Our first and last mornings in Maasai Land had the same story. During the nights a neighbour had cows stolen. The wailing began and Maasai men from all around came running.
This time, they caught up with the cows and the thieves ran away in fear. The cows were taken back to the rightful owner and the men all returned home.
“But first we must sing a song,” Joseph said.
“A song?” I asked.
“Yes,” Joseph said, “there is a special song we sing only when the cows are rescued safely.” He looked at me with a sly smile, knowing what he was about to say would make me laugh. “And we kill one cow and roast it up for a celebration.”
“You kill one of the cows you just rescued?” I asked, raising my eyebrows.
“Yes!” Joseph laughed, “It is required.”
“Then you come home to sleep?” I asked.
“Little bit,” Joseph said.
When Carole was talking to Joseph about last night’s raid , she asked, “Do your cows ever get stollen?” Joseph looked at her like she had asked a rediculous question.
“No, of course not!”
“Because your pen is so close to your house?” Carole asked.
“No,” Joseph said, “Because I have God.”
Yes you do, Joseph. Yes you do!
This morning was filled with packing and pictures. The kids were all packing to head off to school. We were packing to head to the next leg of our journey at Hands of Hope Academy in Eldoret.
But all of the packing and planning was interrupted many times for pictures, farewells, hugs and handshakes.
My resized Maasai shirt arrived this morning and Joseph presented it to me. It was a perfect fit!
When Courtney wore here Maasai clothes to church, she was given a Maasai name - Nashipai. It means “someone who is filled with compassion on the inside and joy on the outside - always caring and always happy.”
Our time here in Maasai Land has left a permanent mark on our hearts. Last night during the farewell speeches from the leaders of the Kapune Adventist Church the deep darkness of a Kenyan night had fallen but the hearts in the meeting tent in Joseph’s yard were filled with the light of God.
Such kind things were said by each person, thanking us for our ministry to them during this week - and the ongoing ministry of Carole and Leon to their little Maasai community here in Kapune. At some point in each person’s speech, we were begged, “Please do not forget Kapune!” When Joseph asked me to say a few words, I told them, “In our country, we say ‘home is where the heart is.’ Because this is true, we will never leave you. Thank you for loving us.”
Our hearts will always be with the beautiful and deeply passionate people here in Kapune. Their story is now our story and we will not forget them.