Today we traveled far outside the city limits to visit the Maasai people, a nomadic tribe indigenous to Kenya. More than three hundred women and children met us at the road and walked us into the Compassion project.
The Maasai tribe is known worldwide for maintaining their strict cultural and ritual traditions and resisting modern ways. For centuries, women, especially have suffered in their male dominated world. Polygamy is very common, with men having 3 or 4 wives and dozens of children.
“Female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriages of 13-year-old girls to men decades older than them characterize the lives of 99 percent of Maasai girls. A gender-oppressive culture, few and understaffed education facilities, and long treks from home to school and back across the vast savanna plains full of wild animals are some of the challenges girls in my community endure to access education” a quote from one of the Maasai women who grew up as a sponsored Compassion child. (You can continue to read her amazing story and how Compassion saved her from this traditional life here).
The Maasai Compassion project we visited exuded joy. Sheer happiness. It is unbelievable how much Compassion has helped this tribe as a whole.
Today, I saw hope.
I saw a classroom full of children, excited to learn about Jesus! They were knowledgeable, engaged, interested. Happy!
We were honored to serve 300 children lunch. It’s tradition to work for your food, so we served some of the children before we ate:
We traveled to the home of one of the Maasai women, ironically named Kristen
She is the third wife of a very old man. She has seven children, one of whom is registered in the program, but waiting to be sponsored.
Her only income to support her very large family is selling her beadwork. She sells a single beaded necklace for 100 shillings. That’s the price of a Coke.
I am wearing a bracelet she spent hours making while I’m typing this post.
The tiny, dark kitchen where she prepares food for her family is the size of a closet:
We brought several weeks worth of food as a thank you for letting us visit her home. (LV demonstrating how the natives carry food on their head).
I fell in love with the colorful Maasai people today. They shine Jesus.
I wasn’t invited to Kenya to blog Compassion’s relief efforts because I’m special or because my blog is a certain size.
I wasn’t asked to come along on this life-altering journey because I am a good writer or gifted in any way.
This isn’t about me.
I am in Africa because of you.
You are the reason I traveled 33 hours across the globe.
I am in Africa because of them.
I left my home and family to tell their story.
I’m just the person in the middle. I’m the narrator of a God story. A conduit.
You have the hard job. You have to weigh my words, take courage and let them seep into your heart. You have to make a choice.