In southern Kenya, a stones’ throw from Tanzania, and 20 km from the nearest town is the small Masai village of Olepishet. The church here was planted by missionaries several years ago, but there is no longer any western presence here. The church has continued to thrive and grow in a Masai context.
Lesa had the opportunity to come here in January 2010 with a group of high school students on a “Cultural Field Studies” program. She came back in love with the people, culture, and church here and we returned as a family to see how we could be involved in blessing and encouraging the church here.
We’ve had many long discussion with the church elders about the needs of the community, and how the church is trying to meet those needs. While being culturally sensitive, we realized the great burden for health care and education in this community and surrounding villages. We have established a board of church leaders to oversee a community development project, and would like to start with finding an affordable vehicle that could be used for medical transport. Right now it is a 2 hour walk to the nearest health facility, or the once-a-month mobile health clinic visit.
In 2011 we were able to purchase our 1973 Land Rover for the community development project vehicle, to be used largely for medical emergencies. It has served the community very well since then, providing transport for many people in the area who required assistance to get to medical facilities.
Our biggest need right now is a new set of tyres as the rough, rocky/sandy land in the hills around Olepishet have taken their toll. Right now the vehicle cannot be driven as the tyres on it are complete bald. We need to raise 74,000 Kenya Shillings (about $880) to put a new set of rugged tyres on the vehicle.
If you would like to get involved in giving to the community development project vehicle, checks can be written to:
First Presbyterian Church
101 N. Prairie St.
Galesburg, IL 61401
Put “Olepishet vehicle fund” in the memo line, and thank you for your support.