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"Not My People" Become My People
Dr. Orville Boyd Jenkins

A Meditation for Advent

Scripture: Is. 9:2 -- The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.
Rom. 9:25-26 -- As he says in Hosea:
   "I will call them 'my people' who are not my people;
  and I will call her 'my loved one' who is not my loved one," and,
   "It will happen that in the very place where it was said to them,
  'You are not my people,'
  they will be called 'sons of the living God.'"

We annually celebrate Isaiah's words that "a light will dawn on those living in the land of darkness."  Many have seen the light shining but have said no to the clear opportunity.  Meanwhile, thousands of ethnic groups of the world have until recently have been isolated from the light by geography, culture, religious or political powers, their own prejudice and other factors from a real hearing of the good news of God's love and light in Jesus.

Up to the 1980s, the Maasai people of Kenya and Tanzania were considered unresponsive and unreached with the gospel, despite periodic contact with missionaries, and more recently African evangelists.  They were suspicious or uninterested.  But after decades of periodic and persistent opportunities, the Maasai people began to be positive toward the message of Jesus.

In the Great Rift Valley, casual, friendly contact in the Mt Suswa area led to an opportunity for regular gospel witness.  The Maasai were ready to listen and believe.  About 6 months later, Oloirowua village was ready for their first baptism, when about 35 people were ready to publicly take on the identity of Jesus in testimony to the light they had seen.  In this dry area, with late rains, it would be a feat to manage the water necessary, using condensed steam from the hot springs of nearby "Hell's Gate" in the Mau Narok hills. Photo by Becky Cady

The "old man of the village" solemnly approached me as we were making final preparations for the baptism.  Oimbia ole Kisotu made this request of me:  "I would like to be baptized first, so that everyone will know it is all right for a Maasai to be a Christian."  Oimbia had seen the light, and he wanted to shine it brightly upon his people!

Paul quotes the prophecy of Hosea:
I will call them "My People" who were not my people.  [Hosea 2:23] ... Where it was said to them, You are "Not My People," they will be called the "Children of the Living God" [Hosea 1:10].  The Maasai were one of thousands of peoples in the world who had been called "Not My People."  But the Light had shined.  They were publicly announcing that they were now named by God "My People."

This story is being repeated worldwide as creative means of access are being discovered and implemented even in the Last Frontiers of the gospel in our modern world.

Lord, thank you for the many channels you are opening up to us to meet people of other nations, who have not had the chance to clearly hear the gospel and decide for or against Jesus.  Let the light of Jesus shine through us in every situation to help "Not My People" see how they can become "My People."


More about the Suswa Maasai:
The Flying Kid
Indigenous Churches – an Adventure of Discovery:  Baptist Church Status among the Keekonyokie Maasai of Suswa, Kenya
Suswa Approaches: A Practical Cross-Cultural Ministry Approach among the Maasai People of Kenya
Suswa:  An Evangelical Experiment (The Use of Natural Networks in Christian Evangelism)

Also related:
How Can God Put So Many Opportunities in One Lifetime
The Kore of Kenya – Maasai or Somali? (Clarifying Ethnic and Linguistic Streams in Overlooked Ethnicities)
Kwavi, Baraguyu and Maasai – Dialects, Names and Ethnicities
Living and Working in Kenya
The Mukogodo of Kenya
Orality, Literacy and the Bible
Orality in Christian Mission
More Oral than We Knew
The Samburu of Kenya

Also view related PowerPoint Presentations:
Assimilation Models How People Groups Develop and Change
What is a People Group
Oral & Literate Contrast Chart
Orality and the Postliterate Society

Related on the Internet:
The Great Rift Valley of Kenya
Kedong Ranch, Suswa-Longonot, Kenya
Longonot Volcano
Mt Kilimanjaro - comments on the British-German border/gift story
Mt Longonot, former volcano - Wikipedia
Mt Suswa, former volcano - Wikipedia
Mt Suswa, Rift Valley Province, Kenya
Mt Suswa - Video
Superb video of the mountain and the people
Oloirowua Baptist Church Youth Association - Facebook
Suswa - NTV on YouTube

Published as an Advent Devotional in Kaleidoscope, Cliff Temple Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas, November 1997
First posted on Jenkins Millennium Cultural Centre 09 November 2004
Last edited 5 June 2014

Copyright © 2004 Orville Boyd Jenkins
Permission granted for free download and transmission for personal or educational use.  Please give credit and link back.  Other rights reserved.
Email: orville@jenkins.nu

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