Thursday, 21 February 2008

Kenya feedback 2

Long awaited and anticipated :)

Unfortunately I do not have the picture of the toilets on camp yet, but I can tell you that anything you have seen before in terms of long-drops is luxury – we wished for a seat….

The camp was put under the teaching from 2 Timothy and daily readings were taken from1Timothy. Grant taught the passages well and in each one he reiterated the gospel message and how it would apply to our lives. The result was that at least four young people gave their lives to Christ. Keep praying for them, as they go back to old circumstances and traditions, that they will stay strong and continue in the faith.

I think the thing that struck me most with these young people is that they have the same struggles and desires our youth have. They have the same ambitions, and yet they live so much simpler and poorer than most of us. The girls are quite difficult to talk to, since they have a put-on shyness for respect persons, which only disappears when they get married – overnight. Most of them, as I mentioned in previous reports are the only Christians in their home and therefore first-generation Christians. Some come from Muslim families and are experiencing hard times. One of the pastor’s wives is from a Muslim family and although the family has accepted her decision, she still struggles with it. Her name is Faith.

Girls also have to put up with many traditional things, especially circumcision or FGM (Female Genital Mutilation). Widows also have to have produced an heir in order for her future to be secured within the clan that they married into, otherwise she will have to produce one with relatives of her deceased husband – sometimes she will have to anyway to kind of earn her keep.

We met a lovely lady, by the name of Nariyoo, who shared her testimony when we drove out to the villages. She refuses to have the tribal leaders of her manyatta or goob sacrifice the animals for her. Her biggest desire in these circumstances is to see her children come to know Christ.

There are so many impressions that will stay with me forever and that I will draw from for years to come. The whole team was so impressed by her testimony that I will try to share it briefly.
A bit of background: During the drought of 1984 she had lost everything. The Literacy Programme offered a goat to everyone who finished two years and graduated. So, she signed up just to get a goat. Because Rendile culture is fairly close to Judaism, many of the illustrations were taken form the Bible. Nariyoo of course was not interested in any of the stories and just wanted to read and write as well as (finally) the goat.

During her time at the Programme, she fell ill and at that time the Gospel of Mark had just been printed. She got given a Gospel of Mark and because she had nowhere to go and nothing to do, she started reading on her sickbed. Suddenly the Words made sense and she recognised that Jesus was who He said He was and committed her life to Him.

It is a marvelous story of how powerful the Word of God is and that it has the power to save people of all backgrounds. But at the same time the verse hold true of : how can they know if no-one tells them?

She has faced many difficulties in her life in the village, one of them being refusing to produce more heirs for the men of that village as well as refusing to take part in the sacrifices that happen quarterly. She is elemental in the evangelism of her peers and takes an active role in getting people to the churches that happen under trees in the middle of no-where.