Inland Mission

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The Rendille live in Northern Kenya as semi-nomadic pastoralists. There are two distinct groups: the northern Rendille, who herd camels, and the southern Rendille who herd cattle.

Who are the Rendille?

The Rendille are semi-nomadic pastoralists and live in the Kaisut Desert east of Lake Turkana, northern Kenya. There are two distinctive groups: the northern Rendille who herd camels, and the southern Rendille who herd cattle and are related to the Samburu with whom they intermarry. They live in ‘manyattas’ or homesteads of 70-100 houses, dress in bright colours and wear beads. The men undergo various rites of passage to bring them into adulthood; girls are often spoken for at an early age and marry very young.

What do they believe?

They practice a traditional, animistic religion. There is a place in every village called ‘nahapo’ where men gather every night to pray around a fire, which is never to be allowed to go out. They pray to the moon, which plays an important part in their religion as well as animal sacrifices and worshipping ancestral spirits. They consider themselves descendants of the Jews, and practice a traditional Passover-type ceremony.


What is being done to reach them?

In 1982 the Swanepoel’s moved to Korr to live among the Rendille. During their 33 years there they created an alphabet for the unwritten Rendille language, which is leading to a translation of the New Testament. They were also involved in developing water resources, two primary schools, and one secondary school. Since then, short termers have gone out to support their work and an evangelical church has been established by Rendille Christians.

Prayer Resources


If you are organising a prayer meeting or just looking for material to help you pray with more insight for some of Africa’s unreached people, why not download a printable Prayer sheet on the Rendille of Kenya?


Latest prayer updates…

Below are some of the latest prayer updates on the Rendille of Kenya.

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Related articles:

  • The seed of the word - In 1964 the newly independent government of Kenya allowed Earl and Esther Andersen to move to Marsabit to open ministry among the Rendille.
  • In my own language - In Korr, one of Kenya’s northern frontier towns, the air seems to be constantly stirring. Traditionally, the Rendille are nomads. Traditionally, they do what they must to survive in a hostile environment. Traditionally, they have no access to Scripture in their language. Things have changed.
  • Why is discipleship so important? - Despite being the biggest county in Kenya, Marsabit County currently has no Bible training facilities. The local church has requested that someone come and set up a Bible training college, which will serve the many different people groups in the area.
  • Building blocks among the Rendille - Last August, the Rendille celebrated the dedication of the New Testament that had just been completed in their heart language.