Robert Wafula at Graduation

February, 2020 Newsletter

Greetings Friends,
I hope the month of February went ok with you. My February 2020 newsletter is focused on the cemetery where some of the missionaries who either worked or visited Kaimosi Friends Mission were buried. It is one place that is rarely mentioned in our day to day conversation among the African Quakers. It has been three years since a section of the FTC faculty, staff, and students visited the site to clean the hallowed grounds. We did the same in mid-February 2020. On our count, there were 11 visible tombstones, but a majority of them are unknown because the brass plates bearing their names were pulled off by unknown people for unknown reasons. I requested Alfred Wasike who is the General Secretary of Friends Church of Uganda, currently serving as FTC Director of Information, also a Bachelor of Theology degree student to do a story on our missionaries that lie in this cemetery.
Many blessings,

This is particularly addressed to our dear Friends across the globe who are preparing to travel to Africa for the unprecedented 2020 FUM/USFW/QMI Triennial (July 12 to 18) in Kisumu, Kenya. We are pleased to share with you the information that FTC is setting up the first ever Africa Quaker Archives (AQA) at our serene campus at Kaimosi.
On a heavily forested knoll in our neighbourhood in Kaimosi Mission are graves in which an unknown number of Quaker Missionaries both African and those beyond, especially American and European are buried.
The FTC Principal Dr. Robert J. Wafula, his wife Mwalimu Nancy Wafula plus a senior lecturer Mwalimu Moses Musonga, an ardent researcher in Quakerism in Africa, have led the FTC community to help clear and maintain the overgrown Kaimosi Friends Mission Cemetery known locally as Madubwi.
In this forest lie the remains of people like Rachel Chilson, Bertha Faust, and William Wendte. Each of them selflessly helped in the establishment of the Kaimosi Mission particularly the Friends Theological College Kaimosi and beyond and laid down their lives for the Church.
We have taken it as our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and also as a mark of traditional respect since we Africans respect our people even in death. We are also keeping the Kaimosi Friends Missionary Cemetery clean for our local community plus visitors who will come to the Kisumu Triennial. We feel that this is a very key aspect of the Africa Quaker Church History.
According to Thomas Lungaho, former Executive Secretary of the East Africa YM of Friends in a biography of his father, “DAUDI LUNG’AHO: An African Missionary,” (page 11) “Although the work seemed to go well, Daudi remembered an incident that took place when the Nandi were becoming troublesome to the government and a contingent of soldiers had to be stationed at Kaimosi. A young American called William Wendte came to visit Kaimosi. This man, with one soldier who had been left on the Mission Station, heard shooting in the region of Jeptulu and decided to go and restore peace. He and the soldier never came back – they were found murdered by Nandi warriors. William Wendte’s body was buried in the Mission Cemetery (Madubwi). The incident caused the government to react ruthlessly.
The missionaries and a few Africans were moved to Vihiga for safety.  When life came back to normal after the signing of a treaty, the missionaries returned to Kaimosi to continue their work.”
Daudi was born in 1872 at Madioli east of Lirhanda. He was looking after horses at a British government post at Kaptum, a few miles beyond Kapsabet. Three months later, he saw some white strangers who had come to visit the government officials. After they had gone away, he wanted to know who these men were and why they had come. He was told by the house servant (a person from Uganda) that they were missionaries from America. They had come to begin mission work at a place called Kaimosi among the Tiriki people. They had come to Kaptum to look for people who knew Kiswahili to help them in this task.
“When I heard this, my heart was drawn to this kind of work,” Daudi said. (Lung’aho, pp 6-7).  He went to Kaimosi and met Arthur Chilson who employed him. He served in many capacities from 1902 to November 21, 1967 when he finally fell asleep at the Friends Hospital Kaimosi.
Another person interred here is Rachel Chilson. She was the daughter of Arthur & Edna Chilson who came to establish the Kaimosi Friends Mission in 1902 with Willis Hotchkiss and Edgar Hole.
According to a “PROGRAMME FOR LATE RACHEL CHILSON AT THE FRIENDS MISSION KAIMOSI Saturday 23rd March 1996,” Rachel was born on 9th February 1910 at Kaimosi. She was the second in the family. After her basic education of secondary school, in 1928 she went to Friends University in Wichita, Kansas where she graduated in 1932. In 1933 she went to Burundi together with her parents and stayed there until 1942. In 1939 her father died and in 1942 she went to the USA with her mother.
In 1944 she came back to Kenya where she worked with the Kenyan government in the Department of Social Services particularly with the Muslim women at the coast for many years and also Mandeleo of Women at Kericho. She retired in 1965 from the government. In 1968 she moved to Nakuru and worked with the World Gospel Mission and was stationed at Bethany Bookshop until 1982 where she retired to start XTN Video in 1983.  She broke her hand in July 1985. Later she was taken to Nanyuki Cottage Hospital on September 19, 1995, where she died on March 13, 1996.
Not much is known about Bertha B. Faust’s background but it is understood that she came from Pennsylvania. She was an instructor of English and typing to pastoral ministry students at Friends Bible Institute (FBI now FTC). Her former students, who include current Principal Wafula and Dean of Students Meshack Musindi recall that Bertha loved flowers and art. She planted flowers in the entire Kaimosi Friends Mission station and decorated the pulpit in the meeting for worship. Bertha also loved children and trained teachers of Sunday Church School for many years. The inscription on her tombstone says that Bertha B. Faust was born in 1909 and passed on in 1986. She was interred at Kaimosi Friends Mission cemetery.
Bertha Faust left a legacy. Below is one of her drawings found spotted on the wall of the FTC library.

FTC Students and Staff join the work at the Friends Cemetary

Principal Wafula gives instructions.