Archive | May, 2013

Worldwide President Lynne Tembey’s trip to Kenya

29 May

Lynne Tembey in Kenya

Dear Friends and fellow Members,

I have just returned from my first overseas visit as your Worldwide President, what an amazing privilege witnessing so many opportunities and wonderful initiatives. I visited Kenya along with members of staff: Emily Petty (Head of Fundraising & Communication), Nicola Lawrence (Head of Worldwide within Action & Outreach) and Robert Dawes (Regional Development Manager & Church & Community Mobilisation Process).

It was lovely to be welcomed by the Provincial President the Reverend Rhoda Wabukala who is the wife of the Most Reverend Dr Eluid Wabukala, Archbishop of Kenya, Mrs Jane Mwangi Nyako, Provincial Community Development Coordinator, Mothers’ Union members from All Saints Cathedral Nairobi and Faith – a lovely little girl who presented me with a beautiful bouquet of cream roses as a welcome gift, these were wonderfully uplifting having just been told that my luggage was still in the UK!

Our first three days were spent in the field, visiting communities involved with CCMP – Church & Community Mobilisation Process, a relatively new way of working for Mothers’ Union. This is an initiative which benefits church, community especially Mothers’ Union members and their families. It was so helpful having Reverend Fedis Nyagah, CAPA CCMP Coordinator, with us; she was able to answer our questions.

The process begins with bible study and prayer. The whole community work on priorities, each one different and dependent upon the need. For so many years I have heard so many people say “we want to stand on our own feet”. I believe that through these life-changing process individuals and communities are able to do this.

The words of Catherine Mwangi, Executive Director for Christian Communities of Mount Kenya East were inspirational and summed up the process’ vision “if we can empower the women we can empower the whole church, their community and the country”

On visiting St Joseph’s Church Gikiiro (Mbeere Diocese) we were inspired to hear from facilitator Peter Ndaru who explained  “before CCMP St Joseph’s was one of the poorest parishes in the diocese. Anything we tried was impossible because everyone was doing their own thing. Now we are moving in one direction. The parish are now able to pay their parish share in full.”

There was much singing and dancing to greet us at our next venue, St Paul’s Church Gichure, (Meru Diocese). Diocesan Bishop the Right Reverend Charles Mwenda also welcomed us. The lasting words of the bishop “what CCMP has done is more than we expected. Their homes are stable and they are able to send their children to university”, a truly inspirational image.

It was good meeting with staff from the various diocesan offices. It was good meeting with Liza Riungu (Kirinyaga) and Mary Muuti Wanjiku (Mbeere) Mothers’ Union Community Development Coordinators. How good it was to hear more about their work.

Another highlight was meeting with Mothers’ Union Leaders from the Province – Presidents, Chairwomen, Community Development Workers  –  who were meeting together for their annual conference . It was so good to be able to share fellowship and to have the opportunity to say farewell to the Reverend Salome Leiper, former Provincial Trainer.

A visit to Mount Kenya South to learn more out about the bank set up ten years ago by Mothers’ Union members for Mothers’ Union members was exciting. To see how this initiative has developed and grown and how the bank is now recognised by the banking authority was a testimony to those members who had the original vision. Mercy Orphanage, a project supported by members which cares for and provides a safe environment for 113 children aged from four to seventeen. Attending Sunday worship at All Saints Cathedral followed by lunch with members filled me with so much hope for a brighter future for the communities and members in Kenya.

It was so good to have the opportunity to meet the Archbishop, the most Reverend Dr Eliud Wabukala and have time to talk with him about the work and witness of Mothers’ Union and to give greetings to him from members around the world.

I was delighted to have the privilege and joy of meeting with Provincial President Rhoda Wabukala to share her vision for the future shape and structure of Mothers’ Union in Kenya and to understand better the problems and concerns of her members.

Please continue to pray for Kenya, its people and its leaders.

With my love,

Lynne

Lynne Tembey Mothers’ Union Worldwide President

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