Saturday, July 14, 2012

Maasai Village School near Nanja, Tanzania

On Friday, July 13th...Team Tanzania headed west out of Arusha, Tanzania on the well traveled road that takes thousands of tourists a year to two of the most famous wildlife preserves in the world. The Ngorongoro and Serengeti National Parks of Tanzania are home to lion prides, giraffes, elephants, zebras, and many of the other animals that come to mind when you think of Africa.

We were passed by several very large extended 4X4 Toyota Landcruisers, customized for safari adventures with elevated seats, large windows, and roofs that raise up so tourists can stick their heads out to see the animals they have paid lots of money to find.

I will admit that I am a bit jealous of the several vehicles full of wide-eyed tourists. Their vehicles looked so nice and comfy compared to our little vehicle that was made to seat five but on this day held seven (five mission helpers along with Pastors Jeremiah and Ibrahim). I would also love the opportunity to see the many different animals and the beautiful landscapes and vistas that this beautiful land has to offer. BUT...I would not have traded the privilege that the Lord gave to each of us as we taught 196 students at the Maasai village "public" school near Nanja, Tanzania.

The road that we were on is probably one of the most heavily traveled tourist roads in Tanzania. I am sure several thousand travel right past the turn off to this small Maasai village un-noticed. But praise be to God that these people have not gone un-noticed to God and His faithful servants. This village is where Pastor Jeremiah travels a couple of times a month to conduct worship service. He is aided by a local Maasai man who serves as an evangelist to this area of Tanzania and leads worship on the Sundays when Jeremiah is not there. He is also attending the Bible School that Jeremiah conducts one week out of each month at the local congregation where he serves near Arusha.

196 students at Nanja Maasai School
The Maasai village has a school with 196 children in kindergarten - 5th standard (5th grade). The church where Pastor Jeremiah serves also conducts a preschool at their church building. I refered to the school with "puplic" in parenthesis because the head-master of the school is a member of the Lutheran congregation and teaches the Bible in the school. He knew we were coming on this particular day and arranged for all the children in all the class levels to attend our lessons. We taught 196 children the simple message of the Bible that we are all sinners in need of a savior and that God was faithful in keeping His promise by sending His Son Jesus to be our Savior.

Maasai School near Nanja, Tanzania
This school has a building with four classrooms but no books  or papers and pencils for the children. The children, I was told, simply learn by repeating back what the teachers say. They children recieve a daily meal of mixed boiled beans that are provided by the Word Food Organization. The headmaster of the school asked for our prayers and any help we could possibly offer to obtain books, paper, pencils, Bibles, and catechisms so the students could better learn their lessons.

It is such a joy and a privilege to teach and share God's saving word with these precious souls. At the same time, it is a heart-wrenching experience as I sit back and struggle with the question of what God would have us do with this newly-revealed opportunity to assist in carrying out the great commission as this faithful headmaster strives to teach these little children all that our Savior has given to us in His Holy Word. The answer seems simple...give them some money to buy the teaching materials they need. But this one school, in this one Maasai village, represents just one of 100's (or more) of such similar opportunities in Africa and around the world.

Please pray that the Lord would bless the work of these faithful servants who serving the least of these our brothers and sisters with the precious and saving Word of God. And please pray that the Lord will continue to move hearts to assist, out the abundance that the Lord has given, in carrying out Savior's great commission here near Nanja, Tanzania and every other open door the Lord provides.

Your brother and fellow servant of our Savior,
Pastor Todd Ohlmann (Team Tanzania...CLC Mission Helper Trip 2012)

1 comment:

  1. We are praying for you Pastor Todd and all the Mission helpers 2012 to Kenya and Tanzania.