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ENGIKARET - TANZANIA 2019

DISCIPLING THE MASSAI OF NORTHERN TANZANIA

April 2019 I had the privilege of teaching on a Massai Discipleship School.  This is not normally something I do, but we were very sure that God placed it on our hearts to do so off I went.

Apart from the absolute privilege of being part of what God is doing in the lives of others, a trip like this it is also a time when God shows me quite a bit about myself and my walk with him.

Seek first the Kingdom and all it’s righteousness….Go and make disciples…You will be my witnesses…Follow me…

What – Where – How – Why?

I had the privilege to help disciple a group of 31 Masai believers in the rural area of Engikaret, Tanzania.  The training base is situated about 50km north of Arusha on the Kenya road.  The students are busy with a 12-week lecture phase of a discipleship course, after which they will also have an outreach phase.  I taught for a week on the topics of Servanthood, Pride and Humility. The course is run in the local Masai language and quite a few of the students have never set foot in a classroom before – a few of them are also illiterate.

Who are the Masai?

The Masai are a traditionally nomadic tribe found across parts of Kenya and Tanzania.  They are cattle herders and are very proud of their heritage with many of them still wearing their traditional clothing and jewelry.  A lot of the children don’t go to school and the boys take out the cattle to graze during the day.  Although Swahili is the national language the Masai also speak their own language.  In fact - three of the students did not speak Swahili, only Masai.  One of the reasons this training is so precious is the fact that it is done in the Masai language.  Most of the time Christian courses and training is only available in Swahili and English.  This training is also in the Masai area.  Although the Masai are still largely unreached it is very encouraging to see these disciples get ready to go out and reach their own tribe.

Some of this - some of that

The Wrong Day:  The trip itself was quite uneventful.  Travelling went quite well until I arrived in Tanzania at 2 am in the morning only to find no-one waiting for me.  I waited for about half an hour - still no-one.  I tried phoning - no answer.  Eventually a friendly local taxi driver offered to phone from his phone.  It turns out my contact got the day wrong?!?! Fortunately my contact used the taxi driver before so he knew where to take me.  I eventually got there at around 4:30 and had a bit of sleep before being woken up by their 4 kids at around 7:30.


Not a Delhi-Belly but a Tanzania-Tummy: I love the food wherever I go.  Tanzania has no weird stuff - basically beans, rice or Maize porridge, sweet potato and some leafy green veggies.  They also do a great ginger and lime "tea".  On Tuesday however I started feeling a bit uncomfortable in the stomach.  That night was very bad - I had cramps in my legs, couldn't sleep, had nausea but couldn't throw up and consequently was not much use on Wednesday since I only slept about 40 minutes. It's always interesting how people react to sickness in different cultures.  The students were very concerned and a few came to pray for me.  The lady who did the cooking was very worried and couldn't understand that I only wanted plain rice on Wednesday - she kept on wanting to bring me chicken.  The one missionary who's been there for about 6 years told me a common cure they have for stomach problems is to drink a glass of sheep/goat fat?!?!  Glad they didn't offer me that.  By Wednesday evening I was ready to get going again and had the privilege to minister at a community meeting.  The next two mornings I also shared morning devotions with the teachers at the nearby school.


Challenged by my own teachings: This was the first time I taught on Servanthood, Pride and Humility.  I love how God uses situations like this to also work in you as you allow Him to work through you.  It was such a timely reminder that the Kingdom of God is truly an upside down Kingdom.  If we really want to be great in the Kingdom, be used by God in a mighty way, make a difference in the world and lead the way...then there is only one way to go - we must serve.  What an amazing example Jesus was in this regard.  Do we dare to follow his example?