RENDILLE VISIT

Trip to Marsabit South 29 February to March 7, 2016, by Peter Kivati

Monday 29th. February

I left Nairobi at around 7am and arrived at Laisamis at 5pm. I found Bulkash there already waiting for me. He bought me tea and we chatted briefly before leaving for Ndikir on his motor bike. The dirt road to Ndikir is relatively smooth and so the 12km or so from Laisamis to Ndikir were not difficult.

We arrived in Ndikir at about 6pm Raphael introduced me to his family and I was shown to my hut. I was to share the room with Raphael’s young brother, John. He finished high school last year and is now teaching at the Kind Fund School.

When I asked him where Samuel was he told me that he had gone to the foora to collect debts from some people that owed him. John thinks that Samuel wants to revive his shop business because he is no longer working at the school and he needs a source of income. I asked him why Samuel was no longer at the school and he told me that Samuel had eloped with one of his class 7 pupils. The father of the girl together with the wazees (older men) of the manyatta (village) were supporting Samuel’s marriage to the girl but Raphael and John had tried to dissuade him and so he cut off communications with them. He had FGM (female circumcision) done on the girl according to Rendille pre-marriage customs. Raphael together with the Kind Fund sponsors filed a civil suit against Samuel for withdrawing a pupil from school and doing FGM on her. The wazees put pressure on him and threatened to close the school and chase him from Ndikir if he would not withdraw the charges against Samuel. The school was closed for two days. Raphael withdrew the charges and the wazees allowed the school to continue its activities.

Later in the evening after supper, I taught the children of the orphanage) from Luke 19:1-10 about Jesus and Zacchaeus. From the way they were answering questions and interacting with the lesson, the children here seem to be well taught in the Scriptures.

Tuesday 1st. March

By 9am we were ready to leave for Losidan. Raphael noticed a thorn in the rear tyre when we were about to leave. We decided to repair the puncture. After finishing the repair, we noticed another puncture on the tube. By the time we were finishing it was approaching 11am and Raphael told me that it would not be advisable to proceed to Losidan because almost all the children go for only half a day and we would not make it to Losidan before noon. It was also unlikely that we would find any wazees around the wells at Losidan at that hour.

We walked to the Kind Fund School and Raphael showed me the plots allocated for the building of the Kind Fund home and extension of the school and the plot allocated for the building of his house. These plots border each other near the road. They are in the process of registering the Kind Fund School.

After that, we walked to the water catchment rock on the side of the hills where they fetch water.

Later in the evening, I taught the children from Luke 23:39-43 on the salvation of the dying thief.

Wednesday 2nd. March

We left for Lekuchula around 7:30am. We were barely 1km from Raphael’s home when we noticed a flat rear tyre. The tube had burst and we had to replace it with a new one. We arrived at Lekuchula at about 10am. We talked briefly with the headmaster. He said that there was no one teaching the children God’s word at the school and that they did not have adequate stationery.

I taught the children from Luke 15:11ff on the prodigal son.

Left Lekuchula at 11am through the Namaarey route and arrived at Korr at noon.

Had tea and lunch at Godanas.

At 3pm I taught at the weekly Bible Study on Luke 19:1-10.

At Around 5pm I left with Ogom and went to his home for tea and supper. After Supper and conversations, we read from Luke 15:11-32 and I spoke briefly on God’s mercy and willingness to receive repentant sinners.

Went back to Godana’s home where I would be spending the nights while here in Korr. They are currently reading from the Psalms in the evening family devotions and today we are at Psalm 72. Madaraka read very fluently in Swahili and then Godana explained the passage succinctly and lead us in prayer.

I talked with both Godana and Gurguro about the state of the church after devotions. Gurguro, Godana’s wife, is the current leader of the women’s fellowship. They meet on Saturdays 3pm. She said some of the women are not committed. They miss the Saturday’s meetings and do not give good reasons.

They also said that many members that are being supported in the church do not show any initiative to improve things around the church. The compound is in a deplorable state, the church guest hut is dilapidated, there is no fence around the church plot, even a thorn bush fence that would not cost anything etc. they said many members do not seem to show ownership yet they receive monthly financial support.

Thursday 3rd. March

After breakfast, I went to teach the children at the TBC nursery school. There were about 20 children in attendance. Madaraka has been teaching them because Ibrahim the teacher has gone to Marsabit to do a course on computer packages. I taught them the parable of the prodigal son.

At 10am we went to visit Wato. She was in the market where she has recently opened a tea kiosk. Ali Leeba found us in the kiosk and Ogom and Godana engaged him in conversation while we took tea and mandazis. Then I spoke from the parable of the prodigal son and we prayed and left. Ali told us to visit his house in Naghaan the next day. When I asked him why he had not been attending church services he said he had been moving around with animals and that most of the time he was in the foora (bush). He said he had the audio Bible in Rendille and he has been listening to God’s word as he moves around with his animals.

We met with Galagathotimo in the market. The brothers chatted with her briefly and told her that we would visit her at her home in Naghaan the next day.

We then went to pay a courtesy visit to Joshua Turuga, the head of the AIC mission (Africa Inland Church) project in Korr. We found him talking with David, a lead pastor at AIC Korr. I told them of my desire to join the brothers at TBC Korr in 2018 God willing. Turuga warned me of the difficulties and said that he has seen many people come to Korr as missionaries but they were no longer doing God’s work but are employed full time in many other things in the name of ‘tent making’.

David asked me why TBC is not empowering the local men at Korr to provide leadership instead of bringing in missionaries from outside. They studied together at AIU with Silamo and he was wondering why someone like Silamo was not coming back home to serve.

