From Maasai Land With Love

December 24, 2017

A lovely friend has done an Advent Blog and posted this story about our time in Maasai Land.

Esther Stands-in-a-field

Welcome to day 18 of the Living Advent Calendar. Every day we meet an ordinary person opening real doors of love and hope to others in extraordinary ways. Today I’d love to introduce you to my lovely friends Becca and Hennie, who moved from London to Kenya with their three children, to live alongside, love and serve the Maasai community there. Over to Becca to share their story today.

‘We’ve been living among a remote Maasai community for eight years now. How did we end up living on the very margins of Kenya with our three little children… where the nearest supermarket is four hours’ drive away?

Well about 10 years ago both Hennie and I woke up one morning with an overwhelming desire to pack a suitcase, get on a plane and go. We had been supporting a small charity working in the area for a few years but…

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Exciting News from Maasai Land!

April 22, 2016

 

Maasai Bride

Maasai Bride on her wedding day

A young Maasai bride laden heavily with beads walking slowly head down towards the beginning of her new life as 3rd wife.

She is expected to cry and keep looking forward. A Maasai wedding is a ceremony full of mixed feelings for her…the dread of a new and unknown future with a man she hardly knows… and the loss of a familiar life with her own family whom she may never see again.

But she will be embraced by the other 2 wives who will become her companions one of those wives works closely with us and is lovely.

A Maasai bride is often very young and her marriage arranged for her. Once married there is no time for school even though she may be as young as 12.

We are developing our own products!

We are developing our own products!

This order is off to Ireland!

This order is off to Ireland!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RedTribe bead work is trying to assist girls who want to remain at school and wait until they are adults to get married. With some of the profits from the beadwork sales this year, we managed to pay the school fees to enable a gifted girl to go to secondary school.

We have a laugh!

We have a laugh!

We have a bible study with the women every Thursday. They are all illiterate and treasure the chance of having scripture read to them with the opportunity of prayer and discussion! (Thanks Elizabeth Smith for helping to get this going!)

RedTribe beadwork helps to create sustainability for the Maasai Academy

The Maasai Academy

The Maasai Academy

Maasai Academy has finished the new nursery classroom using the innovative earth bag building method.( Thanks to Coco Charity and Annelies and Eben.)

The new Nursery Classroom

The new Nursery Classroom

 

Daley Thompson & Steve Cram opening the new Nursery Classroom

Daley Thompson & Steve Cram opening the new Nursery Classroom

Both the girls and boys teams from the Maasai Academy won inter-school sports event proudly sporting their new football strip! (thanks Nuru Fund)

The Maasai Academy Football Team sporting their new strip!

The Maasai Academy Football Team sporting their new strip!

Colin Murray, Daley Thompson & Steve Cram supporting us!

Colin Murray, Daley Thompson & Steve Cram supporting us!

Maasai Clinic ensuring good nutrition by growing food for the children at Maasai Academy with our new irrigation system. (Thanks Starfish Clinic Project International and Coco Charity). We also hope to generate income for the Academy by selling any extra produce.

Our new Mist Irrigation System provided by COCO Charity!

Our new Mist Irrigation System provided by COCO Charity!

Maasai Clinic has managed to secure clean water for a remote village struggling with waterborne disease (thanks to RedTribe UK and Charlie & family!!!)
Mausa is a remote village and women had to walk a 4km round trip to collect water from a pond shared with wild animals. Now they have a tap with clean running water in their village!

Fetching water from a pond shared with wild animals

Fetching water from a pond shared with wild animals

The Community digging the trenches for the pipe - all hands help!

The Community digging the trenches for the pipe – all hands help!

 

The Community standing together to help solve the problem and create a solution!

 

 

Learning to use a tap for the first time!

Learning to use a tap for the first time!

Filling their water cans with clean drinking water!

Filling their water cans with clean drinking water!

 

For the first time in this remote village women can collect clean drinking water safely!

 

 

 

Mobile Clinic

Mobile Clinic

Florence and Daniel from Maasai Clinic going out on the motor bike into remote areas in the community to do Polio vaccinations

 

Florence & Daniel on the way out - Polio Vaccination!

Florence & Daniel on the way out – Polio Vaccination!

The Marais Family

Visiting weekend at Jasmine and Caleb’s school. They are both happy and settled there -but we do miss them terribly. Taliah is enjoying all the extra attention she gets while they are away!

We have had an amazing few months where everything has moved forward and we have seen an abundance of God’s blessing…none of which could happen without your faithful prayers and support. We are also so thankful for amazing volunteers – Charlie and Names! who have shared their time and skills to help make all this happen and Claire Sullivan who does so much to run the beadwork in the UK. Many thanks to St Paul’s Church in Ealing and the RedTribe Trust for your continued support and encouragement.

