December 2018

FROM SOURCERER TO  SABBATH KEEPING CHRISTIAN

This past November, 2018, I spent the month at our MDP Education Centre. On my schedule was home -to- home visitations with the people in the surrounding villages.  The previous September, three Maasai Elders (the title given to older Maasai men) were baptized and were eager to share their new found faith with their friends.  Earlier in my final week at the centre, I had mentioned to MDP Lay Pastor, Samson Korio, that I would like to visit the home of a Maasai Elder attending his branch Sabbath School. Due to rain, I had canceled the day we had scheduled to go. In my mind, if I didn’t get out there on this visit, then when I came back in March, I would be sure to visit his home.  So, I made other plans. However, when we turn our days over to God, we can expect changes to happen, and that is what did happen to me on Friday morning as I was preparing to do other work that I had planned for that day. MDPEC Manager and Lay Pastor, James Nanka, came up to me right after breakfast and said, “Pastor Samson is here and I think you need to go visit the old man this morning with him.” Something about the way he said it stopped me from trying to justify not going and continue on with my plans.  As it turned out, the man was not at his home, so we decided to visit another widow lady nearby who’s daughter is at our Centre.  As we were greeting her, two men came riding up on a motorcycle. I thought that was odd since no one new the men, but we continued into her house and as we were visiting and praying together, the two men came walking into her house. They listened to our conversations and prayers and after we finished, they spoke up and said where they were from, and that they needed a church in their village, and would we be willing to come there.  I was impressed that we must make plans to go the next day. I told the men that I would contact our MDP Lay Pastors and see what we could do to send someone the next day.

That afternoon I met with MDP Lay Pastors, James Nanka, Paul Sunkuli, Samson Korio, and Stephen Makala. We prayed and decided that we should go the following morning and to see and get a feel for the needs in the area. The next day we set off. So many things happened to both us, and the two men that had invited us, that we knew that Satan was trying to stop our meeting. When we finally met, we visited the homes of both men. At the home of James Mako, we had a two hour Bible Study. At the end,  James Mako, looked at me and said, “There is something that I did not tell you. I am a Sorcerer.” Then went on to ask if I would like to see how he does his business.  He  brought everything out and showed us the procedure he goes through and how he prophesies.  I had told him that I was happy that he told me about himself because now I would know how to pray for him, because as he studied the Bible ,he was going to find out that God has a lot to say about Sorcery and Witchcraft.  Pastor Nanka told him that for sure the spirits that he was working with were real, and then proceeded to tell the man his own story about being bewitched by an enemy of his, and how, when his enemy had wanted Pastor Nanka to be killed, the Sorcerer had told him that because James was a Christian, he could not touch him.  He then asked James Mako to bring the sorcery things out and that we would surround him and his family and pray for deliverance. I looked at him and asked, “Are you willing?”  He said, “Yes I am”. So we did just that.  We told him that we would come back and destroy the things if he wanted us to.  He said, “Yes, I do want you to come back so I can destroy these things.”

One week later, Pastor Nanka and Makala went once again for a worship service. Twenty-eight people were waiting for their arrival. Between 10—15 men were in attendance. In Maasailand this is amazing and nothing less than a miracle, especially in places where the gospel of Jesus Christ is so new to them.  At the end of the service, the pastors were told “you cannot leave, we are just beginning. We want to hear more, give us more Bible Studies.” As they were finally getting ready to leave, James Mako said, “Will you please come back next week and help me destroy all these things. Plans were made and they left with the promise to be back the following week.

As Pastor Makala, Nanka, and Korio were making plans for the following week, people were praying in Kenya, and in America for their safety, and for the safety of James Mako and his family. On Wednesday, Pastor Makala received a call that his son was taken ill and was admitted into the hospital, so he had to rush away to take care of his son.  On Thursday morning, Pastor Nanka, became very ill and had to be taken to Tenwik Hospital. However, he made sure he was back regardless of how he felt, for he was on God’s mission and he wasn’t going to let anything stop him.

