With joy, we invite Friends throughout our beloved community to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of Turkana Friends Mission! Join us in exploring the rich stories of faithfulness among Friends in this region of Kenya—and in listening to where God is calling us next.
Turkana Friends Mission was founded in 1970, in Kalokol, Kenya. It began as a project of East Africa Yearly Meeting and Friends United Meeting. Dorothy and Ersal Kindel were the first directors of the mission. The Kindels moved to Kalokol from Kaimosi, which Dorothy described as lush and green, with educated people and good roads. Kalokol, by contrast, was a sparse and barren settlement. The Kindels were assisted from the beginning by two FTC students, and one of these, Herman Otioko, took over as director. Since Herman’s retirement in 2002, John Moru has been serving as director.
Turkana Friends Mission has grown from that one outpost on Lake Turkana to a vibrant multi-site Quaker community. The Mission office is in Lodwar, the capitol of Turkana County. The Mission has twenty-seven staff people, of whom seven are theologically trained pastors. They over- see six nursery schools and six primary schools.
There are four Monthly Meetings—Lokoyo, Lodwar, Katilu, and Kalokol—and twenty-nine Village Meetings, which are smaller local gatherings. John Moru, Director of Turkana Friends Mission, estimates that there are anywhere from 1,000 to 2,500 full adult members of the Friends Church in Turkana County.
Quaker Christianity is growing among the Turkana! In 2002, there were only seven village meetings. Between 2009 and 2019, eighteen new meetings were planted. The newest meeting, Kaloboi, was officially opened in November 2019.