Story Behind The Photo: Mason S

Mason shares some insight on the story behind the photo. Check out some of what he learned during this YWAM DTS outreach!

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It was our second week of outreach. Our team of 14 had arrived in Tanzania, spending the first week of our eight-week stay in Arusha. From there we journeyed deep into the heart of Maasai land. 

The drive to Kiserian, not found on maps, was other-worldly. Within the first 20 minutes, we saw ostriches, giraffes, zebras, and more; most of them rarely seen outside of a zoo or safari park. The landscape became exceedingly more remote as we slowly progressed along the ‘road’ which was more of a recently-dried river bed.

At about an hour into our journey, we stopped and shifted to a smaller vehicle, as the road was too washed out for our larger van. Half went ahead and the rest of us waited for our turn.

Those of us who stayed were treated to a remarkable sunset, climbing onto the roof rack for a better view. As it got dark we moved inside the van, ‘cause lions!

Our stay for the week was in a small school/church complex. Mornings we shared devotionals/bible stories with each grade and the school staff. Each classroom was full of jubilant school children excitedly watching our bible stories acted out.

Most afternoons we traveled to homes by foot or sandwiched into a car intended to seat five, 10 is our record. At each boma (multi-family home) we were welcomed, typically offered chai, and invited to share why we had come. The Gospel, the good news that each person, their family, and their tribe are invited into God’s Kingdom, this is why we came. 

None of this ministry would have been possible without the assistance of our hosts and translators. Those who had relationships and understood the language as well as cultural dynamics. The older man in this picture I’ll call Josiah. He was one of our hosts and we enjoyed getting to know him. Each morning he would greet me in Maasai and teach me to respond the correct way - he was a patient teacher. Though we spoke little of each other's language we developed a friendship. 

At the end of our time in the village, the congregation sent us off with Maasai songs and dances.

It is hard to imagine a more noble or generous people than those of Kiserian.

Before leaving, Josiah placed over my head an ornate necklace made from hundreds of beads saying, “You are now my son.” I can’t recall a time when I’ve felt more humbled by words and a gift. The land and the people there will always have a special place in my memory. 

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