Both David and Turuga spoke very highly of Ogom, Godana and Nadesol. They said they perceive that these three men have the knowledge of God’s word and that they have been quite zealous and consistent in evangelism. They said that on many occasions that they were surprised to meet the men in very distant manyattas walking on foot to preach the gospel. They said that they were wondering whether TBC is really concerned with investing in the work at Korr, saying that after so many years our men have not being empowered educationally, the ministry did not have a decent meeting place and there is no vehicle to ease the work of our evangelists.

I agreed with them that in the past we have not done so well in empowering our local men and also said that we have financial struggles.

We parted and they gave us seven solar powered audio players with Rendille Bible as gifts.

Godana and I then went to Antonella’s place for lunch. Her husband was at work. She told me she was doing well and was happy with how things were at church. She is requesting us to consider supporting her son Ibrahim with college fees.

After that I visited Nasere in her hut. She welcomed me with a big chunk of meat. Her hut recently caught fire while she was cooking. She has tried to perch it up but it is still not in a good condition. She hopes we could send her something to fix it up.

After that, I went to my hut, prayed and reviewed the text that I was to speak from at the prayer meeting.

At 3pm, I went for the prayer meeting. I spoke briefly from Luke 18:9-14 on the parable of the tax collector and the Pharisee. We prayed for various issues. Many of the members participated in praying. I also told them of my desire to relocate to Korr and we prayed about it.

At 5pm, we went to the nearby manyatta, California, where we met a group of women and children. I preached to them from the parable of the prodigal son.

Went back to Godana’s compound and relaxed with the children while we waited for supper. They were teaching me how to count from one to ten in Rendille. One the kids said that Rendille was so easy and seemed surprised that a grown up like me was having difficulties counting.

We had supper and then family devotion from Psalm 73 and then went to bed.

Friday 4th. March

We left at around 9am for Naghaan village. We stopped briefly at one of the wells in the outskirts of Korr town as Ogom and Godana greeted a man who was watering his goats. Godana struck a conversation with him and soon they were talking about Jesus Christ. These men surprise me the way they so easily bring up the topic of Christ with anyone. What a gift!

The journey to Naghaan is about 2 hours walking or less if you walk at a Rendille’s pace. I was out of breath when we arrived at Galagathotimo’s hut. We exchanged greetings and then the brethren continued to exhort her from the scriptures as we sipped tea. I have been told she has not been attending church. She told me that it is quite distant for her and being a widow the responsibility of taking care of the children is solely on her.

We then went to Ali Leeba’s hut. Only the wife was at home. Ali had been called that morning to attend to some business in town. Talked to her from Luke 15:11-32 and then left.

We found about seven wazees relaxing at the lugga (dry river bed) under a tree and I preached from Luke 16 on Lazarus and the rich man. They later thanked us and said that they know God and have always been praying to him. Then I took time to show them that God can only be known savingly and approached correctly through Christ. I set forward Christ as the only fitting mediator between God and man. They thanked me again and then we parted.

We then walked to Dubsahaay where I preached again from Luke 16. The wazees thanked me and said that what I told them is what the brothers have been preaching to them.

We walked back to Korr and arrived at around 3.30pm. We went to Ogom and I went to his place where we washed our faces and feet and sat down to chat and enjoy tea and chapattis.

Later we went to Nadesol’s house for supper. We ate and talked briefly with Christine, Nadesol’s wife and then prayed concerning Nadesol’s upcoming surgery. She was not in a conversational mood so we did not linger for long.

Went back to Godana’s home. We read Psalm 74 prayed and then retired to bed.

Saturday 5th. March

We had morning devotion from Jeremiah at Godana’s house, prayed and then sat down for tea. Gurguro does not go to tend the flocks on Saturdays. The children relieve her so we had time to talk for over an hour. They told me how they came to be involved with the ministry at TBC, their relocation to Korr and the challenges they have been through. They told me that they had appreciated the support they had received towards Khobocha’s education and would like the elders to consider supporting Madaraka who is in the University of Nairobi. He currently needs 26,500/- for next semester beginning in May.

Then I met with Godana and Ogom from 10:30am to 1pm to hear their reports concerning the ministry. We started the meeting with prayer then looked at 2 Tim. 2:1-10. Using the text, I encouraged them to endure hardship in the ministry and to remain true to the Gospel.

They told me how they spend their week. Told me that Orogabo, the lady who was baptized recently, has been showing signs of Christian growth and they have been encouraged by her. There is also a young man who has been attending for quite some time and they pray that the Lord would save him.

They request the leaders in Nairobi to look into the matters of the church building, the promised increment of monthly support and to consider getting them a vehicle to be able to reach the distant manyattas. Orogabo has approached them for school fees support for her daughter who is in Tirrim School and they would like the leaders to consider her for support. They said they would love to have me labour together with them in the ministry and that they had appreciated my ministry in the short time I had been with them.

We then prayed concerning the needs raised at the meeting.

After the meeting we went to the market to buy water and souvenirs.

Lunch was at Antonella’s.

I spent the rest of the afternoon preparing for the ministry on Sunday. I was teaching at the adult Sunday school and preaching at both the evening and morning service.

Sunday 6th. March

Taught the adult Sunday school from Luke 23:39-41.

Preached in the morning service from Luke 18:1-8.

About 15 adults were in attendance.

They had the Lord’s table at 3pm. Ogom led us. Nasere almost ruined the solemn occasion. I think she was a bit tipsy and started complaining against Godana.

I preached again in the evening service from Luke 12 on the rich fool.