23 Aug 2004


This missions trip was the longest journey I have ever been on. It took us 7 hours to get to Amsterdam with a 2 hour layover (4 hour on the way back). It took another 7 hours to get to Nairobi. The ride up to Otturot from Nairobi was pretty crazy. The 12 of us piled in the back of a 3 ton truck and drove 12 hours to a town called Maralal. We felt like illegal immigrants crossing the border. Along the way, we saw a lot of churches, cows, goats, camels, zebras, and elephants.

The next day, we drove another 12 hours through the mountains on unpaved roads. A few times, we did get stuck on the mountain and all the guys had to get out to push the truck. After the truck got loose, we would have to run after it, but quickly realized that the high altitude was not conducive to out of shape Americans like us. We eventually arrived in a small village called Otturot where we would be serving and ministering.


One of the most precious memories I will have is the children of Otturot. I don’t know if having a child of my own has made a softie towards children, but they really touched my heart. PJ brought some blow pops to share with the children. When they received it, they didn’t know what to do with it. It was the first time they had ever seen a lolipop. We had to open it and explain to them what they were. When they tasted it, we could see the delight in their eyes! Digital cameras were also a bit hit in the town. Many of them don’t know what they look like since there are no mirrors! But perhaps more important than introducing modern conveniences was spending time with them. All of them are so hungry for affection and attention. After our formal ministry time, it was so easy and fun to hang out with them and play with them. Mike as usual had many games up his sleeve so we played Lion, Lion, Goat (the Kenyan version of Duck, Duck, Goose). Kimberly and Anne were with the girls playing games with them as well. After a soccer game, Mgaya sat down with a group of kids and before we knew it, they were all singing Swahili praise songs together. That late afternoon will always be etched in my memory. The sun was setting, and all the kids were gathered in groups spending time with each team member. It was amazing to see the kingdom of God here and all His children fellowship and enjoying life together.


One of the neat things we were able to do in the Sumburu District was to show the Jesus Film. A Tanzanian missionary had all the necessary equipment to project the film on the side of the truck. We joked with him that we would send an application to MTV’s “Pimp my Ride” in hopes of getting his truck tricked out for the Jesus Film. Imagine for a minute a 3 ton truck equipped with motorized movie screen on the side, 6 large loudspeakers, 1 subwoofer, surround sound speakers, popcorn machine, etc. Anyway, I digress… Although many we encountered heard the story of Jesus, I believe the film was able to convey the story and message with great effectiveness. The movie was also translated in their native Maasai language, not just Swahili. Since most of the people could not read, the simple story telling through film was really powerful for them. When we went to door to door visitations, many remarked how touched they were. One man pulled me aside and told me how thankful he was for coming and showing the Jesus film. The part that touched him the most was the death and resurrection of Jesus. He said he’d never forget that scene for the rest of his life.

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