April 9, 2017
It is Sunday evening in Lodwar and several days have passed since we last updated you all. I finally got to a place where the internet is fast enough to email and post pictures so I'll try to catch you up.
We had a wonderful time in Oloolaimutia with the Maasai pastors last week. We arrived Monday morning where we checked into Manyatta Camp overlooking part of the Maasai Mara game park. From the hotel open air dining room, we could watch elephants, giraffes, antelope, gazelles, wildebeests, zebras and other wild animals as they moved through the part of the park we could see. It was a great way to begin the day.
Home sweet home for a week.
We began our conference last Monday evening at the Enkitoria Church with about 30 pastors.
The rest of the pastors were with their animals moving their herds of cattle, sheep and goats further south into Tanzania in search of pasture as the drought has hit these people very hard. Their animals are dying for lack of food and water and as a result the people are suffering. And yet the testimony of these pastors remains strong. “God is good and He will provide” they tell me. “Even if times are hard now, He will bring us into abundance.”
By Wednesday, most of the pastors and leaders had arrived to take part in the rest of the conference. Our host, Pastor Stephen Muntet, told me near the end of the week that “the pastors were crying to him to have more of these conferences because they were so helped by the word”. Give God the glory! According to him, we were the first missionaries to come and hold this kind of conference, and this was the first time so many pastors from different denominations had gathered together in unity. There were 86 pastors and church leaders from 8 different denominations that came to this conference and they all expressed their deep appreciation to us personally at one time or another. The pastors are already planning the next conference and they expect 200 to come this time. Their hunger for the word of God is amazingly deep and they received the word with great joy.
I am deeply grateful to my longtime friend, Pastor Shadrack Mwita who made several trips to Mara to organize this conference. Shadrack was in charge of all the daily logistics of the conference and he did an outstanding job. I don't think we've ever eaten better at any of our conferences.
Market day in Oloolaimutia.
The pastor who hosted the conference in his church, Reverend Samuel Muntet, the brother of Stephen, is building a new clinic to replace the old one he built years ago. His was the first clinic in Oloolaimutia and he will expand the services of the clinic to include labor and delivery rooms, long-term care rooms, a pharmacy and a lab.
We also gave out some audio bibles in the Maasai language along with the gospel flip charts as many people in the surrounding area are still illiterate. On my last trip to Mara, I had given Stephen one of those audio bibles and he told me he has been using it to great effect in evangelism and discipleship in his church.
One of the highlights, at least for the pastors, was the ceremony making Shadrack and I honorary Maasai.
I think I'm a little too white for this. But they insisted. One of my staunchest supporters in the Maasai thing was Pastor Timothy.
Please pray for the churches in Mara that God would increase the love and unity among them and that the gospel would go out in power throughout the Maasai. Pray too that God would have mercy on their land and visit it with rain.