Probably my favorite ministry time (besides the time I spent with the MpM babies) was our day sharing God's love with the children and women at the Maasai village of Inkiito.
It's a short drive on terrible roads (although, I have to say, much-improved since our last visit...) to the rural village.
When I see the Inkiito landscape, it reminds me of Bible-times settings.
Plenty of cattle, sheep, and goat herds along the way...
Beautiful scenery, really! Unspoiled landscapes that haven't changed much for hundreds of years...
Kim and I have been to Inkiito twice before...once to check on the then-new freshwater well that had been dug, then several days later to see the first fresh water gushing out.
It was a day I'll never forget, and secured a special spot in my heart for this village and its Maasai people.
This is their church/community center....
The women of the village awaiting our arrival...
Greetings all around!
And inside the church, we can hear the children already singing!
The first order of business is always feeding them.
This time we took cooked sausages, juice boxes, and fresh oranges.
After their tummies were full, we gave them food much more important...the Word of God! It was the day before Easter, and Angie (who is an elementary teacher) told them the story of Jesus' death and resurrection to save us from our sins.
Their teacher Jane interpreted Angie's words into Swahili for the children, as they listened very quietly and intently.
Quite different than teaching a story to 75 American children would have been....
Zach found some great soccer balls made out of the same material as Crocs shoes...non-puncturable! The thorns on the ground are hard on soccer balls here, but it's a game that Kenyans love!
This young man, James, has a miraculous story of his own! He shattered his leg in a terrible accident several years ago, and when Dave first met him he was barely able to walk, seeemingly crippled for life. Through God's intervention and Dave's connections with surgeons, James now has full use of his legs and has his life back...he can even kick a soccer ball!
The mamas enjoyed watching the children...
...and then James invited them to show off their skills!
They clearly enjoyed it immensely!
Two generations of beautiful Maasai women...each gorgeous in her own way!
Check out the earlobes on the older lady....
Two old friends, congratulating each other on a game well-played!
And an old gentleman from the village giving them a good razzing! Not so different that our culture, after all...
There were very few men around the village, as most of them were out herding their cattle and sheep for the day.
Then the women went back to their blankets full of handmade things and it was time to shop.
They drive a hard bargain...but we didn't negotiate too hard. It's all about promoting goodwill...
...and really where could I get this basket of trinkets in the US for 2000 shillings (about $20)?
Angie and I modeling a few of our buys.
The lady insisted I buy that necklace to match my earrings....??????
Who am I to argue???
It was an exciting day in the village, as 64 children were getting brand new school uniforms, purchased by a group of ladies from Kentucky.
We were privileged to be there the day they were distributed.
And the children and their teachers and parents/grandparents were ecstatic!
In Kenya, school uniforms are required to attend school. No uniform, no school.
We all fell in love with the littlest school child, 3-year-old Simi. Kenyan children begin school at age 3.
Her sweater was clearly too big for her.
Speaking of sweaters...you would think it was cold the way the Maasai dress. Eighty degrees is not sweater weather, in my book.
These uniforms were stiff and scratchy and I suspect downright uncomfortable, but the children were all smiles!
After everyone was fitted with a uniform, each one got a pair of shoes and socks.
All the same, boys and girls of all ages.
Durable, functional shoes.
Agnes is the county social worker and had done the shopping for the uniforms.
Long, skinny teenage Maasai boys' legs...
I had to chuckle at this scene...the two women are trying to fit the shoes on the children, who are not paying attention or helping at all...
Over the years, Dave has developed a relationship with this young man.
Angie had a new buddy!
Daniel is Agnes's husband. He hold a political office in the county, and it's easy to see why as he has an unmistakable charm and charisma.
I took a few ink pens from our church and gave one to the old gentleman. He was tickled pink and couldn't wait to try it out!
Such a thrill over such a small gift....
After everyone was uniformed, they all took their seats with the women of the village...
...who had some things they wanted to say.
Praising us, over and over again, for the generosity of the uniforms.
It was very humbling and a bit embarrassing because we were not the ones who donated the money. But to the villagers, one mzunga is the same as another, and so we graciously accepted their thanks on behalf of the generous women of Kentucky.
And then they began coming forward, showering us with decorations to show their appreciation.
Everyone left with some Maasai bling on them!
(We collected the "bling" and I'm mailing it to the women in Kentucky that it rightfully belongs to...)
Just before we left, Chuck handed out filled Easter eggs to each of the children. And the adults, who didn't want to be left out.
A wonderful, humbling, joy-filled day renewing old friendships and creating new memories, as well as a renewed appreciation for God's blessings to all of us.