FUM News Blog

FUM Remembers David Zarembka and Gladys Kamonya

Many members of the Friends United Meeting community in both Africa and North America have been moved by the recent deaths of David Zarembka, on April 1, and his wife Gladys Kamonya, on March 25. David and Gladys were well-known for their peace work in East Africa, and for their work for Friends, which brought them into partnership with FUM in various ways.David worked closely with FUM as an FCPT leader, as a member of the Kaimosi Hospital board, and as an FUM General Board member and triennial representative. In addition to the many remembrances that can be found online, FUM staff and representatives who worked closely with David have shared these memories with us.

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An Update on Covid-19 in East Africa

During the first week of March, 1.02 million doses of the Astra-Zeneca Covid-19 vaccine arrived in Nairobi. These doses were earmarked first for health care workers, with other recipients being added rapidly. This was the first shipment of the 3.56 million dose allotment designated for Kenya through the World Health Organization’s COVAX collaboration. (Read more about COVAX here.) Because Kenya has a population of 52.5 million people, officials feel it might take years to reach herd immunity to Covid-19.

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Friends Discuss Support for Living Letters Nicholas and Dorcas Otieno

On March 24, Friends from Indiana Yearly Meeting, the Friends United Meeting Richmond and Africa Ministries Offices, and the African Missions Committee gathered in support of the missionary work of Nicholas and Dorcas Otieno. Nicholas and Dorcas are serving as FUM Living Letter Missionaries in Tanzania.

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Leaders Announced for Stoking the Fire

The call to deepen our spiritual lives and inspire faithfulness among Friends moved FUM to launch the first Stoking the Fire retreat in 2015. This year, the gathering goes virtual as we adjust to a world still fighting a pandemic. We’ll be gathering over Zoom on May 21–23.

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New Director for Samburu Friends Mission

On Sunday February 28, a number of area pastors gathered for worship and dedication, along with FUM Africa Programme Officers Shawn and Katrina McConaughey, and former Samburu Director Sammy Letoole. Shawn McConaughey shared from 1 Peter 5 the advice to shepherd the flock—not under compulsion, but willingly and with humility. To a group of people who are largely shepherds, this was advice to which they could all relate. Then the group of pastors gathered around Daniel, laid hands on him, and offered prayers of dedication. Nothing will be perfect, but if we keep our eyes focused on the Good Shepherd, we will all be in good hands. Let us all pray together for the work of Samburu Friends Mission.

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FUM Creates New Sustainability Committee

The mission of Friends United Meeting calls us to “energize and equip” Friends. While this is happening in multiple ways, the General Board is initiating a new effort to support the financial sustainability of our project partners and ministries. In June 2019, the Board adopted the policy that all current and future FUM ministries should move toward the goal of being self-sustaining. The Board recognizes that paternal missional systems that create financial dependency do not “energize and equip” the communities we serve. The Board committed FUM to come alongside ministry leaders and boards to develop sustainability plans that will result in long-term financial stability. At that time, the Board stated, “This absolutely does not imply a diminishing of our commitment and spiritual partnership with any given ministry. Rather, we believe that genuine spiritual partnership is one in which no one is indefinitely dependent on the other.”

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