On a beautiful Saturday morning weeks ago, we set out from our Kiserian home to Olosirua, a village in the heart of Narok county. This would be the day; giving back to the society is one of those things that fills our hearts with such satisfaction and joy.
As the light of life team, together with our intern Rebecca and her visiting parents, we take the dusty and hot drive into the Maasai land. The road to this village was not clear. We got lost twice and Google maps could not help. Twenty-six degrees Celsius later, we arrive at a small school which was the only central place to meet with the community members.
The crowd was bigger than the hundred and fifty families we had expected and planned for. A rough glimpse told me the community who had turned up were numbering approximately three hundred families. They patiently sat under the ruthless sun clad in their beautiful Maa attires. Beads a signature of their adornment could be seen beautifully and patternly arranged on their shukas, bangles, round necklaces, and earrings. At this point, we quickly had to figure out how we would share what we had among all these families.
Why Olosirua? A town seventy-six kilometres from Nairobi, in the stomach of Narok County? The small town has seen tough times. Having been classified as an arid land, the people are at the mercy of the elements. In the past two years however, the elements have had no compassion. It has been one brutal drought after another, which has killed several livestock, the main source of food for the community. When it did finally decide to rain, it was such that the cold killed the remaining otherwise famished and sickly livestock. This is when food became a scarce commodity.
The women of the town have to walk several kilometres to fetch water from a water pan shared
by humans and animals. For such a long distance, they can at most afford to carry a 20 litre
jerrican which will have to be sparingly used by one household. Water and food is a scarcity so
common in this part of Kenya.
It made me realise how often we take things for granted, basic commodities such as water. My morning and evening routine normally includes brushing of my teeth. I will be squeezing the daylights of the tube of paste. Turn on a tap, and put the red stuff well sat on a toothbrush under a stream of water. Leisurely scrub my teeth as I admire or criticize myself in the mirror. All the while, the tap is still running. Then minutes later, rinse mouth! Four litres of unused water later. In one week this translates to fifty-six litres of wasted water.
Fifty-six litres is eternity for a woman walking in hellish heat, a hungry stomach, a troubled mind because she left her two-year-old alone and hungry, too weak to cry. Breathe in.
Then I noticed how the same woman would carry her water and the food she received for many kilometers before she gets to her home. But also, the joy of receiving food gave them energy for the journey ahead.
We can be better stewards. Apart from what we have, let us also be better stewards to those whom God has entrusted us with. Hungry beings. Thirsty souls. People hungry and thirsting for love, encouragement, food, clothing, prayers, healing…salvation. Join us as we endeavor to empower the less fortunate.
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me (Matthew 25:35)