Pandemic Changes Expectations for Field Staff Support

During these days of uncertainty, we draw inspiration from the words of Jesus when he calls the apostles to go and make disciples of all nations. He offers them this promise, “And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). For centuries these words have offered Jesus’ disciples inner strength to respond to crises with faith, hope, and courage.  

Friends United Meeting is holding these words of assurance as we embody our mission in this age. While the coronavirus is disrupting our normal routines, the FUM staff is working remotely to provide uninterrupted service to our members and ministry partners. Most significantly, we are continuing our commitment to connect the global family of Friends during this crisis and we are increasing our support for our most vulnerable communities.  

Friends United Meeting cannot do this vital work without the assurance of both Christ’s abiding presence and your financial support. In a normal year, this is the season when we send out multiple funding appeals for both FUM’s general operations and global ministries. Additionally, this is the time when FUM’s field staff are traveling to our Meetings and Churches to raise funds to support their ministries.

This year, FUM will not be doing that. Instead, we are mailing one earnest appeal to you. You can download the PDF version of the appeal here, to read and share. And in the following five videos, we go into greater depth through interviews between staff at our projects and members of the FUM Board.

Usually, this is the time of year when FUM’s field staff are traveling to our Meetings and Churches to raise awareness and support for their ministries. Unfortunately, this year we will not be doing that. Although the three-year terms of Oscar Mmbali and Robert Wafula are scheduled to be renewed in September 2020, the COVID-19 threat and associated travel restrictions are preventing them from traveling to raise their support. Because of these challenges, the Executive Board of FUM has lifted the policy requiring field staff to their entire support for a three-year term before they are released for ministry.

Oscar Mmbali with the Belize Friends Center garden.

Instead, FUM, Oscar, and Robert are working to raise their ministry support for one year, with the expectation that the remaining amount will be raised by December 2021.

You can donate directly to support Robert’s or Oscar’s ministry accounts, or by giving to the Global Impact Fund, or by making a three-year commitment to support their ministries. If you currently support Oscar or Robert, please continue and renew your ongoing commitments.

Julie Rudd