May 1, 2019

May 1, 2019

Greetings Friends,
It’s been two weeks today since Lynette and I returned from Kenya. So many things happened that it will take several letters to share all the wonderful experiences that happened.
We arrived on Tuesday night, the 12th of March. Two days later we had the vehicle packed up and ready to head out to the Mara to our MDP Education Centre. On our way there I received a phone call from James Nanka stating that a second sorcerer at Enkorika wanted to have his witchcraft calabash and articles burned before his baptism the next day. We asked them to hold off until we could arrive in about three hours, which they did. When we arrived a group was awaiting us at a nearby school. We made our way to Isaac’s home, where he was given a Bible, before disposing of the calabash and items. The fire was started and burned brightly as we sang and rejoiced as yet another soul was taken from the hands of witchcraft. The next day Isaac and James (the first sorcerer that we previously shared about) were baptized with 41 other people in Enkorika. Twenty-four were from Enkorika alone, the others were from neighboring MDP stations that came together to share in the special day of baptisms.
Two weeks later, I went to visit an old grandmother that I have been friends with for many years. In fact her granddaughter is one of our girls who came when she was in nursery school, and is now in 9th grade. As we were visiting, she told me that on the day of the big baptism, that she had waited and waited for someone to come and pick her up so that she could be baptized as well. She said that she wanted to be baptized before she died. I felt so bad, so told her that I would make sure that happened before I left. When I got back to the centre, I talked to James Nanka and asked him if he could make arrangements for that Sabbath. (It was Thursday afternoon) That Sabbath morning, we picked Kokoo (grandmother) up and took her to church at Enkorika. What I didn’t mention is that she is lame and cannot walk. On my last trip I left money for her to receive a wheelchair, so now she doesn’t just have to sit on the ground outside her house. When it was time for the baptism, I drove her up next to the site, and two men carried her to the water, two more men were in the water to receive her along with the Pastor who baptized her, while the two men held her. Then they carried her to the other side where two more men were ready to carry her to where the ladies would help get her changed. At the end of the day, I asked her, “Kokoo, did you have a good day?” she answered me, “This has been one of the best days in my life.” That day we ended up with 5 more baptized, two were our girls from the Centre plus a young man that had been a drunkard.
On Wednesday’s in Enkorika, the church group goes out to one of the member’s homes, or to someone they are studying with. They all contribute a bit of money to help purchase food for that home as they all eat together as well. They have Bible study, they sing together, have a sermon, share testimonies, and spend time in fellowship. One Wednesday when Lynette and I went to join the group for Bible studies, a drunk man came and began singing and dancing. At first he was causing a disturbance but everyone welcomed him and let him join in. When it came time for the Bible study, we watched as he quieted down and began to really listen and pay attention. When the Bible study was almost over another drunkard swaggered into the group, carrying a big container of his homemade brew, causing a lot of commotion. When the Bible study was over I got up to speak, at one point he tried to get the first drunkard to have a drink, but with a sad look, he said no. Finally, two men led the second drunkard away. He kept trying to hit them with his stick and come back to the study. The first drunk was watching, very quietly he arose, walked down to the man, put his arm around him and walked him away from the meeting. Within a few minutes the first man, whose name was John came back. He sat there, no longer drunk, he had sobered up at hearing the Word of God. At the close of the meeting, they asked for anyone who wanted to give their heart to God. John stood up, we prayed for his deliverance from drinking and welcomed him into fellowship. A couple weeks later, he was baptized. He is a changed man. His brother who belongs to another church told one of our MDP lay pastors, “Something wonderful has happened to my brother, he is a changed man and if he
remains so, you have done a good thing for him.” John ended up coming to the seminar held at the Centre and working in the kitchen. He turned out to be a very hard worker and a good cook.
There is not room to tell you about everything that happened but over the next couple of months, I will be adding to the story. Please remember to pray for our new converts. Daily people are coming asking to be prayed for and begging for Bible studies. Pray also for our MDP Lay Pastors as they continue to minister.

So Grateful for God's Blessings,

Jan Latsha
Founder/Director
Maasai Development Project

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Jan Latsha
January 28, 2019

January 28, 2019


Dear Friends,
What a year 2018 was. There is so much to praise God for. Not for a minute do I want to discount our monthly donors that keep our doors open for service, who keep our children clothed, fed and in school, and who sacrifice to keep our lay pastors in the field. There are many sacrifices that help us reach project goals.

