Maasai Development Project

The Maasai Development Project Blog will be used by members to post updates particularly while on trips to Kenya. Here you can view these posts and make comments.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

July 2010 Mission Trip

Gwen Edwards and I are sitting in the Minneapolis airport waiting for our flight to Amsterdam and on to Nairobi. The next three days after arrival on Monday night will be spent preparing for the mission group who arrive Thursday morning, Thursday night and Friday morning. Friday will be a fun day to acclimate to the time change, a bit of site seeing, a trip to the Giraffe feeding station, ending with a trip to a Maasai village.

Please keep us along with all the mission trip participants in your prayers that we may be a blessing in meeting not just the physical needs but also the spiritual and emotional needs of each person we come in contact with during this trip.

Until next time,

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Constantly Learning

Constantly Learning

This trip like no other has been a challenge in that I have been house/office bound for all but about 3 days of this trip. If you have been keeping up on our blogs you know that in March on our way home from work in the Mara that our Rear Differential froze up. Our lives were spared when Ogecha our driver thought he heard something in the diesel line and while slowing the vehicle down to check it suddenly the Diff froze. Had we been going the usual 120 clicks through that stretch of road, I most likely would not be writing today.

The first Sabbath after arrival in May, the vibration of our vehicle became so bad that we had a difficult time keeping it on the road. When MDP Administrator, Ogoti Kenani looked under the front end he found that the bracket holding the steering mechanism and the chassis completely broken. Again, this was another miracle on the road.

At first I didn’t mind the inconvenience as I had so much to do in the office, knowing that by the end of the second week I should be back in the field. (Our vehicle is a 1994 PRADO, while it is a well made vehicle, it is aging and not able to keep up with the challenges of the roads we are forced to travel to get to our MDP stations.) However, after the bracket was fixed, there was yet another vibration, this time coming from the gear box. Back to the shop the vehicle went. I have to admit I was beginning to feel a bit irritable; after all, I had planned to get to all the schools in both Kajiado and Narok districts where we sponsor children and spend time in Siana where we are building the Rescue and Education Center. In addition to that I planned to spend Sabbaths on visitations with our MDP workers.

Like I said for the first two weeks I could handle being housebound because of the amount of office work that faced me, this is not uncommon, but now I was beginning to get cabin fever REAL BAD! I hadn’t even been able to go to church. I am learning that there are times that God uses incidences such as this to say, “Slow down, come and rest awhile.” This has been one of those times. Now I had much more time to spend in God’s Word and in study time. I am doing a study called “Breaking Free” and God is teaching me a lot. Suddenly I am no longer housebound, I am God bound, with lots of time for sweet communion with HIM. It’s been a time of self evaluation; reflection on the work God has given us to do with MDP, a time to examine my motives and priorities within the work and in my personal life. He is helping me discover many of the footholds that Satan uses to influence me and take my hold off of Jesus. Wow, is that ever sobering!

Two nights ago, I woke up at 3:00 not able to sleep; tossing and turning, agitated because I was not going to be able to do any of the field work I wanted to accomplish and felt that I needed to do, specifically on this trip. Finally I prayed, “Father, please show me what your plan is and why I have had to spend all my time at the house this trip.” I tossed and turned some more, feeling the adrenaline pumping through my veins and feeling very stressed. Suddenly, clear as a bell I heard, “You were planning to do all the right things for all the wrong reasons.” (Paraphrased) Specifics began to come to my mind, as I thought about it; I had to admit that it was all correct. As I faced each issue one by one, my heart was lifted to heaven and while seeking God’s forgiveness the stress began subsiding, my heart stopped pounding in my ears and I could feel my whole being relax. Kind of like snuggling into my Father’s arms after being disciplined and letting Him reassure me of His love.

Yesterday, I faced another disappointment, but… I felt so strangely calm (especially for me) and like “OK, if that is the way it has to be, there is a reason, God knows what is best.”

I am now ending my last week before leaving for the states, my vehicle is sitting in the driveway with yet another vibration no one can find a reason for but prevents us from driving normal speeds. Therefore I’m not able to take the trip out to see our children in Siana and get pictures of the building progress. I’m still in the office working, but guess what? I am thanking God for the broken down vehicle that causes all of us at MDP so much frustration and inconvenience. I’m praising Him for the time of rest and communion with Him. I’m thanking Him for His incredible mercy; grace and love that He is show me and how to have complete freedom in Jesus while breaking free from the bondages of Satan.

