July 14, 2012

Our Adventure: Tanzania 2012 (13)

Day 13     6/21/12

After a rough-nights sleep rolling from rock to rock & listening to goats, dogs and roosters in the wee hours of the morning, I was up.  And I couldn't believe Owen had slept through it all!
We were up and at 'em around 7 and emerged from our tents to a handfull of anxious onlookers- mostly children.  We had chai and chapati (a mix between a crepe and a tortilla, served plain and warm) for breakfast, compliments of the Maasai then broke camp and got ready for the outreach.
 Owen makes friends wherever he goes! :)  The little ones (especially) love touching Owen's skin and hair because most of them have never seen a white baby.
As we were finishing up our packing they brought us out something very special that only honored guests get served.  Goat liver.  Roasted.  And in order to be respectful we all had to eat it. Every. Last. Piece.  So we had goat liver for breakfast.  Owen didn't have any, but Bill had 4 pieces, and I had 1.  It wasn't horrible.  But it wasn't good either.
Next was the outreach.
First we introduced ourselves to the crowd.  Peter translated our English into Swahili, then Issac (the pastor of the Maasai tribe) translated the Swahili into Kimaasai.  It was quite the process :)  Next was the skit.  I was designated photographer/videographer and it was really neat to see it all played out.  I had previously been in the skit, so I never got to see the entire thing as an onlooker.  The skit told the story of Jesus' accusation and death on the cross, then concluded with a "But-that's-not-the-end-of-the-story!" ending of his resurrection and ascension. They watched very eagerly and attentively.

We asked if anyone wanted to accept Jesus and be saved and several raised their hands - even adults!
We led them through a corporate prayer of salvation, then asked if any had spiritual or physical ailments they wanted healed.  So we had them go onto either side of the tarp and the team split up to pray over people.  I snapped a few pics before heading into the huddle to pray as well.
 Praying for blind eyes to be healed.                          Praying for her salvation -she wanted to repent even
                                                                                 after the corporate prayer!
That woman was so eager and hungry for God- it was really neat to see her passion as we welcomed & prayed her into the Kingdom.  A couple other moms came forward and asked for prayer for their children to be able to continue school.  Very few Maasai children (from this tribe at least) attend school because of the expense involved.  Even public schools have tuition fees in Africa, and since the Maasai are very poor, most children do not attend school.  Some, however, receive scholarships or sponsorships from people overseas and are able to attend.
After Bill & I prayed for those people, we went over to the other side to join in on the healing prayers.  And this is what I saw:
There's a special story behind this little boy.  He was. A. Dorable.  With a capital A.  About 4 years old. 
I asked what they were praying for this boy to be healed of and was told he was completely mute.  Had never said a word, though he could hear and understand just fine.  So Mary and Marilyn began praying, as did several of the rest of the team.  We prayed and prayed and prayed.  And we prayed in the Spirit and we layed hands on him, and then we stopped.  And it was quiet.  And Mary said, "Say ahhhhhhh" to the little boy.  So he opened his mouth.  And nothing came out.  So she layed hands on his jaw, and said it again, "Say ahhhhhh" "ah" "ah" "ah".  And he kept trying, you could tell he really was trying, but nothing would come out.  So we all prayed some more and kept praying and then stopped again.  Mary repeated herself: " Say: ahhhhh" she said.  And he opened his mouth.  And nothing came out.  So she repeated herself.  And he opened his mouth. And the tiniest little voice you ever did hear, produced a sound that made the angels in heaven rejoice: he said "ah".  
 And he got this excited look on his face, like "Oh my gosh!? Did I just make that noise!?" I so wish I would have captured his surprised face on camera but I was too busy rejoicing and wiping away the tears of joy!  It was such an awesome moment to witness him being healed through our prayers.  So we kept at it, trying to work on his voice and Mary said, "Say: Jesus loves me." And the little boy, without a second thought or hesitation said, "Say Jesus loves me!"  We all lost it then!  We were SO excited - and so was the tribe!  It was SUCH a feat for him to say that - in English with such clarity, when he had never spoke before, let alone in a foreign language!  It was truly amazing to witness God's great power flowing through all of us and into him to heal him from being mute.
Next we prayed for a little 7 year old girl that had crippled legs and couldn't walk.  After we prayed and prayed and prayed and layed hands on her she gained a lot more mobility and her ankles straightened so she could stand on her feet flat, rather than on the sides of her feet like she was before.  It was such an awesome and miraculous time of prayer that morning.  Indescribable.
After prayer time we split the kids up into groups and taught them how to play duck-duck-goose, except they don't know what geese or ducks are so we called it "Booze, booze, babaru" which means, goat, goat, male goat.  They LOVED that game!  They had so much fun!
We also taught them how to play hopscotch and we brought along some jump ropes for them to play with too.

After game time we gathered them back on the tarp to hand out the goody bags we'd made.  There were about 75 kids and they each got their own bag filled with little trinkets and toys.  They were so cute opening them and discovering all the little treasures inside.

After the goody bags were all passed out, they brought out lunch.  It was in a five-gallon bucket.  It's called 'plou' (pronounced plow). It's basically goat meat and rice all mixed together.  It had really good flavor - Owen loved it!

But 5 gallons was just too much for all of us to eat, especially in the heat of the afternoon.  So we asked if it would be alright to share with the kids and Isaac said that would be fine.  In the Maasai culture the men eat first, and the women and children only eat if there is enough, so it was very culturally rude for us to decline any food at all, but because we made such a good effort and ate so much, we were able to hand some out to the kids... who were very grateful!
After lunch Isaac wanted us to see his new church building.
He was so proud of it!  It was such an... interesting moment for me.  Coming from celebrating our first building being finished at Freedom House.  This church building is probably smaller than the bathrooms in our church building, but it doesn't matter.  Because they worked on it and built it with all their might and now they have a shelter to gather and worship the Father, and that's what really matters.  It was so sweet to see Isaac glowing about the beauty of the building - 9 poles wrapped in several yards of fabric with a tin roof.  We prayed over him in the church before heading back to buy jewelry they had made for us in anticipation of our arrival. It was chaotic, but a lot of fun. And it was great to be able to bless them with so much - especially since I had almost $200 in orders from people back in the States - that's a LOT of shillings and will go a long way for them!

We left around 4pm to drive to the next tribe - Pastor Longeedo's village.  He is not a Maasai himself, but he is Tanzanian.  He and his wife felt called to go and live among the Maasai and minister to them, so they built a hut just outside the Maasai village, and are in the process of building a church as well.  It was only a few miles away from Isaac's village, but Longeedo's home was set back away from this village a little, and it was surrounded with fields.  It was much quieter and more private.
They've lived there with their three children for about 10 years.  He is one of the happiest people I've bet.  He lives in a 3 room mud hut with no electricity, rides his bike 30 minutes one way to get water, and has a bathroom equivalent to an outhouse - but I never saw him stop smiling. 
After we set up camp we cooked our own dinner.  Since we were a little farther away from the Maasai, we'd brought a cooler to cook our own meals at this camp.  We had brat-style sausages and baked potatoes over the campfire and Mary's homemade coleslaw.  It was delish!
As we were finishing up dinner about 6-8 kids meandered over from the Maasai village and joined us around the campfire.  Before long they were singing for us.  Then Longeedo's wife brought out a drum and they started jumping and dancing while they sang.  We sang Hakuna Mongu with them then headed to bed.