by Melvin and Kari Peters
In 1907, two AIM missionaries journeyed on foot into northern Kenya to survey the Rendille and Samburu people. It wouldn’t be until 1960, when the Kenyan government lifted restrictions to missionary work in the north, that the first missionaries began working with the people groups living in what has been described, by A. Beaman in his doctoral thesis on the Rendille, as “one of the most forbidding human habitats in all of East Africa.”
In 1965, Earl Anderson was the first AIM missionary to move to LogLogo and begin working with the Rendille people, bringing not only the gospel, but also improvements to daily life such as boreholes, medical care, and schools.
The Rendille, numbering about 65,000 people, are found in the northern part of Kenya, occupying nearly 14,500 sq. km of arid semi-desert in southern Marsabit District. The Rendille people are traditionally pastoralists keeping goats, sheep, donkeys, and camels.
This year marks the completion of a monumental undertaking that began nearly 40 years ago. In 1981, Nick and Lynne Swanepoel, missionaries with AIM, began the development of the Rendille language and oversaw the translation of the New Testament by Bible translation and literacy work.
On Aug. 18, 2018, people gathered in Korr from around the world to celebrate the completion of this project. Three of MAF’s airplanes were involved in bringing people to and from Korr for the celebrations. And MAF had the honour of flying in the newly printed New Testaments to be distributed at the celebrations.
Melvin and Kari Peters (La Crete) serve in Kenya with EMC Missions and Mission Aviation Fellowship Canada.