure from international community was wrong course of action. They wanted to put everyone in trucks and drive across county and dump them or … this was multiethnic society for ages. They called it ethnic cleansing but backed off from that. They didn’t want implications that that is what was happening. Or forcing them to go back to where they were chased away from without program for reconciliation so this is where we felt if not addressed now the next general election 5 years from now will just see an escalating spiral of violence. Over decades if you don’t see true and deep peace and reconciliation you just sow seeds for next .. we are working in close cooperation with Africa … initiative they are running workshops alternatives to violence. And program developed called HROC healing and rebuilding our community Florence raise hand I hope you all get chance to talk to her only 5-6 people trained to level being able to train people in this methodology she is great resource to us in Kenya. To break cycle of violence and integrate communities back into harmonious society. Friends United Meeting has a strategic plan one priority on that plan is evangelism if someone said a year ago that Friends United Meeting should go to civil war situation the ethics would appall us but when you live prophetic and … there is no more powerful evangelistic message than that. We are not trying to make Quakers we don’t try we do the work but there are hundreds of people now thinking these are Christians who mean what they say and put their lives on the line for it. I want to know more. I will wrap up. Last thing I want to say and I know you have had lots of appeals for money and I just need to add one. Because all of the incredible and amazing work you hear this morning and all week it all happens through … the the Friends Theological College or Kenya relief fund or schools not one penny of that supports me and my children and the food that goes on our table. Not one penny if you want that work to continue if you think that work is important please make corresponding gift if Sambubu is passion make corresponding gift to my account. Because you want to get the information back about it please remember my ministry account.
Terri: I hope after hearing all these people this morning and yesterday you understand why I like to call them my field staff and I hope you can say same thing. These are my field staff can you say that. These are my field staff. Can you say that one more time. These are my field staff.
*couldn’t hear you.
Terri: These are my field staff.
Alright. That’s great. As your field staff they need your continued support not only financially but also in prayers but financial donations are what keep them going. Prayers keep them going emotionally but financial donations keep them in the field doing the work you’ve been hearing about. I have just a few additional announcements someone gave me. There will be meeting 3pm Alice page white room near chapel all welcome and Saturday 3:45 same room.
New York Yearly Meeting friends Saturday… Africa … need volunteer and need ride to Harrisburg pa talk … field staff meeting earlier 1:45 pm in library but note on library door to tell you where.
Thank you Terri. Friends I hope yesterday afternoon and this morning you have been informed and received report from field staff with great appreciation I also hope that as you listen and learn ponder on all the work taking place that you sense a need to respond to our higher calling which is to energy and equip friends through the power of the holy spirit that Jesus be known in all places as our Lord and savior. Since we are in business setting I will ask you with great appreciation do you approve acceptance of these reports from field staff.
Thought you might thank you so very much. Before I ask Ruth Kimsey to ask God to bless noon meal l have a couple of things. .I want to recognize Andrew Tomlinson if you would stand.
*Andrew had to leave he was here for most of program.
Let me tell you Andrew is our new Quaker … office director quickly adjusting to united nation office director and adjusting to his role as Quaker ambassador. Also an interest group meeting today 2 pm see me or some staff for location. Also I have a note from our healthcare station the blue unit parked to west of Meetinghouse I know some of you have visited there some more than once very appreciative of unit being here they sent note we have a few people with fevers in gathering and they suggest after greetings or handshaking that we do wash our hands so we can contain that.
Janice Spainhour I have your keys. Enjoy remainder of day workshop and fellowship and look forward to concert please stand.
Ruth please bless the meal.
Ruth: Oh loving God you overwhelm us with your power and love. You show us that what humanity needs to healing … these wonderful people who represent us in the field. We go now to nourish our bodies ask you to bless the food we will receive and bless the hands who prepared this. May we use this nourishment in your service that we may fully support people who represent us and that we may make a difference in Christ’s name amen.