Friends youth travel to Kenya

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Members of the Westfield and Kisumu Friends Church youth mission trip to Poroko, Kenya. (Photos provided by John Muhanji)
Members of the Westfield and Kisumu Friends Church youth mission trip to Poroko, Kenya. (Photos provided by John Muhanji)

By Marlene Pedigo

Westfield Friends Church youth traveled to Kenya in June to celebrate the Lugulu Friends Church Centennial after working this past year to raise the expenses of their trip.

Westfield Friends Scott Drlik, from right, and Katy Palmer visit Lugulu Friends Church in Kenya in celebration of the Lugulu Centennial.
Westfield Friends Scott Drlik, from right, and Katy Palmer visit Lugulu Friends Church in Kenya in celebration of the Lugulu Centennial.

Youth who made the trip were Casey Barker, Jessica Barker, Morgan Drlik, Mikey Hiatt, Brent Rogers and Danny Wohlschlaeger. John Muhanji, Friends United meeting director of Africa ministries, and Katy Palmer and Scott Drlik of Westfield Friends provided leadership for the visit.

Westfield missionaries Jefferson and Helen Ford helped to gather the Friends Church in western Kenya when they left Westfield with their three children nearly 100 years ago. Ford also was instrumental in the translation of the Old Testament into Luragoli for early literacy which followed the work of Emory Reese, of Vermilion Friends, who helped to translate the New Testament.

In celebration of the Lugulu Friends Centennial, the Westfield Youth presented Kenyan Friends with a quilt from Westfield Friends Church; portraits of the Fords with the Scripture, “The Steps of a Good Man Are Ordered by the Lord.” [Psalms 37:23]; and a copy of the biography of Ford, “The Steps of a Good Man.” Kenyan Friends planted a tree with the Westfield Friends in memory of their visit.

While in Kenya, the Westfield Friends visited the Lugulu Friends Hospital, shared in worship with the Kisumu Friends Church, helped to build water filters, led recreation with the Kenyan Friends School children, donated athletic equipment, joined Kisumu Friends Church youth on a mission trip to Poroko, and hiked up Kaimosi, Kenya’s Hill of Vision where the first Friends missionaries were inspired to gather the Kenyan Friends Church.

The greatest number of Friends Churches are now located in Kenya and East Africa.

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