You can get involved by praying, giving, fundraising and volunteering.

We would really value your prayers for:

  • God’s continued blessing and protection
  • God’s Spirit to fill and sustain and guide us
  • Developing discipleship
  • Further outlets for selling the beadwork
  • Becca’s painting as she opens an online shop to sell her paintings
  • Maasai Academy – Good Headmaster & funds
  • Prayer for an increase in personal funds
The trusty Land Rover that needs repairing!

The trusty Land Rover that needs repairing!

Our Land Rover has been a major help in getting work done – carrying materials, food and people. It is in need of a lot of work to keep it going. Pray for funds to enable us to do this. You can give specifically for the vehicle by clicking on this linkhttps://my.give.net/Vehiclefund/Donate/GiftDetails

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO: 

 

Volunteer: contact us on hennie@redtribe.org

 

Give: click on this link https://www.give.net/20105163

 

Help Fundraise: contact Chris Fox on chris@stpaulsealing.com

A lot can happen in a Year!

October 19, 2015

Maasai Land17

It was dark when we left the house… we had managed to gulp down a quick cup of strong coffee -to wake us up and then off we went. We drove to Mausa near the Tanzanian border through the beautiful Loita hills. As the sun rose, we arrived at a tiny village where an important ceremony was to take place.
A sleepy community of Maasai wrapped in red blankets, to keep out the cold, were huddled together awaiting the start of the ceremony.
Women were buzzing around preparing chai and washing pots from the celebration the day before.
This ceremony was the handing over of the clan chief to the next generation.
It took place in the cow’s boma where the men gathered and sang as only the Maasai can!
They held up an a rungu – (the wooden club carried by all Maasai men) -and handed it over in symbolic fashion to the new chief.
It was a privilege to be invited to this. The new chief is a lovely man and we are sure he will be a blessing to the community!

Untitled

Ceremony

…We’ve been living and working as part of this remote Maasai community for 6 years now!!!

3 in a tub

3 on a rock

Our children have grown and flourished here.

God has faithfully lead us through really difficult times, and has truly shown us that through leaving behind the old and embracing something new in faith …we will see good fruits which will continue to grow. This has definitely been the case.
Through deepening relationships and discipleship with a core Maasai team we have seen a huge paradigm shift and witness a growing confidence in their ability to run things here on the ground.

Hennie & Daniel

And we have witnessed amazing transformation in this time. God has really blessed the projects we are facilitating.

Pictures can sometimes tell a story better than words.

Koko

We started RedTribe beadwork with one widow
This is KoKo and Becca

Becca & Koko

We now employ up to 20 women and Pelua (our manager)

Bead1

Bead2

Bead3

Bead4

RedTribe Beadwork now has an online shop where you can buy our products. They are being sold all over the world…

Visit our Etsy Shop

Bead5

RedTribe has nearly finished a building to create more space to grow as a project

Bead Building1

Bead Building2

School1

This Is Evelyne… She has now completed the 3rd stage of her Early Childhood Development course and is equipped to teach the nursery class.

Maasai Academy started 6 years ago in an old wooden church building… with 6 children and an untrained volunteer teacher!…

School2

There are now 130 children, 8 teachers, 6 Class rooms, a Sports Field, Kitchen + Store and a brand new Nursery Class!

School3

School4

With the help of some fab volunteers, (Thanks Mark and Emily Sidwell!), we have put together an essential handbook of policies for the school to aim for best practice.
Hennie has started a discipleship time with the teachers. He gets together with them every week and encourages them with scripture and prayer. Through this we hope that they will grow in their faith and this in turn will help create a caring learning environment for the children.  We would love to see the teachers empowered to pass on a healthy living faith to the children.
We run a feeding program so that all the children as well as the teachers receive a meal every day. The parents participate and bring beans and maize to help contribute this program.

Maasai Clinic (with Starfish Clinic Project International) has partnered with Maasai Academy, and helps to employ a gardener who grows vegetables to ensure a healthy diet.

Shamba1

This Abraham growing cabbages for the school feeding program

Maasai Clinic (with SCPI) has developed a research program collecting data- identifying trends in health issues and disease in different areas and times of the year. With this data we have found solutions to prevent some of these problems.  Mausa water project has come about as a result… In partnership with the community we aim to bring clean water to this remote area to reduce water borne disease.
Florence and Daniel are now able to reach the remotest part of the community with their new motorbike. Working in partnership with the government, they have been able to successfully carry out vaccination programs.

