Tuesday, August 17, 2010
The community of Olepishet has about 400 people in it, but there are about 4,000 in the surrounding communities--other small villages in the area. The church compound that we stayed on is the only church for 45 minutes (that's by car--2 hours by foot). the Pastor, Patrick (the tall one in the middle of the picture) is 34, has had some training through YWAM, can speak English, Swahili, and Maa (their native language). There were about 3-4 others that could speak English as well, but translation was needed for communication to the majority of the people.
We were welcomed very warmly: always treated like part of the family. Time and again they hoped that we felt like part of their family. We through questions back and forth to each other the first night around the fire (something that is a regular part of their world). As we learned of each other it was easy to see that the Lord had been at work in this land and on the hearts of these amazing men and women. they have great hopes for developing their community and reaching them through the love of Jesus. One of the first ways they would like to reach the people is through the area of medical care.
Since it is a 45 min drive (2 hr walk) to the nearest health clinic it is difficult to get basic health care. Cuts and wounds turn into infections which don't have to. Headaches and pains go untreated and fester more problems. To help, we brought a Rubbermaid tub full of basic medical supplies: bandages, antibiotic ointment, sterile gauze, antiseptic, Panadol (tylenol), etc. We taught the elders of the church how to use them and administer care. We had begun to see people use the services even before we left! I was able to purchase these basic medical supplies thanks to some generous donations from people in the church community in Galesburg.
Worship was a little long (even by their standards) as it was 3 hours. (no, I didn't preach that long) They had some special visitors (not us), some Kenyans who spoke Boran came from the Northern region of Kenya (on the Ethiopian border) to help do some evangelism in the area. So we had Boran, Masai, Americans and American missionaries in Nairobi all present for worship--truly multicultural!
the villages are very small and made out of the most rudimentary elements. sticks, mud, cow dung and love make up the homes, grass thatch roofs, sticks and animal hides made up their beds. Goats lived in the homes with them while cattle lived in pens made of sticks. (see pic)
I hope and pray for a long relationship with this community and we have some specific things that we are looking to do for them. If you're interested, let me know and I can help get you involved.
tomorrow we are taking off for southern Kenya to see Elephants, Mt. Kilamanjaro, etc. Really excited! Thanks for your love and prayers...