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.
THANK YOU for helping us reach the goal of $15,000 for FUM’s COVID-19 Solidarity Fund!!
The COVID-19 Solidarity Fund was established to enable FUM to answer the immediate needs of vulnerable communities, touched by FUM ministries, that are experiencing the economic and physical impacts of this pandemic. Because of the generosity of Friends, we are providing PPEs for the staff of Lugulu Friends Mission Hospital and distributing food to families living on Mt. Elgon and the southside of Belize City. Additionally, we sent funds to assist the outreach ministries of Turkana Friends Mission and Samburu Friends Mission. The challenges confronting these communities increased this year as they suffer country-wide COVID-19 restrictions, Samburu has endured large locust swarms, and Turkana is suffering from massive floods.
Because of your generosity, we have raised $16,140, exceeding our initial goal. These vulnerable communities continue to need our support. For this reason, we are setting a new goal to raise $25,000 for this fund. Oscar Mmbali, the pastor of Belize City Friends Church, says that delivering food to the poor and visiting the lonely in their isolation is what the Kingdom of God looks like (Matthew 25:34-36). If you would like to make a donation, go here.
Friends in Africa are also giving generously. Friends United Meeting's Africa Ministries Office is partnering with Friends Church Kenya and Friends World Committee for Consultation – Africa Section to provide medical, spiritual, and humanitarian support for communities impacted by the coronavirus. Through the COVID-19 Africa Collaboration Fund, African Friends have raised over 5 million Kenyan shillings ($5,000) to provide compassion and relief across Africa. John Muhanji, AMO Director, writes, “As we continue to fight the COVID-19 Pandemic across the globe, we are reminded as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. ... Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you. — Ephesians 4:32. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Therefore, as a faith community we are guided by Paul's encouraging words to reach to our neighbors with a heart of compassion.”
You can read a joint letter from FUM-Africa, Friends Church Kenya, and FWCC-Africa Section here. Here’s how the Collaboration Funds have been spent so far:
1. Kaptama Health Center on Mt. Elgon - Sh.70,000 was allocated for health workers' protection against Covid 19. (Masks, Sanitizers, Gloves, Soap, Thermogun, plus a donation of an Oxygen Concentrator)
2. Nairobi Lockdown challenge - shs.150,000 (food and masks)
3. DRC Uvira Flooding challenge - shs.50,000
4. River Nzoia Victims (Matete and Navakholo Sub-county) - shs. 150,000 (Blankets, Soap, and Masks)
5. Media Sensitization as a church to the communities awareness - 50,000