By Friday night all preparations had been made. MDP Administrator, Ogoti Kenani, came from Nairobi to witness the service and ceremony. About 10 people rode with him to the village while the another 15—20 people waited for the pickup truck they had rented to take them. When the pickup truck was disabled and couldn’t take them, the children and adults began to trekking the distance to the village. On the way the “junk pin” to the PA system fell out and was lost, so when they arrived they were unable to use the PA system.  When suddenly two five-year-old boys who heard there was to be a service there ,came walking in and guess what they had in their hand? They had found the “junk pin”, and not knowing what it was, they picked it up and carried it with them. James Mako, the Sorcerer,, had invited the surrounding villages that knew him to come to witness as he exchanged witchcraft for Christianity ,and as he destroyed the witchcraft tools.

James Mako, the Sorcerer, welcomed everyone to his home and to the church that was about to begin with 100—200  people in attendance from surrounding areas. Pastor Nanka began with a sermon surrounding the story found in Genesis 31:30. Then he called James Mako forward, who gave a testimony and statement of repentance. He asked the people to forgive him and assured the people that he too had forgiven all of his enemies,  and that forgetting the past, he was looking forward to being a new person in Christ.  He then knelt down in prayer, asking Jesus into his life and he was also prayed for.  James Mako then emptied out his calabash full of magic rocks, he put them in a bag and walked with Pastor Nanka to the “bush”, where he threw them as far as he could into the brush where they would not be found. Walking back to the waiting company of people, he took the remaining articles that would burn, and set them on the place that had been prepared for the  fire.  The fire was lit and everything went up in smoke. There was much rejoicing.

James Mako, made this statement at the end. “I have been lost for a long time but I am back to you, Jesus.  I was a magician, but now I am a preacher.  My first church members are my wife and my family at large.”

James Mako is beginning baptismal classes in preparation for baptism, along with his wife. He has invited all of his friends and neighbors to join them for church services and Bible studies every Sabbath.

Late that afternoon, the 15—20 people that could not fit into Ogoti’s Landcruiser, began the long trek back to the Centre.  It began to rain, it was dark and the route they had to take was not safe, as there are elephants and hyenas that roam around in that area as well as other wild animals.  The cellphones that had been used for flashlights went out as the batteries wore down. But they were in God’s hands and each one arrived home safely to the Centre at around 9:00 pm.

What if we had not been in tune with God’s directing that Friday morning? We learned later that James Mako had actually been convicted and had asked a Reverend from another church to destroy the things for him, but in fear, the Reverend never showed up and did not help him. That Friday morning on visitation, if we had not been there at that exact time when the men were driving by, we would have missed our “God encounter” with them. 

Things are happening in Maasailand. I was a witness to the moving of God’s Spirit on the people. On one visitation, one man even apologized for having been against MDP. At another ceremony I attended, another man got up and witnessed to the work of MDP. Recently we hired two new guards. Amazingly enough both of them had been previous enemies of MDP.  At our staff meeting one of them said that years ago he had been among the Moran that surrounded Pastor Nanka’s home, with his family inside, at night and were ready to torch the house with everyone in it-in protest of the work of MDP. Now he is attending church, he also attended the ceremony last weekend and was amazed at what he witnessed and wants to give his life to Jesus. The other guard hated us as well and we used to call him “trouble maker”.  However, he also has turned around and is now guarding our children and keeping them safe. To God be all the praise! People are now wanting to know about our God, they want to study the Bible. Many of the people who witnessed James Mako’s conversion think he is crazy, many others are admiring him, and watching, wanting to know how he could have changed so. Again, I was a witness to the moving of God’s Spirit, I saw the miracles, I was there and can only praise our Amazing God.  Thank you for helping to make all this possible with your donations and prayers.

 

Jan Latsha
Founder/Director
Maasai Development Project

 

 

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Jan Latsha