Clinic1

Florence extracting a tooth

We know that it is only through partnerships that we are able to carry out the work we do here.
Thank you Starfish Clinic Project International, COCO Charity, St Paul’s Church Ealing and many other generous supporters!
As a family we have been asking the question- how long should we stay here? Jasmine and Caleb are now in boarding school. This comes at a cost (both emotionally and financially) as you can imagine! We have prayed about this and felt strongly that it is not time to leave yet!
But in order to stay, we need to increase our personal support.
If you would like to partner with us in prayer and regular financial support, we would be delighted to have you on board!
You can easily give by clicking on this link:  https://www.give.net/20105163

We thank God for all He has done to make so many good things possible here..

Please  continue to pray

  • For wisdom and protection as Hennie disciples the core team and teachers.
  • That we stay close to God
  • That Jasmine and Caleb continue to enjoy and flourish at boarding school
  • That Taliah is happy at school and grows in confidence with speaking Kiswahili.
  • That we can finish the building work at Maasai Academy and the beadwork building
  • For the beadwork- that it continues to grow and generate income
  • For our language learning
  • For a good headmaster that will help to improve the quality, organization and development of the school according to the vision.
  • For an increase in our financial support.

5 Years on…

November 20, 2014
Beadwork Building Site

Beadwork Building Site

We had a wonderful time in the UK visiting family and friends. We returned to Kenya and hit the ground running. There was a classroom and beadwork house to be built.

So with bulldozers and building we find ourselves moving swiftly forward -which is exciting!

The beadwork continues to grow. It is wonderful to see the changes in the women’s’ lives as a result of the project.

Noolkishill

Noolkishill

‘I am one of 2 wives and between us we have 16 children. I am now able to provide for my family with the money I earn through RedTribe, and I no longer need to carry heavy wood for only a little money. Life is better because I can feed my children and buy them clothes.’ Noolkishilli

We have been busy working on an online shop (Etsy) so please have a look: online shop

Jasmine has settled back into school really well. She is loving it – thank God. We are still thinking that perhaps it’s time for Caleb to join Jasmine at school.

I am busy putting brush to canvas in an attempt to generate some funds for the fees. So if you are an art lover please do take a look at my new Facebook Page where I will be showing some of my new paintings which you are welcome to purchase! Just click on this link.

Caleb is becoming a real animal whisperer- he manages to call down bush babies from high in the trees outside our house -by perfectly mimicking their call. We are amazed at how he manages to copy the sounds of a huge variety of wildlife that live here in the bush.

Taliah is a really studious little rascal! She loves reading and doing maths for hours on end (I don’t know where she got that from!!!). She is developing a filthy laugh and has us in stitches when she’s not ‘hard at work!’

Recent Family pictures

Recent Family pictures

Fadi, Ray and Bruce (our new trustee in the UK) came to visit to see how we can move things forward with the clinic. It was great to make such exciting and positive plans for the future. Florence will be carrying out a health assessment in every village to collect data which will be used to determine the kind of treatment and preventative education which is needed to reduce unnecessary diseases.

Bishop Ole Sapit also came to encourage us and help us to put the right things in place for the new charity in Kenya. We thank God for all the support and care shown to us and the Maasai community of Olorte.

Please have a look at our new website, it is still a work in progress but will allow you to see what we are doing.

Prayer Points:

  • We thank God for fantastic progress in the Projects while we were away in the UK
  • We thank God for being close to us
  • Please continue to pray for provision to send Caleb to school
  • for protection and to stay close to God
  • for wisdom & anointing as we disciple the team & teachers next year
  • for Jasmine that she continue to be happy and forge good friendships
  •  for God’s continued provision for us as a family
  •  for Becca to be inspired as she paints and that her paintings will sell.

If you would like to support Hennie & Becca you can do it through Stewardship.

www.stewardship.org.uk – Account Name: Hendrik Marais – Account number: 20105163

Something New….

July 5, 2014

As we prepare to leave for a break to visit family and friends in England we’ve been thinking back over the past 5 years…  where we started and where we are now. We can see huge change and growth in our relationships within the community as well as the projects.

 

The Maasai Academy has grown from 20 children to 120 with 5 new classrooms a kitchen, plus 7 teachers receiving training and development.

School Pic

New partnerships have begun to develop… Steve Cram (one of my childhood heroes!) from Coco charity came to open a classroom they sponsored. They have agreed to continue to help us develop the school further.

The legendary Steve Cram opening the new classroom

The new kitchen… built using an innovative, environmentally sustainable and cost effective method (thanks dad and Jonny!)

Becca doing art with the kids at school

Hennie singing with the kids at assembly

We have seen the start of the sustainability of the school through the beadwork project. The project is now employing a new female teacher with profits made from the sales.

