Update from Eden Grace, Thursday, July 26: “We’re at $433 as of this morning. Yay!”
Update from Eden Grace, Wednesday, July 26: “We’re now down to $580 per month. I love momentum! Let’s keep it up.”
July 25, 2017—Oscar Mmbali is FUM’s recently-called pastoral minister for Belize—and he is still waiting to put down roots in Belize City. He has been fundraising for the past eight months—first in Kenya, then in the United States—but his plane to Belize leaves on August 1st, and he has plans scheduled in Belize City starting immediately. Beginning on August 2nd, Oscar and Candi Young, the principal of the Belize Friends School, will be participating in a workshop through the Ministry of Education on how non-traditional schools can become more involved in transforming their communities.
As of July 25, though, Oscar is $750 short on the monthly pledges that will release him to do this ministry. FUM, as a matter of integrity, does not send staff into the field until their pledges are fully raised—this enables them to concentrate wholly on their work rather than on fundraising. This means that if we do not raise another $750, Oscar won’t be getting on the plane on August 1st.
To get Oscar onto the plane, we need 30 Friends to pledge $25 a month. That’s the cost of a movie for two, each month. Your pledges will cover his living costs so that he can devote himself to the work that God and Friends are calling him to do. If you would like to contribute a one-time gift or make a pledge, you can find Oscar’s pledge form here. If you’d like more information about Oscar’s work in Belize, you may contact Oscar Mmbali or Eden Grace, Director of Global Ministries.
Oscar Mmbali, a Kenyan Friend from Kakamega Yearly Meeting, is being sent by the global fellowship of Friends United Meeting as the first Pastoral Minister in Belize. Seeking to know more about resurrection power brought him to study at Friends Theological College and St. Paul’s University. There, he learned about FUM’s work in Belize City and felt a powerful call to minister there.
In addition to his studies at Friends Theological College, Oscar’s academic sojourn in Thailand brought additional spiritual preparation for his work in Belize. In Thailand, he did Ph.D. work in international development at the National Institute of Development Administration in Thailand and worked for Transparency International (Thailand) on advocacy and referral programs for assisting victims of human trafficking, international detainees, and prisoners. Oscar says that he learned in Thailand how to come alongside a community and enter into its suffering.
The body of FUM has called and commissioned Oscar to minister on the Southside of Belize: a community which is victimized as a conduit of the heroin pipeline into the United States, and in which Friends have served as a faithful and trustworthy presence in educational ministries for decades. As FUM continues to develop the Belize Friends Center in response to the community’s needs, Oscar’s presence there will provide spiritual leadership and depth, expertise in community organization, and cross-cultural awareness.