The eV&B Bulletin

WTWH Mission Videos

eV&B Bulletin: June 25, 2009

eVB logoIt has only been a few weeks since I mailed out the June V&B newsletter, but I am excited to tell you about an addition to our web site. WTWH.org now features a growing number of videos from our missions. Just click the Videos link on our home page or go directly to the index HERE. You can also access these videos directly from Youtube.com by entering wtwhorg (no period) into the "Search" box. This allows you to add comments and give a rating if you like.

In the summer of 2002, between two weekend seminars I presented in Greece, Rev. Todd Pekel led three of us (Rudi Illavsk√Ĺ, Steve Monahan and me) on a tour we called, "In the Footsteps of Paul." I filmed the tour with narration in English (Todd) and German (Rudi). Later my wife Nelly added a Spanish narrative. I’m happy to say that all three versions are now on our web site. Pour yourself an ice-cold Frappe and enjoy.

My introduction to the Maasai was in December 2004, and this work continues to be very exciting and rewarding. Often I have wrung my hands in frustration, feeling unable to find the words to express why this work has so captured my heart. Nothing can take the place of being there, but I think these videos will go a long way to communicate some of our experiences. With the help of Faraja Kimituu Kurubai and Evelyn Kaney Paraboy (who are both Board members of WTWH-TZ), I was able to include English subtitles to videos of these songs and testimonies. Even before I knew the meaning of the songs, I was thrilled by them. Now I am overjoyed to share them with you.

The video testimony by Eliakimu Parakepu Kurupashi, President of WTWH-TZ, entitled "A Short History of Matebete," will help you appreciate this man’s dedication to God and his people. In other videos, his son Paulo talks of the fruit of WTWH’s association with the Maasai, and leads a tour at the site of the Rev. Yohanna Ngekee Maasai Worship and Historical Center. In the video entitled, "The Maasai Historical Center in Matebete," Adam Kuleit Mwarabu speaks of the importance of this project. (Search Adam’s name on the internet learn about his worldwide efforts on behalf of the Maasai.)

The testimony by Anna Kisota (Faraja’s mother) tells how the church in Matebete began. Anna is the leader of Korduni, the woman’s prayer and worship group. She is the lead singer on songs 1, 3, and 4. Irene Lobara and Ruth Kuyato share the lead on song 2. Song 5 is performed by the children’s choir, and is the only one sung in Kiswahili rather than Maa.

The missionary efforts of Korduni have been financed almost entirely by the sale of their handmade crafts, a time-consuming endeavor with a miniscule profit margin. Their dream is to start their own dairy business with nine dairy cows. Each cow costs $300.00. The initial investment for the nine cows and supplementary veterinary care is about $2,450.00. Profits from this business would make Korduni self-supportive, and would finance many missions to other Maasai villages in and around Tanzania. This is no small thing, since it has been largely the women who have championed the evangelism efforts among the Maasai. I am grateful to God for the part I am able to contribute, but I know that Christianity will not take root among the Maasai until it is presented by their people to their people.

At the same time the Maasai are embracing Christianity, they realize the importance of retaining their own cultural identity. Too many indigenous groups have been persuaded to forsake their heritage for another supposedly more "Christian." Different is not necessarily better. The heart of Christianity is not about outward conformity. How little Paul would have accomplished in Europe had he insisted that all new converts now dress and talk like Israelites!

The Historical Center will benefit the Maasai for generations to come. Of course, even a building as simple as this one must be financed. The overall plan, as explained by Paulo in the video, is to build four connecting sections (see the blueprint below). Only after one section is completed will the next commence. The price of the first section – the meeting hall – has been estimated at $2,800.00 (not including concrete for the floors and walls, plus any interior furnishings). So far, WTWH has contributed $1,500.00 to the project. The villagers themselves have raised about $400.00, leaving a balance of $900.00 to complete the hall.

Together, that’s $900.00 for the hall, and $2,250.00 for the dairy project (WTWH gave Korduni an initial gift of $200.00), for a total of $3,150.00. Please stand with us in prayer concerning these projects, and if you deem them worthwhile, please make a contribution. I wholeheartedly believe that neither one of these projects is frivolous but in harmony with the overall purpose of WTWH in Tanzania: to equip the Maasai to evangelize their own people, and help them honor their heritage while adapting to their changing situation.

Of course, our work with the Maasai is not our only program. From July 27-31, 2009, I have the joy of traveling to Ireland to present a five-day seminar for a group of teenagers very dear to me. I am very grateful to Aine Lucas of England for organizing this event. The first time I taught this group was in 2002. The oldest ones were barely into their teens. Now they are young men and women on the brink of adulthood. I pray that the Lord will use this occasion to say something very special to them at this time in their lives.

God bless you, and thanks again for your support. Enjoy the videos!

In the service of His Majesty, the King of kings,
Rev. Tim Sullivan

The eV&B is now Tim's Blog.