Tag Archives: Kenya

Kenya: A Bible in Rendille, a Cause for Celebration

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.

Kenya: MAF Assists Amid Drought

by Kari and Melvin Peters

KENYA – In December 2016 predictions were already being made that the drought situation in Kenya would only intensify in the New Year. Below average rains in the past few years have meant that there is not enough forage for animals in the country’s arid livestock-dependent north.

In 2016, 1.3 million Kenyans were in need of food aid, and that number is expected to rise as high as four million in the months ahead. Humanitarian officials are predicting that unless there is coordinated action by the international community and NGOs, it is a catastrophe waiting to happen.

In February the Kenyan President declared the drought a national disaster, with 23 of 47 counties affected (including Marsabit), and has called for international help. The number of food insecure people has more than doubled; and over 350,000 children and pregnant and lactating mothers are acutely malnourished. Many children are unable to attend school because of the drought’s impact.

In 2012 it looked like the Kenya program would be winding down to a bare minimum. The idea to start a sub-base in Northern Kenya began in 2014 when an assessment was done of the needs in Kenya. In January 2015 this assessment was incorporated as part of the Program Development Plan; and in March, the position for a pilot/manager was advertised (and you know how that turned out).

In past weeks, the MAF Team has been making it a priority to get the word out that we have a plane based in northern Kenya. The story of Esther comes to mind; God’s purposes will prevail and it is up to us if we want to step up and be a part of His-story. “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance … will arise from another place, but you and your [organization will no longer have work in Kenya]. And who knows but that you have come to LogLogo] for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14, paraphrase by Kari).

In African culture a person’s wealth is in their herds. The more livestock a man has, the greater his worth in the community. These simple people, living off of the land, do not have bank accounts; their animals are their life.

In a season of drought there is not enough food and water for all the animals. But re-education will take time and so meanwhile, creative ways of handling the situation need to be implemented like at a recent event that Melvin was able to witness.

He flew the Marsabit County Governor to the town of North Horr where he was meeting up with government representatives from Nairobi for a drought awareness and famine relief effort. They purchased a hundred goats from the villagers; the animals were immediately butchered and returned to feed the villagers. This did three things: reduced the herds, provided needed income, and fed hungry people.

We trust that, as the word gets out and NGOs receive the funding they need to help with the drought, MAF will be found faithful for such a time as this.

Kari and Melvin Peters (La Crete) serve under EMC Missions with Mission Aviation Fellowship.