Council of Churches board member Marian Baker continues her annual missionary work in Africa from November through January. As she sends letters back to the United States we will share them here as a testimony to her good work for the Gospel abroad!
On the 20th of November, I paid a quick visit to FTC (Friends Theological College). Robert Wafula, the head of the college was away, but I was able to see Margaret Amudavi, who has returned as a tutor there, Agneta Injairu from Malava, Alice from Turkana, and Alfred Wasike from Uganda, making plans for the future days.
On the 21st I travelled with Roselyne Amugune from Kakamega and Alfred Wasike to Mbale. We were able to meet with Sylvia Wopicho and consulted with her in plans for the Uganda USFW women’s conference to be held the second week of December. We also met with Apollo Wopicho, a hard working humble leader of Uganda YM who raises many plants, trees, and animals to help support the church. He enjoys training his goats to eat a varied diet of plants as well as teaching others to grow trees and take good care of the environment.
On the 22nd, we went to visit Stella, the young woman from Busoga region who is training to be a nurse at Mbale School of Nursing and Midwifery. She is seen above eagerly reviewing her syllabus with Alfred Wasike, the General Secretary of Uganda YM. It took all day to find out what balance we owed and find out how this bright student was doing in her examinations (she is near the top of the class). She will finish her course in June 2020.
On the 23rd, we travelled south to Busoga region. There have been major floods throughout East Africa. We found there was chest high flood waters raging over the bridge between the main highway and Kimidi village, so had to take a long (5km or more) motorcycle ride around and around in the rain on paths to reach the village. We were met by John Nyongesa, the pastor from Kimidi who shared how he has been walking and or bicycling a long distance to reach Nangoma each week. He used the Sunday School training we had given him to start up a church in Nangoma, that has grown from just 3 adults to 15 adults and 19 children in just the last month. To encourage him, we plan to send him to the East African pastors conference in Mwanza, Tanzania next month so he can share his story and get encouraged by others.
On the 24th, we met with Kimidi women and had a sharing with the small cooperative group they formed. They already planned on their own to send four of their group to the women’s conference and will then meet us with their full group after the conference to give full reports on their progress and plan which crops, e.g. garlic, hot peppers, pumpkins, cilantro, and mung beans (tiny green grams) that are plants that are not as commonly grown in their area and which they could sell more easily. Like many in East Africa, a recent heavy hailstorm (with stones the size of marbles) destroyed much of their crops. Yet they continue to smile and lift each other up.
What a joy to find the women starting to take on the task to work towards self-sufficiency.
This week I will be staying in Kakamega area catching up on making reports and plans for our next travels to Tanzania and Uganda for women’s conferences. I plan with my namesake Marian to prepare a kind of Thanksgiving meal to share with Elizabeth’s household on Thursday and on Friday head to Malava and then Namirama, to see my former colleague who was head of Namirama Primary School when I has Headmistress of Namirama Girls HS. He recently lost his wife who was very active in USFW.
Thanks for all your prayers and support.