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June 6, 2011:

The May 2011 mission of ITO (Workers Together With Him, Tanzania) to the village of Walanji was a giant step forward in our continuing mission to the Maasai. Those of you who have been following our reports know that many of the things that are now happening were prophesied by the late Yohanna Ole Ngekee, the man of God who brought the Gospel to the Maasai. Rev. Ngekee foretold a day when Maasai would be working in unity and without denominational interference to worship God and bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to their people.

For this reason, I am very, very happy to share with you this report from Rev. Paulo Kurupashi about the first Maasai-to-Maasai mission of ITO. I have edited it for clarity.

Note of explanation: ITO is Illasak Tenebo Oninye, "Workers Together With Him" in the language of the Maasai. HIMWA is a pastoralist fellowship that represents the Maasai interests before the Tanzanian government. HIMWA provides the legal covering for Workers Together With Him, a very important requirement for our work. Korduni is the name of the Women's Prayer Group. It is a Maa word meaning “to save.”

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ITO logo

ITO MISSION TO WALANJI
27 to 30 May 2011
By Rev. Paulo Kurupashi

Our mission to Walanji was the first trip for ITO to go for mission work outside of our village of Matebete. ITO is a group of many churches among the Maasai. It was started in Matebete village in Tanzania.

Our mission was very difficult but also very blessed. In the past we have seen that it is not easy for Historical and Pentecostal churches to work together in Tanzania. But through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and through the ministry of Workers Together With Him to us Maasai, it is now possible for Lutheran, Moravian, Tanzanian Assemblies of God, and Church of Christ members to work together as one. Now there is unity because we agree that the main goal of the Church and her denominations is to preach the Gospel, the good news of salvation to the world. It is no longer acceptable just to have an organization, or to argue over who does the most speaking. As Patrick Ole Kinana, an evangelist with the Church of Christ in Matebete, once said, “Other preachers came to us Maasai and separated us, but through Workers Together With Him, we are united as we were before we were Christians.”

Baba Eliakimu Kurupashi, the Chairman of ITO, was very helpful to coordinate the planning meetings with the church leaders. He formed a committee of elders, and through this committee, it was easy for each church leader to submit the names of the people who would take part in the mission to Walanji. HIMWA of Mbeya coordinator, Philipo Kaney, helped us for government security, and Evelyn Paraboy, our treasurer, helped us in planning and budgeting.

In short, the cost of our mission was 285,000 TSH ($186) for transportation and 154,000 TSH ($101) for food, for a total of 439,000 TSH ($287.00). Eleven people made the trip to Walanji. Among the group were teachers, the choir group, the Korduni women's prayer group, and other elders and leaders. We expected to bring 15 people, but two got sick, and two of the women were forbidden to go by their husbands.

Rev. George Ole Oripu and I served as the teachers. We also worked as teachers and trainers of future teachers from the group members who have attended WTWH seminars in Matebete with Rev. Tim.

The mission to Walanji was a blessing not only for the people of Walanji, but also for the ITO group. On the day before the mission, the Lutheran pastor Rev. Wilbart Mhitike sent his wife to Baba Eliakimu to tell him of the vision he received about the ITO trip. Pastor Mhitike was shown the spiritual darkness in Walanji. At first the pastor thought we should change our direction to go to another village. But after further discussion, we agreed that this was the reason that God wanted us to go to Walanji – because of the spiritual darkness that is there, and the great need for light from God through His Word. We lifted our prayers for the trip and asked the Holy Spirit to lead us in our work.

We give thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ who through the Holy Spirit opened the door of Evangelism and the Good News of Salvation to our Maasai people in their own areas. In Walanji, we were confronted by two antagonistic churches, the Lutheran Church (“The Maasai Tribe Church”) and the Anglican Church (“The Gogo Tribe Church”). But when they saw that ITO works among people of all churches, and conducts worship services on Sunday, they were blessed by the way we of different churches could work together. We told them that the secret of our success is that we are working with Him, for Him, for salvation of His people in the world.

This was our schedule in Walanji:

27 May
6:30 PM: Arrival in Walanji
7:00 to 8:00 PM: Singing and prayer
8:00 to 8:45 PM: Dinner
9:00 to 11:00 PM: Teachings, singing and prayer, led by Rev. Paulo Kurupashi and the Choir.

28 May
7:30 to 10:00 AM: Boma (individual homesteads) visitation for prayers by three ITO groups.
10:00 to 11:00 AM: Tea break
1:00 to 2:00 PM: Lunch
2:00 to 4:00 PM: Singing followed by a teaching by Rev. George Ole Oripu
7:00 to 8:00 PM: Singing
8:00 to 8:45 PM: Dinner
9:00 to 11:00 PM: Teachings, singing and prayer, led by Rev. Paulo, Rev. Teten Ole Kaney and the Choir.

29 May
7:30 to 9:00 AM: Boma visitation for prayers by three ITO groups
9:00 to 10:00 AM: Tea
10:30 AM to 1:00 PM: Sunday service and worship led by two groups:

The Revs. George and Paulo went to the Lutheran church
The Revs. Patrick Ole Kinana and Pita Ngaika went to the Anglican church, along with the Choir.

I [Paulo] taught on John 15:5: "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." To put it into context for the Maasai, I gave them an example of a cow and her calf, and told it this way: “I am the cow; and you are the calf. If you suck from me and I feed you, you will have life and bear much fruit.”

Two days of teaching were not enough for the people of Walanji. They wanted us to remain but we invited them to attend WTWH seminars in Matebete village for the future. Baba Eliakimu Kurupashi, the Chairman of ITO, told them about the Maasai Historical Center being constructed in Madungulu, and its purposes – to worship the Lord and preserve Maasai history.

The next ITO mission trip is planned for Mwanavala village. I think the same budget and the same 15 people are enough. I suggest that this mission takes place before your November seminar so that some people from Walanji and Mwanavala – maybe 2 to 3 – can be invited to join the class.

In the future, we would suggest other ITO mission trips to Mogero, Mahango, Lupululu, Mabadaga, Luhanga and Katenge. A tent brought by Teten helped us in our sleeping arrangements, but 3 or 4 tents would be useful so the villagers would not have to give up their houses for us.

We give thanks to WTWH, Rev. Tim Sullivan and Rev. Evan Pyle for your prayers, your understanding of the spiritual needs of the Maasai, your vision, and your support to the ITO mission. I can say this has been another step forward in WTWH mission work among Maasai. When we traveled to Walanji we testified of the feeling that we traveled with you, and that you were with us as we ministered in Walanji. God bless you all.

Rev. Paulo Kurupashi
Madungulu Village, Tanzania


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I have never been as excited about any mission report as I am about this. This is 2 Timothy 2:2 in living, breathing reality, faithful men and women who are able and willing to teach others. This is another chapter of the book of Acts. Thank you again and again for making a difference in this successful mission through your prayers and donations.

Paulo sent me photos of this mission that you can view HERE.

 

May God bless us all in the name of his holy Son, Jesus,
Reverend Tim Sullivan

 

 


 

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