This in turn has increased the status of the women in the community as they see their significant contribution to their community.

Evelyn (our new teacher) teaching her class

 

The beadwork project is growing and thriving…

We started with one Maasai widow and we now employ and empower more than 17 women – all of whom employ others under them.

Becca and Koko

We have also drawn up the plans and collected materials to build a facility to enable the project to expand further, and although we have had a few delays in starting the build (among other things our poor builder was injured by a buffalo! (he’s ok now!) We are excited about what it will bring to the project.

Beadwork day at the house

Beadwork day at the house

 

Florence (the nurse) continues to treat and educate vulnerable community members and, thanks to our UK Partners Fadi and Ray, we have managed to take the data she has collected, and discovered trends and statistics. This will help us tailor the service to address the most prevalent and preventable diseases in the most remote areas.

Florence extracting a tooth – She is much more than a nurse

Florence extracting a tooth – She is much more than a nurse

Unfortunately we have lost the use of the ambulance and so reaching the most vulnerable people has been stifled but on our trip to the UK we hope to put heads together and find a solution as soon as we can.

Florence (with a new hairdo!) treating a baby in the remotest village in Olorte

Florence (with a new hairdo!) treating a baby in the most remote village in Olorte

 

This year in particular has been a year of change for us as a family and although it’s not been easy, God has taught us and guided us more clearly than we have ever known which has really exciting. ‘Walking with Maasai’ has taken a different path to how it began and so we find ourselves starting something new and exciting as we walk hand in hand with the community.

We are calling our new charity RedTribe…

We are moving forward with the support and guidance from Bishop Jackson Ole Sapit (a fab Maasai bishop who often comes to speak at New Wine), Mark and Lindsay Melluish and our faithful church family at St Paul’s.

Bishop Jackson meeting up with Mark Melluish when they visited us here in Maasai-land

Bishop Jackson meeting up with Mark Melluish when they visited us here in Maasai-land

We are busy setting up a website – so please check it out at www.redtribe.org and follow our progress on facebook at www.facebook.org/RedTribe

 

The kids are growing and changing… but some things remain the same… Taliah is as wild and feisty as ever! – you can often find her dressed in a pink princess dress, up a tree with a catapult worn like a necklace around her neck!

Taliah and friends

 

Taliah

Caleb has become obsessed by birds (inspired by his grandpa!) and carries a bird book under his arm a lot of the time. He is kind and patient with his sisters- (most of the time!)

Caleb

 

Jasmine has started attending a really lovely boarding school. She has made friends and is enjoying her time. We miss her terribly -but the school is a loving and nurturing environment and it’s proving to be working out well for her. We visit every 3 weeks and when she comes home during the holidays she runs her own small business with her Maasai friends. I think Caleb would love to go to her school too…. so that’s on our minds at the moment!

Jasmine

 

Prayer Points…

  • Provision to send Caleb to school
  • Protection
  • Staying close to God
  • Strength and wisdom with how to move forward with our new organisation.
  • We can move forward quickly with the beadwork building

We thank God for all the support and prayers from you guys!!!

 

We hope we can catch up with some of you when we come back in July.

Much love

Hennie, Becca and the family

Family

 

 

 

Christmas Greetings!

December 24, 2013
The Marais Family

The Marais Family

 

We want to wish you a really Happy and blessed Christmas!

We are coming to the end of 2013 and to be honest it is a relief to finish a really tough year!

Although we have seen all the Projects flourishing and growing it has been the most difficult year so far – full of opposition and trails but also blessings.

We will give you a proper update in the New Year…

Thank you for your love, support and prayers – we have needed them!

With all our love

from the Marais family

And it rained!

May 20, 2013
Bush walking with Becca

Becca enjoying a walk no matter how wet…

Our days are filled with interruptions… some of which we have grown to love, others are a source of irritation, and yet others are a privilege -but the cause of great sadness. One of these kinds of interruptions occurred the other week when Hennie (the only person able to swim well enough) was asked to help find the body of a young man who had tragically drowned in a reservoir which had filled up during the excessive rains of late.

At the crack of a cold dawn, Hennie, with the help of a pair of worn out flippers, spent 2 painstaking hours dredging the floor of the pool. Eventually Hennie found the body of the young Maasai man who had gone to wash, and sadly hadn’t come out again. He managed to drag his body out and put it, with the help of several men in the community; into the back of the ambulance and drive to the family for burial….He was the husband of a very young woman with 2 small children whose life will never be the same again…

Helping a few old Maasai cross the flooded river.

Helping a few old Maasai cross the flooded river.

The heavy rains have brought untold difficulties for many in this part of Kenya. 

