Whuti-Sgroboe Evangelical Presbyterian Church

We are blessed to have a mission relationship with Whuti-Sgroboe E.P. Church (in the South Volta region of Ghana) through our member and their son, Dr. Elikem Nyamuame. Elikem’s father, Frederick Kwadzo Nyamuame, was the pastor there for many years, retiring after the church’s 100th anniversary celebration in October 2016.

The church runs the only elementary school in the region, and we took a special offering, collecting $2,675 that made it possible for Whuti-Sgroboe to purchase desks, chairs, and school supplies for their students. We were able to buy books for an entire class of students for their whole elementary education. The desks we bought mean that none of the children will have to sit on the floors anymore.

Our gifts made it possible for the school and the church to use money that would otherwise have been spent on supplies to paint the school building and put in flooring on the ground level.

Members of our congregation also donated musical instruments such as trumpets and clarinets to help the youth enhance their musical skills and provide pleasing and spirit-filled worship during church services.

Missionary Carolyn Cummings in Kenya

Carolyn has been serving with Africa Inland Mission in Kenya for almost 28 years. She started out as a Bible school teacher, then became the Children’s Ministry Facilitator for the Mission. She is now an administrator in the office that covers Kenya and Tanzania. She takes care of the office administration, contingency planning, project administration, and unit leadership for the missionaries working in Eastern Kenya. On weekends, she has a Bible club for teenage boys from a large slum area in Nairobi.

The latest news from Carolyn (December 9, 2017):

Dear Praying Friends,

October and November were very difficult months for me, but God is good, and now I am thoroughly enjoying all the delights of Christmas preparations. Yay!

The beginning of October found me in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, at a language school trying to get my old brain to accept some more Kiswahili words and useful phrases. I have this fantasy that I should be more comfortable in the main language of my adopted country, but sigh… it really is a fantasy.

My good intentions were thwarted the first day of class when I got a phone call from our regional leader in Nairobi, telling me he received a call from our home office in Georgia, telling him they received a phone call from my brother, that my mother had fallen and hit her head and was in the hospital, not conscious and not expected to survive. Needless to say, my lessons were moved from the classroom to a street vendor where my teacher helped me navigate buying a Tanzanian SIM card for my phone so I could call home, which I was then able to do. I had a good talk with my brother and then with my niece and nephew while they were visiting Mom and held the phone to her ear so I could say good-bye, even if she didn’t comprehend.

I did scandalize my teacher when I told her we (my brother and sister and I) were discussing the funeral arrangements before my mother had actually passed. That is so taboo in African culture, tantamount to wishing her dead. But it was complicated trying to decide when to hold the memorial service. I was in Tanzania not only for language school but for meetings with mission and church leaders and for our TZ field conference, at which I was to make a presentation. The next week after my return to Kenya, there was the re-voting for president (the opposition having rejected the first vote in August). There promised to be a lot of mayhem and as a unit leader and member of the contingency committee, I needed to be there through it. After that, I had promised to take the boys from Kibera camping the next weekend. We hadn’t gone camping all year and they would have been highly disappointed not to get to go. Also, I was in charge of our AIM annual spiritual life conference just after Thanksgiving, so sorting out a good time to be away was very difficult.

I had some meetings at work Monday and Tuesday, November 6 & 7, so finally got away from Kenya on the night of the 7th. The trip home was long and arduous, as usual, but I made it and got to spend a week with my brother in New York. My sister came in from Colorado on the 14th, we had the memorial service on the 15th and I left for Kenya on the 16th. The memorial service was very nice. Two friends from Boston made the trip, as did two nephews from Colorado. Two cousins (one from Vermont and the other from Maryland) completely surprised us by showing up unannounced. I hadn’t seen one of them for 44 years! It was nice to get to catch up with them.

Below, left: My sweet mother, Jean Cummings, who went to be with the Lord a week after her fall. Sunday, October 8.

Right: My niece’s children, Sadie and Seamus, at the gravesite service.

Above, left: Hiking at Lake Naivasha with the boys, Saturday, November 4.

Middle: The boys outside the library building. One of the squatter’s houses is on the right.

Right: The street the library is on. 

I returned to Kenya on the November 17th, and the next night I was back out at the airport welcoming two lovely young ladies (one from Park Street Church in Boston, along with her sister) who came to take care of the preschool children at the conference, which was the following weekend. They teamed up with a former short-term volunteer who came on Sunday to do childcare. That volunteer knew her way around so had fun that week with the two girls doing things and going into Kibera with the boys (and preparing for the preschool program).

I was excited about the conference, despite the difficulties of planning it, because Excellent Missions Speakers Stuart and Jill Briscoe had agreed to come. I had heard them back in the ’80s and was so thrilled to get to meet them and to hear them again. But alas, that Monday before the conference I got a message that Stuart had walked into a sliding glass door and banged his head and knee so badly that he had a hematoma, and his doctor would not let him travel. I was devastated. Where were we going to get a speaker that quickly the week of Thanksgiving??? I also was so disappointed to not meet the Briscoes. Well, my regional leader got on the phone that night and started calling friends. The second one he called said he was willing to leave his family and fly, on Thanksgiving Day, to Kenya to be our speaker. Bob Deffinbaugh, of Community Bible Chapel in Richardson, Texas, (check it out!) was an excellent speaker. He talked about the goodness of God and really touched mine and a lot of other people’s hearts. So the conference was saved! As was my sanity! The other amazing part is that Bob did not want to preach in the church on Sunday, so I emailed the pastor who was leading the team coming for the elementary school program. He was in the airport, waiting to board the plane when he got my message asking him to preach. He said ‘yes’! Then he ended up preaching on a passage that was part of the passage Bob spoke on that evening, a perfect dovetailing of messages. God is truly good. I was a bit frazzled with the behind-the-scenes stuff, but to the attendees everything went smoothly.

After the conference my former volunteer stayed on a few more days and we went together to see the progress on the library building in Kibera. It was fun to be with the boys, but a bit disheartening to see the state of the building. Work on it had to cease with all the political violence, especially since Kibera was badly affected. Work should be able to start again soon. But the biggest disappointment is that there were 6 tenants in mud and stick houses on the plot we bought and even though they were paid to move, two have not yet moved, citing difficulties in finding new places. My fear is that they will never move, as they have no incentive. We are not charging them rent (!) and they have probably long ago spent the money we gave them. The chief of the area is aware and on our side, but forcing people to move is not an easy thing. So the structure is only half built.

My big prayer request is that the squatters will move and that we will be able to get the structure done so the boys can actually use the facility. The floors are not at all finished, it really can’t be used yet. The materials are bought, we’re just waiting to see that the political situation stays calm. This Tuesday, December 12, will be a big test of that. It’s one of Kenya’s independence days (we have two) and the opposition leader has vowed to be inaugurated as the ‘true’ president of Kenya that day. That could spark major trouble, as the government has vowed to arrest anyone taking part in such a ceremony as a traitor. Pray we get through it without too much chaos. People are tired…

On with Christmas!! The big party for the boys is next Sunday, December 17!

I have lots of treats for them already and will start baking cookies today (Saturday). I love Christmas… May you feel the warmth of the season and the love of God in your lives these coming weeks.

Blessings, Carolyn

Sunday Worship @ 10:00 am

The United Presbyterian Church of Binghamton

42 Chenango Street

Binghamton, NY 13901

Ph: 607.722.4219