One bit of sad news that I am sharing is that one of our girls, who upon finishing high school about 4 or 5 years ago, was married to a young man who was an active member of our church in Megwara. He was just finishing Teachers College so was able to pay the dowry price to her family. Since that time they had two children and in fact she is expecting their third child at this time. In the meantime he had been supporting his wife through Teacher’s college. Unfortunately, just a couple weeks ago, he passed away. The entire village and surrounding villages were devastated. He not only was supporting his own family, but his widowed mother and her two co-wives, as well as a couple other widows. A couple of the widows he had been supporting, in their grief, decided that they might as well commit suicide as now they had no one to look after and take care of them. At one point someone had to go after one of the widows that had gone to the bush to end her life. In fact, Peter’s death hit all of us very hard. We found out that Momoi had only one semester left of Teachers College, so MDP is going to sponsor her through that last semester. We are needing $370 to pay for her school fees. Her mother in-law will take care of the children while she is in school. One of the last memories I have of Peter and Momoi this last November, passing their house on a Sabbath afternoon. They were sitting in chairs outside their little house facing each other almost knee to knee and just talking, with their two children running around them. I remember being impressed as you don’t often see a sweet domestic marital relationship displayed in Maasailand. While Peter was alive I had no idea just how much he was doing for the widows in his home area. He was truly a man of God and example for his community. Please pray for this young family and those left behind. We are also praying to see how we can help more in the community as well.

I would like to share with you about one of our goals for 2019. As you know, the main reason for our Centre is for rescuing young girls being forced into FGM and early marriages. In fact on my last trip we rescued 6 girls in one day, ages 6—12 and out of that only one was 12 years old. We had a seven year old that not only was to be circumcised but married as well. Because of education in the area, girls are refusing to undergo FGM once they reach puberty, asking for education first. So the trend now is to circumcise the very young girls, now 5- 9 years old. At this age, the children do not know what is about to happen to them, not until they are introduced to the knife, or razor blade; then it is too late.

On one of my visitations, there were a group of ladies, that wanted to talk about abuse, rape and other similar topics. The Narok district is one of the highest in child pregnancy, with girls dropping out every school term because of it. The area is also known for it’s high rate of rape. The women are shamed into not ever telling anyone and as a result there are also a lot of STD’s as well as an alarming number of HIV cases. In fact one of the little girls in our Centre was raped at the age of 5 by two older men. However, she was bleeding and hurt to the point the 2nd man decided to leave her alone. When she came to our Centre, it was a year before we discovered why she was having so many urinary problems, she finally told us that she had been raped but by now the STD was advanced. She was taken to a hospital for care. Today she is healthy again, but as I listened to her tell me and the other girls her story, I wanted to cry. Unfortunately, this is a very common occurrence. When the women and children are out watching the cattle, it is very easy for the man to take them and then shame them into silence.

One widow that I visited recently had a baby. She is a lovely Christian woman who was taken advantage of by her Doctor. She had been having terrible back pain so she went to the Dr. who told her she didn’t need medicine, but rather her pain was coming from not having marital relations for so long, and that he would treat her for free. We wonder, how? But remember, we are talking about a woman that is illiterate. She trusted this “learned” man, who betrayed her. Now she has yet another child to take care of on her own. In talking with our MDPEC Manager, James Nanka, and after speaking with many people in the villages, we felt that it is time to educate our people. One woman asked me what is wrong with FGM, as she was planning to circumcise two of her daughters. We talked about the health aspects, the emotional trauma effects, and then was this even Biblical? After our discussion she said that she is not going to have her girls circumcised.

So, in April, we will be holding a five day seminar, covering villages in 18 areas, bringing in over 400 men, elders, women leaders from each village along with a representation of youth. The primary school located next to our Centre has agreed to allow us to house the people at their boarding school as they will be on school holiday at the time. We are bringing in facilitators from the Government, from ADRA, Health workers, and a woman educator on Cancer and HIV, who in fact is a survivor of both. Four of our girls who just finished high school and are waiting for the intake into college will be helping with the cooking for all these people. It will be a three day seminar and each participant will receive a Certificate of Completion when they finish. This is a huge undertaking, one that has not ever been done in this area. We need your prayers for wisdom. We believe that this is also a wonderful witnessing tool for gaining the trust and friendship of the surrounding communities. I know our lay pastors; they will be giving Bible studies as well for those who are interested. The Narok County Officials are being very supportive and some of them will be joining us as well.

In order for us to offer this type of seminar, we need to raise $3,800. We need your help. The dates are set for April 8—11, 2019. We have set the date in faith and praise God that the time has come that the people are now receptive for this type of education. The topics are: • Early Pregnancy/Early Marriages • FGM • Sexual Abuse/Rape Cases • Drug Abuse • HIV/AIDS and Cancer
Because I want to be there for this program, I will be gone from mid March until mid April. Therefore, there will be no letter or receipts sent out the end of March but rather the end of April.
James and Matasia have been working on the details and just sent me the proposal, budget, and names of speakers. I am excited just reading it. We know that we will also be met with difficult challenges, but I believe God is leading us in this endeavor and we know, for that reason, that we cannot fail. I look forward to sharing more with you at a later time.

Lastly, I just got word last week that yet another girl has been rescued from FGM and is at our Centre, we are bursting at the seams. We are needing sponsors. If you know someone who would be willing to sponsor a child or lay pastor, would you please share with them and let them know how to contact us to start their sponsorships?

We are planning a mission trip June 24—July 8 and also October 7—October 27 of this year. We would love to have you join us. We would like to implement house to house visitations on at least one of the trips. This would be a trip you would not want to miss. Join us for an unforgettable trip, and with your own eyes, see your donations in action.

Jan Latsha
Founder/Director
Maasai Development Project

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Jan Latsha