The dirt roads have turned to quagmire, making necessary journeys to our nearest town Narok and to Nairobi nothing short of treacherous! (Which can be fun but can also be a bit of a nightmare)…. On one such day, we were to go to Narok to collect vaccines and I was to attend a meeting with a potential customer for our beadwork…We skidded precariously on the mud and got horrendously stuck, we then had an unfortunate encounter with a hyena… so we were several hours late! Fortunately the woman with whom I was meeting was accustomed to these logistical nightmares and had put aside most of her day, so our meeting was successful!

Daniel, the champion who makes the ambulance go to the remotest villages no matter the weather.

Daniel, the champion who makes the ambulance go to the remotest villages no matter the weather.

Things seem to moving very quickly forward for the beadwork. Our products are improving and we are managing to sell in America, Australia, Kenya, South Africa and the UK. We have grown our number of women, and are now trying to adapt to the increased work load by creating good systems and management. This is not an easy task and we could do with prayer for this!

Busy beading!

Busy beading!

Jasmine, Caleb and Taliah have to wade through mud up to their knees to get to their little Maasai school every morning which doesn’t seem so little anymore…. We are working on getting toilets built to cater for the growing number and a kitchen too. We would love for teachers from England (and beyond) to come and help train our teachers here. They are really committed and long to grow in their skill.

The children is receiving new colourful furniture.

The children are receiving new colourful furniture.

The funding of the school is an ongoing challenge, so we are looking at different ways to generate a sustainable income through local business as well as a sponsorship program. A photographer recently came to stay and photograph the school, and a number of children we hope to gain sponsorship for.

Jasmine, Caleb and Taliah seem to be growing and changing so quickly. Jasmine is very thoughtful and often has her nose in a book. She loves visiting Maasai villages and consumes copious amounts of their piping hot sweet smoky chai (tea) as often as she can. Caleb still bounces around in his friendly and highly energetic way babbling Swahili confidently to whomever he passes – and won’t touch Maasai chai! And don’t mess with Taliah or she will quickly tell you what’s what and who’s who! With her lisp and blanket tucked under her arm.  They love the freedom of this place and the adventures they find around every corner

Kids playing in a tree with Tusker the Eland antelope standing by

A tree game with “game” grazing around.

Hennie continues to meet and pray with the local pastors who so value the input as they are hungry for God and long for training and development.

Florence and Daniel continue to faithfully visit the remotest villages in Olorte with the mobile clinic. The service is developing and improving with the help of Hennie, Fadi and Ray from St Pauls.

We are coming towards the end of our fourth year in Maasai land. It has been an exciting 4 years where we have had the privilege of seeing God’s blessing for this community through the projects we have been developing. It has not come without its challenges but we are learning that everything seems to work for good when you trust God.

We are coming back to the UK in June to visit family and friends, and have time to re-charge our batteries ready to continue our work in Maasai Land in August. We will try to arrange a ‘get together’ or two so we can catch up with as many people as possible.

A big thank you to all of you who have generously supported us financially, with prayers and encouragement- it is very much appreciated. 

We really need your prayers in these areas:

  • For the love of God to be communicated through everything we do here.
  • For us to stay close to God and to hear His voice and will for our work here.
  • We have had some really difficult issues to deal with in regard to the organisation which has rapidly grown and developed. The changes that have inevitably come have been hard for some on the ground here. Pray for wisdom for the way forward and for God to clearly guide our steps.
  • For Pelua and I to establish good systems for the bead work to enable it to grow in a healthy sustainable way.
  • For teachers to come for a longer time and help with training of teachers and development of the school.
  • For sustainable ways of funding the school.
  • For Becca to continue to paint.
  • For our children’s education.
  • For the development of the clinic.
  • For God to bless the meetings with local pastors.
  • For protection for all of us working here.
When the friends come and play - they go wild.

When the friends come and play – they go wild.

God is near and has good plans

February 5, 2013
Hennie catching a wave.

Hennie catching a wave in South Africa.

You know when you are caught by surprise by a wave bigger and more powerful than you expect… you can see it coming, but from a distance it seems smaller and less of a threat and by jumping higher or diving through you can enjoy the ride….This time it takes you under, dragging you to the ground, floundering and gasping for air. You eventually come up to the surface and you are able to stand again… I would say this is a little of how we have felt over the last six months or so. We have come up for air and are now wondering whether to stay in the water or come out onto dry ground where everything is more certain.

So we start a new year in a place of uncertainty but knowing that God is near and has good plans.

From this place it is wonderful to think back and reflect on the joys and progress of the past year.  So let me share some of them with you.

