Selected items from the
May-June 2012 Advocate
Table of Contents
2 Listing of Board Members & Contact Information
3 Editorial…..Sharing the Joys
5 President/Presiding Clerk….BE the Church
6 Peace & Christian Social Concerns Secretary…..RSWR and USFWI: An Excel-lent Partnership
8 Stewardship Secretary….A Light in the Darkness
11 Christian Service Secretary…..A Giving Spirit
12 Program Editor….Be Still and Know, Lessons 9 & 10
16 A Circle of Prayer
18 Literature Secretary…..2012-13 Reading List
21 Historian…Dorothy Pitman, Quaker Missionary
24 Children & Youth Missionary Education Secretary…Reading List: For those who want to know more!
25 Adult Missionary Education Secretary…A Bibliography for Missions Reading
30 E-mail Addresses of Your Board Members
30 The Advocate Subscription Form
31 Financial Report …… Treasurer
10 Jamaica Ministry……Brenda McKinney
13 The Look on My Face…..Brenda McKinney
14 FEMAP—A New Service Opportunity….Becke Jones
27 Teaching Our Children…..Janie Edgerton
28 Come to Indy!…. Peggy Hollingsworth
29 A Joy or a Need?.......by Susan Felix
A Light in the Darkness
by Lois Hackney
In 2002, I and others from the U.S.A. traveled to Nairobi, Kenya, for the FUM Triennial. As it was my first time to travel away from the North American Continent, you can imagine that I was excited. Our trip took us to London for a week and then on to Kenya for the conference and extended travel.
After the Triennial that year, a group of us from Wilmington (Ohio) Yearly Meeting traveled to Western Kenya to see the Quaker sights. Our vans left Nairobi, and we were off on quite an adventure. When we came to the place where we left the paved roads, the vans in our group stopped in front of a small building. The drivers went inside the building and came out with two armed guards. This was our security for the rest of the trip. We stopped along the way many times to fix the flat tires that seemed to happen every few miles. We also observed much of the wild animal life of Kenya--elephants, giraffes, monkeys, camels, elephants and weaver birds, to name a few.
When we reached the mission compound at Samburu, Isaiah Bikokwa and the members of the church were there to greet us. We were shown the school. When someone told one of the teachers that I was a fifth grade teacher, he wanted me to see his classroom The teaching aids in his classroom consisted of a blackboard, picture of a skeleton, and some chalk. English grammar is the same all over the world--the students were discussing the tense of verbs in their lesson. The teacher was very proud of his classroom. I made a commitment that day that I would not complain the next school year when the computers in my classroom froze or when all the papers that I had asked to be copied were five minutes late getting to me.
We assembled in the little tin roof building that had been recently constructed. The children from the Sunday School sang for us. Two weeks earlier we had attended “Evensong” at Westminster Abbey in London. We had sat near the place where all the royal coronations take place. I can tell you that God was no more present in that lavish building than he was in that small church in Samburu.
Isaiah and his helpers started the mission with four objectives: evangelism, health services, education and peace. Today they have five locations for worship, two dispensaries, two nursery schools, one primary school, and hold weekly meetings with the three warring tribes where they work toward peace and reconciliation. Isaiah wanted us to visit with the local government official while we were there. After we were welcomed very formally to his office, the district official expressed appreciation for the work that the Quaker Mission was doing there, especially in the quest for peace.
The yearly operating expenses for the Samburu Mission are $24,000. The budget is not always met due to the lack of funding. During these times, the pastors and staff sacrifice their salaries to keep the mission running.
The mission is in need of more staff, guest housing, and a reliable vehicle to travel those rough roads. The present vehicle is over 20 years old and the odometer has turned over more than half a million kilometers, and it is currently out of service. A new truck would cost approximately $35,000. Your USFWI has a goal of raising $4,000 to help with vehicle replacement for our FUM field staff and $2,000 for salaries of our Samburu staff.
When we returned home, I realized that the theme for our own yearly meeting sessions that year was “A Light in the Darkness.” A light is being held up for the people of Samburu to see by the dedicated mission pastors. Please consider how you can help with this mission as we live out the mission statement of Friends United Meeting: “Friends United Meeting commits itself to energize and equip Friends through the power of the Holy Spirit to gather people into fellowships where Jesus Christ is known, loved and obeyed as Teacher and Lord.”
Dorothy Pitman, Quaker Missionary
by Marilynn Bell
Dorothy Pitman was a missionary teacher and pastor to the Indians in Wyandotte, Oklahoma, and later to Kenyans at Kaimosi and Lugulu. Her autobiography, Four Score and Ten Years, printed by Exponent Publishers, Inc., Hagerstown, Indiana, in 1992, provided the resource for this article.
Dorothy Pitman was born in Massachusetts in 1902. At the age of 16 she became a convinced Friend while she was living with a Friends family and attending a small Friends meeting. She attended Gordon College of Theology and Missions in Boston. The opening for her missionary work following graduation was with Westine Leitzman in Wyandotte, Oklahoma, under the care of the Associated Committee of Friends on Indian Affairs (ACFIA). Here she started a library and had many adventures while teaching and doing pastoral work among the Indians. Later she worked in North Dakota with other tribes.
