June-July 2019 Update Letter

 Dear Friends,

This month I want to share more about the “MDP and Maa Community Relationship Seminar”.  I have alluded to it and mentioned it in previous letters, but have not fully shared all of the blessings and impact of the seminar.  Last November when we were discussing how open the community was to speaking about, and discussing topics on FGM, early marriage, rape and the drug issues, we realized that now was the perfect opportunity to offer an open forum, bringing communities together for education on these topics.  MDPEC Manager, James Nanka contacted some government officials who readily supported what we were endeavoring to do. 

When we set up the budget and began planning, we were targeting 18 villages, and 264 men, women and youth. However as word got out more people came to ask if they could join.  At the end of the week of meetings, we gave out 430 certificates to those who completed the seminar.  Although these meetings were for the purpose of education and not proselyting, at the beginning of each meeting one of our lay pastors or a pastor from other surrounding church communities gave a short devotional and prayed. Each day there were more people coming.  Maasai Development Project provided all the food for the people for the week.  This was no small feat, but amazingly enough, we were able to feed all the people plus our own children and staff with produce from our own kitchen garden.  Each day I would look at our Sakumu beginning to dwindle, I wondered, “can there possibly be enough to feed everyone for a week?”  The answer is “Yes”!  I believe this was nothing short of a miracle.

When the week was almost over, the men came to James Nanka and told him they were very grateful for the knowledge but they had one complaint and that was that the meetings were only one week and not two.  They asked if we could expand the program.  In the end, after hearing the comments from the participants and from the government officials that opened and closed the meetings, we decided that we would need to make this an annual event.  We were told to expect double the people next time!!!!  As the meetings came to a close on the last day, the youth requested one of our speakers to please stay longer and so she did. They missed supper and it was after dark when they finally dispersed.  Some of the comments from the men were, “I had no idea that I was causing so much pain for my wife ( or wives.” “I am going back to my village and  there will be changes.  No more circumcision of our girls.”  The government official who closed the meeting in her speech said, if we had five NGO’s like this one, willing to do the work they are doing, in five years circumcision and early marriage would be eradicated.” 

I can only say, that God blessed these meetings.  Many hearts were touched and comments were made of how the SDA Lay Pastors taught straight from the Bible in every devotion they gave, different than what they were used to.  What can I say?  First of all, thank you to all of you that sacrificed and donated your funds so that MDP could provide this much needed service in Maasailand.  We are already seeing spiritual fruits as a result of the program.  Remember the young man that came to our Wednesday Fellowship meeting drunk that I shared in  a previous letter?  Well, we hired him to help with the cooking for the week of meetings and he turned out to be a real blessing as he is a very good cook and hard worker. By the end of the week, he knew that he was appreciated and respected which totally changed his looks, the way he walked, talked and held his head high.  God is so Good. 

We are gearing up for our yearly board meeting in August here in Spokane. Please keep us in your prayers that God will lead and guide us in the direction that He is leading and not what we might think or want.  We want His will to be done.

August also brings the school break when all of our children will be coming home for the month.  To get everyone back into school and those waiting to go to college, we are needing an extra $10,000.  Please lift us up in prayer as we wait on God to provide what is needed.  Many of our children are not sponsored and as more of our children are going to secondary school, college and university, expenses continue to rise.  God provided last year at this time and I know He will somehow provide again.  So remember, when praying for God’s provision for us, that you also thank Him for what He is about to do.  He always provides just what we need, when we need it. This morning I went to the mailbox and there was only one donation. My first instinct was to worry but then I just gave a quick prayer of thanks.  I will be sharing next month how God is getting our children back into school.

Just an update, you will recall how we are trying to raise funds for motorcycles for our workers in dangerous  and hard to reach areas.  I am pleased to say that we have raised $500.  Only $500 more and we will purchase the first motorbike.  Thank you so much! 

Till Next Month,                                                                         

 Jan Latsha
Maasai Development Project





Jan Latsha