Sharing the joy

Sharing the joy

This is Stacy and Noolkitoip with Pelua in the back ground. Stacy was huge blessing to us as a family and to our beadwork project. Stacy is studying costume design in the UK and she came to help with our beadwork project and push it in a new direction. She worked alongside our local fundi (tailor) and a Maasai lady training and passing on her skills in tailoring. She helped create new designs for us combining fabrics and beadwork. We are really excited about where this new direction will take us. The beadwork project was able to provide a loan to buy this machine for Nancy – a Maasai lady who is starting her own business mending and making clothes.

Our jewellery continues to be sold to a growing market in the UK, Australia, America and South Africa. We are working towards developing an on line shop- a huge undertaking but with generous offers of help it might become a reality. We are slowly increasing the number of women (mainly widows and women from struggling families) and we are seeing the difference it is making in their lives. Many of the women are now sending their kids to the school we help to develop.

2 New Classes!

2 New Classes!

We now have 2 new classrooms!!!! With huge thanks to 4 teenage friends and family from the UK and our faithful fundi Joseph. We are delighted as each classroom gets better in its design and finish. It has been a fairly steep learning curve for all involved but everyone has risen to the challenge.

The Maasai teachers have had the benefit of training from Several UK teachers who volunteered sporadically throughout last year. A huge shipment of books donated from schools in the UK have also helped with their teaching practise. We hope to continue building classrooms this year to cater for the growing number of children attending the school. There are now 100 kids and 6 teachers- all needing lunch to keep them going throughout the day… We have extended the shamba (vegi garden) to help cater for them and increase the variety of vegetables they eat.

Growing vegetables to feed a 100 children daily.

Growing vegetables to feed a 100 children daily.

Interested members of the community have benefitted from a volunteer team training rural communities in farming and conservation. We hope to introduce ‘Farming God’s way’ (a very effective method of farming based on biblical principles).

The camp was successfully run by Kashu and the team throughout last year with a little support from us. It is beautifully green and tranquil at the moment, a truly wild place where development is happening as needed and being done in such a way that incorporates Maasai tradition and works wonderfully with the environment.

2 new volunteer tents

2 new volunteer tents

Volunteer showers - with hot water

Volunteer showers – with hot water

We have mimicked the camp a bit with our volunteer accommodation we are developing- thanks to sponsorship from our church in Ealing. We have 2 large safari tents and outdoor showers. Lindsay (our vicar’s wife) came with a group from our church in November and Christened this new accommodation (so to speak) – it was a wonderful time for us. They really encouraged us and blessed the community here in many ways. The most significant and fun way was the first Sunday they were with us. They helped lead a church service with all the churches coming together with their leaders (who formally weren’t talking to one another!!!). Lindsay spoke on unity and brought several Maasai pastors to tears (not the done thing!) we had prophesies and prayed for healing and so on…wonderful!

Florence and Daniel continue to run the mobile clinic and we hope to build a purpose built place for her to practise this year with the help of my dad (thanks mum and dad!)

Taliah leading the way in South Africa.

Taliah leading the way in South Africa.

The kids are all fine and very happy to be back from South Africa. Caleb’s got a very toothless grin at the moment and Taliah has started reading (they grow up so quickly don’t they!). Jasmine is really enjoying school and tries to fit in with her friends.  She insists on carrying her school books in a sugar bag like theirs.  Caleb is oblivious to all of that and sings his way around life, chatting to everyone on his way!  Taliah is still quite tiny for her age but extremely feisty! Hennie has loved seeing friends, family and surfing in South Africa and is slowly getting back into the swing of things here although he really wants to stop rushing around so much this year. We both long to see God’s kingdom flourishing here in Maasai land. Please pray for us as we endeavour to see this happen.

Caleb surfing in South Africa

Caleb surfing in South Africa.

Please pray

  • for protection
  • That we grow closer to God and are filled with the Holy Spirit.
  • That there are more opportunities to pray for the sick and God’s healing power to be released as we step out.
  • For wisdom as we look down different avenues for the kids schooling as they grow up.
  • for teachers to come to share their skills with our Maasai teachers.
  • for us as we endeavor to increase our homeschooling.
  • For unity, peace and a way forward with the organisational restructuring of WWM.
  • For healthy growth for the beadwork project and ways to manage that growth.
  • For the branding and web site for the beadwork.
  • For my painting (I really hope to do more this year!)
  • For Hennie as he continues to meet with pastors, manage the clinic and the school, and for help with empowering Maasai to take on some of these roles.
  • For the coming general elections (04 March) – that it is peaceful.

Thank you so much for all your prayers and support, we could not do what we do without your partnership with us!!!

On the farm with Jasmine steering the tractor - in South Africa

On the farm with Jasmine steering the tractor – in South Africa.

