Full Circle

Ronnie___maggie_3 Posted by Ronnie & Maggie Briggs on Sat, 21 Oct 2017 | 3 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to del.icio.us Post this to Facebook

Sadly, food distribution during drought and famine has become a more regular feature for the Diocese of Kajiado. It seems that every three or four years, another drought looms ahead for the Maasai people – and every now and then a particularly severe one brings untold suffering and hardship. 2017 has proved to be one of those years.

Thankfully we have a number of partners across the world who are willing and able to support us with this difficult work – and we are always grateful to CMSI for its continued support in prayer and in practical help. Our Bishop – Gaddiel Lenini – is conscious that food distribution should not be carried out just because we can do it. Rather, it’s part of the mission of the Church to reach out to all those who are in need – both physically and spiritually.

The most difficult part of our distribution process is how to actually decide who receives the food aid and who doesn’t. Making these arbitrary decisions can have a huge impact on many people’s lives – and we are not necessarily aware of it. Often we carry out a restocking programme as well so that the herds of sheep and goats that have been devastated by drought can begin to be replaced.

So, in 2012 there was a drought and a food distribution and restocking process was in place. The Development Team – led by Ven Naftaly – went to a place near Oltiasika called Olbili to give out some food. As part of the preparation process we visited all the distribution sites beforehand to hold discussions with the local church leaders and elders, so that when the day arrived we had a list of names of those to be helped. By calling people out by their names gives them a sense of dignity at a time when they are in severe need. Treating people with respect is a major part of how we go about this process.

So, the distribution was going along well in Olbili when one of the local leaders came up to Naftaly and told him about a certain lady who lived nearby, but wasn’t on the list for the day. However, she was HIV positive, lived alone and was very sick – could she be helped with at least one goat and a little food? The team decided to go and see her themselves and finally they did help her with some food and three goats. She was called Mariamu (Miriam) Sabore and needless to say she was very thankful.

Scroll forward to 2017 and here we are again in a severe drought situation and a distribution was being set up within the Oltiasika Centre for more than 100 families. And who was standing in the background – Mariamu! We called her forward to ask her how come she was here – and this is what she said:

When I received my support in 2012 I was very sick and didn’t expect to live for very much longer. When I received the food and the goats I couldn’t believe it. These people preached to me by their actions!

The three goats soon multiplied and Mariamu was able to sell some, allowing her to buy food and pay for the necessary medicines to keep her alive. When she began to feel a bit better she moved up to Oltiasika with her sister when she married. On arrival in Oltiasika she looked for a church to attend and insisted on going to the Anglican Church (ACK) because of her experiences in 2012.

Mariamu is not completely better, she is still sick. Her life was made better by what happened to her – and she is still alive today to testify to a very practical Gospel.

Someone once said, ‘Preach the Gospel at all times – and if necessary use words.’ This just hits the nail on the head!

Ronnie and Maggie Briggs

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Comments

rose gerring said Thu, 26 Oct 2017 09:54AM
Great job, well done. Love this story. And this. ‘Preach the Gospel at all times – and if necessary use words.’ Perfect. Rose x
Gillian Maganda said Thu, 26 Oct 2017 01:57PM
Thanks for this lovely story and praying yourselves and the Church will continue to be a blessing in the good and challenging times. God is faithful xo
Paul Ferguson said Thu, 09 Nov 2017 04:40PM
Hi Ronnie and Maggie, Thanks for sharing the story. The cycle of drought and famine is a very familiar one in Oltiasika but so too is the faithfulness of God. Mariamu's story is a real challenge to us here to seek Gods help in conveying His message of love and goodness in a more effective way. Keep blogging. You are never far from our thoughts and prayers. blessings Paul

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