Does the work still need to be done that I was unable to do this trip? Yes, but I’ve turned it back over to God, knowing that His timing is always perfect. I’ll be back in July and that work will be done somehow. In the end I wouldn’t trade this trip for any other trip because of the lessons that God is lovingly teaching me. Please remember all of us at MDP in your prayers. Maasai Development Project is not run by just one or two people, but it is a growing team! From our 38 Lay Pastors and Literacy Teachers in the field, our 2 District Coordinators, our dedicated Administrator, Driver and Guards, Matron, Cook, Building Contractors and Building Crew in Kenya, to our staff in America: Celeste, Gwen, Elreen, Alexa, Lynette, and Marlin.

This morning I was listening to a song by Selah called “Sweet Jesus”. I had to listen to it a couple of times just to let the words soak into my being. I would like to share that song with you from Utube: If you enjoy that song, you will also like “You Raise Me Up”, Enjoy and have a blessed day.

I look forward to more adventures with God in July when Marlin and I join Gwen and the other Mission Trip Participants for the Medical/Dental Mission Trip. If you would like to participate in the July or October mission trips, please contact Gwen Edwards at .

Jan Meharry

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Miracle or Coincidence - You Decide - As For Me I Know It was a Miracle!

It has been over a year now and no one could find the problem with the shimming and shaking of our vehicle, progressively getting worse. This week,it became so bad that it was difficult to keep it on the road, this time with an added noise from the front end.

Last Saturday, when Ogecha and I went out to KMQ, it was so bad that we had to keep the vehicle at a very low speed, at one point almost being rear ended by a large truck not able to slow down quick enough.

Two days later, I was driving to Nairobi for a meeting I was to attend. The shaking was so bad I could hardly hang on to the steering wheel. I noticed several people motioning to keep down the speed. I wondered why they were signaling me. Could it have been God's way to make me aware to keep the speed down?

Later that day,MDP Administrator, Ogoti Kenani, looked under the front end and found that the bracket to the chassis and steering mechanism was broken. How long had we driven the vehicle with the bracket broken? At least since Saturday. Another miracle and evidence of God's mighty power and protective hand over us. We should not have had any steering at all. Evidently it had been cracked, but in the last week had broken completely. What kept us on the road? Who held it together for us? Truly a miracle!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Getting Back to Grass Roots

Getting Back to Grass Roots

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to reflect back on the early days of ministering out in Maasai in the early 90’s. At that time two days a week were set aside for visitation with the Maasai people. One day was Wednesday, when we would fill the back of my vehicle full of water containers and because of the drought, if we could afford it, dry beans and rice. We would visit in different homes, offering clean drinking water, pray with them and invite them to come to church. The next visiting day was Sabbath. Some mornings would be spent picking up women and children to come to church service. After the service, we would send the women home with containers of fresh clean water. I like to think that not only did they receive the fresh water to quench their thirst but also water of life bringing healing into their lives.

With the growth of Maasai Development Project and the increasing amount of administrative work that has to take place, my “under the tree” time has been greatly decreased. Often times when I’m getting ready to leave on another trip to Kenya, my friend Celeste, will pray for me and ask God to give me that needed “under the tree time”.

Yesterday, God took me back to the roots of MDP. My plans for attending a certain station had to be changed because of the amount of rain making the road/path impassable. Instead we went to KMQ. While they have had some rain, not near as much as in most areas. The plan was to visit Ntorosi church, but as we came near decided to take d detour and visit Oloolera station where Philip Nankoris is working as a lay pastor and Josephine is working as the adult literacy and preschool teacher. Upon arriving at 11:00 we found only Philip in the church. In the distance we could see one lady on her way. Because we had baptismal certificates to hand out at the Ntorosi church, we decided to go back to Ntorosi for divine service and come back to Oloolera for visitations.

Ntorosi is a stationed that was opened by MDP lay pastor and now Kajiado Coordinator, Patrick Muyia in April of 2001. Since that time 4 additional Sabbath Schools have been opened in the area with 130 baptisms. Yesterday morning I was impressed and amazed at the size of the youth group in the church but I also noticed that many people were missing. After handing out the baptismal certificates, the Lord impressed me to speak to the church members about the importance of visitation. To look around and see who was missing in their midst and to ask the question why? Were they discouraged, sick, having difficulties at home, backsliding? Reminding them that God has given each of us the title of Ambassador and the responsibility that comes with that title. We talked about visitations, the power of praying with someone and sharing God’s word. The greatest privilege and opportunity came to pray for Lay Pastor Francis Sosoika and Lay Pastor Patrick Muyia as they take on the challenge of mobilizing and equipping their church members to reach out to those missing members as well as the community. To then pray for those who were newly baptized for God’s Spirit to be poured out upon them as they share what they have learned and are continuing to learn about the love and saving power of Jesus Christ. Finally praying for all church members to be empowered by God’s Holy Spirit to be the Ambassadors that he has appointed them to be.