Life in Maasai Land continues

June 24, 2012

Warrior with Ostridge Feathers

Warrior with Lion Mane Head Dress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…A thousand painted warriors adorned with lion manes and huge ostridge feather headdresses blew their trumpets and rhythmically chanted as they ran towards us at an alarming pace. We stood in awe and amazement as we witnessed an extraordinary ceremony marking the end of warrior hood for these young maasai men who would soon have their heads shaved ready for their entry into a new age set. With the hum and chatter of excited maasai and the repugnant smell of sheep fat and ochre filling the air we waited expectantly at the penultimate ceremonial day which was to be filled with an unforgettable display of splendour and extravagance. It was nothing short of a privilege to be present at such a rare event.

Cultural Menyatta – final ceremony

Taliah got into the spirit of things and came home and carried out her own shaving ceremony leaving her gorgeous hair a bit cropped and uneven. She is proving to be quite a character… giving her teacher at school a run for his money! All 3 kids are loving life and have made friends at school.

Children doing marshmallows on the fire

Taliah running in Maasai Land

The school is growing and thriving and very colourful with a new school uniform made from bright red traditional maasai fabric. The teachers are excited about the new things we are working together to bring about and committed to seeing much needed change in their community. The catholic priest from the neighbouring area came to visit the school and was really inspired by what he found and so he brought all the teachers from the school he is developing to come and get ideas to bring back and put into practise. This was such an encouragement to us all as this is very much part of our vision -to act as a model and pass on ideas to other maasai who want to make a difference in their schools.

Maasai Children – the new uniform

We continue to take part in school assemblies. The other week we read about Daniel in the lion’s den, and using Caleb’s lion puppet we managed to throw the whole school into chaos as the kids took one look at this animal coming alive before their eyes, and ran terrified in all directions. There’s never a dull moment!

One of our aims is to empower the Maasai to make a difference in their own community. One way we aim to do this is by bringing volunteers from outside to come and pass on their skills to able individuals who have had little or no opportunity for education. In order to do this effectively we need to provide adequate accommodation. So we are busy building at the moment. We are preparing for 2 volunteer groups coming to help build a new classroom and work in the school.

Tusker, the Eland calf…

Caleb & warriors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also had a good friend of ours come to stay over Easter, and as a primary school teacher, she was able to provide some invaluable training for the teachers. We are so excited because she is planning to come back and work with us for a longer period of time which will have a huge impact on the development and training of the teachers. Please pray for her as she prepares to leave her job and her life in England to help us here in Maasai Land.

In August a costume designer is also coming to help us with our plans to extend our beadwork project to include clothing and other accessories and create more employment and empowerment for maasai women. The beadwork project is slowly growing, with new designs and more women benefiting.

Hennie has been meeting with local pastors on a monthly basis. These pastors have been reluctant to even talk to one another because of distrust and disunity. They are now praying together and Hennie is leading them in regular bible studies. Many have admitted that they have little or no training or even basic knowledge of scripture and welcome his input. He has also had the opportunity to preach in some of the local churches. On one such occasion the pastor’s face was a sight to behold as he listened to Hennie preach a very simple gospel message – I can only assume this was the first time he was hearing such a message. God was faithful in giving words of knowledge and after prayer several people were healed.

Hennie continues to manage the mobile clinic which is going well. Florence our nurse continues to visit remote villages which have no access to health care and is teaching health education –particularly focusing on aids awareness in the local schools.

The camp is continuing to host guests and developing well. I have been helping with cooking lessons (LOL) for 2 of the cooks at the camp. It is a steep learning curve when they have to cook food they have never seen or heard of!

on the beach in Watamu

Although we have been extremely busy, we did take the opportunity to have a wonderful break with my parents on the coast- it was amazingly beautiful and just what we needed!

We want to take this opportunity to thank you for your love, prayers and support we really appreciate it!!!

Please pray with us for

Closeness with God and to hear his voice

Strength and Protection – we have been under huge attack recently

The beadwork project-= that we find more outlets for sales

The pastors meetings – that God would do amazing stuff

More opportunities for Hennie to preach in the local churches and for God to pour out His Spirit

The School – for funding and more teachers to come and help with training

The camp – for the guys running it – Andre is away at the moment so Kashu is managing things

Andre– for rest, fun and restoration

• The organization – we are going through a restructuring process-pray that God will guide us and clearly show us the way forward

Our Christmas Newsletter

December 20, 2011

…I spent a very sweaty morning at our little Maasai school with a pick and a shovel and a bunch of Maasai parents digging and preparing the ground for the new school build. We aim to have the new classroom ready for the next intake of children in January… your prayers for that would be most welcome.

