Friends United Meeting is pleased to announce the appointment of Oscar Siema Mmbali to serve as the first pastoral minister for the Friends work in Belize. Oscar is a member of Nairobi Yearly Meeting, in Kenya. He first learned of FUM’s work in Belize in 2004 through reading articles in Quaker Life magazine while a student at Friends Theological College (FTC), and has felt a persistent call to serve in Belize ever since. He trained for pastoral ministry at FTC and St Paul’s University, and worked with Nairobi YM as a pastor and as a church planter among the Maasai. He is currently living in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is completing his PhD in International Development and working as a researcher for Transparency Thailand. He also volunteers as a chaplain for the Kenyan embassy in Thailand, visiting Kenyan nationals who are imprisoned, in detention centers, or are victims of trafficking.
The role of pastoral minister for the Friends work in Belize was created last year, and Oscar will be the first to undertake the work. The new position will build upon FUM’s decades-long successful program with at-risk youth in the Southside neighborhood of Belize City. The pastoral minister is asked to build relationships with youth, families, and the entire community; to offer pastoral counseling, chaplaincy, and discipleship; and to engage in personal, highly-relational neighborhood evangelism.
Over the next several months, Oscar will focus on raising support for his ministry, with the goal of raising a significant percentage in Kenya. Equipping and sending their first international FUM field staff will be a milestone achievement for Kenyan Friends.
The creation of this new field staff position in Belize is part of a comprehensive plan by the FUM General Board to expand the ministries in Belize, as guided by the following mission statement:
Building on the existing Belize Friends School ministry, Friends United Meeting will engage in a holistic Christian Quaker ministry that is deeply grounded in the discernment of God’s direction in Belize. We seek to witness to the transforming power of Jesus Christ and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit through our witness, including worship, discipleship, education, leadership development, alternatives to violence, community building and economic empowerment.
Other aspects of the ministry plan include purchase of a new multi-purpose facility, expansion of the school, and hiring a Director. Applications are still being accepted for the latter position, and more information can be found here.