After the service, I had to say goodbye to the church members as I had promised that I would return to Oloolera for visitations. As I was about to get into the vehicle a few of the youth girls asked if they could accompany me on the visitations in Oloolera. My heart thrilled to have them come with us. When we arrived back at Oloorera, at 1:15, the church service was just about to begin. Again, after the service, the baptismal certificates were handed out with the opportunity to share and pray for Lay Pastor Philip Nankoris, the newly baptized members, those just learning about God and all church members in their role as Ambassadors.

During the time that I was speaking, I knew that the Holy Spirit was speaking to my heart what His plan was and that we needed to get back to our grass roots. How important the one on one touch of the people is and that we must teach by example. My heart was thrilled! In my heart I was saying, “Yes, Lord, that is your method”. It is not enough to preach, it is not enough to tell people truth, but rather it is only effective when by the grace and power of God, we live out by example and touch lives where they are at, regardless of circumstance.

After the service, with the members that were able to stay, we began walking for the nearest boma (family village) to visit. At the boma we were readily welcomed in. The women called all that were within to come meet the visitors. I had the greatest opportunity to give a short sermonette about faith and love. Those who are close to me know how much I love sharing with others about God’s love. I don’t often get that opportunity anymore, but God was taking me back to my roots. To pray over that family did more for me in reminding me what God’s desires of each one of us is, than I’m sure it did for anyone else.

Interestingly enough, the woman of the boma was a sister to a Maasai man that I had been teaching literacy to in 1994 at Maxwell Academy, Saoyio. When Saoyio was married, some of the people at Maxwell were invited, among them, Mama Mitchell. Mama Mitchell is Gwen Edwards, the lady who actually started the work with the Maasai village behind Maxwell and drew me in with her. I was so excited, what a small world, I didn’t even know that was the home where Saoyio came from. I excitedly told her that Mama Mitchell would be coming back to Kenya in July with our next mission group trip. During that time we hoped to pay a visit to the Ntorosi church and invited her to come. She said that she would like that very much.

As we left our newly made friends, one of the ladies that had been visiting that family decided to accompany us to the next boma. Her name was Leah and she just happened to be the wife of the chief of that area. At the next home, Josephine gave the next sermonette and prayer. What a blessing to sit back and listen as she witnessed for God. By the time we got back to the road and found Ogecha with the vehicle waiting for us, it was time to head back to Nairobi.

After encouraging my friends to continue, as a church group and individually, to share and pray with their friends, family and neighbors, I sadly said goodbye. One the way home I was praising God in my heart for taking me back and giving me the “One on one” touch time with those He has asked me to serve.

God showed me that while administrative work is necessary and important, it cannot and must not take away from the “One on one” time of sitting “under the trees”, touching the people where they are at. That was and still is Christ’s most effective way of reaching people for His Kingdom and sharing His love with them, giving “Hope in life, Hope for life eternally”.

Monday, April 5, 2010

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Shopping and Departure Day

Everyone was up early and ready to head into town to try their out their bargaining skills! We parked at Sarit Center (a mall) and from their the group could spread out and shop both at the mall or at the "Blue Shacks" across the street! Most headed for the "shacks" to see what kinda of African treasures they could get!

Everyone was given some cash to spend for purchasing their lunch at the mall - all though some did spend it on curios instead of food - SMILE

After shopping for several hours we headed back out of Nairobi towards the Division again - stopping just briefly at another shopping center so that I could pick up some items for the Mt Kenya group.

Back and the division the group re-packed all the goodies they had bought, we had worship and supper and then headed to the airport. All flew out, except for 9 of us! Our next goal was Pt. Lenana - on Mt Kenya.

This was a great group of people! I enjoyed each of them! I know they were a blessing to those they came to serve - and I KNOW they blessed me!

Monday March 22nd

We woke up to a fantastic breakfast buffet! There was just about anything anyone would want to eat for breakfast and more! The group packed up, stopped briefly by the pool for a group picture and headed out to the truck for the ride back to the East Central African Division Guesthouses.

Not to far out of the park one of the truck ran out of fuel, but fortunately we were close to Narok and so the the first truck filled up a container with fuel and drove it back to those waiting. It was not long before we were on our way again -

Back and the Division we unpacked the truck and re-sorted and packed ALL the supplies so they would be ready for the next trip in July. It is a long job and not fun! But most were real troopers about it! A special thanks to Amanda, Jill, Lindsay, and Leon for staying up till the job was complete! They were a huge blessing!

Everyone was tired from the trip and ready for bed at the end of the day!