Becca as a school parent

Leveling the ground for the Classroom

The school has been a major focus for us as we believe that a good education will lead to a better future for this community.

Hennie and I have been taking the opportunity to visit the school on a Friday morning and take part in games, bible stories and singing…. A lot of fun had by all!

The "fundi's" building the frame of the class.

Earlier on in the year, our good friend Jules came to stay for 5 weeks. She did a fantastic job training the teachers to use simple but effective methods of teaching children to read. They have really run with what they have learnt. We have seen some significant changes in the levels of literacy among the children -to the amazement of their families – many of whom never had the opportunity to learn how to read and write themselves.

Jules’ visit was very timely as we needed the support of a good friend after an unfortunate incident where we were hijacked along the road not too far from home. The experience left us a bit rattled but after a good break with friends and family back in theUKwe are feeling much better and back into the swing of life here in Maasailand.

The floor going in

Since coming back we have been busy hosting a number of volunteer groups…one of which was a group from St Pauls (our church in Ealing). We had a great time with them and they were a real encouragement to us.

Hosting has become a lot easier for us as we now have a fridge!!!! We are so grateful as it makes a huge difference after living without one for 2 years.

The spacious new tents

The eco camp is being developed and looks really beautiful. Andre and his team have hosted over 100 people this year. It has been a steep learning curve for them and they have needed a lot of help with the management and running of the project.

A tent with a view

The beadwork project is continuing to grow, with many of our ladies employing others in their villages to help them with their work. We are so grateful to have Claire Sullivan on board distributing and selling our products in the UK and making it possible for us to move forward. Some of the women in the project have asked that we use the profits to start a micro-finance scheme so they can start their own small business in the community …..Something to think on and pray about

These hands can bead

These hands can bead

The Bead Work Room - with Pelua

The Bead Work Room - with Pelua

The children are happy and thriving…every day is an adventure for them. Taliah is growing up fast and is excited about starting school -she turns 4 this year so she’ll start going to go for the mornings in January. Jasmine and Caleb continue to amaze us with their fluency in the local lingo- they are often called to translate for us when we are struggling… We however, are not so fluent but slowly learning.

Jasmine, Taliah & Caleb swimming in the river

 Hennie continues to lead the morning worship and teaching -building up and discipling the team. As a result of this he has been asked to preach in one of the churches in the community. This is a fantastic opportunity to build better links with the local church.

Caleb & Taliah - after playing Hippo Pool

Caleb & Taliah - after playing Hippo Pool

A high light for me was during one of our worship and teaching sessions when we were encouraging the staff to believe that God loves to heal today “….we need to keep stepping out and praying when the opportunity arises”. Just as we were saying this, a man in the community randomly passed by and stopped to listen. He then decided to give testimony to how God had healed him when we prayed for him a couple of months before. Because of a language barrier we hadn’t realised that he had been able to turn around and go home instead of seeking treatment fromFlorence the nurse …A huge encouragement to us all.

Caleb & his sheep

The mobile clinic continues to run and we get involved when needed. One such time was the other day when a tiny little girl was brought toFlorence after being left for too long and treated with traditional medicine to cure a bout of diarrhoea.Florence took one look at her and said that she was dieing, and unless we go immediately to hospital there was no chance for her. The ambulance driver was not available and so I drove – we made it in the nick of time! The little girl is now well thank God!

Florence our nurse

We will be spending Christmas here in Maasailand and we want to take this opportunity to thank you for your prayers and support and wish you a very Happy and peaceful Christmas and New Year!

 Please Pray

  •  That we stay close to God and that we are open to all that He has for us.
  • For Taliah as she starts school and that she calms down a bit (she a bit bolshy at the moment!)
  • For unity among the team.
  • For Hennie as he steps out to preach in the local church
  • For Andre as he develops the camp and hosts more guests
  • For protection.
  • For the school – for funding, and more teachers to come and do some training.
  • For the beadwork project to grow in the right way and for protection.
  • For strength, energy and wisdom.
  • For Becca’s painting- that she is able to do more this year.

Lastly, we would love to give you the opportunity to help support the St Francis of Assisi Academy.  This school is very dear to our hearts and with support we can give children who otherwise will never get the opportunity to good education a hope and a future.  Next year we want to build a additional 2 classes + employ a extra teacher & provide school lunch to 80 children every school day. Our aim is to raise £10,000 to build the 2 classes and cover the operational expenses of the school.

If you are able and can give financially – then please go to our Just Giving Page for the school – http://www.justgiving.com/St-Francis-of-Assisi

If you want to support us as a family – you can do this through Stewardship Giving. Our account nr is: 20105163.

http://www.stewardship.org.uk/give-funds/give-funds