She has dusty feet – Elizabeth! What an amazing woman! She stands at 6 ft. tall and is beautiful and soft-spoken. I love to listen to her. She is from the Louo tribe and it’s very unusual that the Masai tribe would let her come around. She said it took some years but that they have accepted her as one of their own.
So McKenna and I hopped onto our first Matatu - it wasn’t so bad. My life only flashed before my eyes one time. These are little vans that pack in about 13 people and drive like crazy. So we made it alive and hike down a dusty dirt road till we see little brown mud huts. There are empty animal pens close by the huts and the smell of dung is heavy in the air. There are lots and lots of flies but not very many human beings. The children are in school, the men are out shepherding their flocks – but where the women?
Elizabeth walks to a little hut and calls out, “Hoodee!”
From within a woman’s voice says, “Cariboo!”
So Elizabeth goes in and then calls for us to take each other’s hands and come inside.
There is no front door. You walk in sort of a maze where you turn sharply right then left. We have to stoop down because the ceiling is very low. It’s pitch black at first and Elizabeth is guiding us in. “Trish you sit there…” Where? I can’t see a thing. I lower myself down and feel something – a wooden plank. Finally we’re all seated. It’s hot inside but not too bad. Our eyes gradually adjust and I see a small hold the size of a grapefruit in a wall near the little ceiling. Amazingly this is enough light for our hungry eyes. I see that the floor is compacted dirt. Around on the mud walls I can see bits and pieces of cardboard and sticks. I see the Masai woman now. She is called Nancy – her Christian name which she chose after she converted.
She is an older lady and is so dignified looking. Her head is shaved and she has beautiful beadwork around her neck and wrists, so she is “dressed up” for us. She speaks no English, so Elizabeth explains that Nancy is the 2nd of her husband’s five wives. Nancy has no fire. Elizabeth had explained to us that if we enter a hut and there’s no fire, it’s really bad. It means that there is no food for her to cook.
Nancy apologizes for not having anything to offer us. We each introduce ourselves which is very important to the Masai. Then we say a little welcoming statement. I said that I came from America in the love of Jesus and that since she loves Jesus we are all one family, and that I’m glad to meet my sister.
When Elizabeth asked her if there was anything we could pray about, I was expecting her to say please pray that I will get money for food. But the only thing she asked us to pray for was for the salvation of her family members. She spoke of her love for Jesus and I was amazed at the light from her soul that lit that little dark mud home.
After Nancy, we went into Beatrice’s little house and after our eyes adjusted met her little 3 month old son she held on her lap, and 2 yr. old daughter. I was relieved to see a little fire going though it was certainly a lot hotter than Nancy’s house.
I have to admire the great usage they make of this tiny space. Elizabeth said there are typically three “rooms.” There’s the sleeping chamber, the fire place/kitchen area and a little storage area.
After a little while of introductions, Elizabeth explained that in the little pot which was on the fire Beatrice was preparing some goat intestines for us. This was the only food her husband had provided and she was going to share it with her five visitors (besides me, McKenna and Elizabeth was a couple who had been visiting at Elizabeth’s church – Dave and Cindy). Anyway, Elizabeth excused us from having to eat goat intestines (THANK YOU) telling Beatrice that SHE would eat our portions so that Beatrice wouldn’t feel slighted.
Since the meat wasn’t ready we prayed with Beatrice and a little later Elizabeth walked up with a bowl of goat intestines. She said she didn’t like it but had to eat it so Beatrice wouldn’t have hurt feelings. She gave some pieces to some children who gladly ate. Elizabeth said it tastes rather like poop because the water isn’t clean. She’s trusting the Lord to protect her health. Wow, Elizabeth is my hero!
After Beatrice, we visited Paris. She is married to a man who is unfaithful and who has had two children so far by another woman who is a widow named Alice. Elizabeth said even though Masai women accept the fact that their husbands can take on other wives as they desire, it isn’t easy for them. It’s very painful. She explained that once you marry you are married till death even if your husband dies. You can never go back to your village. If you are widow, you are expected to still have children which are raised for the dead husband.
We ask if we can take her picture and she said in Masai – not yet, she wasn’t “dressed.” She had her daughter bring her a little plastic bag. From the bag she took out beautiful beadwork of necklaces and wristbands which she put on. Then she was ready. She looked wonderful.
After Paris, we visit Naomi. Yesterday Naomi and her children were kicked off the land she’d been living on by the owner who was threatening to bulldoze all her belongings. Her “new” house was the worse that I’ve seen. It’s some old pieces of bent up aluminum full of holes with cardboard. She didn’t have enough to close off her roof.
Amazingly, none of these women asked for anything during the prayer request except for the salvation of their family members. They never asked us for any money or food. Elizabeth explained that Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you,” and they truly believe this. And God does indeed care for them, though not in the same way as He does for us. In fact, we all saw that they live way above us when it comes to faith issues.
If we ended up having to live in a mud hut, would we be as peaceful as they are? McKenna and I asked ourselves this. We saw that these ladies are very rich spiritually. (McKenna has still struggled with her cough but she's hung in there every day and I'm so blessed. She's been a trooper.)
We ended the day with our second mad-matatu ride. Actually we had to get off of the second one because it was too crowded and the man that was squeezed onto McKenna was being fresh with her. So we got to wait for a third matatu and I ended up in the front seat next to a Kenyan lady that kept sucking in air. So I let her be nervous for both of us.
McKenna and I will return to the Masai ladies on Thursday. I am looking forward to that.