Kenya Team Update #9
Prayers, Palate (expansion) and Parting: our last day with the Ogiek
“We hope you come back soon,” “come visit us again and bring your families,” “send our greetings to your church,” “we will pray for you,” “if we don’t see you sooner, we will celebrate when we see you again in heaven.” Just a few of the endearing well-wishes and parting comments we received throughout our last day in the Tingwa Hill region of Kenya.
Beginning our day once again by driving down rugged dirt roads, slick from recent rain, we made a few stops to pick up believers and quickly visit with others before arriving at Thomas’ home. Thomas is a local Christian Ogiek leader. With Thomas’ family members ranging from 7 months to 92 years old, we did introductions/short testimonies, shared bread and hot chai tea, and thoroughly enjoyed a presentation of traditional tribal clothing and hunting gear.
Departing, we carried on to a step hillside about a 15-minute drive away, high above the church we attended the day before. Descending a black diamond-worthy sloped pasture, we were greeted by a group of traditionally dressed tribal elders who were singing praise songs in their native tongue. Led down a narrow path, everyone gathered between two round, mud huts with grass rooftops that were nestled into the hillside. We engaged in more introductions, ever-focused on each individual’s proclamation of faith. The Ogiek group sang a song about what their people can do while performing a skit to demonstrate their ancestral ways. We were presented with made gifts and took a multitude of group photos before hiking back to the road.
A short walk later, we found ourselves in yet another home for introductions and a meal. A bit different from our meal with the Maasai, the ugali was made from millet instead of maize and the greens [sukuma wiki] consisted of fried wild spinach and other locally grown green vegetables. The addition to this meal was the pride of the Ogiek, a drink that sets them apart: Morsik- fresh milk mixed with homemade charcoal and left to sour for several days in the open until it begins to curdle. Some of our group found it more palatable than others, but we honored them by drinking it with a glad heart of fellowship…
Driving a short distance, we parked and began our climb to the top of Tingwa Hill [9,060 ft]. Traversing the slippery switchback recently cut by a farmer, we summited and were greeted by a group of local pastors who had been waiting to meet us for the better part of the day. Standing in a large circle atop the area referred to by pastors as “prayer mountain,” we did one more faith-filled round of introductions. Joining hands, we prayed for the pastors and their communities, the local churches, and Kenya as a whole. After a beautiful hike down to our cars, we gave audio Bibles and printed book[s] of Luke to numerous people before saying our final farewell.
Our group drove back to Eldama Ravine, joined by Pastor Silas, where we rested and fellowshipped together over a hot meal and a card game. A wonderful end to a blessed and amazing day.