Marian Baker

From board member Marian Baker: News from Kenya

I finished the month of January resting a day at Elizabeth’s, with no travel at all! Then I washed and repaired my clothes at Agneta’s for two days. I also hiked around the hills of Kabras with Agneta, visiting three of the widows she periodically meets and encourages. It turned out that we chose a day when several local churches had their local small prayer groups and each of the widows we went to visit were away at them. We visited and prayed with the family of one whose son had been attacked severing the optic nerve in one eye (in a fight after drinking). The
second one, we prayed with the sick relative, and the oldest widow we happened joyfully to meet on the way. She gave me one egg after we gave a small contribution so she could buy some food. It turned out the second one had already heard via cell phone that we had passed by, so she came to Agneta’s after her prayer group. It was good to hike out in the countryside and watch black and white shrikes and mousebirds (grey with long tails) busy catching insects as we walked by.

The first day of February, I travelled to Nabanga near to an Agricultural Training Center on the main highway between Eldoret and Malaba, Uganda. I was surprised when I arrived to visit the African Section of FUM Board meetings held there, that I was welcomed by FUM staff with a request to give a report on USFWK pastors ministry in Uganda and Tanzania, as they now considered us an affiliate of FUM! We had been asking for years to be able to report and explain to many pastors and leaders what kind of ministry we are doing and were not allowed to do so, as we were not an official USFWI or FUM project. I immediately sent messages to the Kenyan USFWK pastors to guide me in what should be shared and to hold me in prayer. The prayers were much needed in that I spent that night being sick. Being right on the main highway with noisy heavy inter-country vehicles passing by all night, made sleep even more difficult. It would have been better to have the Kenyan women pastors speak themselves, but
Africa section of FUM board is different from the North American section. They only invite leaders of the main yearly meetings to be delegates. (In African tradition it means only men, as although men make up only 10% of the members, they are the ones who are given the official leadership, although there are two token women. (In America, yearly meetings are just asked to choose their own delegates, not limited to official clerks, general secretaries, or

Two major decisions that occurred were that they are forming a Missions Committee, as there is a growing number of us involved in missions/outreach into other areas and they also formed a Finance Committee to oversee financial issues and help raise funds locally for FUM. The new clerk of Africa section graciously allowed me to talk longer than the other affiliates (since it was our first time) and afterwards said we needed to have people like us who are
active, be coopted onto the Missions committee. Several individuals came up to me afterwards saying our report was the most lively and interesting thing at the meetings!

I got a ride with David Zarembka to Kabrengu and returned to Elizabeth’s to rest. Since it was then a weekend, medical facilities are limited, so I used the strong antibiotics I had carried with me, and it seemed to clear up whatever was trying to attack my body. I will check with a medical clinic if I have any further challenges.

Saturday, I visited Margaret Musalia’s home in Mbale. She had fallen down just before Christmas and damaged her leg that she had broken several years ago when with me in Uganda. I helped her do the cooking of supper, helped catch her up on news of the teams work in Tanzania and Uganda, and then slept early to regain my strength.

Sunday, 4 th February I enjoyed going with her to Keveye Friends Girls HS, where she serves as Chaplain. There I was the preacher at the Sunday service of the 1400 girls who sat outside under the sun with very limited shade. It was a joy to sing surrounded by them, and I was reminded of the ten years that I had taught at three other similar Friends Girls HS’s. I challenged them to be courageous women, giving them examples of Rebecca, Ruth, Esther, and
Priscilla from the Bible. Then toured the up-to-date school. Margaret is kept busy counselling many of the girls, like having a grandmother away from home in whom they can confide confidentially.

I returned to Elizabeth’s where I use a pail of water three times: to wash me, to hand wash a few clothes, and then flush the toilet. We in the States waste a lot of water and it has always disturbed me, as one trained in conservation of natural resources, to see drinkable water used to flush toilets!

Time to go to town, send this message, and get some yogurt to keep me healthy.Thanks for your prayers,