Marian Baker

From board member Marian Baker: Ministry in Kenya

On the 15th I went to Agneta’s, washed my clothes and rested.

The next day I stayed at Agneta’s and adjusted two dresses I had received from Ugandan Friends plus other hand sewing repairs for others. In the afternoon hiked over to Agneta’s local women’s group and shared with them the story of Elizabeth Hooten, the first active woman Friends travelling minister. Some were surprised to find a white person in the hut of the host. Agneta came with me to Kakamega where I bought two solar SunKing lamps which will be used at the Uganda Sunday School Teachers training and then given to Elizabeth and Agneta my hosts, as electricity is often lacking.

On Thursday I went to Kambiri, on a long very dusty piki ride to Irungu Friends Church. I wrapped one of the African cloths around myself like an Arabian woman to keep from breathing in all the dust. At Irungu was the Kakamega Yearly Meeting Pastors conference. Heard a good talk on giving done by Pastor Iddah, who runs the Kakamega Orphanage whom some of you met when he came to the States. He spoke right after lunch, and the fact that he had everyone awake, listening, and laughing, showed how well he spoke. I spent the night at the home of Elizabeth’s father- who is now 97, but still quite an active pastor/elder. We feasted on the two large papayas Elizabeth sent with me, since she has had a bountiful crop of the fruits this week.

Friday I went back to the main road to Campi ya Mwanza where I waited for Agneta to come meet me. She got delayed, as no vehicles were available and she had walked up a 2mile hill before she could get a ride to the main road. Just as she arrived, Karen Bauer (from Iowa YM) stopped by on her way back to Kaimosi after mudding and building a house for a widow in Matsakha (Malava area) with her team.

Agneta and I then travelled down to Lirhanda. There we surprised two widows in the village where I taught when I first came to Kenya in the seventies. The grandchildren were excited as one of them had been called “Beka” (Africanized spelling of Baker) and they had never met the woman they were named after. Elisieba, who is in her late 80’s jumped up and down with joy, wondering if she was really seeing us or just dreaming. What a joy it is to visit elders while they are alive and not wait until their funerals to thank them. We were delighted to find the road from Shinyalu to Khayega is now paved, a big relief from the dust of other roads.

Saturday I returned to Elizabeth’s and rested all day, being refreshed also by the plentiful papaya. Yesterday morning I attended Ebwambwa meeting. I shared with them why I enjoy their meeting: They have large boulders outside their meetinghouse which remind me of NH boulders that make me feel like I’m worshipping with my home meeting at the same time. Also the keyboardist is excellent, on key and not too loud, and most of the service is song and prayer (as compared to other meetings here where elderly men give long reports or talk church politics instead of worship). Two of the others visiting were young women wanting to join their choir.

Now I am preparing to return to Uganda for the training of Sunday School teachers where I will share the story of Margaret Fell as prepared by the Faith and Play Group of Quakers.

Thanks for your prayers for safe travel especially,