During World War II Dorothy felt called to go to Kenya as a pastor and teacher. Travel was difficult; first she went to see her family in California where they were then living. Afterwards, she started her long journey to Kenya from Richmond, Indiana, on to Miami, Florida, through Panama, to Lima, Peru, and then Buenos Aires, Argentina, going over the Andes Mountains without pressurized planes. Finally on February 14, 1944, 13 passengers, mostly missionaries, sailed to Cape Town on a windjammer built by France in1868. The next part of the journey was by train to Victoria Falls and then on to Kisumu by train and boat. She had not been warned about malaria, but she first experienced it in Kisumu.
When Dorothy arrived at Kaimosi, school vacation gave time to study the local vernacular, Luragoli, using a New Testament and her English King James Bible. Dorothy became principal of the Girls Boarding School with 60 girls from different areas of Kenya. The schools functioned on the British system. Major adjustments to a very different culture had to be made. An African man was hired to do housework, since being a principal was a demanding job. Education was highly valued. An educated girl brought a higher “bride price” of cows and shillings. Dorothy saw this as a custom that could stabilize marriages. Bible references to Jesus’ treatment of women were quoted to encourage women to believe they were precious in God’s sight.
Following a prayer conference, a Nyanza branch of the Christian Council of Kenya was formed, which provided opportunities for worship gatherings and fellowship with other groups. Quarterly and yearly meeting sessions were occasions for inspiration and fellowship attended by large crowds. Handcrafts and care of families were important lessons given at conferences and schools. Vacations were sometimes spent in Mombasa at sea level since they worked at higher altitudes.
Dorothy Pitman enjoyed the beautiful flowers and birds of Kenya, which she often illustrated in paintings and poetry. She gave vivid descriptions of the varied landscape and also the rutted mud roads and dangerous animals.
Other missionaries came and joined the ones already there. Pearl Spoon became principal of the Girls Boarding School; Helen Ridgeway, the mission treasurer; and Mabel Hawthorne taught the missionary children. Earlier, Paul Barnett and his family had come to do evangelistic work. His family was due for furlough near the same time as Dorothy, so they traveled together. While home on furlough, Dorothy visited family and did deputation work.
For her return to Kenya, Dorothy bought a used jeep she named “Jeepers” and enough supplies to fill it. After they were in Kenya, sometimes Jeepers was pressed into service as an ambulance. David Kellum arranged a safari of several people up Mt. Elgon with Jeepers. Later, Dorothy would visit Friends meetings on Mt. Elgon.
The USFW made a substantial contribution to Dorothy’s salary and car expense. Colored slides of the life of Christ were sent to her and shown at schools and gatherings. In 1952 a 50th anniversary celebration was held at Kaimosi, with Kenyans providing leadership. The East Africa Yearly Meeting of 1952 had more than 5000 in attendance on Sunday. Edith Ratcliff and Dorothy moved into a duplex with teacher Benjamin Wegesa and his family on the other side. Bible Week was observed in schools and Friends meetings.
Dorothy returned for her last term in June of 1956. She requested that she work from Lugulu under the Evangelistic Department with village, monthly and quarterly meetings to assist in training leaders. There was a Religious Instruction period in the schools specified by the government. Bible stories and songs were enjoyed. Kenyans like to sing and do so whenever there is waiting time. Some Kenyans went into Uganda to live and built schools and meetinghouses which Dorothy visited.
Edith Ratcliff had a dispensary at Lugulu at this time. Funds were raised to build a new maternity ward there. One evening while Dorothy was giving “Sister” a permanent, a man came requesting an ambulance for his wife; and so Dorothy was the one to drive the ambulance. Two women rode with the patient on rough roads through moonlight and shadow. When they arrived at the delivery room, the women were holding the baby and the nurse said all was well. Dorothy was breathing hard and her arm muscles were trembling from gripping the wheel.
Dorothy in retirement and Edith on furlough traveled together back to the States in November of 1962. After family visits, New Salem Friends in Indiana called Dorothy as pastor and she served for two years. She then returned to California to care for her sister, Ruth. Later she lived in the Quaker Apartments in Wilmington, Ohio. Dorothy Pitman died December 3, 1994, having lived a life of adventure and service for her Lord.
Editor’s note: This is how Edith Ratcliff described the end of her first journey to Kenya, which had begun on April 25, 1946:
"… The Kisumu train left Nairobi at 12 noon. We traveled all afternoon and all night; the train was to arrive in Kisumu at 5:30 a.m. We pulled in a little ahead of time. I was not quite dressed and I could hear people outside talking. Then I heard Dorothy Pitman say, 'What if she is not on this train?' I opened the door, and said, 'I am here. I'll be out in a few minutes.' All the missionaries from Kaimosi, …, had come down to meet me. They had prepared a picnic breakfast to be eaten down by the edge of Lake Victoria. After breakfast we went to town where I went into the Standard Bank and opened a bank account …. Before long we made our way to Kaimosi. I learned I was to live with Dorothy Pitman.
As we drove into the mission, we passed the hospital, the dispensary and the maternity building, Dr. Bond's home and Dorothy's home. This was Tuesday, June 11, 1946….” –from Quaker Life, Jan/Feb 2004