Kenya Mission 2007
As Nan and team were in India for the children’s Bible programs, Logan and I were able to continue on to Kenya. I was last in Kenya in 2003 with Nan and Cody. We had worked with Pastor Cosmus Malova, in a rural area near Kakamega, in Western Kenya.
Since our last visit, Basic Training Bible Ministries had helped Cosmus and his congregation to build a church building to replace the temporary structure they were using. So Logan and I were able to visit, inspect the new church building, and have classes for three days. The building was very well constructed, and will serve for a long time as the ministry reaches out into the surrounding area with the Gospel of Christ.
Following our time in Western Kenya, Logan departed to meet up with Desiree and return to America for work commitments. I had another seven days until I was due to meet Nan in Singapore, so I went to visit John Kiok, Maasai Pastor. I had been writing to John for about six years, and we (Logan and I) had met him briefly on our entry into Kenya. Now I had opportunity to visit his work among the Maasai people, identified by some mission organizations as one of the two last people-groups to be reached in Africa (the other being the San, or bushmen, of the Kalahari). The Maasai are known as the "Lion Killers" of Africa. Before a young man can become an elder, and marry, he must take part in two to three years of training in isolation from the tribe, and be part of a lion hunt with spears.
John shared the story of his conversion. He had found a worn Bible and began reading from the front, like any other book. He was intrigued to learn that there was a God who had created him, and all the wildlife which surrounded him in the Rift Valley where he lived. An incident occured while he was herding his father’s goats that brought him to cry out to this "creator-God". He led the flock under a large Acacia tree to rest in the heat of the day. Two goats were eating the leaves that had fallen from the tree, when a leopard pounced on one, and tore its throat out. In the typical manner of the Maasai, John grabbed his spear and ran to deliver the goat. In his words, as he approached, the leopard "growled at me loudly, his mouth painted with blood". The cat jumped back into the tree, and prepared to leap on John. He cried out "to the God who created this animal" to deliver him. Just as the leopard jumped, he threw his spear, piercing the neck behind the head. As the leopard leaped, the spear which was protruding from both sides, caught in the branches, hanging the cat from the tree.
After this incident, John began to pray to the God who delivered him, eventually coming to believe in His Son, Jesus Christ, who died to forgive us of our sins. He began to speak of this Savior to people at every opportunity. At one point, eight Maasai warriors were sent to kill him for bringing this strange religion into the tribe. He asked to be allowed to pray before they killed him, and when they attempted with club, sword and spear to kill him, all their blows missed! At this point they decided he was under the protection of this new God.
During my seven days in Maasai-land, I had many opportunities to present the Gospel, and teach the Bible, in homes (Manyattas), clan villages, church gatherings, and community events. The Maasai believers I met were very receptive and appreciative. One elder said, "I am amazed you would come all the way from America to find us here in our humble homes and teach us God’s word!" Another responded by encouraging me with three Scriptures he quoted to me, assuring me that my labor was not in vain.
Please pray for the Maasai people, of whom there are over three million living in the remote plains of Eastern Africa. Pray for a proposed conference in the near future to teach the word of God in depth to pastors and teachers. Also pray for John and his wife Sylvia, who will be coming to America this summer, to present their work to interested churches. Pray for Sylvia (who took such good care of me during my stay) that she will be able to obtain her visa.
Basic Training Bible Ministries will be working with John and Sylvia to host a Bible conference, purchase and distribute Maasai Bibles, and in conjunction with Amador Bible Church (Pastor Bill Puryear), will be minting and distributing the "Where will you spend eternity?" coins among the Maasai people.
As always, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest." (Mat.9:37-38). Please join us, not only in prayer, but as fellow-workers, in these closing moments of the Church age. (I will try to add pictures later).
Gene, the gospel gypsy!